College Football's Breakout Squads
On this week's edition of Big Noon Kickoff, Urban Meyer and the crew discussed which team will have a breakout season come the fall.
According Meyer, there are three boxes a team must check in order to be a breakout squad:
So, let's take a look at the schools expected to make a major jump from last season to this season:
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
Despite being ranked in the Top 20 each of the last four years, Penn State is the only program to not make it into the CFP. They finished last season ranked No. 9 in the AP after an 11-2 campaign.
Returning at quarterback is Sean Clifford, who recording 2,654 yards and 23 TDs last season.
4. Miami Hurricanes
In his first year as head coach, Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes went 6-7 in 2019, but this year they will add transfer QB D’Eriq King to the roster.
Last week, the Big Noon Kickoff Crew tabbed him the No. 2 impact transfer to watch this season.
In 2018, King threw for 2,982 yards and 36 TDs, and former USC superstar Reggie Bush believes King will be the difference maker for the Hurricanes:
“When you think about D’Eriq King and what he brings to the table, he’s a dual-threat quarterback for one, and he’s a production player."
3. USC Trojans
USC is coming off a 9-win season – one year removed from posting a 5-7 record.
Kedon Slovis, a true freshman, was successful under first-year offensive coordinator Graham Harrell's air raid system. He finished the year passing for 3,502 yards and 30 TDs.
Bush expects to see even more improvement this fall:
“Graham Harrell is coming back, which I think is very important for the continuity. Also Kedon Slovis, he was such a big factor for this team last year, having him back this year is gonna make such a significant difference.”
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC went 7-6 in its first season under Mack Brown, winning its first bowl game since 2013. Their seven wins were more than the last two seasons combined, and their six losses were all by single digits.
For Meyer, Brown is the key:
“I have North Carolina at No. 2 because I believe in Mack Brown and his idea of culture and leadership."
1. Florida Gators
The Gators are coming off of an 11-win season and a New Year's Six Bowl victory over Virginia.
Head coach Dan Mullen is headed into his third year and quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 2,941 yards and 25 TDs.
Because of their coach-QB duo, Meyer puts Florida at the top of his list:
“He’s (Dan Mullen) a very good offensive coach, but you know what he is? He’s a culture guy, too ... He’s got an excellent system that’s been with him wherever he’s gone ... And then, he has a very good quarterback coming back."
So, what do you think of Big Noon Kickoff's breakout team rankings? Let us know on Twitter!
If you missed Wednesday’s Big Noon Kickoff show, check it out in its entirety below!
And for more Top 5s from our crew, check out the most impactful transfer, best coaches, quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, defensive players, and conferences heading into the 2020 college football season.