The AP’s preseason college football top 25 got a lot right when it comes to sizing up the nation’s best programs heading into the start of the 2018 campaign. By the end of the season, however, a number of teams are sure to suffer collapses like Florida State did last season and fall well short of August’s expectations. With that in mind, here are four ranked teams who will finish the season outside the top 25.
TCU finished with an impressive 11-3 overall record last season, including a win in the Valero Alamo Bowl against Stanford, but the Horned Frogs lost too much going into this season to end so strongly again. The defensive side of the ball won’t be a problem, but the offense lost a ton of key pieces, including quarterback Kenny Hill.
It was almost a necessity for UCF to be ranked in the top 25 for the miracle undefeated season it had last year. The self-proclaimed “national champs,” however, have nowhere to go but down from here. If going undefeated only earns them No. 21, then losing a bunch of starters and a hiring a new head coach will only make it tougher for them this season. Sorry, Knights fans!
I know, I know. Stay with me here. The Mountaineers finished 7-6 last season, and their schedule this year doesn’t favor them. The team lost several experienced offensive linemen and will have to deal with the likes of Texas, TCU and Oklahoma towards the end of the season. They have as much talent as they’ve had in years at a number of spots on the depth chart, but it’s just too hard to believe the hype in Morgantown.
Defense is the main concern for the Hokies this season after losing much of their talented players after last season ended. Virginia Tech’s schedule isn’t friendly, either. They will face Florida State to open the season before having to deal with Notre Dame and Miami later on. Don’t be surprised if the wheels fall off.