College Football Best
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S BEST OF THE BUNCH
It only seems as if the Alabama Crimson Tide starts each/every single College Football season sittin' there at #1 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 - they did last year but didn't win the national championship - and so no shockeroo that 'Bama is there at #1 to start off this 2017 campaign.
Okay, it might be a bit surprising to discover that Alabama collected 52 of the possible 61 first-place votes - the country's #2, #3 and #4 teams gobbled up the rest - but Tide-haters believe that Nick Saban's crew could be bopped right out of the top spot with that season-opening game against #3 Florida State (in Atlanta).
Here's the upper crust of the preseason AP Top 25 and a quickie comment on each team (we'll touch on the others later this week here in Jim Sez):
1 - ALABAMA ... One of six SEC teams to land in preseason top 25 but QB Jalen Hurts may have to "rescue" his club if the Crimson Tide's defense falls off.
2 - OHIO STATE ... The Big 10 has just four Top 25 teams and Buckeyes are the best-balanced bunch of 'em all but they must finish the regular season at Ann Arbor, remember.
3 - FLORIDA STATE ... Better-than-you-think ACC has five teams in the top 25 mix but do these 'Noles trust QB Deondre Francois to make the big 4th-quarter play in the close ones?
4 - USC ... If you're keeping track, the Pac-12 has four Top 25 teams but Troy Boys have legit Heisman contender in kid QB Sam Darnold who is apple of every NFL team's eye and last year's momentum could help
5 - CLEMSON ... Last year's national champs will host Florida State on 11/11 and that could be "Game of the Year II" (behind Alabama-FSU, of course) and now Tigers say Kelly Bryant will inherit job from QB Deshaun Watson
6 - PENN STATE ... One-two punch of QB Trace McSorley and RB Saquon Barkley makes this most fun Nittany Lions team in decades and this Big 10 team might average better than 35 ppg
7 - OKLAHOMA ... The Bob Stoops-less Sooners are one of five Big 12 teams in this 25-squad mix and QB Baker Mayfield has designs on another NYC trip as a Heisman finalist.
8 - WASHINGTON ... The Huskies made it to the playoffs last year before getting vanquished by Alabama 24-7 in the "Peach Bowl" and word is QB Jake Browning is a lot more polished in this go-around