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  • midswat
    started a topic 2018 College Football Chatter

    2018 College Football Chatter

    SN's pre-preseason top 25 for 2018

    The 2017-18 season ended with the College Football Playoff championship game between Alabama and Georgia on Monday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

    That doesn't mean it's too early to look ahead to the 2018 college football top 25 rankings. Keep in mind that last year's way-too-early top 25 had all four playoff teams — and four New Year's Day Six teams — in the top 10.

    With that in mind, here is a look at Sporting News' pre-preseason top 25 rankings for 2018:

    25. Texas A&M Aggies

    Jimbo Fisher has arrived, and that's going to raise the bar in College Station to its highest point since the Aggies joined the SEC West in 2012. Some patience is required. The Fisher era starts with an early showdown against Clemson — and Dabo Swinney — that has College GameDay written all over it.

    24. Memphis Tigers

    Mike Norvell opted to stay at Memphis after the Tigers' 10-3 season, good news for an AAC program in the hunt for that New Year's Day Six berth. Memphis loses key playmakers on offense, but there's a reason Norvell stayed: This team can compete again.

    23. South Carolina Gamecocks

    Florida and Tennessee are breaking in first-year coaches, so this is a unique opportunity for Will Muschamp to lead the Gamecocks to a breakthrough in the SEC East. Quarterback Jake Bentley is back and should continue to improve with his supporting cast, too.

    22. Texas Longhorns

    Tom Herman returns after leading the Longhorns to a bowl win in his first season. Sam Ehlinger is a quarterback the program can build around. Texas lost to USC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by a combined 11 points; can the Longhorns close that gap next year?

    21. UCF Knights

    Scott Frost is back at Nebraska, but incoming coach Josh Heupel inherits a fun, talented team led by quarterback McKenzie Milton. A September showdown against Florida Atlantic will be huge for the Group of 5.

    20. Oklahoma State Cowboys

    The Cowboys lose the star connection of Mason Rudolph and James Washington, but Mike Gundy decided to stay in Stillwater despite a push from Tennessee. There will be growing pains, but the Cowboys will figure things out.

    19. Florida State Seminoles

    First-year coach Willie Taggart inherits a talented team. Deondre Francois' return, coupled with the emergence of star running back Cam Akers, should make that transition easier. Will the Seminoles get back to competing for an ACC championship? Those are the expectations Taggart faces every year now.

    18. TCU Horned Frogs

    Highly touted dual-threat quarterback Shawn Robinson will take over a team capable of making a run back to the Big 12 championship game. An early test against Ohio State on Sept. 15 will be telling.

    17. Michigan Wolverines

    Too high? The arrival of Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson could be the missing piece that allows Jim Harbaugh to silence the critics after a disappointing five-loss season. To be honest, we wanted to go higher, but the Wolverines' schedule — which features road games at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State — leaves them with a lot to prove.

    16. Michigan State Spartans

    Brian Lewerke emerged as Michigan State's quarterback of the future in 2017, and that was the key to another successful season — and remarkable turnaround — in 2017 under Mark Dantonio. Running back LJ Scott is returning, and Ohio State and Michigan must visit East Lansing. As Dantonio likes to say, “It's never over."

    15. Virginia Tech Hokies

    Justin Fuente didn't entertain some big-time coaching openings in the offseason, a testament to his commitment to Blacksburg. The Hokies have proven they're good enough to compete for the ACC championship game again. They'll have to build around quarterback Josh Jackson to take the next step.

    14. Stanford Cardinal

    Running back K.J. Costello's continued development is imperative, especially if Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love declares for the NFL Draft. The Cardinal are always in the mix with David Shaw, but the September schedule is tough, with San Diego State and USC at home followed by road games at Oregon and Notre Dame.

    13. LSU Tigers

    Ed Orgeron kept the Tigers moving in the right direction in 2017, and the quarterback competition between Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse will be the focus of the offseason. The Tigers play Miami at Jerry World in the opener and have crossover games against Florida and Georgia in consecutive weeks. We'll know enough about this team before Alabama comes to Baton Rouge on Nov. 3.

    12. USC Trojans

    Sam Darnold is leaving for the NFL, so the focus will be on the quarterback battle among Matt Fink, Jack Sears and Thomas Holden. Running back Stephen Carr should have a breakout season, however, and coach Clay Helton has reestablished a winning culture within the program.

    11. Washington Huskies

    Chris Petersen has built a consistent winner at Washington. That will be tested when the Huskies and four-year starter Jake Browning take on Auburn in the season-opener in Atlanta.

    10. Penn State Nittany Lions

    The Nittany Lions were four points away over two games from an undefeated season. James Franklin continues to build through recruiting. Penn State, however, must deal with the loss of Saquon Barkley, along with finding a new offensive coordinator to replace Joe Moorhead. But we like running back Miles Sanders' breakout potential. How much pressure will that put on quarterback Trace McSorley if he returns?

    9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    A November that saw the Irish go 2-2 overshadowed a 10-3 season, and the offensive line must replace two All-Americans in Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. Brandon Wimbush has a talented group of receivers with which to work, and that's an area of development that could put Notre Dame over the top.

    8. Auburn Tigers

    Gus Malzhan opted to stay at Auburn, and with good reason. There's enough talent on both sides of the ball to repeat as SEC West champions, and perhaps finish the job this time around. Jarrett Stidham is back, but leading rushers Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway are gone and the defense loses Jeff Holland and Carlton Davis to the NFL. The Tigers do have to travel to Tuscaloosa and Athens this time around.

    7. Miami Hurricanes

    Mark Richt and the Hurricanes arrived earlier than expected this year and — despite three losses to end the season — should be back in ACC contention with Malik Rosier and a core that includes running back Travis Homer and cornerback Malek Young. Miami's nonconference schedule features a monster opener against LSU at Jerry World and a road trip to Toledo.

    6. Wisconsin Badgers

    Wisconsin returns quarterback Alex Hornibrook and star running back Jonathan Taylor. Paul Chryst continues to improve the skill positions while following a familiar pattern with the offensive line and defense. The next step is finishing the job at the Big Ten championship game. If the Badgers can do that for the first time since 2012, they'll make the Playoff once and for all.

    5. Oklahoma Sooners

    Lincoln Riley couldn't have done a better job replacing Bob Stoops, but the Sooners will lose Baker Mayfield to the NFL and a few other key pieces. Kyler Murray — a Texas high school legend — should be ready to take the job, but early tests against Florida Atlantic (yes, really) and UCLA accelerate that learning curve.

    4. Ohio State Buckeyes

    Dwayne Haskins has the early lead on what promises to be a fierce quarterback battle in Columbus, and Urban Meyer faces the usual attrition to the NFL Draft. J.K. Dobbins and Nick Bosa are back, however, and Ohio State is still the team to beat in the Big Ten despite trips to TCU, Penn State and Michigan State.

    3. Georgia Bulldogs

    The Bulldogs were one of the big winners at the NFL Draft entry deadline last year. The defending SEC champions now have holes to fill, but the offense can build around sophomore Jake Fromm. Kirby Smart has what looks like the nation's top class coming in, however, and the Bulldogs are in great position in the SEC East.

    2. Clemson Tigers

    Business as usual for Dabo Swinney. The Tigers will suffer losses to the NFL Draft, but Kelly Bryant is back, running back Travis Etienne is a value pick for the Heisman Trophy and the defensive line can re-tool around Dexter Lawrence. The arrival of five-star freshmen Trevor Lawrence and Xavier Thomas only reinforces the point: Clemson isn't going anywhere.

    1. Alabama Crimson Tide

    Yes, we put Alabama at No. 1 again. Chances are it will be atop the preseason polls that come out in August. Nick Saban may have a QB controversy between Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, but he's working with the same talented stable of skill position players. One possible concern: Saban will be working with his third different defensive coordinator in four seasons.

    Others receiving votes: Mississippi State, Louisville, Florida Atlantic, Arizona.

  • Plan9Misfit
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post

    Murray is listed at 5’ 11” . He has grown some since his high school days. The last time I saw him in person was his senior year and he was about 5’ 9”. I saw him again ai the Big 12 championship game and he was a little taller and had put on a lot of muscle.


    He’s not 5’’ 11””. Dwayne Haskins is 6’’ 3”” and dwarfs Murray. Murray is lucky to be 5’’ 9””. Tua, by the way, is 6’’ 1””. There’s no way in hell that he’s just 2 inches taller than Murray.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cowboysrock55
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post
    Come to think of it I don’t know if last season was his senior year I think he has another year of eligibility.
    Kyler Murray does.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Come to think of it I don’t know if last season was his senior year I think he has another year of eligibility.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    A
    Originally posted by NoDak View Post

    Drew Brees is actually 6 ft, tho. He was measured at 6' 1/4" at the combine. I really doubt that Murray measures in at 5' 11" at the combine, even though Oklahoma lists him at that.

    Guess we'll find out for sure at the end of February. If he goes to the combine, that is.
    I guess so. His junior year he was about an inch shorter than Mayfield. His senior year he grew some and muscled up a lot.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoDak
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post

    I’m not promoting anything. I am just relating information. It what he is listed at the same way Brees is listed at 6 ft.
    Drew Brees is actually 6 ft, tho. He was measured at 6' 1/4" at the combine. I really doubt that Murray measures in at 5' 11" at the combine, even though Oklahoma lists him at that.

    Guess we'll find out for sure at the end of February. If he goes to the combine, that is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cowboysrock55
    replied
    Originally posted by skidadl View Post

    He was taken in the 2nd. Also, Brees is 6’ while Murray might literally be 5’8
    Brees is definitely taller but he was drafted at a different time in the league. If Brees was in this draft I have no doubt he would be a first rounder. I mean in hindsight Brees should have been the top pick. 20 years ago Baker Mayfield probably doesn't go in the first round. The league has changed a lot which is why Murray even with limited height is going to go pretty high in this draft.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by skidadl View Post

    I'm just messin with ya, pops.
    It all cool.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by NoDak View Post

    Doesn't matter. It's still the second round. There is a big difference between the last pick of the first round, and the first pick of the 2nd. Price, length of contract, etc...
    Yeah I know it’s the second round for that year but numerically the 32nd pick is usually the last pick of the first round and that is why I said it was essentially the first round..

    Leave a comment:


  • skidadl
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post

    I’m not promoting anything. I am just relating information. It what he is listed at the same way Brees is listed at 6 ft.
    I'm just messin with ya, pops.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by skidadl View Post

    Eh, I doubt seriously that he's 5'11. Ain't no way IMO.

    I know you are a double homer though with the Allen and OU connection which enough to cause anyone's head to burst.
    I’m not promoting anything. I am just relating information. It what he is listed at the same way Brees is listed at 6 ft.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoDak
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post
    Bree’s was drafted 32 overall which is essentially the first round.
    Doesn't matter. It's still the second round. There is a big difference between the last pick of the first round, and the first pick of the 2nd. Price, length of contract, etc...

    Leave a comment:


  • skidadl
    replied
    Originally posted by L.T. Fan View Post

    Murray is listed at 5’ 11” . He has grown some since his high school days. The last time I saw him in person was his senior year and he was about 5’ 9”. I saw him again ai the Big 12 championship game and he was a little taller and had put on a lot of muscle.
    Eh, I doubt seriously that he's 5'11. Ain't no way IMO.

    I know you are a double homer though with the Allen and OU connection which enough to cause anyone's head to burst.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Bree’s was drafted 32 overall which is essentially the first round.

    Leave a comment:


  • L.T. Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by skidadl View Post

    He was taken in the 2nd. Also, Brees is 6’ while Murray might literally be 5’8
    Murray is listed at 5’ 11” . He has grown some since his high school days. The last time I saw him in person was his senior year and he was about 5’ 9”. I saw him again ai the Big 12 championship game and he was a little taller and had put on a lot of muscle.

    Leave a comment:

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