The 2017 college football season ended with Alabama winning its fifth national championship. Now, it’s almost time for the 2018 season. The first games will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 25 and more games will be held on Thursday, Aug. 30 through Labor Day weekend.
Earlier this year, ESPN posted the “Way-Too-Early Top 25” college football teams based on the previous season, NFL draft decisions, and incoming freshman that have committed. We’ve looked at the top six teams a little closer to see what is behind their rank.
1. Clemson You mean it’s not Alabama? That’s right. This year, five Tigers were named to the 50 best players in college football list. Four of the five players are on the defensive line as well, perhaps Clemson’s most attractive asset this season. The offense will not be dull, however, as we watch the current quarterback, Kelly Bryant, become pressured from freshman Trevor Lawrence, ranked high in his class.
2. Alabama. Five players from the Crimson Tide were also named to the “50 best players in college football” list. Alabama also has some competition for quarterback, and apparently it has brought up controversy in the media. Sophomore Tua Tagovalio is ranked 11 on the 50 best players in college football list. It will be interesting to see if he takes over Jalen Hurts’ starting position after his impressive performance in the championship game.
3. Ohio State. The Buckeyes are proud to have three of its players on the 50 best players in college football list, yet this is not what is currently in the spotlight for the team. Recently, coach Urban Meyer was placed on leave because he is suspected to have known about domestic violence allegations in relation to a former assistant. A change in leadership this close to the beginning of the season could change a lot for the Buckeyes.
4. Oklahoma. The Sooners not only have two players on the 50 best players in college football list, they also have an asset that has great potential with freshman Brendan Radley-Hiles named as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year during preseason. This year’s QB, Kyler Murray, is also a No. 9 MLB draft pick but will use his arm on the football field first before moving to the Oakland A’s.
5. Georgia. Two Bulldogs sit amongst the 50 best players in college football, at No. 30 and 33. While the team’s QB, sophomore Jake Fromm had an excellent starting season last year, placing him at No. 30 on list leads to high anticipation for his performance. Yet, there is an even heightened excitement for freshman and former No.1 overall recruit, Justin Fields, his unknowing positon, and undoubtable impact.
6. Wisconsin. Last season, running back Jonathan Taylor rushed 1,977 yards as a freshman, breaking the record previously held by Adrian Peterson. It’s no wonder he is running for the Heisman Trophy this year, and ranked No. 7 on the best players in college football list. Accompanying him are fellow teammates David Edwards and T.J. Edwards, an offensive lineman and a linebacker.
Fortunately, you don’t need to travel to all the games to keep up-to-date on the college football season because tuning into ESPN during the fall will do this for you. Check the schedule to see when your team is playing, and where you can access it.
By Morgan Grunow, TDS Communications Intern