Around The U

Five Power 5 teams that may not be as good as their records

One of the teams that might be worse than its record plays in Tempe: Arizona State Sun Devils running back Demario Richard #4 runs past UCLA Bruins linebacker Kenny Young #42 during the second half of the Pac-12 college football game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Az. Arizona State beat UCLA 23-20. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire)
Photo by Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire

TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s unfair to label winning college football teams posers at the midpoint of the season. As many coaches have noted, your record is who you are, and half a season is a pretty good sample size.

That said, there are some teams in college football’s Power Five conferences that have benefited from favorable schedules or situations. We have identified one potential team in each of those five conferences that could be destined for a regression due to their remaining schedules.

ACC: Wake Forest (5-1)

Wins: Tulane (7-3); at Duke (24-14); Delaware (FCS, 38-21); at Indiana (33-28); Syracuse (28-9).
Combined record of teams beaten: 13-14.
Loss: 33-21 at N.C. State (4-1).
Comments: The Demon Deacons play at No. 14 Florida State (4-2), host Army (3-2) and Virginia (2-3), then play at No. 7 Louisville (4-1), host No. 3 Clemson (6-0) and finish at Boston College (3-3). A .500 record the rest of the way seems reasonable.

Big Ten: Maryland (4-1)

Wins: Howard (FCS, 52-13); at Florida International (41-14); at Central Florida (30-24), Purdue (50-7).
Combined record of teams beaten: 9-13.
Ranked teams beaten: None.
Loss: 38-14 at Penn State.
Comments: The Terrapins host Minnesota (3-2) and struggling Michigan State (2-3), and then hit a nasty stretch at Indiana (3-2) and at No. 4 Michigan (6-0), before hosting No. 2 Ohio State (5-0), playing at No. 10 Nebraska (5-0) and finishing at home against Rutgers (2-4). Maryland would do well to win two more games.

Big 12: No. 11 Baylor (5-0)

Wins: Northwestern State (FCS, 55-7); SMU (40-13), at Rice (38-10); Oklahoma State (35-24); at Iowa State (45-42).
Combined record of teams beaten: 8-20.
Ranked teams beaten: None.
Comments: The Bears’ schedule isn’t too formidable in the watered-down Big 12. They play at Texas (2-3); host TCU (4-2); play at No. 19 Oklahoma (3-2); host Kansas State (3-2); host Texas Tech (3-2); and play at No. 20 West Virginia (4-0). The Bears should go to a good bowl game, but we don’t see how they will escape the season without two losses.

Pac-12: Arizona State (5-1)

Wins: Northern Arizona (FCS, 44-13); Texas Tech (68-55); at UTSA (32-28); Cal (51-41), UCLA (23-20).
Combined record of teams beaten: 13-15.
Ranked teams beaten: None.
Loss: 41-20 at USC (3-3).
Comments: The Sun Devils play at Colorado (4-2); host Washington State (3-2); play at Oregon (2-4); host No. 21 Utah (5-1); play at No. 5 Washington (6-0) and finish at Arizona (2-4). Three wins and an 8-win season seem reasonable and would be a notable accomplishment for a young team.

SEC: No. 18 Florida (4-1)

Wins: UMass (24-7); Kentucky (45-7); North Texas (32-0); at Vanderbilt (13-6).
Combined record of teams beaten: 9-15.
Ranked teams beaten: None.
Loss: 38-28 at No. 14 Tennessee.
Comments: The Gators host Missouri (2-3) and Georgia (4-2), they play at No. 22 Arkansas (4-2), they host South Carolina (2-4); they play at LSU (3-2) and finish at No. 14 Florida State (4-2). A .500 record the rest of the way seems like a fair assumption.

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