2009-10 Top Five College Football Sleeper Teams

June 10th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

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The dog days of summer are vastly approaching and for sports fans that means that baseball will soon be the only major sport making the headlines. For a large majority of sports enthusiasts that do not stay on track with baseball, the most of us we will be counting down the days to the first kickoff of the 2009 football season. The 2009 College Football season promises to be exciting as ever. Tim Tebow will try and lead the Florida Gators to their 3rd National Title in 4 years. Florida will be one of the leading favorites again for teams to win the 2009 National Championship along with some familiar faces in Oklahoma and Texas. However, we will take a brief look at the teams who are staging to emerge into the national spotlight this year who are among the less coveted teams in the nation. Take a look as we break down our top 5 sleeper teams to make a name for themselves in 2009.

#5 – Boise State Broncos

It is hard to pick a team that went undefeated in the regular season in 2008 as a sleeper, but that is the case with the Broncos this season. The main reason they grab this spot is they have a great chance at snatching the BCS automatic bid in 2009. The reason is that the Broncos have a cupcake schedule very similar to last year’s undefeated regular season. Outside of Oregon, Boise State could walk through the regular season without losing a game and not even have to be playing their best football. Add to the fact some of the top teams will have pretty hectic schedules this year and Boise State could be sitting pretty by season’s end. The Broncos defense lost a few players, but having Kellen Moore in control of the offense should be enough to pick up any slack. If the Broncos run through another regular season undefeated, and most teams are sitting with two losses they could make their way into a BCS Bowl Game. Not to mention the BCS will be more anxious to get a non-BCS team in after Utah stunned Alabama last year in the Sugar Bowl.

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#4 – Florida State Seminoles

A decade ago you would have never considered Florida State as an underdog type team. However, the Seminoles have been missing from College Football’s main stage for quite some time now. However, Florida State showed steps in the right direction in 2008 anchored by a strong defensive group. The Seminoles will return 8 starters on the defensive side of the ball and will likely be among the best in the nation on that side of the ball. The Seminoles could use some explosive offensive threats that would really make them dangerous. Christian Ponder will be the man behind center and that could be either the rise or fall for Florida State this season. The Seminoles have a great chance snatching ACC Championship honors this season if everything goes well. The Seminoles will attempt to capture a 10 win season which would surprisingly be their first since 2002.

#3 – California Golden Bears

California was a solid team in 2008 and they have a lot to build off heading into this season. The Golden Bears were not run over by any team last year and they will return 17 starters from their 2008 campaign. While I am sure many will disagree, I believe the Golden Bears could really make a run at the Pac-10 title this year. One of the main reasons is Jahvid Best at running back. Best was at his best towards the end of last season averaging 210 yards over the final 3 games and racking up over 1,500 yards on the season. The Golden Bears will rely on Kevin Riley behind center this season and he should have a progressive year. The California defense should be another unit that shows improvement from 2008 as well. The Bears had a top 25 defense last season and could be a good bit better heading into 2009.

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#2 – Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State has a great chance to bust out from the big shadows of Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12 this season. The high powered scoring conference will not lack any need for points this year and Oklahoma State could possibly have the best offense of anyone. Oklahoma State finished 9-4 a year ago, but they played everyone very well including Texas who barely escaped an upset in Lubbock 28-24. The Cowboys look to return nearly the exact same offense this season. The offense has all the makings to post huge numbers and could easily become one of the best in the conference. That’s right this offense can compete with anyone. Quarterback Zach Robinson and running back Kendall Hunter should provide the type of balance needed to stay effective. On top of their tremendous potential on offense, Oklahoma State should not be too bad on the defensive side of the ball as well. The Cowboys could use a little bit of help in the secondary, but should have strong enough rushing defense to hang with anyone in the conference. The Cowboys get Texas and Texas Tech at home while finishing the season at Oklahoma. If the ball bounces there way, this team could catch fire.

#1 – Mississippi Rebels

The Rebels were our team to watch out for last season in the SEC and we think they will be a team to watch out for among the national ranks in 2009. Houston Nutt should have possibly been the Coach of the Year for his amazing work he did turning around the Ole Miss program last season, but rather that award actually went to Nick Saban at Alabama. Mississippi finished 2nd in the SEC West last season and really did not get any rhythm until the latter part of the year. The Rebels lost back to back close games against South Carolina and Alabama before winning their last 6 games including a blowout over the high powered offense of Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. QB Jevan Snead really showed some great signs at quarterback last year and could be on the verge of a breakout season in 2009. Add to the fact the Rebels were the only team to beat Florida last season, and they have the most upside of any team with 4 losses from 2008. The defense should be another solid unit similar to last season’s team that ranked 19th nationally. Mississippi will get South Carolina on a Thursday night game and Alabama two weeks later early in the season. If the Rebels can get off to a fast start, there may be nobody that can stop them throughout the rest of the season.

Which of these five NCAA football teams will finish with the best record in 2009?

  • Boise State Broncos (31%, 62 Votes)
  • Mississippi Rebels (25%, 49 Votes)
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys (21%, 42 Votes)
  • Florida State Seminoles (18%, 35 Votes)
  • California Golden Bears (6%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 200


Posted in College Football on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 8:31 pm (EST)
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