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Complete College Football Preview 2021

Chris Olave, Ohio State

 Top 25

1. Oklahoma Sooners -- With Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler running the offense and the best defense of the Lincoln Riley era, it's time for Oklahoma's first National Title in two decades.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide -- The usual reloading continues apace in Tuscaloosa. New QB Bryce Young will lead an explosive offense and the defense will be the best it's been in years.

3. Georgia Bulldogs -- An extremely favorable schedule and the most talented starting QB of the Kirby Smart era push the Bulldogs back to the College Football Playoff.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes -- The nation's best receiver corps keeps the Buckeyes atop the Big Ten and delivers Ryan Day his third Playoff berth in as many seasons.

5. Clemson Tigers -- Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne may depart, but D.J. Uiagalelei is ready to become Clemson's next superstar signal-caller.

6. Oregon Ducks -- Mario Cristobal and staff continue to recruit and develop talent at a Playoff level, and both have sides of the ball are loaded with experience in 2021.

7. Iowa State Cyclones -- The return of workhorse tailback Breece Hall and basically the entire defense should deliver Iowa State's best season in program history.

8. Cincinnati Bearcats -- A veteran QB, smothering defense, and elite coaching staff once again make Cincinnati the Group of Five's favorite.

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- The two-headed monster of Kyren Williams & Chris Tyree lead the ND offense, while Jim Thorpe Award contender Kyle Hamilton leads a new-look defense.

10. North Carolina Tar Heels -- QB Sam Howell is considered a Heisman favorite, and Mack Brown's work on the recruiting trail should continue to pay dividends.

11. Texas A&M Aggies -- Jimbo Fisher has upped the talent level in College Station and the Aggies have the pieces in place to make another CFB Playoff run.

12. USC Trojans -- The most talented team in the Pac-12, USC also brings back a stud QB in Kedon Slovis. Will Clay Helton and this staff be able to put it all together and contend for a Playoff bid?

13. Iowa Hawkeyes -- Ty Goodson is a budding superstar in the Hawkeye backfield, and the usual stout defense makes Iowa the Big Ten West favorite.

14. Florida Gators -- Even though the offense was hit hard by losses over the off-season, Dan Mullen still has the ingredients to keep Florida in the SEC East mix.

15. Miami Hurricanes -- A season-opening meeting with Alabama serves as an important measuring stick for a Miami program that made serious strides in 2020.

16. Penn State Nittany Lions -- James Franklin and staff are looking to put 2020 behind them. This team is too talented and the program too well-built not be in the Big Ten East hunt.

17. Wisconsin Badgers -- Jalen Berger appears to be the next great Wisconsin tailback and the Badgers boast the best linebacker corps in the country.

18. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns -- With a veteran-laden roster and a skilled quarterback, Louisiana is hopeful to crash to the New Year's Six party.

19. Indiana Hoosiers -- 2020's success was not merely an aberration for Tom Allen's program; they'll be a tough out in the East once again. 

20. Arizona State Sun Devils -- Even as NCAA investigation looms, Arizona State has the raw talent to win the Pac-12 South.

21. Liberty Flames -- Malik Willis may be the nation's most exciting quarterback, and just about everybody returns defensively for Hugh Freeze.

22. Texas Longhorns -- Steve Sarkisian's job will be made a lot easier with the expected breakout of back Bijan Robinson, who is ready for a monster sophomore season in Austin.

23. Washington Huskies -- Jimmy Lake gets his first real crack at the Washington job, and a loaded defense should be able to guide them to Pac-12 North contention.

24. LSU Tigers -- LSU is eager to prove that 2019 was not a one-hit wonder. Having the nation's best cornerback combo, Derek Stingley and Eli Ricks, certainly helps.

25. TCU Horned Frogs -- The Horned Frogs have a veteran QB, plenty of talent at the skill positions, and a good enough secondary to be a dark horse Big 12 Title threat.

Just Missed the Cut

Utah Utes

Ole Miss Rebels

Boston College Eagles

SMU Mustangs

Kentucky Wildcats

Conference Projections



1. Clemson Tigers (12-1, 9-0 ACC)

2. Boston College Eagles (9-3, 5-3 ACC)

3. NC State Wolfpack (8-4, 4-4 ACC)

4. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5, 4-4 ACC)

5. Florida State Seminoles (5-7, 3-5 ACC)

6. Louisville Cardinals (6-6, 3-5 ACC)

7. Syracuse Orange (3-9, 1-7 ACC)


1. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-3, 7-2 ACC)

2. Miami Hurricanes (9-3, 6-2 ACC)

3. Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5, 4-4 ACC)

4. Virginia Cavaliers (6-6, 4-4 ACC)

5. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-7, 3-5 ACC)

6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-8, 2-6 ACC)

7. Duke Blue Devils (4-8, 1-7 ACC)

ACC Championship: Clemson over North Carolina

Big Ten


1. Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0, 10-0 Big Ten)

2. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten)

3. Indiana Hoosiers (8-4, 6-3 Big Ten)

4. Michigan Wolverines (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten)

5. Maryland Terrapins (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten)

6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-8, 1-8 Big Ten)

7. Michigan State Spartans (3-9, 1-8 Big Ten)


1. Iowa Hawkeyes (10-3, 8-2 Big Ten)

2. Wisconsin Badgers (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten)

3. Northwestern Wildcats (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten)

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten)

5. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-6, 4-5 Big Ten)

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-8, 2-7 Big Ten)

7. Purdue Boilermakers (4-8, 2-7 Big Ten)

Big Ten Championship: Ohio State over Iowa

Big 12

1. Oklahoma Sooners (13-0, 10-0 Big 12)

2. Iowa State Cyclones (11-2, 8-2 Big 12)

3. Texas Longhorns (8-4, 6-3 Big 12)

4. TCU Horned Frogs (8-4, 5-4 Big 12)

5. West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5, 5-4 Big 12)

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6, 4-5 Big 12)

7. Kansas State Wildcats (6-6, 4-5 Big 12)

8. Baylor Bears (5-7, 2-7 Big 12)

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-7, 2-7 Big 12)

10. Kansas Jayhawks (1-11, 0-9 Big 12)

Big 12 Championship Game: Oklahoma over Iowa State



1. Oregon Ducks (11-2, 9-1 Pac-12)

2. Washington Huskies (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12)

3. Stanford Cardinal (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12)

4. California Golden Bears (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12)

5. Oregon State Beavers (5-7, 3-6 Pac-12)

6. Washington State Cougars (4-8, 1-8 Pac-12)


1. USC Trojans (10-3, 7-3 Pac-12)

2. Arizona State Sun Devils (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12)

3. Utah Utes (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12)

4. UCLA Bruins (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12)

5. Colorado Buffaloes (4-8, 3-6 Pac-12)

6. Arizona Wildcats (2-10, 0-9 Pac-12)

Pac-12 Championship: Oregon over USC



1. Georgia Bulldogs (12-1, 8-1 SEC)

2. Florida Gators (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

3. Kentucky Wildcats (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

4. Missouri Tigers (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

5. Tennessee Volunteers (5-7, 2-6 SEC)

6. South Carolina Gamecocks (4-8, 1-7 SEC)

7. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-9, 0-8 SEC)


1. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 8-1 SEC)

2. Texas A&M Aggies (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

3. LSU Tigers (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

4. Ole Miss Rebels (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

5. Auburn Tigers (7-5, 4-4 SEC)

6. Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-7, 2-6 SEC)

7. Arkansas Razorbacks (5-7, 1-7 SEC)

SEC Championship Game: Alabama over Georgia

Award Predictions

Biletnikoff: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma (winner), Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (finalist), Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama (finalist)

Butkus: Christian Harris, Alabama (winner), Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin (finalist), Nakobe Dean, Georgia (finalist)

Davey O'Brien: J.T. Daniels, Georgia (winner), Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (finalist), Malik Willis, Liberty (finalist)

Doak Walker: Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M (winner), Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota (finalist), Ty Goodson, Iowa (finalist)

Groza: Anders Carlson, Auburn (winner), Cameron Dicker, Texas (finalist), Will Reichard, Alabama (finalist)

Jim Thorpe: Derek Stingley, LSU (winner), Malachi Moore, Alabama (finalist), Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame (finalist)

John Mackey: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame (winner), Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin (finalist), Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama (finalist)

Outland: Kenyon Green, Texas A&M (winner), Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma (finalist), Jamaree Salyer, Georgia (finalist)

Ray Guy: Jake Camarda, Georgia (winner), Race Porter, Washington (finalist), Tory Taylor, Iowa (finalist)

Rimington: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (winner), Nick Brahms, Auburn (finalist), Nathan Eldridge, Oregon State (finalist)

Coach of the Year: Kirby Smart, Georgia (winner), Mario Cristobal, Oregon (finalist), Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

Broyles Award: Alex Grinch, Oklahoma DC (winner), Pete Golding, Alabama DC (finalist), Jeff Lebby, Ole Miss OC (finalist)

Heisman Trophy: J.T. Daniels, Georgia QB (winner), Malik Willis, Liberty QB (finalist), Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M RB (finalist), Derek Stingley, LSU CB (finalist)

Playoff Prediction

1 Oklahoma over 4 Ohio State

2 Alabama over 3 Georgia

National Championship: 1 Oklahoma over 2 Alabama

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