In this article we look through the College Football teams to rank who we think is in the top-25 and the strongest going into the 2020/21 season (assuming it goes ahead). LSU are now the reigning champions however after losing 20 players to the draft and undrafted free agency they might struggle to keep the title next season. This seems to be reflected in the selections below by myself (SB), Chris Breen (CB) and Ruari Collinson (RC). Only the top 5 have reasons for why we have selected them there and the rest are listed however they are very similar in order between the three of us. The #6-#25 rankings for each of us are at the bottom of the article.
#1 Georgia (SB), Clemson (CB), Clemson (RC)
Georgia have been near the top of the pile in the SEC for several years now. They missed out in overtime in 2018 due to some dodgy coaching decisions. They return pretty much their entire starting defence from last season that gave up only 2 rushing touchdowns all year. That coupled with their conveyor belt of 5-star prospects on the offensive line and the arrival of Jamie Newman from Wake Forest should spark some life into the offence.
Clemson are on the same boat as they have been the last couple of years coming of 2 national championships in the last 5 years. They return potentially the best quarterback/Running back duo in college football in Lawrence and ETN. This coupled with the fact that a lot of their 2nd and 3rd string players will have already seen a fair amount of game time should stand them in good stead. Their Defensive line is likely to be monstrous with top recruits.
#2 Clemson (SB), Ohio State (CB), Ohio State (RC)
Clemson as mentioned above, however having lost some big-time players at the skill positions on O and D and a handful of starting offensive linemen they will have some reshuffling to do.
Ohio State are the Big10 power house with some top-level running backs, quarterbacks and defences that has hosted 3 of the best edge rushers to come out of college football in the last decade. They score lots of points on the offensive side of the ball and don’t give up much on defence. Justin Fields was a runner up in the Heisman last year and will have a chance to take another crack at it.
#3 Ohio State (SB), Georgia (CB), Alabama (RC)
Ohio State as mentioned above. Their only concern must be the loss of their starting 2 corner backs (both to the first round In the NFL draft). They will be hard to replace and coupled with less pressure up front could allow teams to put up more points this year. They also didn’t look the same team when Dobbins got injured in the college football playoffs.
Georgia as above, however they may struggle with putting the new pieces together on offence with no training currently taking place. Replacing Fromm and Swift along with 3 offensive linemen may not be easy even with the talent coming through recruitment.
Alabama have the most talented wide receiver group in college football returning with Waddle and Smith on their side and their top running back, Harris, decided to stay his senior year. This put together with the usual Alabama tough defence and superior offensive line could vault the crimson tide straight back to the top of the SEC after an off year last season.
#4 Alabama (SB), Alabama (CB), Georgia (RC)
Alabama as above, however, they are interesting this year mainly due to their quarterback situation. Mac Jones was more than serviceable last season when Tua was injured however they dropped games down the stretch. They may simply revert to handing the ball off all the time but then they become predictable.
Georgia as above.
#5 Oregon (SB), Oregon (CB), Oklahoma (RC)
Oregon had one of the top defences in the league last year and they return almost every player that started last year including a secondary that could rank top 3 this season. On offence they were solid running the ball last year and have a capable quarterback coming in to replace Herbert. The ducks have potentially the best offensive linemen in the country around for another year in Penei Sewell. Their weaknesses come as they must replace several offensive linemen as well as having a new quarterback learn a new offence. Their biggest test will come in their second game against Ohio State other than that they have a nice schedule.
Oklahoma have been topping the Big 12 for some time now and really not many teams have stood in their way. They have had Heisman quarterbacks go number 1 selection a few times over the last couple of years and are developing Spencer Rattler who was one of the stars on season 3 of the series ‘QB1’ (worth a watch on Netflix). They had some extremely talented skill position players and put up points every game they play. They return all 5 starting offensive linemen from last season including All-American centre Creed Humphrey. Last year, although finishing with only one loss (to Kansas State) going into the playoffs they should have lost to Baylor twice and they were blown away by LSU. Texas football is getting stronger and return a lot of starters from last year which could push Oklahoma down the pecking order.
LSU, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Penn State, Baylor, Notre Dame, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Memphis, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Miami, Boise State, USC, Tennessee
Florida, Auburn, Penn State, Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Michigan, Memphis, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, USC, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, UCF
LSU, Penn State, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, Auburn, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Michigan, Cincinnati, USC, Texas, North Carolina, Boise State, Iowa, Baylor, Memphis, Arizona State
Keep up with more college football pieces at Gridiron Blogs!