NCAA Football: Predicting the Preseason Top 10
Tune-up the band because College Football is right around the corner. That means it’s time to start looking forward to the 2019 season. After the ups and downs of 2018, this season looks to be as exciting as ever. Can Clemson repeat as National Champions or will there be a surprise team holding the crystal ball? Here are my 2019 NCAA Football preseason top 10 predictions.
10) UCF Knights – American Athletic Conference
There are definitely some uncertainties around this UCF team. The biggest being who’s under center. McKenzie Milton looks to return to the field after the devastating knee injury he sustained just a year ago but maybe lucky to ever play again. Darriel Mack Jr.who many had penciled in as the starter has broken his ankle and will miss the 2019 season. That in itself makes things interesting for the Knights. But if there’s one team that could battle through this adversity it’d be this UCF team.
9) Texas Longhorns – Big 12
The Longhorns come into 2019 with something to prove. They want to prove that they’re back and ready to play for a National Championship. This years group is led by Junior Quarterback Sam Ehlinger who is ready to build on his success from a season ago. Above all, this could be a big year for the Longhorns with a very winnable schedule. They will compete with Oklahoma for the Big 12 title and may push the Sooners to the brink. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be struggles in Austin as their group of receivers is primarily composed of Freshman. They’ll really need Ehlinger to step up and lead these guys to a possible Big 12 championship.
8) Florida Gators – SEC
The Gators are much like the Longhorns. A program that has a ton of winning history but hasn’t been relevant in quite some time. Junior Quarterback Feleipe Franks looks to change that narrative. Franks had a decent 2018 but looks to improve on that and make the Gators National Champions again. Florida went 10-3 a season ago finishing 2nd in the SEC East. This season the Gators have possibly the toughest schedule in the SEC. If Franks doesn’t live up to his expectations it could be a long season in the.
7) Georgia Bulldogs – SEC
The Bulldogs have a sour taste in their mouth after losing in the SEC Championship game to rival Alabama. This years team is solid all around. Both quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift which are both major parts in the offense. The Dogs have a tough conference schedule but outside of that is relatively weak. By midseason, Georgia could and should be a top 4 team
6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Independent
The Fighting Irish had a spectacular 2018 but will it translate to 2019? They had an undefeated season a year ago but got blown out by Clemson in the playoffs. While many can argue that Notre Dame should be a top 4 team the fact that they’re an Independent school hurts them. Quarterback Ian Book returns this year but will need to improve if he wants to will his team back into the playoffs.
5) Lousiana State University Tigers – SEC
Predicting NCAA Footballs top 10 isn’t easy by any means. Neither is LSU’s schedule. LSU is now the third school from the SEC in my top 10 and for good reason. The Tigers went on a run a season ago beating a number of top 25 teams and reaching the top 4 before losing to Alabama. The Tigers return quarterback Joe Burrow who threw for almost 3000 yards a season ago and was a big part of LSU’s success. This is a loaded SEC maybe LSU can overcome the obstacles and be a winning program again. Above all this LSU team is anxious to bring success back to the bayou
4) Ohio State Buckeyes – Big 10
Ohio State missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Not only that but Head Coach Urban Meyer left the school. Meyer aside this is a different OSU team than a season ago. Dwayne Haskins and Parris Campbell left for the NFL, and quarterback Tate Martell transferred. The offense will run through junior running back J.K. Dobbins who had a solid year and could be a Heisman favorite this season. The starting quarterback is still a question mark but the Buckeyes did manage to land Justin Fields from the transfer portal this offseason. How Ohio State look in Ryan Day’s first season as Head Coach is yet to be seen. However, watch for OSU to be back in the playoffs.
3) Oklahoma Sooner – Big 12
Boomer Sooner! As the Sooners come into my preseason ranking at number 3. Even after the departure of Heisman winner Kyler Murray, this team will survive. Make that two years in a row that the Sooners lost a Heisman winner to the NFL and Oklahoma continues to impress. The Sooners brought in former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts who comes into Oklahoma battling for the starting job. The Sooners only loss in the regular season was to Big 12 rival Texas which will be another fun game this year. Oklahoma wants to get payback on Alabama after they lost to the Tide in the playoffs but may come up a bit short.
2) Alabama Crimson Tide – SEC
The Crimson Tide was a National Championship away from an undefeated season. Not only did they lose to Clemson in the title game, they got killed. Embarrassed maybe a better description and the Tide come into this season pissed off. Tua Tagoviloa returns as a starter and has a good chance to be the first pick in next years NFL draft. Nick Saban wants at least one more before it’s time for him to hang in up but can this Alabama team could easily bring it to him. Alabama seems like a safe pick for at least one playoff spot if not a spot in the National Championship game.
1) Clemson Tigers – ACC
The Tigers absolutely dismantled Alabama in the National Championship game and could repeat this year. Is Dabo Swinney the next Nick Saban? As a fan of a Big 10 team who has no bias in this, the answer is clearly yes. Trevor Lawrence is back as a fulltime starter and more than likely your Heisman favorite because of his performance against Alabama. Clemson is a scary team on both sides of the ball and should be your number one team through the season. In other words, Clemson is not only the preseason number 1 but they are also the favorites for the National Championship.
Predicting the preseason top 10 is harder than one would imagine with as many talented teams as there are in the NCAA this year. There could be some surprise teams come week 1 or just the usual faces but let’s see how the 2019 season plays out. Certainly, we’ll be in for a good season as College Football fans let’s see who comes out on top.
How do you see the Top 10 in college football? Leave a comment below.
Drive the field with IroniqMedia for all of your NCAA coverage.
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevereed95.