It may seem like the College Football Season just ended yesterday (3 days technically), but it is never too early to start talking about next season! The BTD crew is already excited to get to next year, frankly for the notion that the Beavs will not have a losing record at some point in 2019.
So in that spirit we threw together a super-duper early preview at what the top 25 rankings could look like to start the year. With that being said, let’s get into it...
- Clemson Tigers: After crushing Alabama in the natty, there is no logical choice but to slot the Tigers here. The majority of the offense, including Trevor Lawrence (aka Sunshine), return to the team in 2019. The Tigers will be a national championship contender again.
- Alabama Crimson Tide: They may have been handled in the championship game, but this is Alabama we’re talking about. The Tide will be returning about 13 starters, including Tua Tagovailoa. The Tide will get recover from the natty.
- Georgia Bulldogs: The Bulldogs will be loaded on offense this season. Jake Fromm will have one of the best offensive lines in addition to an outstanding receiving corps. Kirby Smart should be able to get the Georgia defense rolling again as well.
- Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes already had a great team before the Justin Fields transfer. If the former 5-star QB can gain immediate eligibility, the Buckeyes will be fighting for a playoff spot again this year.
- LSU Tigers: The Tigers topped UCF to end the year, and should continue to roll in the SEC. Joe Burrow has been improving for the team, and finally gives LSU a legit QB threat. LSU should give Alabama a run for it’s money this season in their side of the conference.
- Texas Longhorns: This may seem rich for UT, but Texas is going to get A TON of preseason love, and with good reason. They handled Georgia and proved they can hang with, and outright beat, some of the best teams in the nation. If there’s a year for a Texas playoff push, it’s this year.
- Florida Gators: I don’t know if it’s just me who missed this, but Florida quietly had a fantastic season in 2018, and should build on it in 2019. Dan Mullen had an immediate on the Gators, as he helped their offense jump from averaging 22 points in 2017, to 35 in 2018. The Gators will be good again this year.
- Oklahoma Sooners: Losing Kyler Murray will be the biggest thing for the Sooners this year. They will have some exciting QB recruits coming into the year, which will help an already stellar offense. The defense, meanwhile will still need a lot of help. Perhaps an offseason with new recruits can help.
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Ian Book will be back as the Irish QB, and the offense will be legit again. Brian Kelly has helped the Irish win 22 of their last 26 games, and appear in a CFP playoff berth. The Irish have been rolling over the years and will be good again this year.
- Michigan Wolverines: The Wolverines were outright embarrassed in the Peach Bowl by the Gators. The team outright looked like they didn’t want to be there. Still, Jim Harbaugh put up another ten win season, and has the defense balling out. If the Wolverines can figure out how to have a decent offense, they could be a legit threat in the Big Ten.
- Oregon Ducks: I know. I know. Placing the Ducks this high hurts my orange and black soul. But the preseason love for Oregon will be legit with QB Justin Herbert’s return as well as snagging the commitment of the nation’s number 1 overall player, Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Ducks will be the favorite in the Pac-12 to start the year.
- UCF Knights: I will probably have the Knights ranked higher than most other people, but UCF will make noise once again this year. They are the hands-down favorite in the AAC and boast an electric offense. Plus, if McKenzie Milton can return, watch for UCF to crash another New Year’s Six game.
- Washington Huskies: The Huskies are excited for the Jacob Eason era to finally begin. Plus, the defense should continue to be a strength for U-Dub. The mastermind Chris Petersen should have the Huskies competing once again in the North.
- Penn State Nittany Lions: Penn State will have some retooling to do on offense after the departure of Trace McSorley. But James Franklin will have Penn State ready to go and compete in the Big Ten.
- Texas A&M Aggies: Jimbo Fisher had a solid start to his tenure at A&M, and will return some key pieces to the offense in his second year. Fisher has the Aggies ready to rumble after a loaded recruiting season. The Aggies could be a sleeper team in the SEC this year.
- Washington State Cougars: Gardner Minshew may be gone, but Mike Leach is still in Pullman and is still keeping the Cougs on the up and up. The offense returns their top four receivers, and the defense will only continue to improve under DC Tracy Claeys.
- Utah Utes: Star RB Zack Moss and QB Tyler Huntley will both be returning as the Utes look to defend as champs of the Pac-12 South. The Utes should have the best defense in the Pac-12, and will be looking for the title again.
- Syracuse Orange: Syracuse will be returning most of the skill position players on an offense that averaged 40.2 points per game in 2018. The QB and O-line may need retooling, but Syracuse will be the biggest threat to Clemson in the ACC in 2019.
- Wisconsin Badgers: Wisconsin may not have had a great year in 2018, but Paul Chryst will have them back in contention in 2019. The Badgers return one of the best RB’s in the nation in Jonathan Taylor, and will have a strong o-line to boot.
- Stanford Cardinal: QB K.J. Costello will be back for the Cardinal in one of the stronger offenses in the Pac-12. David Shaw continues to be one of the best coaches in the country, and will have the Cardinal competing for the North in 2019.
- Minnesota Golden Gophers: Row the boat! The Gophers proved to be a quality team this year with blowout wins over Purdue and Wisconsin. Look for P.J. Fleck and co. to improve from from their 2018 campaign and make some noise in the Big Ten.
- Iowa State Cyclones: Brock Purdy turned out to be a big time success at QB for Matt Campbell and the Cyclone offense. This is a sneaky team that can take down any team on any given day. Still, playing Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas all in one year will not be fun for anyone.
- Iowa Hawkeyes: The offense will have Nate Stanley back at QB as well as several skill position players like Ihmir Smith-Marsette to help them battle in a tough Big Ten conference. Plus, the defensive-line will be solid for the Hawkeyes this season.
- Army Black Knights: Year-in and year-out, Army has great success, including their recent 11-win year in 2018. The triple-option army brings gives opposing defensive coordinators nightmares. Look for more of the same in 2019.
- Virginia Tech Hokies: QB Josh Jackson will provide a big boost for the offense with a return from a leg injury in 2018. The defense needs to iron things out if Virginia Tech wants to make any noise in 2019.
With our early 2019 top 25 rankings list revealed, we want your thoughts on this.
Was there anyone you thought was ranked too high? Too low? Any committed that should be included?
Sound off in the comment section!