Underrated College Football Teams in 2013

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

College Football Betting: Underrated Teams Entering the 2013 Season

LSU Tigers: Maybe it was all the LSU players’ names being announced at the NFL Draft that made people think they were utterly depleted. But there’s a lot still at LSU. It might help the Tigers that no one is really talking about them as a title contender. The opportunities will be rife in the SEC. With 6 defenders going to the NFL and a 10th ranked SEC offense, the skepticism is understandable, but this is still a team that has won at least 10 games in 3 straight seasons.

There are still some good defensive pieces in place and the youngsters are talented. They’ve always reloaded well in the past and they should be able to do so again. QB Zach Mettenberger seems poised to take a step up and new OC Cam Cameron has worked magic before, so why not now? It’s dicey banking on a team that needs so many breakout performances, but LSU might surprise some people. Sometimes, the water boils when no one is watching.


Texas Longhorns: You can’t expect coach Mack Brown and this Texas program to be shut out of the big picture forever. With expectations low, maybe the Longhorns surprise this season. They have 19 starters returning–more than any team in the FBS. Nine of those are defensive starters. Even though a repeat of last year’s defensive performance won’t get it done, it’s a promising sign and the defense should be better. Coming off a hellacious 2012 schedule, the upcoming season should offer some relief with an easier schedule.

Quarterback is a question mark at the time of this writing, which is not really a great sign. Nevertheless, the talent figures to be there, though requiring at least a small leap-of-faith. If the “D” can rally around potential game-changers like DE Jackson Jeffcoat and LB Jordan Hicks, that could be the difference. With a little extra seasoning and a sneaking suspicion that they’re “due,” LSU should not be disregarded.

Louisville Cardinals: They might not take everyone by surprise, especially after an 11-2 year that culminated in a 10-point Sugar Bowl win over Florida. They at least got themselves noticed, but not many people fancy Louisville’s chances in the overall big picture, even though they may get their highest preseason ranking in school history. Their conference is weak and they should sail through parts of their 2013 schedule.

Louisville has 16 returning starters and the coaching of Charlie Strong should help whip that defensive crew into even better shape, especially with 9 starters coming back in 2013. And lest we forget blossoming QB Teddy Bridgewater, now a junior coming off a huge year. With continued seasoning, he should develop into even more of a leader. Watch out for Louisville.

Michigan Wolverines: OK, they’ve lost electric QB Denard Robinson. But it was hard to not notice how effective Devin Gardner was while playing, as he beat a tough Northwestern team, in addition to beating Iowa. He should be a dandy. He will be helped by an offensive line that will prove to perhaps be the best in the conference. With the running backs corps stacked with Toussaint, Rawls, and Hayes, look out for the Wolverine offense this season. Coach Brady Hoke has a certain touch and it’s not an issue of if, but rather when he produces an absolutely top-notch squad in Ann Arbor.

Miami Hurricanes: Now bowl-eligible after a two year ban, Miami might be poised for an upturn. While it’s unlikely they will be able to approach the status of their glory era, there is cause for high hopes. They were only 7-5 in 2012, but played a tough schedule and had a squad of very young talent. Considering the lack of team-wide maturity, they didn’t do so badly. Look for more steady play from rising QB Stephan Morris, in addition to further growth from RB Duke Johnson, who gained over 1000 yards as a freshman. Most key guys are back and Miami could be tough.

Fresno State Bulldogs: More of a hunch, but there are some signs that Fresno State could be an interesting sleeper team in 2013. They were good last year, quietly winning 9 games. Some youngsters need to step up, particularly at the running back position. But coming off a 4104 yard-37 TD season, senior QB Derek Carr should have a big year. They have Boise State at home in their 4th game. Who knows?

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College Football Conferences – List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.

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