Yesterday we wrapped up our Preseason Top 25 Countdown with The Alabama Crimson Tide in the top spot. Tabulating the top teams is always easy, it’s slots 20-25 that can be tough.
You take a look at last seasons records, which impact players are returning, and what newcomers could make teams better when doing preseason rankings. Honestly, there are always a few teams that could have grabbed a position between 20-25 but you just aren’t sure if they will improve enough to justify a preseason ranking,
Today we will look at five teams that were considered but fell just short of making our Top 25.
30- Miami Hurricanes
Coach: Al Golden
2012 Record: Overall 7-5 ACC (5-3)
Why They Missed The Cut: The Miami Hurricanes gave up 30 points or more in eight of their twelve games last season. They will have 7 new starters on the defensive side of the football, but there are too many question marks for them to be included in the Top 25. If they can take down Florida on September 7th, they will find their way in.
29- Baylor Bears
Coach: Art Briles
2012 Record: Overall 8-5 Big XII (4-5)
Why They Missed The Cut: While Art Briles has done a great job in making Baylor an offensive juggernaut, The Bears defense is one of the worst in the nation. With seven of the starters from last year returning, it is unlikely they will be much better. Playing in the offensive minded Big XII requires a potent offense, but when you defense plays as poorly as Baylor’s did last year, it’s going to take a few big wins before they crack the Top 25.
Coach: Mark Dantonio
2012 Record: 7-6 Big Ten (3-5)
Why They Missed The Cut: For the past few seasons Michigan State has looked like contenders for The Big Ten Legends Division, at least on paper. The Spartans pro style offense is a big issue. Without a mobile quarterback, the opposition’s defense can dictate what Michigan State can do with the football. The first four games of their season should be automatic wins, then they travel to Notre Dame to take on The Fighting Irish in late September. Then we will find out if they are worthy of recognition.
27- Fresno State Bulldogs
Coach: Tim DeRuyter
2012 Record: Overall 9-4 Mountain West (7-1)
Why They Missed The Cut: While they look to play for a MWC Championship in 2013, they lost games last year to teams like Tulsa and SMU. Derek Carr is going to be playing in the NFL next season, so his arm will determine how far The Bulldogs can climb in 2013. If they can take down Rutgers on August 31st, they will likely make their way into The Top 25
26- USC Trojans
Coach: Lane Kiffin
2012 Record: Overall 7-6 PAC 12 (5-4)
Why They Missed The Cut: This can be summed up in one word, uncertainty. Quarterback Max Wittek has a cannon for an arm, but didn’t seem to be consistent when he saw the field last season. The other uncertainty for The Trojans is head coach Lane Kiffin and his decision making. Despite all of the talent USC enjoys, it seems like Kiffin is a few steps behind whomever is coaching on the opposite sideline. This team could be good enough to play for The PAC 12 Championship, but until we see a few games out of them, they are too hard to gauge.