John Chancey takes a look at teams he believes are in for a rude awakening in 2021.
Stanford (2-10) – The Cardinal finished the shortened 2020 season at 4-2, with a win over North Division champion Washington. Davis Allen may have been the best quarterback in the country that no one had heard of, but he is off to the NFL. Stanford arguably pulls the three best teams from the South: USC, UCLA and Utah, and out of conference against Notre Dame. The Cardinal have a tough road to a winning season.
Louisville (2-10) – After a promising start to the Scott Satterfield era in 2019, the Cardinals fell back to 4-7 in 2020. Between the final recruiting classes of Bobby Petrino and Satterfield’s first class, there hasn’t been a lot of talent brought in from the high school ranks. Satterfield’s awkward handling of his interest in the South Carolina head coaching position also created strain with the fans. The indicators are pointing to a difficult season.
Georgia Tech (2-10) – The job that coach Geoff Collins and his staff faced in transforming the Rambling Wreck from the final days of the triple option to a 21st century offense was enormous. It still is enormous. They have some pieces, but they don’t have enough. Couple that with the fact that the Coastal Division has some decent teams and their annual crossover opponent is Clemson, they still face a pretty tough hill to climb. The fact that many are saying that Year 3 of the Collins era could be the year they break through is just setting Yellow Jacket fans up for a disappointment.
Maryland (3-9) – Another program hoping for a breakthrough in Year 3 of their current coaching regime, the Terps are getting caught up in an East Division with too many teams on an upward trajectory. Ohio State is still king. Indiana has momentum. Penn State and Michigan may not be where they want to be, but they aren’t likely to be underdogs to Maryland. Even Rutgers is on the right track.
Oregon (8-4) – The Ducks aren’t likely to finish the season with a losing record. Overall the PAC-12 is down right now, and Oregon will have a very good defense. The problem is on the offensive side – their starting quarterback from 2020 transferred. Unless they have a young gunslinger hiding on the bench, it looks like the starter will be Anthony Brown, a transfer from Boston College that is best remembered by Clemson fans as the guy Christian Wilkins pancaked so hard that he had to leave the game. He isn’t known for his arm. While the D will keep Oregon in games, the offense will be disappointing to fans who are used to seeing points on the scoreboard in Eugene.