College football fans are a passionate bunch, sometimes letting their hearts get in the way of their heads.
Every fan base enters college football season with certain expectations, hoping only for the best. But not all expectations are created equal. Some are lofty, often impossible to accomplish. That doesn't stop delusion from making an appearance each and every year, though.
There are several college football programs with delusional fan bases. Some of them dwell on past success; others exaggerate their present situation or overestimate their future. It's an every-year occurrence. Just about every college football fan base suffers from delusion at some point, and for a number of reasons. And with the 2016 season coming up fast, we're already beginning to see some of that surface.
Here are the 10 most delusional college football fan bases ahead of the 2016 season.
Despite losing 16 starters to the NFL or graduation from last year's team, Ohio State fans seem pretty confident the Buckeyes still have the Big Ten on lock heading into the 2016 college football season. They expect to be title contenders. With one of the most talented rosters in the country it's not impossible, but it's not likely either. The more likely scenario: the Buckeyes suffer from some kind of setback. To believe anything else is delusional. That doesn't mean they're going to be bad - it just means they're not going to be as good as fans think.
">March 20, 2016
Along with the mass departure of starters, the Buckeyes are also losing 81-percent of their receiving yards, 73-percent of their rushing yards, 76-percent of their touchdowns and 57-percent of their tackles from last season. It's hard not to imagine some kind of setback.Next: No. 9 ??? >>>GeorgiaGeorgia football fans have a lot to be excited about as they embark on the 2016 college football season under first-year head coach Kirby Smart, but they need to pump the brakes a bit. With an impressive resume and recruiting pedigree, it's fair to imagine Smart will lead the program in the right direction, but the Dawgs aren't going to be contenders this year. To believe that is delusional.
With all signs pointing in the direction of Tennessee in regards to the SEC East, it doesn't seem likely the Dawgs will be able to capture the division title, much less the conference title. This doesn't mean UGA won't see some good things on the field in 2016. It's one of more talented rosters in the country and the play will reflect that. But mistakes will be made, growing pains will occur. Next: No. 8 ??? >>>OregonFor the second consecutive year the Oregon Ducks will open their season with a transfer quarterback under center. College football is all about building chemistry, and expecting to hit the ground running with a transfer quarterback seems a bit delusional. Yes, injuries plagued the Ducks at times last season, but the up-and-down start should be attributed more to the lack of chemistry than anything else.
">April 11, 2016
A strong finish to the 2015 season has led Oregon fans to believe that momentum will carry over into 2016, but they're getting ahead of themselves. I do believe the Ducks will find their footing at some point this season, much like they did last year, but it will take time. Ducks fans should expect much of the same this time around.
Hawkeyes fans experienced a storied season last year, watching Iowa's football team fight its way to the Big Ten title game against Michigan State. But those expecting to take a step forward in 2016 will be in for a rude awakening. The Hawkeyes will be a quality team this time around, but there's no way they run the table again, even with a weak schedule. The Wolverines will handle business.
">November 28, 2015
Iowa fans should be happy with where they're at, though, competing in one of college football's top conferences. Expecting to win that conference, however, is delusion in and of itself. Next: No. 6 ??? >>>USCCollege football fans have heard this one before: "this is the year the Trojans regain control of the Pac-12." Unfortunately for USC fans thinking that, the Trojans just aren't there yet. Yes, they probably have the most talented roster in their conference. But it won't be enough. Fans need to be realistic here. To think you're going to run through one of the most difficult schedules in recent memory is purely delusional.
">April 8, 2016
The Trojans are also trying to recover from one of the more unfortunate situations a program can possibly endure, having to replace their head coach in the middle of the season - and in the worst way possible. Clay Helton is still settling in as head coach. Fans need to give it time.
Spartans fans are in for a rude awakening during the 2016 college football season and possibly beyond. After winning two of the last three Big Ten titles, it appears Michigan State's seat at the big boys' table is disappearing. Michigan, under Jim Harbaugh, is clearly on the rise. Ohio State will continue to be strong. And Nebraska and Wisconsin are hoping to push through. Things are beginning to get crowded, and it would be delusional to think the Spartans will make any kind of a splash in 2016.
">April 6, 2016
Long-time starter Connor Cook has moved on and won't be there to manage the offense this season. Offensive tackle Jack Conklin is gone as well and won't be there to protect the new signal caller. With both Michigan and Ohio State's defenses on the schedule, Spartans fans can go ahead and tally those up as losses. Next: No. 4 ??? >>>AuburnTo say Auburn fans are excited about what transfer quarterback John Franklin III means to the upcoming 2016 college football season would be an understatement, but they're letting their hearts get in the way of their heads with this one. If I had to pick one of the three guys battling for the job it would indeed be Franklin, but I'm not expected that decision to lead to a playoff birth. The Tigers are still members of the toughest division in the game. Fighting your way out of the West is easier said than done.
">April 12, 2016
Franklin possesses much of - if not more of - the athletic ability that allowed Nick Marshall to succeed at the position during the Tigers' 2013 season, in which they fell just short of Florida State in the National Championship. This bodes well for Auburn's future, but fans should be more excited about 2017 than 2016. It's delusional to believe "this is the year."
As usual, Nebraska fans are expecting the Huskers to return to their former glory. They'll just have to wait a little longer because it's not happening this season. The Huskers lost seven games last season and could have easily lost eight. They have a boom or bust quarterback who can make both an incredible play and the worst play you've ever seen in a matter of minutes. This kind of inconsistency won't lead to a Big Ten title.
— Jorge Hernandez (@heqj590902)
— Jorge Hernandez aka Good Hombre (@heqj590902) November 24, 2015
">November 24, 2015
With one of the proudest and most impressive fan bases, Nebraska is constantly feeling the pressure to once again compete for a title. But fans need to pump the brakes and let the program blossom on its own time. And no matter how delusional Huskers fans may be about this season, 2016 won't be their year.
South Carolina made one heck of a hire when it brought on Will Muschamp as its new head coach, but the Gamecocks aren't ready to take college football by storm just yet. They're not even ready to compete in their own state - Clemson will still own the territory. But Muschamp's recruiting pedigree will likely change things in that regard, just not yet. Gamecocks fans would be smart to keep their heads buried until that time. Avoid talking trash to a much better Clemson program. Don't be delusional - 2016 won't be much different than last season.
">April 8, 2016
There are several issues that need to be worked out before USC is back to competing in the SEC East, much less the SEC as a whole. A few Muschamp recruiting classes will help the progress. Impossible expectations won't. Gamecocks fans can expect to see small improvements throughout the year, especially on defense, and should be happy with those improvements. Next: No. 1 ??? >>>MiamiI know, I know: "it's all about The U." "The U is back." But Miami fans need to chill with all of that. The Hurricanes aren't back, and 2016 isn't their year. Yes, they deserve to be excited about the addition of first-year head coach Mark Richt and brand new assistants, but give them time to turn things around. 'Canes fans seem way too impatient for the return of "The U." These things take time, talent and consistency. The Hurricanes haven't even played a game yet under Richt and fans are already crowning them.
">April 9, 2016
Miami fans should tone down expectations and focus on the smaller things. Focus on beating Florida State. Focus on competing in the Coastal division and then set your sights on the ACC. It's delusional to believe they'll all happen at the same time. Take progress as it comes.