The Mid-Season Choke: Which Teams Won't Make a National Championship Run

Published on 10-Oct-2013 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Opinion

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The Mid-Season Choke: Which Teams Won't Make a National Championship Run

Every year in college football, there are always a group of predictable teams that receive media hype only to disappoint.

This year is no different.

Although we're just beginning the meat of the college football season, here are few teams not to pick for a national championship run:

Clemson ... Right now, the Tigers are on a high, but at some point, they'll crash and burn. So far, they haven't, but it's coming. Clemson has a tendency to go on the road and get beaten soundly somewhere. Last year, Georgia Tech took them out. Next week is their highly anticipated match-up with Florida State, which may decide the ACC. Either way, someone's dream season is about to end. And speaking of Florida State ... 

Florida State ... They are the kings of the mid-season choke. The Seminoles always get you invested, thinking they're about to make a run for the national championship, and then on a Thursday night in Blacksburg or last year in Raleigh, they go in and fall flat on their faces. It almost happened in Boston a few weeks ago, and don't be surprised if it happens next weekend or on Sat 2 Nov against Miami.

Georgia ... At this time of the year, aren't we always talking about a one-loss Georgia team? It seems that way. The Bulldogs have a tendency to rack up an early-season but manage to bounce back and play well until some lesser talented team knocks them off and kills their national championship hopes.The two teams that normally do the slaying are South Carolina and Florida. Last week, it was almost Tennessee who derailed the Bulldogs. Don't be surprised if Missouri or Florida finish the job.

Oregon ... I pick on the Ducks a lot because they can't seem to finish the job, either. It seems like every single year, the Ducks find themselves in this position, posed to represent the Pac 12 in the national championship game and then something happens. That something happening is normally USC or Stanford, and this weekend, don't be surprised if it's Washington. The Ducks still may be in the hunt as a one-loss team because the Pac 12 is stronger this year. 

Oklahoma ... It's not a question of if the Sooners will fall out of the national championship hunt,but when and to whom. Don't worry, Sooner fans, it won't be to the Longhorns this weekend. But my guess is they'll lose to Baylor like they did two years ago when RGIII was at the helm or even to upstart Texas Tech. Just take note before you jump on that Sooner bandwagon.

So there you have it.

That leaves the likes of Alabama, Stanford, Ohio State, and yes, Louisville as the mid-season favorites. Only the Cardinals -- remember, Stanford is the Cardinal -- have a route to an undefeated season that's devoid of ranked opponents.

If the second half of the season doesn't sort out two clear favorites, Louisville is going to present an interesting conundrum. Then we'll see if it's the poll voters who choke.