Teams that could slide in 2013
Five programs that were worse than their records showed last season
On Tuesday, I wrote about a college football version of the expected points added (EPA) metric we're implementing this season, and used it to identify five college football teams in 2012 that were better than their records and rankings might have indicated, thus potentially making them undervalued as contenders heading into the 2013 season.
Today, we flip the script and discuss which 2012 teams were not as good as public perception. You could say these teams were overrated last season, or you could choose to give them credit for simply winning the games they should've won while maybe pulling an upset along the way. Whichever way you prefer to look at it, these are teams that were rewarded by the poll voters for not losing very often, which, after all, is the object of the game.
The numbers, however, tell us that these teams didn't consistently play at a level worthy of their final poll rankings. That's not to say they can't equal or surpass last year's record in 2013, but they'll have to play better this year if they want to do so.
Here's a look at five teams that played worse than their 2012 records showed -- and could be candidates to slide in 2013.
The Buckeyes have been hearing it from the critics since October: They weren't truly one of the best teams in the nation last season, despite the unblemished record, and they would've been a huge underdog against Alabama or Oregon in a BCS bowl game. They get it. Urban Meyer knows from experience that his team will have to get better to be a legitimate BCS title contender this year. But how much better? EPA numbers tell us that Ohio State was not only a notch below fellow regular-season unbeaten Notre Dame in 2012, but the Buckeyes weren't even close to being a top-10 team. OSU did not rank in the top 20 of adjusted EPA for offense, defense or special teams.
To read the full article on teams that were worse than their records showed last season, you must be an ESPN Insider.
College Football on Insider
Todd McShay breaks down the top NFL prospects at the Senior Bowl. Read »