Posted on August 3, 2017, by Travis Pulver
It’s a beautiful time of year. Training camps are in progress across the nation. Hundreds of the best college athletes in the nation are preparing to do battle every Saturday (and the occasional Thursday, Friday, and Monday) for the next few months with one goal in mind—being crowned national champions at the end of the season.
To whet our appetites for the action that is just a few short weeks away, the Coaches Poll has been kind enough to release its preseason top 25 with few (if any) surprises.
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- Southern California
- Penn State
The top 10 is loaded with the usual suspects. Anyone that thought Alabama would be anything other than No. 1 must not follow football very much. Ohio State’s squad was talented but inexperienced last season. This season, they are talented and experienced and should do well. Florida State will get a good sense how good life is without Dalvin Cook when it faces Alabama in Week One. If Sam Darnold can pick up where he left off, USC will be fun to watch.
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To some, it may be shocking to see the reigning champs down at No. 5, but Clemson has a lot of key spots to fill. With other teams stacked with experience and talent, they deserve to be in front of the Tigers.
- Oklahoma State
- Kansas State
- West Virginia
If there is any team destined to move up quickly it is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have most of the pieces of an extremely high-powered offense coming back including a guy with Heisman potential, quarterback Mason Rudolph. Should Baker Mayfield struggle to produce with his new backfield and receivers, the Cowboys will be happy to jump into the top ten when the Sooners fall out.
- South Florida
- Virginia Tech
It feels like a bit of a stretch to include Texas in the top 25 at this point. The Longhorns have not been good in years and were not very good last year. Yes, they have the latest up and coming head coach in Tom Herman. But they also lost a major contributor on offense to the NFL draft, running back D’Onta Foreman.
Do they have talent on the roster? Of course, they do. But do they have more than teams that finished with better records last year like Nebraska, North Carolina State, Boise State, or Colorado? No.
With Willie Taggart leaving South Florida you would think the Bulls would have dipped more than two slots. But for some reason, even though he was an epic flop at Texas, the arrival of Charlie Strong has them ranked higher than they deserve as well.
Should Texas, South Florida, Tennessee, Utah, or Virginia Tech lose one early there will not be a shortage of candidates willing to take their place in the top 25 (like Washington State, Colorado, TCU, Boise State, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M).