One of the things I took a vacation from last week was Stewart Mandel’s Mailbag, so I’m a little tardy reacting to this exercise in after-the-fact backpatting:
Georgia in ’08, Ole Miss in ’09. What team this year is most likely to be the “sexy” pick that falls far short of expectations?
— Jared, Columbus, Ohio
A little context: Georgia went 10-3 in ’08, Ole Miss 9-4 in ’09, and both played in semi-major bowls (Georgia beat Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, Ole Miss beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.) However, because the Dawgs had been touted as a preseason No. 1 team and Ole Miss as high as fifth, their seasons were considered letdowns. Yet, in neither case were people all that “surprised” by their “downfall” because most considered them “overrated” to begin with.
One question: how does a team that “most people” consider to be “overrated” (love those scare quotes, Stewart) get voted preseason No. 1 in the first place?