2009 College Football Teams to Watch

Last Updated: October 4th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

The 2009 College Football Season has been filled with many unexpected outcomes. It seems like just when you think you got a team figured out they disappoint those expectations. Until this past weekend a top 5 team had been beaten every week of the season and there has been many more upsets as well. We have seen highly rank teams drop and new faces emerge in the rankings. However, if anything is clear for the 2009 season it is that the rankings have not had any type of significant importance. Perhaps it is hard to rank teams when there are so many others that are equally talented. Every week new rankings are releases and more questions arise. Do not get caught up with some team’s polls perceptions as rankings can be very misleading especially at this point in the season. California was ranked as high as 6th just two weeks ago and find themselves outside the top 25. Then you look at the Miami Hurricanes who were barely receiving preseason votes to be ranked, and Hurricanes have been ranked as high as 9th this season. Our goal is to breakdown a few teams in the Top 25 to see who exactly are contenders and those that are pretenders.


No. 4 LSU Tigers (4-0)

The LSU Tigers got their biggest win of the season in dramatic fashion last weekend 20-13 over the previously ranked no. 18 Georgia Bulldogs. However, LSU has not been very impressive in their 4-0 start. The Tigers barely escaped an opener at Washington and had to overcome 3 straight defensive stands from the 1 yard line to beat Mississippi State. It seems like LSU keeps finding ways to win. Running back Charles Scott broke open a 33 yard touchdown run with 46 seconds to go to take down the Bulldogs in another exciting finish. However, the Tigers luck is going to run out especially when they take on top ranked Florida this week. LSU has bigger concerns than the Gators as how they will finish the season. The offense ranks 99th overall producing just 321 yards per game. Those offensive numbers have to improve against the SEC defenses which are among the best in the country. The Tigers top 5 ranked Florida and Alabama in the next 4 weeks and also a meeting with no. 17 Auburn in that stretch as well. If they continue under performing, they could easily go 1-3 in their next 4 games.

Oklahoma Sooners (2-2)

Surely, Sooners fans still have beliefs they can still win the Big 12 considering both of their losses were to out of conference teams and sure both of their losses have been to ranked teams. However, they are still in considerable trouble through the remainder of the year. The team has multiple problems and not necessarily referring to Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Backup QB Landry Jones has thrown the ball well completing 60% with 10 touchdowns. However, the Sooners offense is nowhere near the dominant form they were in 2008. Outside of Ryan Broyles, the young receivers are struggling to make plays. Running backs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown do not have huge holes as they did last season. With those misfires, the Sooners have scored just 33 points in their two biggest games of the season against Miami and BYU. The Sooners main big offensive games were against inferior teams like Idaho State and Tulsa. They will have to work out a lot of kinks quickly as Baylor, Texas, and Kansas and next up on the schedule.

No. 20 Mississippi Rebels (3-1)

The Rebels received a ton of high expectations entering the season behind coach Houston Nutt and quarterback Jevan Snead. Nutt turned the program around last season capturing 9 wins nearly more than the Rebels have accumulated in the 3 previous seasons. QB Jevan Snead sparked an offense at the end of 2008 that became one of the most feared in the SEC. A lot of attention was drawn to Snead this season as NFL and Heisman talk buzzed around Oxford. Wide receivers Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster gave even more reason to expect big things on offense. However, the offense has yet to be explosive as they were a season ago averaging just 19 points per game in their first two SEC contest. The Rebels lost the SEC opener to South Carolina after reaching their highest ranking in 40 years at number 4 in the country. However not only has the offense been questionable, but so has quarterback Jevan Snead. Snead has completing just 51% this season while throwing 5 interceptions in 4 games. The letdown behind center has many wondering if the Rebels quarterback may have been high over rated or will he bounce back? The Rebels slow start is not going to get any better if they don’t pick up the pace with their brutal SEC schedule that will face no. 3 Alabama this weekend.


No. 23 South Florida Bulls (5-0)

The Bulls lost their senior quarterback and leader in Matt Grothe to a knee injury for the season in their 3rd game of the season. The huge loss appeared to have dampened South Florida’s chances at having a successful season. However, nobody told backup quarterback B.J Daniels. The freshman quarterback has matured quickly throwing for 180 yards per game in 3 starts and rushing for another 263 yards in those 3 games as well. The Bulls have not lost a step beating the likes of Florida State and Syracuse convincingly. The Bulls defense has held opponents to an impressive 9.4 points per game and may be the best defense in the Big East. The Bulls face their biggest game of the season when they host Cincinnati this weekend. If somehow they can capture a win this young team confidence may never come down. However even with a loss, South Florida is still going to be a force in the Big East this season.

No. 17 Auburn Tigers (5-0)

The Auburn Tigers have not received a lot of attention this season, but the media is starting to catch on to the fact that Alabama is not the only team in the state that has a chance at an SEC Championship. The Tigers offensive has exploded averaging over 500 yards per game and ranking 5th overall in the nation. The impressive thing about the offense is they are very balanced. Running backs Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb have combined for well over 900 yards in just 5 games along with 5 touchdowns. Todd has posted over 1,230 yards in just 5 games with 12 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The balanced threat has also given Auburn the number 5 ranked scoring offense posting 41 points per game. The Tigers just received a top 25 ranking after last week’s win over Tennessee and their offense is going to keep them in the rankings for some time. Auburn is an impressive 4-1 ATS this season as a profitable money maker which could likely continue. The Tigers are going to have a chance to really make some more noise this season as well. Auburn gets manageable meetings with Kentucky and Arkansas next on the schedule which should place them nicely at 7-0 before their trip to LSU. However, there is not a game left on the schedule that they can not win.

No. 13 Oregon Ducks (4-1)

The Oregon Ducks were embarrassed by Boise State in a sloppy opener to the college football season. The 19-8 loss seen by millions critically wounded the Ducks perceptions as most had written off the team for the rest of the year. However, the Ducks have been consistently improving each week since their loss and now they are firing as an explosive offensive team. The Ducks completely crushed California who was at the time ranked 6th 42-3, then backed that up with a blowout over Washington State this past week 52-6. Freshman LaMichael James has played well stepping in for LaGarrette Blount who was suspended for the punch thrown in the opener. James has rushed for 429 yards in 4 games carrying an impressive 6 yards per carry average. Jeremiah Masoli remains a dual threat behind center and is also playing well. The Ducks re-emergence has taken the books by surprise as they are 3-0 ATS in their last 3 games. The Ducks now appear to be on track to contend for Pac-10 Title. Considering how well the defense has played over the last few games along with their improving offense, a championship may not be out of the question.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Sunday, October 4th, 2009 @ 6:28 pm (EST)
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