Stanford started the season getting my vote for PAC-12 contender along with programs like Oregon and UCLA behind the leadership of Kevin Hogan. Yet, each time the Cardinal faced a ranked opponent, they simply couldn't get it done as their stock in the ranking plummeted. Hogan had statistically one of his worst seasons partially due to the offensive line giving up 21 sacks. Remember, this is usually a physical and aggressive team with complex schemes. Although Stanford finished second in their conference division, a 7-5 record with one win over a ranked opponent places them on the list of overrated teams of 2014.
#4 Texas A&M Aggies
Looking to replace Johnny Football at quarterback, Kevin Sumlin found success on the field with a new name and a new face...Kenny Hill. Bursting onto the scene with a school record 511 yards passing, Hill and the Aggies skyrocketed in the rankings early after a week one win over highly ranked South Carolina. It appeared there would be no drop off for Texas A&M specifically at quarterback as Hill adopted a nickname and found himself in the Heisman debate. But by November 1st, Texas A&M dropped three consecutive games leading the coaching staff to bench "Kenny Trill" in favor of freshman Kyle Allen. With a dynamite start to the season, it proved to be a flash in the pan as the Aggies finished 6th in their division.
With Everett Golson taking the field as the signal caller, the Fighting Irish looked the part of a potential title contender. Their first test came early as they won a close game against Stanford while turnovers continued to rack up. Fast forward to a game in Tallahassee as Golson and the rest of the team nearly snapped the longest winning streak in the nation owned by Florida St. An illegal pick call later and it seemed as though the wind had left the sails. The Irish mustered one final win against Navy before losing four consecutive times to end the season. Certainly, a 7-5 record is not the finish the folks in South Bend were hoping for after some argued for ND to be included in the playoff during the front half of the season.
The Gamecocks started the season with a legitimate shot at winning the SEC East complimented by a high preseason ranking. However, the season quickly turned into a bit of a roller coaster ride by losing to conference foe, Texas A&M in a week one match-up. Coach Steve Spurrier rallied the troops two weeks later to knock of the Georgia Bulldogs officially tossing South Carolina back into SEC talks. At the conclusion of the season, the garnet and black mustered a disappointing 6-6 record with a loss to in-state rival, Clemson while dropping from all rankings.
And rounding out the top five as the most overrated team of the 2014 season...
"SoonerDave" Set To Transfer?
•Crimson And Cream MachineSocial media is an interesting thing. With no official news coming from either university, it was an Instagram post from backup quarterback Baker Mayfield that made Oklahoma's first post-season transfer announcement on Thursday afternoon.
During the preseason, Oklahoma consistently found themselves in the College Playoff projections after a stellar Sugar Bowl performance from Trevor Knight along with the defense. For the Sooners, their conference home record during the 2014 tells the tale. At home, OU recorded a 1-3 record in Norman against conference foes with the only win coming against cellar dweller, Kansas. So much for "the Palace on the Prairie's" argument as one of the toughest places to play in the country. From sure fire college playoff team to an 8-4 record while dropping out of the rankings, Oklahoma's product on the field fell far short of the expectations.
Redemption awaits each of these programs during the bowl season. Recruiting battles will continue to heat up and a good showing in each respective bowl may help in avoiding another season like this one.