Five under-the-radar teams for the 2015 season?

Price1Practices have begun and the talking season is finally over. A long summer continues but the hitting and popping of shoulder pads has started to echo across the still student-less campuses.

The coaches preseason Top-25 poll was released last week and it contained a few head scratchers as well as a couple of teams that could make some noise in 2015.

In no particular order, here’s five unranked teams that I think are under-the-radar squads heading into the upcoming season:

N.C. State
I’m still puzzled by Louisville being predicted to finish third, just ahead of the Wolfpack in the ACC’s Coastal Division at this summer’s ACC Media Day. Head coach Dave Doeren might be completely fine with it, as it takes some pressure of an improving team that finished 8-5 last season. In a league full of outstanding quarterbacks, Jacoby Brissett is no slouch and the Pack have basically their entire offensive line back. Defensively, former Hillcrest star Mike Rose is one of eight starters returning and the Pack will be at worst 5-2 when Clemson visits Raleigh for a very tricky game on Halloween.

West Virginia
It seems like ages ago that Dana Holgorsen’s team was hanging 70 points on Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl because three years is a long time in the football world. The Big 12 is being dominated by early-season talk centered on CFB Playoff favorite TCU as well as Baylor, leaving the rest of the league behind. WVU will it field its best defense since the offensive-minded Holgorsen took over in Morgantown and according to him “potentially the best that I’ve had potentially since I started coaching 20-some years ago.” In a league where defense is an afterthought, the Mountaineers have a difference maker on that side of the ball.

Memphis
Yep, this one will excite Sturg just a bit. He’s the biggest fan of head coach Justin Fuente east of the Mississippi River that isn’t a blue-blooded Tiger fan and considers the Memphis head coach next to the Nick Saban category of elite. I’m far from that type of fan, but Fuente has done a fantastic job at a job considered one of the nation’s toughest. The Tigers don’t play in a Power Five conference, but Fuente spurned several big opportunities for another run at Memphis despite questions on defense.

South Carolina
So what you will about this pick, but we all know the Head Ball Coach is at his best when being counted out. Outside of Spurrier’s late-July blowup thanks to a column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, it’s been a fairly quiet spring and summer in Columbia. While Georgia is the favorite in the SEC East, it’s not out of the question that the Gamecocks could finish right behind the Bulldogs. Spurrier has vowed Carolina will be better on defense with new coordinator Jon Hoke taking over. And having possibly the SEC’s most electric all-around player in Pharaoh Cooper gives USC big-play ability all over the field.

Mississippi State
Staying in the SEC, are the Bulldogs really the worst team in the Western Division? Somebody had to be picked to finish seventh in the SEC West. Despite attrition to the NFL Draft, don’t laugh if Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs challenge the top of the division because anything that happens in the West won’t be a bit surprising this season. Dak Prescott is the best signal caller in the league and is experienced in the most raucous road environments.

Others: Penn State, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh

Comments

comments

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls Thursday

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls ThursdayThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle Aynor

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle AynorThe Conway and North Myrtle Beach girls golf teams narrowly [more]

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions  A pair of recent Grand Strand Sports Report Athlete of [more]

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season opener

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season openerThe Coastal Carolina University football team will open the 2018 [more]

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majors

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majorsFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Christian Villanueva made his major [more]

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU Shootout

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU ShootoutThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 3-under par [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debut

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debutA sellout crowd enjoyed the Carolina Panthers' 2017 home opener [more]

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt win

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt winCoastal Carolina women's soccer team got back in the win [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee Invitational

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee InvitationalThe Carolina Forest swimming teams continued their successful seasons by [more]

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UABCoastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 [more]

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSU

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSUCoastal Carolina began defense of its 2016 Sun Belt Championship [more]

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of Socastee

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of SocasteeIn a highly anticipated showdown between undefeated North Myrtle Beach [more]

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on Panthers

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on PanthersWill the real Myrtle Beach High defense please stand up? [more]

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumbles

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumblesOne week after pulling off an amazing comeback win, the [more]

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild win

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild winOn a big Friday night for public school football on [more]

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SF

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SFThe Myrtle Beach High volleyball team finally got the opportunity [more]

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks Carolina Forest's Sami Spencer shot a career-best 3-under-par 33 to [more]

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivals

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivalsThe North Myrtle Beach High girls cross country team took [more]

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-double

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-doubleNo stranger to triple-doubles on the basketball court, Carolina Forest's [more]

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineup

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineupSo far WPDE TV and sister station CW 21's foray [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls Thursday

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls ThursdayThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach