Top 25 Most Overrated / Underrated Teams

Top 25 Most Overrated / Underrated Teams

Top 25 Most Overrated / Underrated Teams
By Scott Spretizer
Sportspic.com

Each week, after the new top-25 rankings are released, I break them down into three categories, including the week's most overrated team, most underrated team, and potentially, one team outside the top-25 that should be ranked. We look to use this as a gauge for potential weekly plays, taking advantage of public perception, whether a team is enjoying too much hype or not enough.

MOST OVERRATED TEAM

Those familiar with my weekly report are used to a top-10 team being inserted into my most overrated section. However, this week, my most overrated is USA Today's 25th-ranked college football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska is 3-1 SU, and we all know how poorly they played against UCLA in the lone loss. However, the pathetic play on defense goes well beyond the UCLA contest. Nebraska allowed UCLA and Wyoming offenses to gain over 1,100 yards combined on more than 7.25 yards per play.

Even in the team's two games against more traditional offenses, Southern Miss & South Dakota State, the Huskers were struggling early-on. Nebraska gave up 273 yards on 7.58 yards per play through the first two quarters against SDSU - and even allowed Southern Miss to pile-up 134 yards in the first quarter before finally bringing the blitz time-after-time. Selling-out works against less athletic QBs on lower level teams, but not against athletic signal callers or teams at their own level.

This week's opponent, Illinois, is led by QB Nathan Scheelhasse. The Illini signal caller is not a threat to run, but has led his team to the nation's 20th ranking in yards passing per game (307.5 per game). Nebraska's odd defensive schemes leave the middle of the field open which could lead to another big day for the Illini offensive attack. This is something that more than a couple of Big-10 teams can exploit throughout the season. Couple that with Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez still suffering from turf-toe, and we believe the Huskers - Illini contest is a game to leave alone at the very least, while definitely staying away from a temptation to lay the points.

Until HC Bo Pelini and his DC John Papuchis can prove they're capable of finding better defensive schemes, Nebraska is a team that will be over-valued on most occasions - and undeserving of a top-25 ranking at this point of the season.

MOST UNDERRATED TEAM

The Baylor Bears are this week's most underrated ranked team, and the linesmakers apparently agree, since they are favored by nearly four touchdowns this week against West Virginia. While the Mountaineers aren't drawing the attention they were last year at this time, they did hold Oklahoma to three field goals and a touchdown in a 16-7 Sooner win, and just beat the then-11th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys, 30-21.

Baylor's strength of schedule may not look like much thus far, but Art Briles' defense returned seven starters from last year's unit. The improvements in quickness to the point of attack, along with positioning and understanding of schematics are apparent.

It may look tempting to grab "all those" points with WVU, but we recommend laying or passing altogether. The Bears, ranked 16th & 17th in this week's polls, will get a chance to prove their worth over the next two weeks and again in November. For now though, Baylor is my most underrated ranked college football team.

UNRANKED TEAM THAT SHOULD BE RANKED

Wisconsin may just be 3-2 SU this season, but they're a team that would handle at least 1/3 of the teams that are currently ranked in my opinion. The Badgers came within a missed 2-point conversion and a controversial call away from winning on the road against an Arizona State team that just hung 62 points on USC.

Wisconsin also had their chances against Ohio State, but couldn't make the big play when it was right in front of them (INT possibility at the end of the first half, trailing 17-14).

The Badgers are having no trouble running through teams under new HC Gary Anderson and QB Joel Stave showed he can handle big game pressure in last week's 31-24 loss in Columbus.

The Badgers are off this week, but will certainly be on my radar when they host Northwestern on October 12. The Wisconsin Badgers are my unranked team that should be in this week's top-25.

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