A few days ago, CBS Sports released their first set of college football rankings of 2019:
So, clearly the first 4 teams in the list are givens. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if we see Clemson vs. Alabama in the title game once again. Oklahoma has pretty much run the Big 12 for years, and they don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, especially with Jalen Hurts looking VERY good in the Sooners’ spring game.
Georgia has been nipping at Bama’s heels for the past few years and I don’t think this year will be any different, especially now that Jake Fromm is entering his third year as the starter in Athens. I think it’s safe to say it’ll be a Georgia-Bama rematch in the SEC Championship.
LSU comes in at #5, which I don’t think is that much of a stretch. Coach Ed Orgeron, the human embodiment of the state of Louisiana and my second favorite head coach in the nation, will be at the helm of a very competitive Tigers squad. They looked really strong this past season, at least until getting shut out by the Crimson Tide 29-0. Losing players like Greedy Williams and Devin White to the Draft will be tough to cope with, but I don’t think it’ll be too much to overcome.
Ohio State comes in at #6, which I can’t say is that much of a surprise, at least to start the season. I don’t personally think they’ll end up that high, but only because it’s Ryan Day’s first year as the head coach in Columbus. The Big Ten East is one of the most competitive divisions in football, and I won’t be surprised if it takes Day a season or two to get the Buckeyes back to their dominant ways, even with Justin Fields under center.
Then we get to Texas and Michigan… two teams that, along with Notre Dame, always see to come in ranked higher than they should be. Sam Ehlinger is good, but I still don’t buy the Longhorns being ranked #8. Especially when they always lose to teams like Maryland in the first few weeks of the season. They’re close, but I don’t think Texas is “BACK” just yet.
Michigan is another team that always gets high praise entering the year. Last year, they were knocked down a few pegs after getting handily beat by Notre Dame in Week 1. Now, they came back strong after that and won 10 straight. But Harbaugh still can’t beat the Buckeyes, which still gives me pause when considering the Wolverines’ playoff chances. My prediction? Another 9-3 season with a loss to Ohio State. Sorry, Jimmy.
The first shock, at least for me, in the rankings comes with Nebraska coming in at #17. I get it, Scott Frost has done a great job recuriting and sophomore QB Adrian Martinez is getting Heisman hype. I still think putting them this high is jumping the gun a bit. It takes more than just one season to completely turn a program around. And trust me, after Bo Pelini left Nebraska, the program was a dumpster fire. Scott Frost seems to have taken the right steps towards a rebuild, but I think these expectations are just a BIT too high. Even playing in the worse Big Ten division doesn’t guarantee a great record, especially with teams like Northwestern and Iowa never being an easy W. Let’s pump the brakes on the Huskers, CBS. I’m not quite ready for Lil’ Red to be back in the spotlight.
My Nittany Lions come in at #20, which I can’t say is a shock. I will say, however, that the Penn State defense will most likely be a force to be reckoned with this year. Yetur Gross-Matos is being projected as a first round pick, and the rest of the young defense got TONS of experience last year. Micah Parsons will have another great year, and I’m predicting that he’ll be one of the leading tacklers in the country. After Tommy Stevens announced he’ll be transferring, it’s Sean Clifford’s show now at quarterback, which I’m stoked for. Clifford had flashes of brilliance last year, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does with a full body of work.
The last thing I noticed on this set of rankings was that Washington State came in at #21. Gardner Minshew will be hard to replace at QB, but you can never count this man out.
Only 113 days until college football is back… and only 113 days until my withdrawal shakes stop.