The Rules: No Bias, No Bull
There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Preseason Top 10 Rankings. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.
I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.
There are two Power 5 games in the books, but neither one affected my college football preseason top 10.
Despite the Florida Gators being ranked #8 in the AP poll, they looked nothing like a top 10 team. In fact, the Gators looked more like a team that will finish with 3-4 losses this season.
College Football Preseason Top 10 Rankings:
10. Washington Huskies
The Huskies entire season rests on one man’s shoulders, Jacob Eason. Chris Pedersen always has his defense ready to roll. They have a cupcake “SEC- like” non-conference schedule. Navigating the brutal Pac-12 North schedule plus USC and Utah won’t be easy. But, if they can come out with undefeated or 1 loss against Oregon (if they beat Auburn) the Huskies have a shot at the CFB Playoff.
9. Michigan Wolverines
Is this the year Michigan and Jim Harbaugh finally get over the O-H-I-O mountain? If not, the Wolverine faithful will start to grow impatient. It is hard to imagine a world where they win the Big Ten and don’t finish the committee’s top 4. Jim Harbaugh has to prioritize the offense and scoring points more. He thought he could win with a great defense and mediocre offense, but those days in college football are over. Just ask Les Miles…
8. Oregon Ducks
Are the Oregon Ducks back? We shall see Aug. 31 against Auburn. Anything but a win for the Ducks will throw a wet blanket over the Pac-12’s playoff chances in 2019. There is a lot of buzz surrounding Justin Herbert and the Ducks offensive line. Now they have to go prove the analyst correct. Mario Cristobal has an opportunity to put his stamp on the program this season.
Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast Pac-12 Apostles:
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Their berth in the College Football Playoff in 2018 means the Fighting Irish are back consistently in the national conversation. Their schedule always puts them in a position to get in the CFB Playoff. Games against Georgia, USC, Michigan, and Stanford won’t be easy. The next step is to win their first national championship since 1988.
6. Georgia Bulldogs
Every year “experts” say this is Georgia’s year to knock off Alabama. Will it happen? It sure seems like they have the firepower to do so. But, the Bulldogs have to get that killer instinct and will to want it just a little more than Alabama. They can’t get to looking too far down the road on their schedule because Notre Dame will be looking for revenge to their 20-19 loss in 2017.
5. Texas Longhorns
There is only one thing standing in way of Texas… Oklahoma. Their QB Sam Ehlinger sets the tone for this team with his rushing and passing. Coming into the season, the Big 12 has two of the five best teams in college football. We should be talking about the Big 12 getting two teams in the playoff this season. They will get a ton of national respect if they can knock off LSU on 9/7.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
New coach, same old Buckeyes. And I mean that in a good way. Confidence is really high in Ohio State because Ryan Day got to test drive the car last year and he didn’t crash it. The team is still supremely talented with a Charmin non-conference so unless their dominance is spectacular they will have a hard time moving up the rankings until Big ten play.
3. Oklahoma Sooners
Lincoln Riley has made everyone a believer since he took over head coaching duties after Bob Stoops retirement. I am not an Oklahoma fan but part of me is rooting for them because of Jalen Hurts. He deserves praise for the way he handled the situation with Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama. He deserves to be handsomely rewarded for that.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is Alabama. They are well-coached and supremely talented. However, their non-conference schedule is so bad that truthfully they don’t deserve to be in the top 5 until they win some SEC games. I feel bad for their fans that for the last two seasons. After this season they will have had to watch 8 games out of 24 games be non-competitive. I believe that is why Bama got their doors blown off by Clemson last year in the national championship. They were not battle-tested. Same problem this season, but can Nick Saban overcome that?
1. Clemson Tigers
Dabo Swinney has turned Clemson into the class of college football. They are big, fast, physical, and extremely likable (except to South Carolina and Bama fans). Trevor Lawrence is back under center and he gives them a chance to repeat as champs. Clemson plays their ACC schedule plus Texas A&M and South Carolina. It will be hard to find a scenario where an undefeated or 1-loss Clemson doesn’t make the College Football Playoff or is not atop the College Football Power Rankings.
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