The season is coming to a close, and it's time for the day of reckoning for some of college football's most overrated teams.
Ohio State has put together an undefeated season, but this is not the Buckeyes we have come to expect with a high-powered offense. Will Kyle McCord's inability to push the ball down the field cost Ohio State in "The Game?" I'll break down why the Buckeyes are in trouble as well as why Louisville and some other teams are in danger of coming up short in high-leverage matchups down the stretch.
We were able to identify Tennessee as a fraud the past few weeks, and the team proceeded to get smoked by the likes of Missouri and Georgia by a combined score of 74-17.
Let's see if we can peg some other frauds given a nice record, but poor underlying metrics.
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Most Overrated Teams in College Football
5) Boise State
Just last week, Boise State looked like it was ending its season with a whimper. The team fired head coach Andy Avalos after a 5-5 start to the season behind volatile quarterback play and a far worse defense.
The Broncos responded by shaking off a slow start and blitzing Utah State on the road to the tune of a 45-10 win, giving the team the inside track back to the Mountain West title game. If Boise State wins at home against Air Force as nearly a touchdown favorite, the team is likely playing next week against either UNLV or San Jose State.
However, I'm not buying the team into the postseason, the defense is still below the national average in EPA/Play and is outside the top 100 yards per play. Some teams may be reinvigorated by a coach being fired, but I think it's a blip rather than the trend.
Oklahoma was an early fraud but was exposed in losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State. However, we are back to seeing the Sooners on this list after skating by BYU as a 25-point road favorite, 31-24, with the team on its backup quarterback who looked overmatched the prior two weeks.
OU did lose quarterback Dillon Gabriel to a head injury in the first half, but that's no excuse for Oklahoma, who bolstered a significant talent edge, and freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold is looked at favorably and should've been able to touch up a BYU team that is outside the top 100 in EPA/Play.
It's unclear if Gabriel will be back for Friday's matchup against TCU, but are still laying double digits, and need some help to get into the Big 12 title game. If Oklahoma State loses to BYU as massive favorites and OU wins, the Sooners have a rematch against Texas, but this Sooners team looks far worse as they head down the home stretch.
Tulane has been a fixture on this list, and I can't take them off despite a dominant 24-8 win at Florida Atlantic last week. The team remains inefficient on offense and hasn't been challenged in weeks, but that changes on Saturday as the team hosts a streaking UTSA Roadrunners in a battle for the AAC title game.
The Roadrunners have scored 34 or more in every AAC game this season and veteran Frank Harris has the team's offense humming while Tulane has been prodding along, scoring 13, 24, and 24 over its last three against three teams that all will not be bowl eligible.
The Green Wave is undefeated in conference play but hasn't been playing like it in well over a month. Be wary of trusting Tulane at home this weekend.
Louisville made its debut on this list last week as the team jumped into the 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings, and it showed its fragility by getting into a barnburner at Miami this past weekend.
The Cardinals have explosive playmakers, but the team continues to get middling quarterback play from Jack Plummer, who has 16 big-time throws and 13 turnover-worthy plays this season, per Pro Football Focus.
While Louisville gets some relief from the Jordan Travis injury to Florida State as the two teams will meet in the ACC Championship Game next week, the Cards have a tricky game against rival Kentucky who bolster a stout defensive line that is 35th in tackles for loss and 27th in defensive line yards that does a great job of limiting explosive plays (top 20).
1) Ohio State
While Ohio State has taken care of business against lowly Big Ten opponents in the lead-up to its biggest game of the season against Michigan, the team has held steady as the biggest fraud in college football.
Like so many who criticized Michigan's lack of a difficult schedule, Ohio State is benefitting from the same thing of late, beating terrible offenses in Minnesota, Michigan State, Rutgers, and Wisconsin since the Penn State win.
I respect the Buckeyes defense quite a bit, now tops in EPA/Play, but the question mark remains at quarterback.
Kyle McCord has been fine with a bevy of future NFL pass catchers, including top-five pick Marvin Harrison Jr., but the team remains limited in the passing game. McCord has 16 big-time throws this season with 12 turnover-worthy plays. He is averaging less than nine yards per pass attempt and has been terrible under pressure (comprising about 25% of his total dropbacks), completing only 38% of his passes on four yards per pass attempt with two big-time throws to seven turnover-worthy plays.
McCord's lack of playmaking will be on full display on Saturday against an elite Michigan pass rush that is fourth in PFF's pass rush grade and is fourth in yards per play allowed. Ohio State may be backed up early and often as the Wolverines allow less than three yards per carry, will McCord answer?
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