The Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll for the 2021 college football season has been released.
With the Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll being released on Tuesday, let’s see what teams the coaches have overrated and underrated heading into the season.
65 FBS head coaches were polled randomly to create this list. Per usual, a first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote is worth 24 and a 25th-place vote is worth one. All those votes are tallied up, and here you go.
Defending champion Alabama received 63 of a possible 65 first-place votes with Oklahoma receiving the other two.
Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia made up the top five.
While the coaches usually have a strong sense of what teams will be good each year, there are a few interesting discrepancies between them and the college media.
Here are three teams the coaches are overrating heading into the 2021 college football season, as well as three they are collectively sleeping on a bit.
Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll: 3 overrated teams, 3 underrated teams
Overrated: No. 13 LSU Tigers
Should the LSU Tigers be a top-25 team to start the year? Of course, but they are only two spots below the cross-divisional rival Florida Gators and are coming off a 5-5 season full of massive disappointment. While Max Johnson looks to be the real deal at quarterback, this may be the fourth-best team in the SEC West, depending on if the Ole Miss Rebels can field a quality defense.
Underrated: No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs
Admittedly, this is pulling teeth, but seeing a team with as loaded of a roster as the Georgia Bulldogs have sitting at No. 5 does not feel right. Should the Dawgs be a top-five team to start the year? Yes, but they should be better than the fifth of five. If Georgia defeats the No. 2 Clemson Tigers on Labor Day Weekend, they might switch spots with their traditional Southeastern rival.
Overrated: No. 14 USC Trojans
This happens every year. Everybody wants to convince themselves that this is the season where the USC Trojans right the ship. While they should contend for a Pac-12 South division title, the gap between them and the unranked Utah Utes is not that big. USC coming in at No. 14 is a tad high, as the Trojans feel something like the No. 17 team in the nation. They have to prove they belong.
Underrated: No. 12 Oregon Ducks
The Oregon Ducks are the best team in the Pac-12, and everyone knows it. They have an absolute stud along the defensive line in Kayvon Thibodeaux. While they have limitations at the quarterback position, it just looks weird to not see the Ducks inside of the top 10 at the start of the season. If they keep winning they will get there, but they are more than two spots better than No. 12 USC.
Overrated: No. 16 Miami Hurricanes
This comes down to how high do you think the third-best team in the ACC should be ranked. Keep in mind Notre Dame is not playing in the ACC this year, so that takes away a bit of the conference’s gravitas. Should the Miami Hurricanes be ranked? Yes, but they should be closer to No. 20 than to No. 15. D’Eriq King should be a great player, but this team feels destined to lose three or so games.
Underrated: No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers
The Wisconsin Badgers had a year from hell last season. While they did find an emerging star at quarterback in Graham Mertz, COVID-19 ruined their chances of getting to Indianapolis. Wisconsin should be the favorite to win the Big Ten West this year. Doing so means the Badgers should be pushing for top-10 inclusion. They should be a few spots higher than No. 15 entering the season.
Overall, the 65 FBS head coaches who voted did a great job in assembling their top 25. As always, they will either be proven right or proven wrong by what happens on the field. Again, we have no idea what teams are going to live up to the hype and which ones will be viewed as massive disappointments. Labor Day Weekend will be here before you know it, and we simply cannot wait.
What teams did the Coaches Poll get the most wrong in their final preseason poll for 2021?