These college football programs have been overlooked and underrated more often in the last 10 seasons than any in the nation.
When it comes to college football, there’s always a lot of chatter about overrated teams. Every season when the preseason rankings are released, fans argue and bicker about who’s ranked too highly and which teams don’t even belong on the list.
But rarely do you hear about teams being underrated. That too, is a part of the game.
Want proof? In researching for this list, it was discovered that 62 different teams began the season unranked by the Associated Press, but finished the season in the top 25 in last 10 years. It’s this dynamic which needs to be explored to determine some truly underrated programs.
For a team to fight their way from the unranked to a top 25 over the course of a season is difficult work, and it seems there are a handful of teams who make a habit of doing so.
Of those 62 mentioned teams, 18 different teams made the leap in two different seasons, five teams accomplished the feat three times, and two programs managed to make that jump four times in the last 10 seasons.
These aren’t teams just eking their way into the number 25 spot either. Twenty times in the past ten seasons, teams finished in the top ten after being unranked, and nine of those had top five finishes.
While there is no perfect system for measuring how much a program may be underrated, looking at this metric gives a pretty good perspective of how much work programs need to do in order to gain respect through a season.
Note – for purposes of this list, teams must have been unranked in the preseason, finishing in the top 25 at least three different seasons in the last 10.