Most Impressive Surprise: Notre Dame
I don't think people knew exactly what to expect of the Irish this year. The offense had a huge turnover problem last season and offseason/off-field issues with last year's quarterback, Tommy Rees, had many thinking the offense would still struggle. Instead, Everett Golson has added a new dimension at the quarterback position and Notre Dame has, for the most part, solved their turnover problem. Add in the fact that this team features one of the best and most physical defenses in the country, and you have a great recipe for success. Manti Te'o deserves consideration for the Heisman and appears to be one of those truly special players. College football fans should appreciate having the opportunity to watch him play. Barring an unexpected disaster, the Irish shouldn't have any problem finishing the season with ten wins.
Biggest Disappointment: Auburn
There were any number of choices here. Virginia, Arkansas, Washington State, Virginia Tech, and Missouri were all quite deserving of this award. But Auburn...seriously!?!? They are 0-4 in the SEC and still have upcoming games with Texas A&M, Georgia, & Alabama - they won't be favored in any of those. And in Auburn's one win, they had to go to overtime to defeat Louisiana Monroe! Gene Chizik is basically showing he bought (found) lightning in a bottle with Cam Newton and he's now beginning to look like what Auburn fans feared he would be...completely overwhelmed by the pressure and expectations of the SEC. Not sure what will last longer, Chizik or the tree at Toomer's Corner.