Those notable teams from outside the Big 5 conferences
Sure, these teams might not be the blue bloods of college football, but they are still very talented. We take a look at some of the top from the smaller conferences that might not have the big name, but they can play with anyone if given the opportunity. Except we know that they will never get the chance to play on the big stage unless there is a major world catastrophe. Then again…looking at the current political landscape, that doesn’t seem so far fetched, does it?
American Athletic Conference
South Florida Bulls
Predicted finish: 12-0
After being fired from the University of Texas, head coach Charlie Strong was scooped up by South Florida, who return a team that could go undefeated in 2017. The Bulls have talent on both sides of the ball including senior quarterback Quinton Flowers, who accounted for 42 touchdowns last season. If this team makes it through their AAC schedule without a single blemish, there is no saying where they might end up for the postseason. Like the Birmingham Bowl. Or maybe even the Vegas Bowl. The sky’s the limit.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Predicted finish: 6-6
The Irish bottomed out last year, going 4-8, and putting head coach Brian Kelly squarely on the hot season in South Bend. Starting quarterback DeShone Kizer has departed for the NFL, and the coaching staff has been revamped. If the offensive line can live up to it’s potential, and the defense can find some play-makers this team could save their coach. Otherwise, it will be school administrators cursing in his face, like he enjoys doing to his players.
Predicted finish: 9-3
The rockets will be favored in most of the games on their schedule, as they have the MAC’s best quarterback in senior Logan Woodside. This squad averaged 38 points, and over 500 yards per game last year. Toledo should be the class of the MAC this year. Which is sort of like being the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback. You’re the “best”. Sort of.
Mountain West Conference
Boise State Broncos
Predicted finish: 10-2
Have the Broncos taken a step back since Chris Petersen left in 2013? Maybe a slight one, but don’t underestimate the job that Bryan Harsin has done in his three seasons at the helm. Boise has gone 31-9 under Harsin. Then again, they have only gone to the Mountain West Championship game once in its four years of existence. You know what? Nevermind. They have taken a huge step back. Enjoy another crappy 10 win season, Broncos.
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