Every August I present a list of CFB teams who have underperformed in the previous season and are expected to BOUNCE BACK BIG in the current campaign. In the past, these teams have had an extraordinary history of success both SU and ATS.

Florida State

None of the perennial Top 10 teams has taken a more precipitous dip than these Seminoles. After 42 consecutive winning seasons, Florida State has been on the losing side of the ledger 3 years. The first two were under Willie Taggart (11-14 SU, 8-14 ATS) who returned from Oregon claiming this was his dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare. Last year, Mike Norvell, the highly successful Memphis mentor, including 12-2 SU in 2019, was brought in to clean up the mess. But it all “broke bad”. The ‘Noles dipped to 3-6 SU, being outscore 36-26 including the month of November when they lost by 32 to Louisville, 24 to Pitt, and 16 to NC State.
This season, I am expecting big things from FSU on both sides of the ball. They got a major transfer in QB McKenzie Milton who was cleared to play after a brutal right knee injury resulted in months in a wheel chair and on crutches.
Expect improvement in the defense as well as DC Fuller, who has now been with Norvell for 3 years, has plenty of talent with which to work. Their season opener vs. Notre Dame will likely tell you all you need to know.


After winning the National Title in 2019, it was easy to predict the Tigers fall from grace to 5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS last year when they returned just 8 starters and had numerous star players opt for the NFL. Forced to play a number of young players who gained instant experience, now returning 17 starters, this team will join the many who expect the Tigers to BOUNCE BACK BIG in 2021. Much may depend on how well these Cats assimilate the new ways of OC Peetz and new DC Jones, each of whom has outstanding credentials.
With plenty of talent and depth, this team will be tough to beat. When they come as underdog be sure to note the success of HC ED Orgeron who has a lifetime record of 25-14 ATS in that role including 9-0 ATS in his 4 years at LSU as road dog.

Penn State

Much like our opinion on LSU, we will put the Nittany Lions on our Bounce Back list. Now his 8th year HC Franklin grew tighter each week, the Lions slipped to 0-5 SU, ATS including a loss (by 16 points) as 27 point home chalk to Maryland. It seems to be said Franklin is a great recruiter but can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.
Maybe one should have seen that coming when the Lions were 0-14 Net portal transfers last season. Maybe there is a further signal to be found in the fact 10 more players opted out at the close of 2020.

Nonetheless, credit must be given to Franklin and the Lions for finishing the year 4-0 SU, ATS even though it was against Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois ALL OF WHOM HAD LOSING RECORDS. The numbers certainly did not support the 4-5 SU, ATS record as they outgained their opponents, on average, 430-329 YPG. A -10 Net TO margin and some questionable officiating contributed to their downer year with with turnovers and poor clock management. With QB Clifford returning, a total of 16 returning starters and both coordinators enlisted, I must agree with the bounce back season. WE ARE!

Written by Mike Anthony for

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