The 2019 Pre-Season USA Today Top 25 was released on Thursday afternoon, and Notre Dame checked in at #9 marking the first time they are starting the season in the top 10 since, gasp, 2016 when they were also ranked 9th to start the season.
We’ll get to Notre Dame’s ranking in a minute, but first off, the top 5 look good to me. The first 2 are obvious locks with Clemson and Alabama the clear tier 1 teams in college football.
You could make an argument that Georgia is overrated again, but they have been close to beating Alabama for two years running now and return Jake Fromm. I’d probably have Oklahoma rated a little higher since they are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and have a QB in Jalen Hurts that has beaten UGA before. Ohio State has a new coach and QB, but they are the best team in the Big Ten again, so 5 seems right for them.
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The next 3 of LSU, Michigan and Florida all seem overrated to me. LSU isn’t beating Alabama, and they will lose at least three games with Ed Orgeron coaching. Michigan is a joke and overrated as usual. I could see them losing to Army early. Harbaugh and company will lose at least four games this season. Florida is getting some hype because they killed a wounded Michigan team in the Peach Bowl, but I don’t see them beating UGA. They could drop multiple games to teams like Mizzou and South Carolina.
Notre Dame at 9th is underrated. I would have them around 6th at the lowest with Ian Book back and the potential of a great defense returning. Texas also should be ranked higher than 10 with QB Sam Ehlinger back and one of the best young coaches in the game Tom Herman. Herman already has impressive resume wins over Oklahoma and Georgia.
The Aggies at #11 seems accurate. Their schedule is challenging, but if anybody can beat Clemson this season, it’s Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. They nearly did it last season.
— SportsCrack Apparel (@sportscrack) July 24, 2019
Washington and Oregon are the two best ranked PAC-12 teams. It will be interesting to see what Jacob Eason does for the Huskies. I wasn’t that impressed with his accuracy at UGA. Everybody loves Justin Herbert at Oregon but do the Ducks have enough defense to beat Washington? I’m not so sure, and I actually like Utah better than the Huskies and Ducks this season. Just a gut feeling but I think the Utes win the PAC-12 so them at #15 seems too low.
A third Notre Dame opponent, Stanford checks in at #23 after somewhat of a down year for them in 2018. There is a good chance that they will not be ranked by the time Notre Dame travels to Palo Alto to close out the regular season.
Penn State still has James Franklin coaching. I’d have them borderline top 25 and most certainly not top 15.
The rest of the top 25 starting with Auburn at #16 seems accurate. It’s rather sad to see teams like Nebraska, Miami and USC not ranked preseason. The Hurricanes are in for a long season with a new coach. I think Nebraska and USC will be top 20 teams this year because they both have excellent QBs and it’s not like they don’t have talent at other positions. Frost will get Nebraska at least 9 wins this season and USC should win at least nine too with the amount of 5-star talent they got on their roster.
Also, when Army beats Michigan, they will jump into the top 25. Write that down.