After a difficult 2020 where NCAAF teams had to adjust schedules, college football is back to playing full slates in 2021. Also, with the news that Texas and Oklahoma are joining the SEC in 2025, 2021 should be a raucous season. Check out a list of 11 teams that should reach the 10-win mark.
Which College Football Teams Can Reach the 10 Win Mark in 2021?
- When: Saturday, Aug. 28 – Saturday, Dec. 11
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide’s schedule isn’t exactly easy. On Sep. 4, Miami should be a difficult team to get past. Also, Bama must travel to Florida, Texas A&M, and Auburn while LSU figures to have a bounce back season. But Alabama won’t lose more than one of those games, which means 11 wins is more than probable.
In their first game of the season, the Bulldogs face the Clemson Tigers. A victory over Clemson almost ensures the Dawgs go 12-0 during the regular season. A loss ensures the Bulldogs go 11-1. Why? UGA mustn’t play Alabama, LSU, or Texas A&M this season, and both Auburn and Florida are rebuilding in 2021.
Because of the pandemic, the Tigers played Notre Dame last season. This season, Notre Dame reverts to their independent schedule, which means the toughest team on Clemson’s calendar are the Georgia Bulldogs in Week 1. Oh, yeah. North Carolina isn’t on the Tigers’ schedule, either. If the Tigers beat the Dawgs, expect Dabo’s squad to run the table.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Mac Brown’s team should go undefeated. Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Sam Howell Jr. returns, the defense didn’t lose much, and the schedule is ridiculously soft. Unless VA Tech in Week 1, Miami on Oct. 16, and North Carolina State on Nov. 26 get by the Heels, UNC should battle Clemson in the ACC title match. Even if North Carolina loses one of those games, it’s tough seeing them losing 2-of-3.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Surprised? Don’t be. Coastal Carolina returns 19 starters from a team that went 11-1 last season. The offensive line is fantastic. The defense should be the best in the Sun Belt. Quarterback Grayson McCall gets to throw to the top receiver group in the conference. The Chanticleers should go off the chalk in every one of their regular season games.
Wisconsin plays some tough teams this season. But all the difficult games are at home. Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern must travel to Madison. The only difficult road tilt is versus Minnesota on Nov. 27. 10 wins is a real possibility.
UCF Golden Knights
Junior quarterback Dillon Gabriel is a legit Heisman Trophy contender. As a sophomore, he passed for 3,570 yards and 32 TDs with just 4 picks. Former Auburn coach Gus Mahlzahn takes over. He’ll draw up plays to utilize Gabriel’s talent. Not only that, but Mahlzahn convinced Big Kat Bryant, a former All-SEC defensive lineman at Auburn, to transfer. The game versus Cincinnati on Oct. 16 is the lone problem.
Cincinnati shows three difficult matchups: at Indiana on Sep. 28, at Notre Dame on Oct. 12, and versus UCF on Oct. 16. The Bearcats can win all three. Don’t be surprised if this season Cincinnati is the first Group of Five team to make the College Football Playoff.
Iowa State Cyclones
The Big 12 remains a deep conference with West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Iowa State all capable of securing bowl bids. But even though the Big 12 is full of talented college football squads, only Iowa State sends two Heisman Trophy candidates to the field. Quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall both have a chance to strike the Heisman pose at the end of the season. The Cyclones return 19-of-22 starters, making Iowa State the conference’s team to beat.
Oklahoma can afford to lose a couple of games and they’d still reach the 10-win mark. One of the losses could happen at home because QB Spencer Rattler and the Sooners take on Iowa State in Norman. The other loss might be against Texas in the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl on Oct. 9.
The Trojans take on rivals Stanford and UCLA and tough BYU at home. Road games versus Colorado, Arizona State, and California aren’t locks. But if quarterback Kedon Slovis rises to the next level, the Trojans shouldn’t lose more than 2 of those contests.