College Football Rankings: Way-too-early Top 25 projections for 2018

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Alabama’s win over Georgia means it is now officially 2018 in college football. How might the preseason AP Top 25 look if it came out before the offseason?

In an overtime thriller at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Alabama rewarded the College Football Playoff selection committee’s choice of them for the No. 4 spot with a 26-23 overtime victory over SEC champion Georgia. The win gave Nick Saban his fifth national championship at Alabama and sixth overall as a head coach.

Now that the dust has begun to settle on the College Football Playoff National Championship, it is never too early to begin thinking about 2018. And what better way to get excited about the year to come than by projecting what the preseason AP Top 25 might look like when it is released eight months from now?

Projecting the preseason polls is always a bit of an inexact science. There are ways, though, to glean how either the AP pollsters or the College Football Playoff selection committee might do in a situation. The fact Alabama was even in this game to begin with is a good tip as to the course of precedent among the committee in future seasons.

But the CFP committee doesn’t release rankings until midseason. That’s why each of the past four seasons and counting have been split into projecting a mash of sometimes conflicting polls and rankings. The longest-running public poll in the sport is approaching its 83rd year of operation in 2018. With the bowl season results, the early signing period scores, and known departures for graduation or the NFL, we can suss where teams might land when the preseason AP Top 25 comes out in August.

Those pollsters will also have the benefit of spring-term practices, the annual spring scrimmages that have become big business in their own right, and early returns from fall camps to get a handle on where teams stand in the pecking order. But for now, let’s take the first in what will be several attempts at projecting the preseason AP poll over the course of the offseason.

Other teams considered

  • Texas Longhorns (7-6, won Texas Bowl 33-16 vs. Missouri)
  • Boise State Broncos (11-3, won Las Vegas Bowl 38-28 vs. Oregon)
  • Utah Utes (7-6, won Heart of Dallas Bowl 30-14 vs. West Virginia)
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-5, won Belk Bowl 55-52 vs. Texas A&M)
  • Iowa Hawkeyes (8-5, won Pinstripe Bowl 27-20 vs. Boston College)
  • Florida Atlantic Owls (11-3, won Boca Raton Bowl 50-3 vs. Akron)
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-4, won TaxSlayer Bowl 31-27 vs. Louisville