- Ohio State
- USC - I slid Clemson ahead of USC because I was underrating Clemson in previous polls. The pressure is cooking at USC as the season approaches, but it is boiling in a pot loaded with NFL talent with a chef who showed down the stretch in 2016 that he could finally be the guy for USC. Having that kind of talent and a quarterback like Sam Darnold means the Trojans should start out in a Playoff slot.
- Washington - Remember, this was supposed to be Washington’s true breakout year because they were still super young last year. They return a combination of experience and talent that is as good as anyone’s in the country and a more-experienced Jake Browning and more-installed Chris Petersen system.
- Florida State
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Stanford - This feels right for Stanford. They are coming off 10 wins and should get better at quarterback and on the offensive line, even if they don’t have a complete replacement for Christian McCaffrey. The same could be said for their overall defense, replacing McCaffrey with Solomon Thomas.
- Kansas State
- Colorado - The Buffs have a great offensive roster and Steven Montez can pick up right where Sefo Liufau left off at QB in talent and skills. The question here is the defense. The Buffs have the potential to stay in the Top 25 if they can transition new starters in on defense and a new DC.
- South Florida
- Utah - I’m a little scared of how much personal Utah has to replace, but Kyle Whittingham has shown he can do it and their system is setup to transition in new starters. I think they have shown enough to warrant a spot in the preseason Top 25.
- Washington State - Arguably the nation’s best senior quarterback really helps bolster the Cougs into the Top 25. A team that can move the ball the way they do with a solid defense is enough to make them a Top 25 team for now.
On The Edge
UCLA, Oregon, Boise State, Minnesota, West Virginia