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Unconventional Wisdom: Spotting College Football's Dark Horse Teams

In College Football, preseason polls are largely filled with the previous season’s best finishers. But each year dark horse teams emerge from well back in the pack to compete for a National Championship or win their conference. How can anyone predict where these teams will come from?

Using past examples, there are generally some common factors for dark horse teams.

Look for:

1. A team that lost close games

2. A team with an established QB or a great one that lost time or consistency due to injuries

3. A team with a good returning defense

4. A team with a softer non-conference schedule