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College Football 2011: Sleepers And Busts

Posted on September 08, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

Maryland, Illinois and Arizona State Are My Top 3 Sleepers For This Year's College Football Season.

Since we are in the spirit for College Football as we speak, and the season is underway, here are my 3 sleepers and 3 busts for the 2011 College Football Season, and why:


1. Maryland Terrapins: No, it’s not just the uniforms, Maryland is for real. Granted, the Terps beat Miami, A team that will quickly fall to the cellar of the ACC, but there is promise for Maryland this season. Maryland will likely win there next 3 games, (West Virginia, Temple and Towson) Maryland will find their way easily into the AP Top 25 by Week 6 when they face Georgia Tech. Maryland only has 3-4 tough games, so expect them to go to a solid bowl this season. “Fear The Turtle.”

2. Illinois Fighting Illini: Illinois is in a tough conference, however, like Maryland, their schedule is pretty darn easy. While the Illini are set to play in the Leaders division of the Big 10, their conference schedule looks weak. Now, that may sound like a bad thing, but for Illinois, it’s all about winning. Illinois will go 6-0 to start the year. Then, it gets tough. Ohio State is still a tough opponent despite the off field issues, Penn State is never a great place to play, and with Coach Paterno and Running Back Silas Redd, they are coming to play this season. After that? Oh, a date with Michigan who is planning on using Denard Robinson’s speed, and Brady Hoke’s wisdom, to return Michigan to it’s former glory. Wisconsin is next, which we assume will be a loss for the Illini. Nonetheless, I predict a 9-3 record for Illinois, and a spot in the end of year Top 25.

3. Arizona State Sun Devils: My last sleeper team comes from a sleeping conference. Oregon and Stanford are the only legitimate teams in the conference, with USC trailing behind. You can now add ASU to the list. Arizona State will be in the Pac 12 Championship Game. Yeah, I said it. The Sun Devils have a terrific offense led by Quarterback Brock Osweiler leading the team. Osweiler threw for 2 TD’s as Arizona State ran all over UC Ddavis, 48-14 in Week 1. The Schedule for Arizona State, is simple. There is no Stanford on that list, and the Sun Devils could keep up with Oregon, and upset the Ducks. For the rest of the schedule, is all out winning. Illinois, USC and California could challenge the Sun Devils, but I don’t see it. Predict a 10-2 season and a berth in the Pac 12 Championship Game for ASU.

Notable Sleepers: USF, Ole Miss and Missouri.


1. Michigan Wolverines: I’m a Wolverines fan, so it’s hard to publicly speak out against Michigan, but i have to here. There is absolutely no reason why Coach Brady Hoke and Michigan switched to a Pro Style offense from a Spread. Do they realize that they have one of the best play makers in football? Hopefully, because Denard Robinson is brillant, just brilliant. On CBSSPORTS.COM, Michigan was projected to finish 2nd in the Big Ten and play in the Fiesta Bowl. Huh? I barely see the Wolverines finishing above .500. It’s everything but Robinson that is causing problems in Ann Arbor. Take away the Non- Conference schedule. Michigan has Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and San Diego State has cakewalk victories, but Notre Dame may be a big challenge if they overcome their recent loss to USF. Michigan State and Nebraska will easily win over the Wolverines, and Ohio State and Illinois possibly even challenging them. I predict as low as a 8-4 or 7-5 year this year for Michigan, which definitely qualifies them as a bust.

2. West Virginia Mountaineers: Although West Virginia plays in the Big East, and will destroy all the bottom teams in the conference, they have no shot against Nationally Ranked Teams. We’ll get to see that, as WVU faces Maryland and LSU this season. There aren’t alot of threats to the Mountaineers in the Big East this year, but Uconn, Syracuse and Pitt will all be there as usual. I expect West Virginia to go 9-3 or 8-4, but the reason I add them to the bust list, is because of their humiliating loss to LSU, which is soon to come.

3. Mississippi State Bulldogs: I respect the SEC, but when 5 teams are in the Top 26, one team has to be a bust. This season, it’s Mississippi State. The Bulldogs never get any national attention, unless when they are the visitors of an Alabama, LSU or Florida game. I’m giving Miss. St a 7-5 record, but it is possible to go better or worse this year. Losses are surely on the way for the Bulldogs against LSU and Alabama, and Auburn, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina will all be coin tosses. If the Bulldogs want to earn national attention this year, they’re going to have to bring their “A” game every week.

Notable Busts: Penn State, Baylor and Oregon.

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