Football is back! The Preseason AP Top 25 Poll was released on Monday. With several questions regarding top teams and some surprise exclusions, here are a few takeaways, as well as the full rankings.
Wisconsin ahead of the Big Ten field may surprise some, but its roster experienced probably the least overturn of any in the top 25 and has the best running back-offensive line combo in the country. Will Grier will look to lead West Virginia’s charge for the Big 12 Championship Game, supported by college football’s leading touchdown receiver in 2017, David Sills. UCF lost legitimate stars off its Peach Bowl-winning roster, not to mention coach Scott Frost, so their inclusion in the top 25 may be hopeful.
As far as candidates to finish the season higher than they are in this first poll, there are a few in the top 25 as well as some receiving votes currently. The fifth Big Ten team in the initial poll, I expect Michigan to move up by the end of the season with transfer quarterback Shea Patterson expected to take over. Oregon won’t get far unless quarterback Justin Herbert stays healthy, but if he does the Ducks can win the Pac-12.
Among teams outside the poll that are receiving votes, Florida, FAU and Texas A&M stand out. Dan Mullen’s return to The Swamp should boast positive results for the Gators, but I’m not sure they can overtake Georgia in the SEC East this year. FAU was one of the stories of college football in Lane Kiffin’s first year, and his high-scoring team will torment Conference USA opponents once again. The Owls could very well be this year’s UCF. Lastly, Jimbo Fisher was possibly the biggest addition to any program in the country, and despite the lack of stability at quarterback recently, I’m a little shocked the Aggies didn’t sneak into the last few spots.
Click on your favorite team’s link to find tickets to the game of your choice!