AP Top 25 Poll | NCAA College Football Rankings

Ap Top 25 Poll college football preseason rankings
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AP Top 25 Poll | NCAA College Football Preseason Rankings

Every year the AP top 25 poll is released before any games are even played. Many teams start in the top 25, but many don’t last. In this write up I’ll give my take on the current top 10 and give my reasons if the team is ranked too high, too low or just right. Teams ranked 11-25; I will give a few words to describe their season outlook. Lastly I will predict the top 10 teams in the final AP come seasons end.

 AP Top 25 Poll | College Football Preseason Rankings

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (52 first-place votes)
  • Alabama returns 62% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-1st, 2016-2nd, 2017-1st)
  • Until Nick Saban calls it a career they will continue to be a top 10 team. Alabama is the top team on the list and that’s where they belong.
  1. Ohio State Buckeyes (3)
  • Ohio State returns 63% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-9th, 2016-4th, 2017-2nd)
  • Ohio State returns Heisman candidate JT Barrett along with a ton of talent on both sides of the field. Just like Alabama, they have a coach in Urban Meyer that will always have them in the top 10. Ohio State is in the right position being ranked right behind Alabama.
  1. Florida State Seminoles (4)
  • Florida State returns 70% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-3rd, 2016-3rd, 2017-6th)
  • Florida State returns a young talented team. Look for a big improvement from QB Deondre Francois. The Seminoles lose stud RB Cook, but just like previous years another highly recruited RB will step in and fill the void.
  1. USC Trojans (2)
  • USC returns 63% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-2nd, 2016-10th, 2017-4th)
  • USC is coming off of a surprising turn around season with early losses in the season. USC lost a lot of its play maker, but they return Heisman favorite and potential 1st pick in next year’s NFL draft. Do they have the talent? Yes. Can they put it all together when they pressure is on them? That is the question that remains unanswered. I believe they will have a good season, but will have some bumps along the way. I can see them winning the PAC 12, but losing a couple games along the way.
  1. Clemson Tigers
  • Clemson returns 47% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-9th, 2016-11th, 2017-16th)
  • Clemson is coming off of a Championship season, so they have a lot to live up too. Can they do it? I believe they can, but they must find a QB to lead the way. I don’t see Clemson going 12-0. I can see a couple loses to Louisville, Florida State, or Auburn.
  1. Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Penn State returns 74% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-14th, 2016-20th, 2017-15th)
  • Penn State was a surprise team last year. No one saw them winning the Big Ten, especially with the start to the season last year. James Franklin is no longer on the hot seat, and the team seems to have recovered from their reduced scholarship punishment. I still believe Penn State is the 3rd best team in the Big Ten East, but much like last year maybe they will surprise us once again. 
  1. Oklahoma Sooners
  • Oklahoma returns 67% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-15th, 2016-19th, 2017-8th)
  • Oklahoma is in unfamiliar territory this year. Bob Stoops retired from coaching and Lincoln Riley steps in. Many think Oklahoma will take a step back with Stoops retiring. I think they will take a step back, but it won’t be because Stoops retired, it will be the loss of big time offensive weapons. Oklahoma will have play making QB Baker Mayfield back, but will have a cast of new weapons around him. With teams such as OK State and Texas improving, Oklahoma will have a tough task to win the Big 12. 
  1. Washington Huskies
  • Washington returns 63% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-26th, 2016-29th, 2017-22nd)
  • Can Chris Peterson’s squad repeat what they did last year? It’s going to be a tall task, but with returning QB Browning returning they have a chance to be in the playoffs for the second straight year. 
  1. Wisconsin Badgers
  • Wisconsin returns 67% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-41th, 2016-35th, 2017-39th)
  • As you can see from their previous recruiting rankings, Wisconsin is a developmental program. It seems that every year Wisconsin is putting top 25 defenses on the field, along with a 1000+ yard running back. That shouldn’t change this year, but I still believe there are question marks at the QB position. Wisconsin at #9 is higher than I would put them, but they proved everyone wrong last year. 
  1. Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • Oklahoma State returns 67% of their starters from last year.
  • Previous recruiting classes (2015-40th, 2016-45th, 2017-38th)
  • Can this be the year Oklahoma State gets over the hump? Sure they have had some good teams recently, but it seems they always stub their toe verses someone they shouldn’t lose too (Iowa State-Iowa’s little brother). Oklahoma State brings back a ton of fire power on offense and plenty of experience on defense. Mike Gundy has a mullet, so that might just get them over the edge.

AP College Football Rankings Outside of the Top 10

    1. Michigan Wolverines-young talent + Jim Harbaugh= anything can happen.
    2. Auburn Tigers- can Auburn upset Alabama this year? Nope, but will still contend.
    3. LSU Tigers- New coach, can they get average QB play
    4. Stanford Cardinal– smart, discipline team. It won’t be easy, but they must find a new McCaffery.
    5. Georgia Bulldogs– Georgia will be Georgia. Expect a upset one week and a questionable loss the next.
    6. Louisville Cardinals– Can Jackson repeat what he did last year? He will have to if Louisville wants to contend in the ACC
    7. Florida Gators– do they have a QB?
    8. Miami Hurricanes– Talented, but still a year away.
    9. USF Bulls– should be in a New Year Six bowl. Do they have what it takes to get in the playoff picture.
    10. Kansas State Wildcats– Bill Snyder’s last run??? They will compete, but will finish 3/4/5 in Big 12.
    11. Virginia Tech Hokies- expect a battle between Miami and Virginia Tech to win division.
    12. West Virginia Mountaineers- They will put up good numbers verse the teams they should and lose to those they should.
    13. Texas Longhorns-Tom Herman has a lot of pressure on him. This isn’t Houston anymore….Good luck!
    14. Washington State Cougars– Do they have a defense to match the Offense? Probably not.
    15. Tennessee Volunteers- Tennessee must replace a lot, don’t expect a division title.

 

Final AP poll Prediction

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Florida State
  5. Washington
  6. USC
  7. Clemson
  8. Michigan
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Stanford

 

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