Earlier this week we took a look at the most disappointing teams from the early 2013 college football season. So far this season has gone according to plan with teams like Alabama, Clemson, FSU, Louisville, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Stanford remaining undefeated. Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina all have a loss but they are still top 15 teams. There haven't been a lot of highly publicized "surprising" success stories so far this season. Let's shine a light on the five teams that I think have surprised the most so far this season…..
Baylor Bears (3-0)- It's not surprising that the Bears are undefeated early in the season. Let's face it, they've had an easy early road. What has been impressive is the way they've gone about their business and destroyed their opponents with an Oregon-esque shock-and-awe offense. So far, the Bears lead the Nation with 751 yards of total offense per game. They also lead the Nation with point at 69.7 points per game. They have a 62 point average margin of victory so far this season and they haven't needed the fourth quarter to do it as they are averaging just 4.3 points per game in the fourth quarter this year. The average score at the end of the first quarter so far for the Bears has been 28-3. At the end of the first half the average score has been 44 to 7. The Bears schedule will ramp up now that they've are into their Big 12 schedule, but regardless of opponent what they've done so far has been impressive.
Fresno State Bulldogs (4-0)- Tim DeRuyter took over the Bulldogs last season and he turned the team around quickly sporting a 9-4 record and set the stage for this season. Still, the Bulldogs had one monkey that they couldn't get off their back and that was Boise State. Coming into this season, the last time the Bulldogs had toppled the Broncos was way back in 2005. Chris Petersen took over as the head man in Boise in 2006 and ever since Fresno State had gone 0-fer against them. With their first win against Boise in the Petersen era and a frantic comeback win against Rutgers in their opener, the Bulldogs have set themselves up for a potential BCS-busting season.
Maryland Terrapins (4-0)- When Randy Edsall left the UConn job for Maryland he became the punch line in many jokes after the Terps fell from 9-4 in 2010 under Ralph Friedgen to 2-10 in his first year. Last year wasn't much better as the Terps went 4-8 and won just two conference games. Early into this season, the Terps look like they are back as they are winning the games they are supposed to win and they blew out West Virginia by 37 points while shutting out the once vaunted Mountaineers offense. The schedule ramps up significantly this weekend with FSU on tap but the Terps have been a pleasant surprise so far in 2013.
Miami (FL) Hurricanes (4-0)- Al Golden took over the Hurricanes in 2001 amid the NCAA whirlwinds and struggled out of the gate as the Hurricanes went a combined 13-11 in his two seasons. The Hurricanes have slowly gotten better under Golden and this year they look like they may have turned the corner. They already hold a victory over a then-top-ten team in Florida and they are in position to potentially head into a showdown against FSU in early November as a, gasp, undefeated team if they can get past a few hurdles on the way. Outside of Florida, the Canes schedule hasn't really tested them so this weeks game against Georgia Tech will be a good benchmark for them.
Washington Huskies (4-0)- For me, this is the most surprising team on the list because they've had the toughest road. Steve Sarkisian's tenure at Washington has been mired in mediocrity so far as he's yet to win more than seven games in any season. That all might have changed with the first game this season when his Huskies blew out Boise State. In addition to the win over the Broncos, the Huskies also have a road victory over a much improved Illinois squad and a conference win, by 18 points, over Arizona. The bad news for the Huskies? The next two games are against Stanford and Oregon.
Also considered: ECU, Houston, Illinois, Texas Tech and Washington State