The finale of my preseason Top 25

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Welcome to the final installment on my college football preseason Top 25. Let’s get the finale underway, shall we?

16. Auburn – This is the make it or break it year for coach Gus Malzahn. Unfortunately, it is one of the hardest schedules in the SEC for the Tigers. If Auburn doesn’t remain competitive against LSU, Georgia or Alabama, the Gus Bus is heading for the junkyard. Auburn caught lightning in a bottle at the end of 2017 regular season. Do they have the same ingredients to do it again? It’ll certainly take a little bit of War Eagle magic.

17. Iowa – Iowa is here because I really like their quarterback, Nate Stanley, who is returning for another season with the Hawkeyes. The defense looks decent, too. I would love for this team to sneak up and surprise a sleepy Michigan or Penn State.

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18. Utah – The Utes have the massive benefit of being in the worst P5 division in college football. All this team needs to do is coast through an easy-peazy division schedule, it’ll be a trip to the Pac 12 championship against… Washington?

19. Nebraska – I think just about everyone in the country will have their eyes on Nebraska in coach Scott Frost’s second year with his Cornhuskers. The hype is growing, despite things getting awful and ugly last season. Frost is worshipped for what he did at UCF, but will he be able to get away with another lackluster season at his alma mater? Let’s watch and find out.

20. Michigan State – The Spartans seem to take every other year off, so I am predicting them to have a really strong season and give their Big 10 division rivals all sorts of fits. All areas of this team should be improved from last year.

21. UCF – Despite losing to LSU in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl and snapping its long win streak, the Golden Knights are still the scariest team for anyone to play, albeit not nearly as much as after they beat Auburn two seasons ago in the Peach Bowl. If quarterback McKenzie Milton is healthy, lookout.

22. Virginia Tech – I’m going to miss the announcers talking about that “classic Bud Foster defense” during Virginia Tech games. This season will mark the end of an era for the Hokies once the defensive coordinator retires in December. I see them going out with a bang, or at least staying competitive week after week in the ACC.

23. Missouri – Oh boy, where do I begin. Ah, how about former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant will be under center for the Tigers this season. I don’t know how well the kid is meshing with his new program, but Bryant is a talented quarterback, nonetheless, and will only enhance the already high-flying Mizzou offense. The SEC East should not sleep on this team for a second, or else it will be them sneaking back into the SEC Championship once again.

24. Boise State – The Broncos kick the season off in fashion when they travel to Florida State. Both these teams will be eager to prove something, so I am looking forward to a tone-setting game for each program’s season. The defense is stout, which might spell trouble for FSU if the Noles sputter out like they did a few times last year.

25. South Carolina – I’ll be perfectly honest on this one. The only reason I am putting South Carolina in my Top 25 is because one of my best friends went to graduate school there and he requested I include it. TJ, this one’s for you, dude. The Gamecocks have the hardest schedule in the country with games against Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida. Big yikes.

Well, that’s it. Any questions? I have one. Is it Labor Day Weekend yet?