Rarely are fans more optimistic about their favorite team than at the start of a new college football season. There's a path to a conference title, and hey, a national championship may even feel attainable.
Those confident thoughts can disappear quickly, though.
Rough schedules, poor performance and straight-up bad luck can shatter a once-promising year. And it happens every season.
Inevitably—and understandably—the initial perception may be this doubles as a projection of teams that will disappoint in 2022. However, the angle is that if a high-tier program falls, it's most likely one of these valued preseason teams.
While the list is naturally subjective, we added a bit of objectivity with DraftKings lines. All teams considered had +9000 championship odds ($100 bet wins $9,000) or shorter plus a projected win total, as of Aug. 3, of eight or more.
Championship odds: +9000
Win total over/under: 8.5
It's the same old song and dance, right?
Miami has typically had a talented roster that underperforms on the field. Following a 10-win season and legitimate College Football Playoff flirtation in 2017, the Hurricanes have managed a 28-18 regular-season mark that has included some truly inexplicable losses.
Still, the debut season for Mario Cristobal could be quite strong. Tyler Van Dyke is one of the nation's most promising quarterbacks. While trips to Texas A&M (Sept. 17) and Clemson (Nov. 19) loom large, Miami isn't lacking for talent relative to the ACC Coastal.
But the 'Canes have numerous uncertainties.
Who will step up at receiver after the departures of Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley Jr.? Will the running game stop being toothless? Can the defense tackle consistently? Does a transfer-filled defensive line have a reliable pass-rusher?
Cristobal's arrival has already been a huge victory for the recruiting trail, but Miami needs to win.