4 big-time college football programs that could struggle to live up to hype in 2015

 

When a program is used to beating its rivals, owning a conference and winning championships, it’s hard to accept the outcome of a season when all of those things don’t happen — even more so when it becomes a habit. The following list is not to say that these teams are going to be bad in 2015. Instead, it’s listing big-time programs that have enjoyed success  and because expectations are so high on campus and among the fan base, might struggle to live up to all the hype:

Alabama

Nick Saban is a man who’s never satisfied. Most of the time coaches are happy with 10-win seasons and a bowl victory, but that’s just not the case here.

If the Crimson Tide don’t win the SEC, make it to the College Football Playoff and win it all, the season will tilt more toward unsatisfactory. Couple that culture with the fact that the Tide hasn’t named a starting quarterback — will it be Jake Coker, David Cornwell, Blake Barnett, Alec Morris or Cooper Bateman?

It’s also thin at running back and wide receiver. The schedule isn’t a favorable one either, with a neutral site opener against Wisconsin, road games at Georgia, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn, and the gauntlet that is the SEC West.

USC

In Steve Sarkisian’s second year, which is also USC’s first season free of NCAA sanctions, there’s a surplus of hype.

The Trojans finally almost have a roster close to the size of their opponents after three seasons of scholarship restrictions. This adds much needed depth, but also more pressure to a program with already high standards.

Last year, the Trojans went 9-4, losing two games on the last snap. This year is supposed to be better with senior quarterback Cody Kessler, a crowded backfield and veteran defensive linemen, but early tests against Top 25 teams Stanford (Sept. 19) and Arizona State (Sept. 26) will give the nation a better idea of what’s in store here.

Source: MSN Sports

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