For some teams it only takes a few weeks to realize every goal they set in the offseason won’t be realized.
But does that mean they should call it a season? Hell no.
We all know only one team is going to win it all, so a few programs who had these type of aspirations should focus on the potential positives that remain in 2011.
It starts this weekend with some big games that could make or break the season for some, or maybe it’s just the positive moment they need to kick things up a bit.
So here’s a look at five teams who could rise from the dead with a little luck (and hard work).
Florida State (2-2)
The expectations in Tallahassee were probably too lofty for a team that has played 14 true freshman this season.
Jimbo Fisher has elevated the talent level, and the recruiting class this year should be as good as last years. But that’s a lot of youth.
Florida State faces a surprising Wake Forest team that is 3-1, and will probably throw all kinds of blitz packages at either E.J. Manuel or Clint Trickett.
If the Seminoles can go into Winston Salem and take care of the Demon Deacons, FSU could get on a roll that results in seven straight wins and a shot to go 10-2 with a win over rival Florida in the finale.
If all that happens, maybe FSU regains the top spot in the ACC Atlantic.
Texas A&M (2-2)
The Aggies began the season in the top 10 and right now Mike Sherman’s team finds itself at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. Not a good place to be as you prepare to head off to the SEC.
Now no one really believes A&M is going to finish last, but unless the defense becomes better in the second half, there are still a number of losses remaining on the schedule.
The next two weeks will be crucial, though, as the Aggies travel to Texas (4-0) this Saturday and then host No. 25 Baylor (3-1) the following week. If A&M plays up to its potential, then they should be 4-2 and headed the right direction as we hit the midway point of October.
Ryan Tannehill and Co. could easily get the Aggies to 6-2 before taking on Oklahoma on Nov. 5 in Norman.
So what equals success for A&M? At this point, I’d have to say 9-3.
Ohio State (3-2)
The Buckeyes’ offense has been the biggest disappointment this year, and it’s hard to imagine the unit is going to get much better with that offensive line.
Well, Ohio State’s next three weeks are a chance to turn things around, and it starts at Nebraska. Nothing like playing the first Big Ten game in Lincoln for true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller.
Ohio State has a chance, though. Especially after the performance Nebraska put up last week at Wisconsin.
If the Buckeyes find a way to pull of the upset, then Luke Fickell’s team (he’s still the coach, right?) will go to Illinois and then host Wisconsin after a week off.
OSU could go 2-1 and that could be the making of a turnaround for the Buckeyes.
Notre Dame (3-2)
The Irish have already found a little luck, after having none the first two weeks.
Brian Kelly’s squad has won three straight and looks like they could trip off six more before a big showdown with Stanford in the season finale. If that happens, the Irish will be riding high as they take on Andrew Luck. An win in Palo Alto would probably push the Irish into a BCS Bowl game.
Notre Dame’s quarterback play is still too inconsistent to guarantee a 9-3 or 10-2 finish, but the schedule sure helps.
It should also be noted that ND’s defense is playing well enough (except for a few plays against Michigan) to be 5-0 right now.
Mississippi State (2-3)
Dan Mullen has the Bulldogs on the rise, right?
Well, in case you haven’t been paying attention Mississippi State is 0-3 in the SEC and sitting on the bottom of the West Division following a loss to Georgia.
The Bulldogs get a break this weekend with UAB (0-4), but they are back at it in the conference with a game in Starkville against South Carolina. If we’ve learned anything, the Gamecocks can let anyone hang around long enough to steal a win.
Mississippi State is too talented to go to 0-4.
However, to avoid a 7-5 or 6-6 season the Bulldogs may need to pull an upset of Alabama or Arkansas.