10) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Irish are promising to finally open up the offense this season and Wisconsin transfer Quarterback Jack Coan could be the perfect man to do just that. With tailbacks Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree, tight end Michael Mayer and receiver Kevin Austin Jr. returning, the pieces are in place for an explosive offense. The offensive line will have to replace 4 starters but Notre Dame seems like they are one of the best in the Nation at developing offensive lineman.
9) Indiana Hoosiers
Tom Allen has done an outstanding job at Indiana and they are in a position to make a serious run at a Big Ten title. A lot depends on starting QB Michael Pennix returning from injury for the Sept 4th opener against Iowa but this team may be even better on defense this year than they were last year and they were pretty stout last year. The Hoosiers led the league in sacks (25) and interceptions (17) and ranked fourth in points allowed (20.3).
8) Cincinnati Bearcats
The Bearcats blew an opportunity to beat the Georgia Bulldogs on New Years Day this past season in a game that would have brought them national respect. Coach Luke Fickell has an even more talented team this season and a schedule that includes back-to-back games at Indiana and Notre Dame. If the Bearcats win both of those games they may be the first non-power conference team to find themselves in the College football playoffs.
7) North Carolina Tar Heels
It hasn’t taken Hall of Fame coach Mack Brown long to turn the Tar Heels into big-time contenders on a national stage and with returning stud Quarterback Sam Howell the tar Heels can challenge Clemson at the Top of the ACC standings.
6) Ohio State Buckeyes
Head Coach Ryan Day is proving to be a big-time coach and he will field a younger but still talented lineup that will contend for a Big 10 championship and possibly more. Replacing Quarterback Justin Fields will be tough but they have 3 Quarterbacks all highly capable of doing just that, and as always they have one of the best incoming classes in the country.
5) Clemson Tigers
The tigers are to the point of never having to rebuild as they can just reload. Trevor Lawrence is gone but in steps, Sophomore D.J. Uiagalelei was sensational in a loss at Notre Dame last year and he will only get better. Having Dabo Swinney at the helm does not hurt and an ACC schedule that is not overwhelming outside of North Carolina doesn’t hurt.
4) Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones are coming off their best season with a win over Oklahoma, a win in a New years bowl game, and with almost everybody returning the Cyclones are a legitimate threat to make and even win the College Playoff.
3) Georgia Bulldogs
The roster is loaded, but Kirby Smart is the head coach, and that’s enough alone to drop them behind Oklahoma and Alabama who have superior coaches. J.T. Daniels who transferred in from USC will be looking to have a big season for a Georgia team that offensively should be very good.
2) Oklahoma Sooners
On paper, the Sooners may have the best roster in the country and after the season they added six FBS transfers, including three players from Tennessee: running back Eric Gray, offensive tackle Wanya Morris, and defensive back Key Lawrence. The Sooner’s defense is usually the killer when they play better teams, but this Sooners defense should be good enough to give them a good shot in January.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide
I know the Tide right now does not look as talented as a few of the teams to follow, but let’s face it they have the greatest college football coach who has ever walked the earth. Quarterback Bryce Young is very talented and if he doesn’t turn the ball over the Tide will be at least in the College playoff.