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Complete College Football Preview 2019

Full Top 25

1. Alabama Crimson Tide -- Loaded with offensive skill talent, the Tide also have the motivation factor after losing by four touchdowns to Clemson earlier this year. Nick Saban should have enough to add another trophy to his case.
2. Clemson Tigers -- A Heisman favorite at QB, a Doak Walker favorite at RB, and two All-Americans at receiver. That is astounding offensive talent, but the Tigers must focus now on reloading in their front seven.
3. Oklahoma Sooners -- The Sooners have cemented themselves as a perennial Playoff favorite, and they're loaded offensively once again. Jalen Hurts will be used differently than Kyler Murray, but still likely to success.
4. Michigan Wolverines -- With a veteran QB and deep, experienced defense, plus a home date against arch-rival Ohio State, there are no excuses for Michigan in 2019. The Wolverines cannot afford another late-season collapse.
5. Georgia Bulldogs -- The Bulldogs have come within a hair of beating Alabama the last two seasons, and once again will be hunting the Tide. Veteran quarterback Jake Fromm leads an offense with a ton of upside, while the potential on defense starts to shine through.
6. Ohio State Buckeyes -- The move away from the Urban Meyer era will be interesting to watch, but the defense returning most of its core will be a steadying force. Newly appointed starter Justin Fields will have to live up to the hype if the Buckeyes want a Playoff spot.
7. Texas Longhorns -- UT's run to end 2018 was no fluke. Tom Herman has the Longhorns thinking big this fall behind the leadership of Heisman-contending QB Sam Ehlinger. Texas must reload in their defensive front, but the dynamic secondary should keep the 'Horns sharp on both sides of the ball.
8. Utah Utes -- The reigning Pac-12 South Champ could take over the entire conference if things go right in 2019. They'll have a healthy QB and running back in Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss, along with perhaps the nation's best D-Line. This could be an interesting Playoff dark horse to keep an eye on.
9. LSU Tigers -- LSU could have the best defense in the entire country, topped off with a loaded secondary. If the offense can continue to take steps under QB Joe Burrow, the Tigers have a legitimate shot at overtaking 'Bama in the SEC West.
10. Florida Gators -- The Gators are full of momentum following a Peach Bowl domination of Michigan and a 10-win 2018. They're the biggest threats to Georgia in the rapidly improving SEC East.
11. Oregon Ducks -- Can this Ducks team overtake Washington in the Pac-12 North? Veteran quarterback Justin Hebert spurned the NFL to lead an extremely talented Oregon squad that keeps getting better.
12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- Even with a rough Playoff loss to Clemson, ND's 2018 was a massive success. They do have to replace some real leaders on the defense, but this roster still looks good enough to hover around 10 wins.
13. UCF Knights -- After coming close to their second straight undefeated season, UCF needs quality play from transfer QB Brandon Wimbush, as well as some more consistency defensively. If they find that they should once again roll through the American.
14. Washington Huskies -- Both sides of the ball were hit hard by the NFL and graduation, but Washington has cemented themselves as consistent power on the West Coast. They should be able to reload, particularly if new QB Jacob Eason learns quickly.
15. Texas A&M -- The Aggies ended 2018 on a tear, and have most of their key offensive pieces back, minus Trayveon Williams. Granted, A&M will face perhaps the toughest schedule in FBS football, which is why I have them lower than most.
16. Syracuse Orange -- Last year's breakthrough was just the beginning for Dino Babers at Syracuse. The Orange return their entire secondary to what will be a strong defense, while the offense should still in good hands under new signal-caller Tommy DeVito.
17. Penn State Nittany Lions -- With so much youth on their offense, it's hard to imagine PSU overtaking Ohio State or Michigan in their division. With that being said, their defense is good enough to keep them in the race.
18. Auburn Tigers -- Can true freshman Bo Nix handle the reigns of the Auburn offense? The Tigers will need him to play well to keep their head above the water in the SEC, although a stacked D-Line should also be a major help.
19. Stanford Cardinal -- One of the nation's most consistent winners must rediscover their ground attack in order to keep up with the North Division favorites. Senior QB K.J. Costello gives them one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country.
20. Army Black Knights -- Kelvin Hopkins Jr. returns to lead the triple-option, while the Army defenses back its mainstays in Elijah Riley and Jaylon McClinton in back. A favorable schedule makes the Black Knights extra dangerous.
21. Nebraska Cornhuskers -- All signs point to a breakout campaign from Scott Frost in Year Two, particularly with the growth of Adrian Martinez at quarterback. However, the defense will be key in any big leap in 2019, as it was a problem throughout all of last season.
22. Wisconsin Badgers -- Coming off a disappointing 2018, Wisconsin should feel great that Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor is back. The thing is, he'll have to do even more in 2019, as the Badgers break in a new QB and must fix holes across the defense.
23. Virginia Cavaliers -- Bronco Mendenhall has a suffocating defense fueled by the nation's best cornerback in Bryce Hall. On the other side, another Bryce (Perkins) should provide the legs for an ACC Coastal run in Charlottesville.
24. Miami Hurricanes -- First-year head coach Manny Diaz brings back most of the defense he coached the last few seasons, but the offense is the real X-factor. Jaren Williams was recently named starting QB over Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, providing even more intrigue to this unit.
25. Oklahoma State Cowboys -- Blessed with the return of stars at the skill positions, in wide out Tylan Wallace and back Chuba Hubbard, Cowboys look like the biggest challenge to another OU-Texas Big 12 Championship Game.

Just Missed The Cut
Michigan State Spartans
Boise State Broncos
Memphis Tigers
Iowa State Cyclones
Mississippi State Bulldogs

Conference Predictions
ACC: Clemson over Virginia
American: UCF over Memphis
Big Ten: Michigan over Nebraska
Big 12: Oklahoma over Texas
Conference USA: North Texas over Florida International
MAC: Ohio over Western Michigan
Mountain West: Boise State over Fresno State
Pac-12: Utah over Oregon
SEC: Alabama over Georgia
Sun Belt: Appalachian State over Arkansas State

Award Projections
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Davey O'Brien (best QB): Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Doak Walker Award (best RB): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Biletnikoff Award (best WR): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
John Mackey Award (best TE): Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
Butkus Award (best LB): Joe Bachie, LB, Michigan State
Jim Thorpe Award (best DB): Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year): Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Home Depot Coach of the Year: Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Heisman Projections
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (finalist)
D'Eriq King, QB, Houston (finalist)
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas (finalist, winner)
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State (finalist)

Playoff Predictions
1 Alabama Crimson Tide over 4 Michigan Wolverines
2 Clemson Tigers over 3 Oklahoma Sooners
National Championship: 1 Alabama Crimson Tide over 2 Clemson Tigers

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