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Pacific Takes Early 2018 Top 25 post-early entries edition: Stanford sneaks into Top 10

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The return of Bryce Love and Myles Gaskin boosts Stanford and Washington going into 2018

NCAA Football: Las Vegas Bowl-Boise State vs Oregon Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Penn State
  7. Miami
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Auburn
  10. Stanford - Bryce Love’s shocking return makes Stanford the Pac-12 favorite to me as long as K.J. Costello continues to come into his own and the offensive line maintains the improvement they showed in 2017. The defense will be a massive question with arguably its three best players leaving, but the offense carried them in 2017 anyways and should be even better in 2018.
  11. Washington - I had Washington at number 10 with Myles Gaskin’s somewhat surprising return, but that got trumped by Love’s return. The Huskies are still a serious Playoff contender in 2018, especially if senior tackle Trey Adams comes back healthy, along with some other major pieces that were hurt in 2017. A senior Kevin Hogan-like renaissance for Jake Browning could also vault the Huskies into the Top Four as well.
  12. Michigan State
  13. Michigan
  14. West Virginia
  15. USC - The Trojans are still talented, and pretty experienced, but they always are and they have to find a new quarterback this year and were not much higher than 15 with Sam Darnold in 2017. Questions still linger about Clay Helton but the talent and experience USC returns in 2018 still makes them a Top 15 team.
  16. Mississippi State
  17. TCU
  18. Texas
  19. LSU
  20. UCF
  21. Boise State
  22. Florida State
  23. Notre Dame
  24. Virginia Tech
  25. Oregon - I would have the Ducks about six or seven spots better than this had they not laid an egg in the Las Vegas Bowl. The offense was deadly (outside of the LV Bowl) with a healthy Justin Herbert and only loses a few (albeit key) pieces and returns almost an entire defense that was solid for a lot of the year.

Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Memphis, Northwestern, Utah