College Football is just over a month away from kicking off. That means it’s time to kickoff the Sports & Swag Football Preseason Spectacular! We’ll lead off with the Preseason Top 25 Power Rankings. Can anyone catch the Buckeyes this season? Things aren’t starting off well in Columbus with four players suspended for the Virginia Tech game. Can the SEC reclaim it’s dominance, or is this the year for the Big 12? Here’s my take. But, remember to visit again to check out more in depth previews of each team and each conference, leading up to kickoff on September 3rd.
1. OHIO STATE – The Buckeyes are going to be as close to a unanimous pick to win the national title as we’ve seen in a long time. With good reason. Urban Meyer’s team is loaded and has a very soft schedule. Braxton Miller, moving to a receiver position is a good move both for Buckeyes and himself.
2. TCU – They just may have been the best team in the country at the end of last season. Unfortunately, for them they couldn’t prove it in the playoff. There are no excuses now for Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs.
3. AUBURN – This could be the best Gus Malzahn offense we’ve seen at Auburn. That’s scary. Jeremy Johnson looks like the real deal at QB. But, defensively Carl Lawson must be huge coming off his injury.
4. ALABAMA – Nick Saban is looking for a quarterback in Tuscaloosa. But, what else is new? Bama is also looking for more consistency on defense, especially in the secondary. The toughest schedule in the nation may be too tough to tame if these questions aren’t successfully answered.
5. USC – This is a pretty important season for Steve Sarkisian. The Trojans still have some depth issues, but the talent is abundant. Senior QB Cody Kessler, has been quite underrated the last couple of seasons even though he’s put up very nice numbers.
6. MICHIGAN STATE – The Spartans also return a senior QB in Connor Cook. There’s experience across the board, which makes Mark D’Anonio’s team very dangerous, even to a team like Ohio State.
7. BAYLOR – The next QB in line to take advantage of Art Briles’ ultra potent attack is Seth Russell. Scoring shouldn’t be a problem. Stopping someone still may be. Even with nine returning starters.
8. OREGON – Marcus Mariota is gone. So, the Ducks have a choice to make. Go with Jeff Lockie, the guy that’s been around for a couple of years, or go with the new transfer, Vernon Adams. Either way, the offense should flourish with runners like Royce Freeman, and Byron Marshall being back.
9. GEORGIA – Like seemingly every other team in the SEC, the Dawgs’ are looking for a QB. One thing they’re not looking for, however is a running back. Nick Chubb, did an amazing job replacing Todd Gurley in 2014. Keith Marshall is no slouch either.
10. FLORIDA STATE – The ‘Noles have a big hole to fill at QB. But, Everett Golson is very capable of filling that hole adequately. Question is, will he adapt to the offense quick enough? If so, beating out the incumbent, Sean Maguire shouldn’t be a problem.
11. NOTRE DAME – The Irish are a dangerous team. Unfortunately, they’re schedule is just as dangerous.
12. LSU – Same can be said for the Bayou Bengals. Especially, If they get QB position in order.
13. UCLA – The Bruins have to replace Brett Hundley, but return 18 starters. The PAC-12 could be theirs.
14. ARKANSAS – Few teams are stronger up front, offensively or defensively. If they find a vertical pass game, look out.
15. STANFORD – The Cardinal has a senior QB, and nine returning starters on offense. Plenty reason enough to give them a shot in PAC-12 North.
16. OKLAHOMA – The Sooners have been better when they’re the hunter. Not the hunted. Just like this year.
17. OLE MISS – The Rebels D is loaded with NFL talent. Now, can they find a QB and consistent run game to score some points?
18. CLEMSON – Dynamic offense. Dynamic QB to lead that offense. However, Tigers probably lost a bit too much on D to make serious run at a title.
19. WISCONSIN – Badgers return just eleven starters and still have issues offensively. Somehow, someway they’ll win 9 or 10 games as always.
20. BOISE STATE – The Broncos return seventeen starters and have a pretty soft route to 10 or 11 wins.
22. PENN STATE
23. OKLAHOMA STATE
24. ARIZONA STATE
25. VIRGINIA TECH
Other teams to watch: Texas A&M, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Utah, Missouri
Thanks for reading! Agree or disagree? Is there a team you feel should be higher or lower? How about a team that’s not in Top 25, you feel should be? Please feel free to leave a comment, or follow me at https://twitter.com/SportsandSwag,