Houston, Miami, Michigan could rise 

August, 10, 2011
08/10/11
8:05
AM ET

As the ESPN.com/ESPN The Magazine preseason Top 25 gets unveiled this week, we decided to take a look at the group of teams that missed the cut but have a lot of potential and could flash on the national radar this season. These off-the-radar teams are the subject of this week's Top 10:

1. Houston Cougars

Case Keenum is back from the ACL injury that derailed Houston's 2010 campaign, when the Cougars finished 5-7. They should double last season's win total, at the very least. Keenum has a very, very underrated batch of skill guys to help him pile up points. If the Cougars don't stumble against the UCLA Bruins in their season opener, they may roll into mid-November before they get another serious challenge.

2. Miami Hurricanes

The Canes have two outstanding young backs in Lamar Miller and Mike James and a big, athletic offensive line to go with a defense that has playmakers at all three levels. Also, the team really seems to have embraced new coach Al Golden's message.


To read Bruce Feldman's full list of unranked teams with the most potential to rise up the rankings in 2011, including the full explanation for why Miami is poised to make a run, become an ESPN Insider today.

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