These five college football teams are ready to breakout in the 2020 season.
Every college football season, some team ends up having a terrific year and never looks back.
2019 saw the LSU Tigers go undefeated and win the College Football Playoff under head coach Ed Orgeron. The Oregon Ducks look like they’re here to stay in the Pac-12 under head coach Mario Cristobal. We saw the Minnesota Golden Gophers shock us all under head coach P.J. Fleck. And it looks like Mack Brown will eventually win big again leading the North Carolina Tar Heels.
While LSU did win the national championship, arriving looks different for any number of programs. For teams like LSU, it’s winning a national title. For Oregon, it’s winning a Pac-12 Championship and winning the Rose Bowl. And for programs like Minnesota and North Carolina, it’s about forcing their way into semi-national relevancy, planning to be a top-25 program going forward.
So what we’re going to do today is look at five college football programs who are ready to make some serious noise in their “breakout seasons”. Will they contend for a College Football Playoff berth? Can they get to their conference title bout? What if they finally beat a major rival or two who has long been a frustration to them?
Again, every team that is poised to have a breakout season will go about it differently. However, this is a good time to get in on the hype train of any and all of these five Power 5 programs. These are seen as college football blue-blood programs for a reason, as they can only remain down so long before they bubble back up to the surface and into national relevancy.
Here are five college football breakout teams poised to make some noise.
How soon will it be before Rocky Top is back on top in the SEC East?
With the SEC going with a 10-game, conference-only schedule for 2020, it’s a great opportunity for Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee Volunteers to build up some confidence and really assert themselves in the SEC landscape. Presently, Tennessee is seen as maybe the seventh-best program in the SEC, depending on if you prefer them or the SEC East rival Kentucky Wildcats.
Though going conference-only gives the Vols two more high-stakes SEC games, it also takes a certain loss off their schedule vs. the Big 12’s Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. While Tennessee gets a tough draw annually vs. the cross-divisional rival Alabama Crimson Tide, there other SEC West game is supposed to be against Sam Pittman’s rebuilding Arkansas Razorbacks. That’s a W.
Depending on how these two other SEC games are implemented, as we don’t know what the conference plans to do with its 2020 schedule, the Vols could get a couple of teams with new coaches in Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels or Mike Leach’s SEC Bulldogs. Conversely, they could pick up Ed Oregon’s LSU team, Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers or Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M Aggies.
In short, Tennessee has no choice but to be better in its 10-game conference slate. The Vols gave off the impression they’d be able to beat one of their annual rivals in Alabama, the Florida Gators or the Georgia Bulldogs this year. Regardless of if they’re able to pull off an upset of that caliber or not, more games vs. tougher competition could propel the Vols to something like 7-3 this season.