10 Biggest Surprises in College Football

...Not necessarily the 10 best surprises - who's outplayed expectations and who's underperformed?

Arizona (5-0)

Rich Rodriguez is working his coaching magic again. This time it’s with the unbeaten Wildcats. They scored a huge upset win on the road against No. 2 Oregon on Thursday. The game before that Arizona hit on a hail Mary to beat Cal on the final play of that game. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon has been sensational. So too has wide receiver Cayleb Jones and a handful of others on offense. Scooby Wright is one of the best young defensive talents in the country and he’s having a great 2014 season.

Cal (4-1)

Have you checked out the Pac 12 North standings? Yeah, Cal sits at the top spot with a 2-1 conference record and have four wins. That matches their total in their two previous seasons combined! This is a team that has been in some barn burners but they find a way to win. They beat Colorado in double overtime and were on the victorious side of a 60-59 shootout over Washington State on Saturday. Their lone loss was by four to Arizona. Sophomore quarterback Jared Goff is having a huge season. He’s already thrown for 1,875 yards and 22 touchdown passes.

East Carolina (4-1)

East Carolina has had a nice first five games, winning four. They put 70 points on North Carolina and thrashed the Tar Heels by 29 points. The week before that win they upset Virginia Tech on the road in Blacksburg. The lone Pirate loss was on the road in Columbia to South Carolina. Ruffin McNeil and ECU look like the class of the AAC. They have a chance to have a very special season.

Kansas (2-3)

The Jayhawks are bad... again. Charlie Weis didn’t it make it through the month of September, as he was fired as the Kansas head coach. Yea they have two wins but those came against Southeast Missouri State and Central Michigan. Their three losses were to Duke, Texas and West Virginia where they were outscored 97-17. They are yet again going back to the drawing board and looking for another coach to run this program.

Kentucky (4-1)

Mark Stoops has this Kentucky program headed in the right direction. The Wildcats are sitting at 4-1 and coming off a win against Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. Their lone loss was in overtime in Gainesville against Florida, a game that they should have won. I mean this team should be sitting at 5-0 right now. No they haven’t beaten a top 25 team yet but no one expected this team to be this far along under Stoops yet. He has really done a great job in a season and a half.

Michigan (2-4)

The Wolverines should never be this bad. Sure there are not too many that picked Michigan to win the Big 10 and play for the national championship but the Maize and Blue have now lost games to Minnesota, Rutgers, Utah and Notre Dame. Coach Brady Hoke is on the biggest hot seat in college football as his program in Ann Arbor is this season’s biggest disappointment to date.

Mississippi State (5-0)

Behind Dak Prescott, the Bulldogs are currently tied with Ole Miss as the No. 3 ranked team in the nation after back to back wins against LSU and Texas A&M. He can beat you on the ground and in theair. Mississippi State also has a potent run game with Josh Robinson and a very good defense. A few big hurdles have been overcome but Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs still have games against Auburn at home and road games at Alabama and Ole Miss.

Ole Miss (5-0)

Many in college football thought the Rebels would have a chance to surprise this season. Saturday’s upset home win in comeback fashion against the Crimson Tide was one of the biggest wins in school history. We will see if this Ole Miss team is a one game wonder or if this truly will be a special year in Oxford. They have Texas A&M, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas and Mississippi State remaining. One thing is certain; Huge Freeze has done a tremendous job with the Rebels. He has his Ole Miss program ranked No. 3 in the nation.

TCU (4-0)

Should we really be surprised that TCU is sitting unbeaten? Should we really be surprised they just knocked off the Sooners? We really shouldn’t as Gary Patterson has proven over the years that his program can compete with anyone. The Horn Frogs get to go to Baylor this weekend. We will see if they can put a stop to Art Briles brilliant high octane offense.

Vanderbilt (1-5)

No one was expecting Vandy to win the SEC East this season but this was a program that had back to back nine win seasons under coach James Franklin. He’s now at Penn State and Derek Mason took over. The Commodores have only scored a three point win over UMass and have lost games to Kentucky, Temple, Ole Miss, Georgia and South Carolina. They haven’t done much on offense and can’t stop anyone on defense. Certainly no one expected Vandy to drop this fast with the Franklin departure.

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