25) Iowa State Cyclones – Coach Campbell is building a very strong program in Ames and even with the loss of some key players the Cyclones will still be good.
24) Miami Hurricanes – I over-ranked the Canes last year, so I will hold up a little bit this year. The defense will be CFP worthy but as always the questions will be on offense. In a weakened ACC though the Canes could make some noise.
23) Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers will be good on the ground with Jonathan Taylor, but as it always is Quarterback will be what keeps this team from being a Big Ten Title contender.
22) Virginia Tech Hokies – Quarterback Ryan Willis has a strong group of targets to work with and the Hokies are playing in what looks to be a weak ACC.
21) UCF Knights – Darriel Mack Jr. and Brandon Wimbush will battle for the job. The eventual winner shouldn’t have a tough time leading an explosive attack. UCF has a tough home game against Stanford on September 14. They will run the AAC again and a win over a good Stanford team could have people talking UCF football again at the end of the season.
20) Missouri Tigers – Clemson transfer Quarterback Kelly Bryant makes this team very dangerous and an easy start to the season could set the Tigers up for a decent bowl game.
19) Michigan State Spartans – The defense as always will lead the way, but the offense should be much better this season.
18) Iowa Hawkeyes – Defensively, it’s all about DE A.J. Epenesa. He will be one of the best pass rushers in the country. On offense Quarterback Nate Stanley returns with some stud running backs. He lost his two Tight Ends, however, but even with those losses the offense could be better this season.
17) Auburn Tigers – The schedule will be a killer and the Tigers need to find a Quarterback to make a solid push in the SEC.
16) Penn State Nittany Lions – The Lions defense will be the key to this season. I look for them to fade at the end of the season.
15) Washington Huskies – The Huskies will be led by Georgia transfer Quarterback Jacob Eason and a solid recruiting class, which should keep them in the hunt in the Pac 12.
14) Texas A&M Aggies – The Aggies will be better than last year but the schedule will keep them to nine wins.
13) Notre Dame Fighting Irish – The Irish will not be as good as last year and the schedule looks to be tougher.
12) Nebraska Cornhuskers – Like Utah, Nebraska is a sleeper team that could make some major noise in the Big 10 this season.
11) Florida Gators – Can the Gators get past the Bulldogs? My guess is no but a ten-win season is a good bet.
10) Utah Utes – QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss will make the offense go and the defense will be one of the best in the nation. This could be a very real darkhorse team for the CFP.
9) Texas Longhorns – QB Sam Ehlinger is good enough to get the Longhorns to the CFP, but the offensive and defensive lines have huge question marks all over them.
8) LSU Tigers – Quarterback Joe Barrow needs to have a big season for the Tigers and they will still have to clear that Bama hurdle to be relevant at the end.
7) Oregon Ducks – This depends on the health of Ducks Quarterback Justin Herbert. If he stays healthy the Ducks could very well win the Pac 12 and find themselves in the CFP.
6) Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners will once again be in the hunt with former Alabama Quarterback Jalen Hurts at the helm, but as always this will come down to the defensive side of the ball for the Sooners.
5) Ohio State Buckeyes – With Justin Fields taking over at Quarterback and a plethora of weapons at his disposal, this team could be right back to where they always are.
4) Michigan Wolverines – This has to be the year for the Wolverines, doesn’t it? A more explosive offense and a better defense look to send the Wolverines into the college playoffs. If it doesn’t, Jim Harbaugh’s seat could get mighty hot this season.
3) Georgia Bulldogs – QB Jake Fromm could make a serious run for the Heisman, but he won’t have to do it alone. RB D’Andre Swift should be deadly from the backfield. My only concern here is defense and coaching and that’s why they are behind Bama and Clemson.
2) Alabama Crimson Tide – Another National Title game matchup with Clemson looks to be looming in the distance for the Tide.
1) Clemson Tigers – The Tigers return the best Quarterback in the country in Trevor Lawrence and the schedule looks weak. The only true test could come in the ACC Title game if the Miami Hurricanes are for real this year.
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