Skip to main content

ESPN Predicts 2 Notable "Surprise" Teams For Next Season

Shot of the Nebraska football program, led by Scott Frost.

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers leads the team on the field before the game against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats at Memorial Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

We're still several months away from the 2022 college football, but ESPN has already named a few teams that could surprise us this fall.

ESPN's David Hale went with a risky pick, selecting Nebraska as his "surprise team" for the 2022 season. He ultimately believes Scott Frost's squad can make a bowl game in Year 5.

One of the main reasons why Hale likes the Cornhuskers is because they were involved in a plethora of one-possession games last season. If the ball bounces their way this fall, they could take multiple strides in the right direction.

"Expectations are relative. Odds are, most Nebraska fans expect their team to be better than the Las Vegas oddsmakers do, mostly because fans aren't required to be reasonable," Hale said, via ESPN. "I don't think this is necessarily a 10-win team with a real shot at the Big Ten title, but it's certainly a bowl team and potentially one that could make a run at the West Division. As awful as last year's 3-9 record (1-8 in conference play) looked, the Huskers were every bit as unlucky as they were bad. Nebraska was 0-7 in one-possession games -- a historically unlucky performance -- and the Huskers were within a TD in the fourth quarter of all but one game."

Nebraska isn't the only notable program receiving some compliments this spring. ESPN's Mark Schlabach named Florida State his "surprise team."

The Seminoles are entering their third season under Mike Norvell. Last year's 5-7 record wasn't ideal, but Norvell's squad should be much better this fall.

"I predicted the Seminoles would play in a bowl game last season and they came close by finishing 5-7. I still believe that if the 41-38 loss in overtime to Notre Dame had turned out differently, it would have been a much better season," Schlabach wrote. "I think the Seminoles allowed the Irish to beat them at least twice by falling to FCS program Jacksonville State the next week. Jordan Travis should be more comfortable at quarterback, but the offensive line continues to be a trouble spot. FSU has to get better up front."

Travis finished last season with 1,539 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had 530 yards and seven scores on the ground.

College football is better when notable programs like Florida State and Nebraska are playing at a high level. With that said, hopefully we'll see those two teams have success this year.