College football teams with most to prove in second half of 2021 season

For all the excitement the 2021 college football season has provided at its midpoint, there are several teams that have either failed to live up to expectations, or are operating by the skin of their teeth as the year winds down. Even some of the sport’s blue bloods still have a lot to prove.

Take Clemson, for example. Despite the team’s incredible success since the College Football Playoff’s inception, some are questioning the culture built under Dabo Swinney following the Tigers’ flat and uninspiring 4-2 start. Or Alabama, which is fighting to maintain its spot at the top of the SEC, let alone the nation.

Those are two of many teams under the microscope during the latter half of the 2021 season. Each team on this list, whether they are undefeated or not, is under a lot of pressure to perform or, in some cases, salvage a year filled with disappointment.

Alabama’s shocking loss to Texas A&M does not reflect as a concern in Alabama’s current AP Poll standing, as the Tide are ranked fourth just a couple weeks removed from their first regular-season hiccup in what seems like an eternity. Realistically speaking, though, the margin for error moving forward is thin.