The Way Way Too Early Top 25


It’s January, does anyone actually know who will be the top 25 teams next year? No. But everyone eats this stuff up, so I’ll make my own because why not? Haters come at me. And HERE WE GO:

  1. Alabama – Yes, they lose all their coaches, Mac Jones, Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and everyone but the kitchen sink. I don’t care. Nick Saban is still running the show, Bryce Young is a former five star QB and Alabama is loaded with talent. Once again, they have the top recruiting class and they will be back once again.
  2. Clemson – The Trevor Lawrence era has ended at Clemson. Travis Etienne and Jackson Carmen will move on too. The Tigers received good news that Justyn Ross is expected to return. We were able to get a sneak preview at the future of Clemson when DJ Uiagalelei played for Lawrence against Notre Dame earlier this year and it is promising.
  3. Oklahoma – Possibly the hottest team to end the 2020 season, including rolling Florida to end the season. Spencer Rattler struggled early in the season but turned it around as the season went on. In his last seven games, he threw 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions while also running for four more touchdowns. Rattler returns most of his receivers and Kennedy Brooks is expected to return.
  4. Ohio State – The big question for Ohio State is who will replace Justin Fields? Ohio State has three QBs who are all expected to compete for the job with CJ Stroud projected to start. The Buckeyes also lose Trey Sermon, but return one of the stronger wide receiver groups in the country. The Ohio State defensive line should be the anchor for the team.
  5. Georgia – Can we name JT Daniels the preseason Heisman winner yet? Daniels played well when he finally took over at QB for the Bulldogs. Georgia is returning Zamir White and George Pickens which should make Georgia an exciting offense to watch next year. Georgia has recruited well to put them in the top 5 preseason.
  6. Iowa State – Matt Campbell has been putting the cyclones on the rise. Brock Purdy is returning and should be one of the best signal callers in the country. Breece Hall is expected to be one of the best running backs in the country giving Iowa State the firepower to score. Campbell has always had a solid defense and there’s no reason to expect otherwise next year.
  7. Indiana – Tom Allen has his players bought into the program and Michael Penix was having a great season prior to his injury. A few questions remain for the Hoosiers with the main one being, who will replace Whop Philyor and Ty Fryfogle? Indiana only had one other receiver with more than five catches this past season, so the Hoosiers will need guys to step up.
    • Correction: Fryfogle is returning to IU
  8. Texas A&M – The Aggies are coming off their best season under Jimbo Fisher and are recruiting well to replace their departing seniors. The Aggies have to replace one of their best QBs ever in Kellen Mond. Good news for the Aggies is Isaiah Spiller returns for the next QB to lean on.
  9. Cincinnati – Luke Fickell continues to show that the Bearcats are the crown jewel of the AAC. They nearly beat Georgia in the Peach Bowl this year. Cincinnati returns two key players in QB Desmond Ridder and Myjai Sanders. Both were All-AAC with Ridder also being the Offensive Player of the year. Defensive Coordinator departs for Notre Dame, but expect Cincinnati to still play tough defense.
  10. North Carolina – If JT Daniels is the preseason Heisman, Sam Howell should be the preseason runner up. Howell will come into the season with plenty of hype, and it is all warranted. The defense returns 10 starters including DB Tony Grimes who started as a true freshman. WR Dazz Newsome and RB Michael Carter both depart for the NFL which leaves a few questions on offense.
  11. Notre Dame – Ian Book’s career has ended with Notre Dame and they welcome former Wisconsin QB Jack Coan who is expected to compete for the job. Notre Dame will have an excellent RB room with Chris Tyree and Kyren Williams. Brian Kelly has shown he can build a winning program. The Fighting Irish are back to being an independent next year after spending the season in the ACC.
  12. Miami FL – This might be a little high, but these are my rankings. D’Eriq King returns and the Hurricanes showed real promise. Charleston Rambo is transferring to the Canes which should give King a reliable option on the outside. The defensive line loses Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips after both having productive seasons. Manny Diaz should have another good season ahead of him.
  13. Iowa – Iowa quietly finished 6-2 and top 20 in the country. DE Zach VanValkenburg returns to help lead the defense while QB Spencer Petras and RB Tyler Goodson should lead the offense to productive year. Goodson averaged over 5 yards per carry and had seven touchdowns while also splitting carries this year.
  14. Florida – Emory Jones is expected to take over as the signal caller for Florida next season. The Gators got close to knocking off Alabama in the SEC title and seemed like a shoe in to the playoffs had they not lost to LSU. TE Kyle Pitts also departs after an amazing career. Florida will need to see improvements from their defense if they want to compete with the top of the SEC.
  15. Oregon – There are lots of questions around Oregon after having players opt out before the season. The biggest question is who will play QB for the Ducks. Anthony Brown and Tyler Shough both saw time in the Fiesta Bowl. The Ducks need to lock in on their QB early to contend for the Pac-12. One area they should not be an issue is the defense. Oregon should have the best defense in the Pac-12, and I do not expect it to be that close.
  16. Wisconsin – Graham Mertz lit the world on fire in his first game and then got Covid-19. With a spring season, look for Mertz to be one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the Big Ten. Jalen Berger averaged 5.0 yards per carry as a true freshman, he should build upon that next year with more experience. Wisconsin should be able to compete with Iowa for the Big Ten West.
  17. USC – The Pac-12 season made very little sense this year. USC lost to Oregon after USC was supposed to play Washington in the title game but then Washington got Covid. USC was undefeated prior to the Oregon game but every game had been close. They are showing a foundation for winning. Kedon Slovis returns and should have play makers around him with Drake London and Bru McCoy.
  18. Coastal Carolina – The Cinderella of college football returns to the preseason top 25. Grayson McCall was a redshirt freshman and should continue to get better. DT CJ Brewer returns after registered 11 TFL and 6.5 sacks. Coastal Carolina should be on the favorites for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
  19. Arizona State – The Sun Devils only played four games this year, so it was hard to get a read on their progress. Jayden Daniels appears to be the part of Arizona State and Herm Edwards looks to be trending in the right direction. Arizona State scored 70 on Arizona which resulted in Kevin Sumlin being fired.
  20. Ole Miss – Lane Kiffin and his team showed promise at times this year. The offense scored over 50 multiple times but also lost multiple times when scoring more than 40. Matt Corral threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for another 500. He should lead another strong Ole Miss offense in 2021.
  21. Northwestern – Peyton Ramsey lifted the Wildcats back to the level of success they have become accustomed to with Pat Fitzgerald. The main question is who will replace Ramsey?RB Cam Porter should help carry Northwestern to continue playing the style of football Fitzgerald likes. As is tradition with Northwestern, expect more stout defense.
  22. Louisiana – Billy Napier was a hot commodity this year but he chose to remain at Louisiana for at least one more season. QB Levi Lewis returns to Louisiana next year as well. The Ragin’ Cajuns only loss came to Costal Carolina by three in mid October. When is the last time two Sun Belt teams were in the preseason top 25?
  23. Washington – The Huskies technically won the Pac-12 North but were unable to play in the game because of Covid-19. They will be searching for a new QB this off season. Sophomore Dylan Morris and true freshman, and five star prospect, Sam Huard are expected to be the leaders. LB Zion Tupuola-Fetui returns for the Washington defense who had seven sacks in just four games.
  24. Penn State – James Franklin had his worst season in his Big Ten career finishing under .500. There are plenty of questions with Penn State but they should be solid at running back. Jahan Dotson returns and should be one of the best receivers in the Big Ten. Franklin will have to decide does he start Sean Clifford, Will Levis, or does he look into the transfer portal?
  25. Boston College – Jeff Hafley’s first season at Boston College is largely viewed as a success. QB Phil Jurkovec completed 61% of his passes while also throwing 17 touchdowns. They took North Carolina and Clemson wire to wire. Another year of practice, and Boston College could start to push towards the upper half of the ACC.

Just missed: LSU, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Ball State

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