The Top 12 Most Consistently Overrated College Football Programs Of The BCS Era, Statistically

12. Miami (FL): -1.93 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2006, opened at No. 12, finished out of the poll

Miami’s plight over the past half decade has been well-documented. And while the Hurricanes had a great deal of success early in the BCS era, it was all expected. They were highly ranked in the preseason polls in the late 1990s and early 2000s and they backed it up. But remember, that just means they weren’t overrated or underrated. Since 2005, they’ve been ranked in the top 10 of the Preseason AP Poll three times. They did not stay there until the end in any of those seasons.

11. USC: -2.13 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2012, opened at No. 1, finished out of the poll

The 2012 season is a big reason that the Trojans are on this list, but it’s not the only issue. Subpar campaigns in 2009 and 2010 were also major factors. USC enjoyed a great run in the mid-2000s, but just as was the case with Miami, it was mostly expected. The Trojans have dropped at least seven spots in the AP Poll five times in 15 years. They’re almost always highly ranked, but they don’t always live up to the hype.

10. LSU: -2.26 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2008, opened at No. 7, finished out of the poll

Surprised to see an SEC team on the list? Don’t be, there are more coming. While LSU is definitely considered one of the strongest programs in the country, it’s also had its share of mishaps along the way. In five out of the 15 BCS seasons, the Bayou Bengals have dropped at least eleven spots in the rankings between preseason and postseason. Of course, when you reach the BCS title game multiple times in that same span, people don’t seem to notice. 

9. Cal: -2.33 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2009, opened at No. 12, finished out of the poll

Cal? Yep. The Golden Bears have only been ranked in the Preseason AP Poll five times in the BCS era, and as you can probably guess, they didn’t really live up to the billing. In fact, in only one of those seasons did they actually improve their ranking by the end of the year. While most of the other schools on this list have some positive numbers to offset the negative, the Bears, for lack of a better phrase, just don’t.

8. Texas: -2.53 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2010, opened at No. 5, finished out of the poll

Texas’ 2010 season is the major reason the Longhorns are on here. How can one season drag them down so much? It’s simple. UT has been ranked in the preseason top ten nine times in 15 years, and it was No. 11 twice. The Longhorns haven’t had many opportunities prove themselves as underrated because they’re always ranked so damn high. Only one time in the past seven years have they improved their preseason ranking.

7. West Virginia: -2.66 spots per season

The biggest offense: 2004, opened at No. 10, finished out of the poll

You thought the Mountaineers were a dark horse contender each year, right? Nope. Four times (1998, 2004, 2008, 2012) in the BCS era, they’ve dropped at least 15 spots in the rankings by the end of the season. If it wasn’t for the 2005 season, in which the Mountaineers went from unranked to No. 5, they’d have been No. 3 overall on this list. 

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Matt is a Co-Founder at College Spun. He can be reached at [email protected]