1. Ohio State
The Ducks have earned the right to be a preseason Top Five team every year no matter what they lose until proven otherwise. Their offense might not miss much of a beat if Jeff Lockie or Vernon Adams steps up at quarterback and Tyler Johnstone comes back healthy at tackle with how much talent they have at running back and receiver and they always seem to be able to field at least a pretty good defense. The Ducks also have a very favorable schedule. They might not be challenged until mid-November after their second week challenge at Michigan State and get their biggest Pac-12 competitor (USC) at home and avoid Arizona and UCLA.
6. Michigan State
Everyone seems to like USC over UCLA this year, but I just can't put them past the Bruins given how much ridiculous experienced talent the Bruins have all over the field except for quarterback. The Bruins would be my preseason #2 if Brett Hundley had come back. As long as the ultra-talented Josh Rosen can be reliable at quarterback, I think the Bruins are a major Playoff contender who also gets some help by having a favorable non-conference slate and missing out on Oregon.
The Trojans look as good as they have going into a season in a long time, but they still have too many questions marks (especially at coach) for me to put them in the Top 10. I like Cody Kessler and their offensive line, but they don't have much proven depth at skill positions outside of Juju Smith. I actually might like their defense a little bit more, but they still do lack a little bit of depth after their starters and will have to rely on a lot of really young players.
12. Notre Dame
13. Florida State
15. Arizona State
The Sun Devils are a Top 15, maybe even Top 10 team to me as long as Mike Bercovici plays like he did as a fill-in in 2014. Bercovici has an excellent interior offensive line, developing stars at running back and a versatile playmaker in D.J. Foster to work with on offense and the defense is experienced across the board with Todd Graham's type of athletes. I wouldn't be shocked if they end up winning the South.
17. Georgia Tech
I'm putting a lot of faith in Stanford's ability to reload on defense because they lost a ton of talent and experience. They have talented players stepping in and they should be fine. The offense would get a lot of help if Kevin Hogan takes his game to the next level and their talented offensive line fulfills their potential. Even if they don't, the offense still should be steady enough to get the Cardinal to 10 wins if their defense reloads.
Everyone seems to have already forgotten that the Wildcats won the South since their two post-season games were such disasters. The most thing returning for the Wildcats is Rich Rodriguez' proven system but a promising young quarterback/running back combo in Anu Solomon and Nick Wilson along with a great fleet of receivers doesn't hurt either. The defense might be more questionable, but having the nation's best defensive player in Scooby Wright back should go a long ways.
24. Oklahoma State
I don't really like any team after my Top 20 that much, but I think Utah has real potential. They have some great pieces returning on the front of a defense that was very tough in 2014, one of the nation's best running backs in Devontae Booker and some stability on the offensive line. They have a lot of flaws, but the bar is pretty low to crack the back of the Top 25 preseason.