Last Word On College Football 2019 Preseason Top 25

2019 Preseason Top 25 Last Word On College Football Top 25
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: The College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy is seen on the field before the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

HERE. WE. GO. The grass is mowed, pads are popping, and fans are starting to make travel and tailgating plans for the next few months. Talking season on social media is getting fired up. College football is back. One of the many great things about college football is the constant debate on what team is the best. And our writers will kick off that discussion with our Last Word On College Football 2019 Preseason Top 25.

Last Word On College Football 2019 Preseason Top 25

At the top, it’s a two-team race. Again. The Clemson Tigers, coming off yet another championship and a fourth consecutive playoff appearance, garnered all by two first-place votes among our 20 voters. Alabama captured the other two first-place votes and sits comfortably in the second spot. The “previous” box was our end of season, 2018, positioning.

Without further ado, let the discussion begin.

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LAST WORD ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

2018 PRESEASON TOP 25

Rank


 Team


Points


Previous


1.

CLEMSON 

398 1
Now that the ostarine scandal is behind them, and the rage over losing RB Tavien Feaster to in-state rival, South Carolina is done, will Clemson be passing out National Championship rings again this season? The Tigers lost defensive depth to the NFL, but with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, and wide receiver Justyn Ross, Clemson has the power to do so.


2.


ALABAMA

396 2
After last year’s devastating title loss to Clemson, Alabama will be looking to roll back into the CFP with a vengeance. Their biggest weapon being the performance of star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. With 36 touchdown passes last season, look for Tua to make a run for a Natty and a Heisman.


3.

Oklahoma_Sooners_logo.svg

OKLAHOMA  

352 4
Apparently good things come in pairs in Oklahoma, with two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, two Big 12 titles, and two College Football Playoff trips in the two years that Lincoln Riley has been head coach. Now with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts, who accounted for 7,602 total yards in his career with the Crimson Tide, look for the Sooners to boom into the playoffs again.


4.

GEORGIA

348 8
Who remembers that 2nd-and-26 TD pass in OT in the 2018 National Championship game? Or how about the fake punt in the 2018 SEC title game? Even though they are an SEC powerhouse, Georgia seems to fall short every year. It certainly is not due to a lack of talent. Jake Fromm will return after throwing for 2,749 yards and 30 touchdowns, combined with the top offensive line in the nation. Combined with the skills of D’Andre Swift and a seasoned offensive line, maybe this will be the year.


5.

OHIO STATE 

345 3
Speaking of Georgia, Ohio State will seek a third consecutive Big Ten title and eighth consecutive win against Michigan with former Bulldogs QB Justin Fields at the helm. Not to mention new head coach Ryan Day. While he has big shoes to fill, he will be stepping up to a fully-loaded roster with J.K. Dobbins, Chase Young, Tyreke Smith, Jonathon Cooper, Zach Harrison, Robert Landers, Davon Hamilton, Jashon Cornell, Tommy Togiai, and Malik Harrison. Need I say more?


6.

MICHIGAN

313 14
Luck may be swinging towards Ann Arbor this season, as Shea Patterson returns for his senior year. Combine Patterson’s experience and talent with a first-time offensive coordinator, Josh Gattis, who plans to utilize the spread RPO to capitalize on Patterson’s talent… and we may have a ball game.


7.

LSU

300 6
The Tigers will face several ranked opponents this season, however with coordinator Joe Brady, who is a former offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints, the Tigers look forward to seeing the stats rack up with a new run-pass option and quarterback Joe Burrow, who threw for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first year. Rawr!


8.

TEXAS

294 9
The Longhorns are looking for more to talk about than Bevo trying to hook Uga on the sidelines. Something more along the lines of gunslinger Sam Ehlinger leading the offense to an average of 31.1 points per game, personally accounting for 41 overall touchdowns like they did last season. Another double-digit win season and trip to the Big 12 Championship Game should be well within reach for Herman’s third year as head coach.

OK. Cool. Hook Em!


9. 

NOTRE DAME   

245 5
With quarterback Ian Book, who threw for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns,  and seven other returning starters on offense, the Fighting Irish may be lucky enough to find themselves in a playoff game. Head coach Brian Kelly’s team seems likely to win 10 of its 12 matchups, even with road trips to Georgia and Michigan.


10.

OREGON

231 NR
The Ducks will be returning with nearly the entire starting line up, but let’s do the math here. Bypassing the NFL, Justin Herbert will return to center. Herbert starting = Oregon averaged 40.3 points per game over two seasons. Herbert not starting = 15 points per game in five games. Duck, Duck, Herbert.


11.

TEXAS A&M

222 16
Alabama at home, not to mention Texas A&M, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia, and LSU. Welcome back to the SEC, Jimbo.


12.

Caleb Johnson

FLORIDA   

218 7
Aside from all the scandals, the Gators have a lot of positive things going for them heading into the season, as they have improved over recent years. Feleipe Franks threw for 2,457 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 350 yards and seven scores, and Lamical Perine rushed for 826 yards and seven scores in 2018. It will be intriguing to see what head coach Dan Mullen has up his sleeve this year in the Swamp.


13.

WASHINGTON

218 13
The Huskies know how to win. Especially with a defense that can hold teams to 16.4 points a game and 4.67 yards a play. Who will head coach Chris Petersen pick to handle the ball this season after losing Jake Browning: Georgia transfer Jacob Eason or sophomore Jake Haener?


14.

PENN STATE 

205 17
Does the Transfer Portal play for James Franklin? Despite being somewhat successful with five consecutive bowl trips, more than a dozen players entered the transfer portal, including Tommy Stevens, who was slated to replace Trace McSorley. We will see if the Nittany Lions have what it takes this season to stay in the rankings.


15.

UTAH

155 NR
With one of the best defensive lines in the nation, expect Kyle Whittingham and company to make a run for the Pac-12 title and play in a New Year’s Six.


16.

WISCONSIN

135 NR
Let’s hope that ranking the Badgers again this year isn’t a curse, as they sat on the top five of the AP preseason poll, but then finished the season nowhere on the list. With a Heisman in his sight, Wisconsin will lean heavily on RB Jonathan Taylor again this season, after he led the nation in rushing with nearly 2,200 yards in 2018.


17. 

UCF

109 11
Did UCF give everyone a Championship ring? Even with McKenzie Milton benched this season as he is still recovering from a leg injury, expect another undefeated record in the regular season for head coach Josh Heupel and the Knights.


18.

NEBRASKA

93 NR
Head coach Scott Frost lived up to his name, as the Cornhuskers were far from hot last year. But with a favorable schedule, especially with home games against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa, this team could start to warm up in 2019.


19. 

AUBURN 

90 NR
The fat lady did sing at the Music City Bowl vs. Purdue with an impressive 63-14 victory. But for the season, the Tigers fell short, finishing 8-5 overall (3-5 in the SEC), missing out on the Top 25 rankings at the end of the year. The defense returns a lot of starters this season, but the Tigers face a tough schedule.


20.

ARMY

83 19
The Black Knights had an impressive year in 2018, finishing the season ranked No. 19, their first AP ranking since 1996. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who became the first player in school history to record more than 1,000 yards rushing and passing in the same season, will return on offense.


21.

IOWA 

74 25
Senior quarterback Nate Stanley, who threw for 2,852 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2018, will lead the offense, combined with three running backs fighting for the starting job. Also with a tough schedule, Iowa will play at Iowa State and has road trips to Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. And don’t forget about Penn State the week after Michigan.


22.

Nigel BethelMIAMI

55 NR
Even though he has very little experience as head coach, Manny Diaz does have talent on the roster. Miami seems to have a sense of urgency, especially after former Georgia head coach, Mark Richt seemed to have put The U back on the map. Solidifying the quarterback position with Jarren Williams, there are a lot of questions heading into the season that only time can answer.  


23.

STANFORD

47 NR
Despite 10 straight seasons with eight or more wins, Stanford seems to be underappreciated year after year. Stanford’s K.J. Costello also goes unnoticed and underappreciated, even though threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns. Look for both Costello and his team to make more headlines this season.


24.

NORTHWESTERN

39 21
Ove the past two seasons, Northwestern has gone 5-3 in conference play, with the Wildcats pulling off the upset seven times in their last eight games as a Big Ten underdog. Now, as they look to replace Clayton Thorson at quarterback, Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson and TJ Green, last year’s back-up, are in a battle to keep pulling off more upsets.


25.

SYRACUSE  

39 15
After a sluggish couple of years, the Orange finished 10-3 in 2018, the program’s first double-digit win total since 2001. They also took home a 34-18 victory over West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl. With a schedule packed with likely wins (aside from playing the defending National Champs), Syracuse has a real shot at making another 10-win season.



Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State (34), USC (30), Virginia Tech (20), Washington State (16), Missouri (12), Iowa State (12), Mississippi State (5).


 

About the Poll: Twenty LWOCFB writers ranked the Top 25 teams across the nation to determine the best teams from around the country for the preseason poll.

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