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McGowanMania Complete College Football Preview 2017-2018

The Top 25
1. Alabama Crimson Tide -- Tide may lose a lot, but a big sophomore year from Jalen Hurts ensures they are the nation's best. 
2. USC Trojans -- Sam Darnold should guide one of the nation's most explosive offenses to a Pac-12 crown and National Championship berth.
3. Clemson Tigers -- Clemson will have to find a replacement for Deshaun Watson, but they have enough across their roster to make their third straight Playoff appearance.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes -- J.T. Barrett should return to his 2014 form with the help of new OC Kevin Wilson, while the defense will be as stingy as ever.
5. Florida State Seminoles -- Sophomore QB Deondre Francois should be in store for a big 2017, while a healthy Derwin James should lead a talented defense.
6. Washington Huskies -- 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Jake Browning should orchestrate another lethal offense, and a stocked front seven keeps the defense strong.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys -- Mason Rudolph and James Washington Jr. may make the nation's best QB-WR combo, and the Cowboys have the most favorable schedule in the Big 12.
8. Penn State Nittany Lions -- The return of skill position players like QB Trace McSorley, RB Saquon Barkley and wide out DaeSean Hamilton will keep the 2016 surprise as scary as ever.
9. Wisconsin Badgers -- A typical powerful rushing attack and physical defense make the Badgers the clear-cut favorite in the weak Big Ten West.
10. Oklahoma Sooners -- Quarterback Baker Mayfield is one of the nation's best, and new head coach Lincoln Riley should keep the Sooners' machine humming.
11. Auburn Tigers -- Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham will join an Auburn offense that includes stud running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, along with a great O-Line.
12. Michigan Wolverines -- The Wolverines lost a ton to the NFL, but Jim Harbaugh still has enough waiting in the wings to contend for a Big Ten title.
13. Georgia Bulldogs -- A fabulous backfield and ten returning starters on defense should equal a big leap from second-year coach Kirby Smart.
14. South Florida Bulls -- Heisman dark horse Quinton Flowers leads the AAC's best team, and one that should roll through a very favorable schedule.
15. LSU Tigers -- Derrius Guice should pick up right where Leonard Fournette left off, and new OC Matt Canada should reinvigorate the passing game.
16. Kansas State Wildcats -- Dangerous dual threat Jesse Ertz should lead a gritty, hard-nosed offense, while K-State should continue to shut down opponents on defense.
17. Miami Hurricanes -- Big things are expected of the 'Canes in Year Two of Mark Richt, particularly with the return of 1,000-yard back Mark Walton and rising receiver Ahmmon Richards.
18. Boise State Broncos -- Brett Rypien should engineer a fantastic offense, and the Broncos are deeper than they were last season.
19. Florida Gators -- An improved QB situation should finally give Florida some bite offensively, and they should be as strong as ever on defense.
20. Louisville Cardinals -- Reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson should give defenses problems once more in 2016, and All-American corner Jaire Alexander is a star on the defensive end.
21. Stanford Cardinal -- Christian McCaffrey departs, but Bryce Love should be able to have a breakout season, and Cardinal are always well prepared.
22. Northwestern Wildcats -- The Wildcats return veteran QB Clayton Thorson and All-Big Ten back Justin Jackson, plus face a pretty easy schedule.
23. UCLA Bruins -- The return of a healthy Josh Rosen and more contributions from UCLA's talented RB position should mean a big turnaround in Westwood.
24. Houston Cougars -- Tom Herman may depart, but he leaves Houston stocked with talent, including star sophomore D-Linemen Ed Oliver.
25. Texas Longhorns -- Texas is talented everywhere, and new head man Herman should help this team cash in on that impressive potential.

Conference Previews
American Athletic Conference: South Florida over Houston
Atlantic Coast Conference: Clemson over Miami
Big Ten Conference: Ohio State over Wisconsin
Big 12 Conference:  Oklahoma State over Oklahoma
Conference USA: Middle Tennessee over Louisiana Tech
Mid-American Conference: Toledo over Miami (Ohio)
Mountain West Conference: Boise State over San Diego State
Pac-12 Conference: USC over Washington
Southeastern Conference: Alabama over Georgia
Sun Belt Conference: Appalachian State (no conference championship)

Derrius Guice, RB,  LSU,  Winner
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State, Finalist
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama, Finalist
Quinton Flowers, QB, South Florida, Finalist
Sam Darnold, QB, USC, Finalist

1 Alabama over 4 Ohio State
2 USC over 3 Clemson
1 Alabama over 2 USC
National Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide

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