College Football Top 25 (10-6)

By: Dan Magers

25. Florida

24. Miami

23. Oregon

22. UCLA

21. Oklahoma St

20. Louisville

19. Iowa

18. Washington

17. TCU

16. Michigan St

15. Ole Miss

14. Baylor

13. Tennessee

12. Houston

11. Ohio St

 

10. USC

2015 Record: 8-6, 6-3 (Pac 12)

USC is one of the favorites to win the Pac 12 this year. They return ten guys on offense and six on defense. The offensive side should be very dominate this year with Juju Smith-Schuster leading the way, but with Cody Kessler gone, Max Browne will have to step up at quarterback. Browne lacks experience, and that is something they are really going to need with one of the toughest schedules in the country. The defense has a couple question marks mostly on the line, but Adoree Jackson is back to lead the way for an experienced secondary. So if the Trojans can get through a tough schedule, then they might find themselves in the Playoff.

2016 Prediction: 10-2
Best Win: Stanford

 

 

9. Stanford

2015 Record: 12-2, 8-1 (Pac 12)

Stanford is the other favorite to win the Pac 12 title. They have maybe the best rushing offense in the country led by a Heisman candidate in Christian McCaffrey. But they lose a key leader with Kevin Hogan gone. Keller Chryst will have to fill that needed position at quarterback. The defense returns six starters including linebacker Peter Kalambayi. Though, the Cardinal will have to fill some big names if they want in Playoff discussions.

2016 Prediction: 10-2
Best Win: UCLA

 

 

8. Georgia

2015 Record: 10-3, 5-3 (SEC)

It’s another year for the Bulldogs with a top notch running back, but can they keep him healthy? Nick Chubb is the key to Georgia’s success this year. He went down during the year last season, and they were never the same. They return fourteen total starters and the best freshman quarterback in Jacob Eason. The defense is led by 2015 All-Conference safety Dominick Sanders and an experienced secondary. So if the Bulldogs can stay healthy, then they might have a shot at the SEC title.

2016 Prediction: 11-1
Best Win: Tennessee

 

 

7. Notre Dame

2015 Record: 10-3

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were a total of four points away from an undefeated regular season last year. They lost to Clemson on a failed two point conversion and to Stanford on a last second field goal. It doesn’t get much more devastating. This year they don’t return a ton of starters, although they get back two of the best quarterbacks in the country along with the best offensive line in the country. The defense has a lot of talent coming back, but they’re going to need to step up this year after a season of up and downs in 2015. Nyles Morgan is projected to have a breakout year after the loss of Joe Schmidt and Jaylon Smith at linebacker. The biggest question is the receiving core after the loss of four key wideouts so guys will really need to step up this year. But if the Irish can do some damage in a more favorable schedule than last year, then they should see themselves in the playoff.

2016 Prediction: 11-1
Best Win: USC

 

 

6. Michigan

2015 Record: 10-3, 6-2 (Big 10)

Michigan is a team on the rise in 2016. After hiring coach Jim Harbough, recruiting has been amazing. They just got the number one player this past year in Rashan Gary and one of the top recruiting classes. The Wolverines return fifteen starters after a 10-3 year beating Florida in the Citrus Bowl. Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis anchor a solid defense coming back. There is a huge question at quarterback though with Rudock gone and leaving O’Korn or Speight to fill a key spot. So if Michigan can figure out their quarterback play, then they could find themselves in Indianapolis on championship weekend.

2016 Prediction: 10-2
Best Win: Ohio St
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