The Top 25 College Football rankings are loaded with way too many "traditional" teams.
This is a BYU Sports Website. I get that. But the Top 25 has a huge impact on BYU Football whether is is strength of schedule, Top 25 wins or even their own ranking. If the Utes are ranked No. 15 in Week One and the Cougars win, they will probably be ranked going into the second week of the season. If they are No. 23 perhaps not. You get the point.
With that said, I believe that way too many teams are ranked year in and year out because of "tradition". Teams like USC, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida, Washington and Oklahoma often are ranked in the preseason before falling apart being irrelevant. While many argue that preseason rankings don't matter, that is not true!
Let's say that Utah, Tennessee and USC all start off ranked in the Top 25. If BYU goes 3-0 against them the Cougars are suddenly in the Top 10 nationally. But what if those three teams all go off and finish 6-6? It won't matter for BYU because those games are out of sight out of mind the week after the game is over. All anyone remembers is BYU taking down three top 25 teams, not three average teams. The same works in the opposite way as well. What if those three teams all finished 10-2 and ranked but were not ranked in the Top 25 in the preseason. Suddenly BYU has beaten three great teams, but nobody remembers that and the Cougars may not even be ranked.
On my Top 25, I have four opponents currently ranked; Washington, Boise State, Utah and Utah State.
I am not the Joe Lunardi of the NCAA Top 25, however I do consider myself a College Football expert and qualified to give a good and fair Top 25. To see the actual Top 25 click here.
Preseason Top 25
4. Texas A&M
The top three teams are pretty obvious with the two undisputed best teams on top and another loaded Oklahoma team with Jalen Hurts. Texas A&M I believe is the fourth best team in the country. Unfortunately for them, they very well could start 1-1 with a loss to Clemson in Week 2. With Alabama, LSU and Georgia on the schedule as well, this team could be the best 9-3/8-4 team to ever play.
Texas is going to be really good if their quarterback Sam Ehlinger stays healthy. He is a runner which could be very dangerous and could very quickly turn their season upside down if he goes down.
Yes, I have Army as the highest ranked G5 team in the nation. They are probably going to go 11-1 and their only real challenge is going to be Michigan. But Michigan relies heavily on their secondary and offense, something that the Black Knights are going to be able to limit with their option style offense. Their biggest problem is they won't make the Playoff, even with an undefeated season. They play VMI, Morgan State, Rice and UTSA as their bad games. Their best games are Michigan, Navy and Tulane. Not a championship winning schedule.
11. Notre Dame
12. Ohio State
The hype around Ohio State is strange for me. They have a brand new coach, a brand new quarterback and new starting running back, I just don't see them at least for now being a Top 10 team. They may end that way, but it may cost the team a loss or two teams like Nebraska, Michigan or Northwestern, games that will all be on the road.
Syracuse is another surprise team for most people to be this high. Watching the Orange play last season, they were quietly really, REALLY good. They were one play away from beating Clemson and only lost two others game all season and one of those was to another Playoff team, Notre Dame.
The Cornhuskers under second year Head Coach Scott Frost are going to be good. Last season, they started the year terribly starting off 0-6 including a loss to Troy, but turned out to be a competitive. In the last six games they went 4-2 and were within one score of taking down Top 25 teams Ohio State and Iowa. Watch out this year.
18. Boise State
I'm not buying all of the hype. The Utes are going to be good, and quite honestly have the easiest realistic path to the CFP in the nation. Essentially, their schedule of tough games to get there consists of BYU, Washington State, Washington and the Pac 12 title game. They avoid Oregon and Stanford and play no other tough non-conference games. They are a really good team, but I'm not ready to jump on the Top 10 train yet, even though I would love for the Cougars to beat a Top 10 team in week one. Again.
Remember when Gary Crowton took over BYU in 2001 and the Cougars started 11-0 and everyone thought that Crowton was the future for the BYU just to be followed by three straight losing seasons? I think that is what UCF in 2019. The only reason I have them in the Top 25 is because they haven't shown me anything to be kicked out of it. Going 27-1 the last two seasons earned my respect, and if they show they can still play well, I will shoot them up in the rankings real quick.
23. Penn State
I believe this is the year that Bronco Mendenhall takes the Cavaliers to a nine win season and a ranking for most of the year.
25. Utah State
The Aggies return their star quarterback and bring back Head Coach Gary Anderson. I see no reason why the Aggies shouldn't go 10-3 this season, a solid 25th ranking for them.
Teams closing in: Washington State, Memphis, Fresno State, Wisconsin and Iowa.
In total that is:
Big 10: 4
Big 12: 3
Pac 12: 4
This ranking will change every week of the College Football season. I really REALLY hope to be able to include the Cougars in it, perhaps in the Week One rankings.