LSU was exposed. So were Stanford and Utah. Over the next two weeks, we’ll find out which underrated teams win championships and possibly advance to the College Football Playoff and which teams were overrated.

Here is a look at 10 teams that fit into one of the two categories:


  1. Notre Dame (9-1). Even though Notre Dame has only lost one game, a close 24-22 loss at No. 1 Clemson, the Irish have not played many elite opponents. They have played some surprisingly good teams such as Navy and Temple. The Notre Dame brand carries more weight than it should.
  1. North Carolina (9-1). With a first-week loss to SEC doormat South Carolina, the Tar Heels are ranked No. 12 by the AP and Coaches’ polls, but should be lower. Their  most impressive win thus far was a 26-19 triumph at currently unranked Pittsburgh.
  1. Michigan (8-2). Similar to Notre Dame, Michigan benefits from reputation and history. The Wolverines’ performance doesn’t warrant its No. 1 ranking in the AP or No. 13 spot in the Coaches’ Poll. The Wolverines barely beat Indiana and Minnesota.
  1. Ohio State (10-0). The Buckeyes, currently ranked second in the polls and playoff rankings, are defending national champions. But who has Ohio State beaten this year?  Ohio State should be in the top five, but not second in the nation by any means.
  1. Utah (8-2). The Utes have lost twice this year, yet are ranked 18th in the polls. They are top 25, not top 20.


  1. Alabama (9-1). OK, at No. 3 Crimson Tide is getting respect, but not enough. Alabama just comes up huge in huge games. When the stage gets bigger coach Nick Saban presses the right buttons.  
  1. Baylor (8-1). Despite last week’s shootout loss to Oklahoma, Baylor is still one of the best teams in the nation. The Bears, ranked 11th in the AP poll, play in the tough Big XII and can light up the scoreboard. They have topped 40-plus points in seven of their nine games and scored a ridiculous 70 against Rice on Sept. 26.   
  1. Oklahoma (9-1). Finally recovering from the fallout of losing to Texas, the Sooners are currently tops in ESPN’s FPI, but ranked seventh by the AP. Oklahoma destroyed conference rivals Kansas State 55-0.
  1. Florida (9-1). Florida is currently ranked eighth in the AP poll, but could be as high as sixth. The Gators’ only loss was by one touchdown at LSU, a tough place to play. As shown by their 9-7 win against Vanderbilt, Florida doesn’t always win by big margins, but they consistently win.
  1. LSU (7-2). Despite consecutive losses, the Tigers are ranked 17th, but should be higher. LSU possesses the 10th-best ESPN FPI score and plays one of the toughest schedules in the country.