The TODAY Sports USA Top 25 Post-Spring Sports for the Bowl Subdivision usually only lands after FBS teams bowed in spring practices in late April. It was not your typical spring.
These off-season exercises can often help to understand how the best candidates in the country will fill the vacancies left by NFL graduation and losses. Many teams that are slated to play six-bowl New Years games have unsettled quarterback competitions, for example.
With spring training canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the Top 25 after spring tends to account for notable transfers, such as the new Georgia quarterback and subclasses that declared for the NFL draft. Or those who decided to stay in college, like the Oklahoma State star Chuba Hubbard.
After spending more than two calendar years between losses, Clemson is looking to launch another extended winning streak following the January loss to LSU. Very little is given – including whether there really is a college football season in 2020 – but Clemson’s dominance over ACC can be safely assumed.
2. Ohio State
An exodus of contributors to the NFL is offset by a wealth of returning talent, along with a healthy portion of the All-America variety. This will keep Ryan Day’s second team on top of the Big Ten and at the forefront of the FBS. One of the keys will be to find a way to estimate the impact of Chase Young and Jeff Okudah on last year’s defense.
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Georgia takes a big step forward in the standings after the spring after consolidating its quarterback position with the transfer of Wake Forest, Jamie Newman. While replacing Jake Fromm’s experience and reliability can be difficult, Newman’s arms and athleticism should give a different look to an offense led by a new coordinator at Todd Monken.
The list is as loaded for a title as any other in the country, except for the quarterback. This is where the Ducks have options, led by second student Tyler Shough, but lack experience. (Not that first-year beginners, including true first-year students, have not led playoff and championship teams in the recent past.) One name to watch out for is attacking tackle Penei Sewell, perhaps the best pound for pound player. the country.
Two equally powerful programs – LSU and Georgia – simultaneously targeted Nick Saban and Alabama. The dynasty has never been tested like this. In a broader sense, the return to the top of college football might require the kind of staff continuity that has been lacking in Tuscaloosa in recent years. In the immediate future, Alabama could have used this spring to assess the quarterback competition between Mac Jones and real recruit Bryce Young.
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Recent history says that Oklahoma will be there when it counts in December. It will be with a new quarterback with a different background: Spencer Rattler is not a transfer, like his three predecessors under the center, and will take over as the red shirt rookie with few significant buttons under pressure .
Florida’s trajectory under Dan Mullen suggests that serious playoff conflicts are in the near future. Of course, Georgia is an obstacle on the way to the Gators. In attack, the potential of a quarterback competition between Kyle Trask and Emory Jones should not obscure the need to develop the body of the receiver.
8. Penn State
Only linebacker Micah Parsons makes Penn State worthy of your full attention. Getting more clarification from quarterback Sean Clifford could lift the offense to the point where the Nittany Lions pose a serious threat to the state of Ohio. It may be just as important to find another receiver capable of responding to the threat of danger K.J. Hamler lent himself on the offensive from last year.
The defending national champions lost more star power than any team in the country, including star quarterback Joe Burrow and national assistant coach of the year to Joe Brady. Ed Orgeron is back, with enough talent to keep LSU on track for a New Years Six bowl. Repeating seems to be a stretch.
10. Our Lady
Brian Kelly continues to say that winning a national championship is his last goal at Notre Dame. (Well, obviously.) Is handing the offense to 27-year-old assistant coach Tommy Rees the way to get there? Kelly clearly believes that Rees, a former Notre Dame quarterback, can make the most of this offense and the former Ian Book.
Former alternate quarterbacks Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton are the contenders to replace Shea Patterson, who had a steady streak as Wolverine starter but never met the huge expectations that accompanied his run as a five-star rookie . McCaffrey may have the advantage in overall experience, but the two have spent the same amount of time in the team’s current offense pattern.
Speaking of a team looking for a quarterback breakthrough: Auburn hopes freshman Bo Nix will settle into an all-competitor after a predictably uneven but entirely solid first season. This kind of jump will help the Tigers face SEC West while replacing the disruptive defensive tackle Derrick Brown, among others.
13. Texas A&M
This team will be a national factor based solely on the schedule: the first nine games of A&M against the FBS competition include only one opponent, Auburn, who has just broken a victory record in 2019. This is the kind of schedule that a legitimate competitor would dominate. It is not known if this will reveal anything about the Aggies’ ability to really beat Alabama and the LSU. But it does mean that Jimbo Fisher’s team will be ranked high when they face the tide and the tigers to end the regular season.
The pace continues for Kirk Ferentz and Iowa, who will lose some major assets, including star defensive end AJ Epenesa, but will bring back a formidable collection of talent, the basis of a solid offensive line and many options along the way. defensive back sept.
Pegging where Tom Herman’s schedule will land looks like guesswork as much as anything, given how last year’s team collapsed amid high expectations. This seems like a sure starting point for the preseason, given the leadership of senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger and the possibility that massive coaching changes will start a fire as part of a program that needs ‘a spark.
16. State of Iowa
The Cyclones will have one of the most underrated couples in the country in quarterback Brock Purdy and ball carrier Breece Hall, as well as solid pieces at every level of defense. Much of the optimism stems from the feeling that coach Matt Campbell continues to bring Iowa State closer to the annual Top 25 ranking.
It looks like the best team in the United States and the best team in the Group of Five, especially given the uncertainty as to whether Memphis new coach Ryan Silverfield will be able to keep the Tigers’ success under new Florida state coach Mike Norvell. In comparison, the Bearcats were able to retain coach Luke Fickell despite interest from the state of Michigan.
There will be no Jonathan Taylor in the ball carrier, which stings, but two factors help to compensate for this loss: one, the Badgers’ ability to find high quality runners when necessary, and two, the potential for even stronger quarterback play. (Whether this work goes to returning starter Jack Coan or freshman Graham Mertz.) The loss of center Tyler Biadasz and new faces near the line of scrimmage in defense is just as concerning or more important.
19. Oklahoma State
In a surprise, ball carrier Chuba Hubbard chose to return in 2020, a decision that places him near the top of the Heisman Trophy contender list. He is also the third of a potentially spectacular offensive cast, joining wide receiver Tylan Wallace and quarterback Spencer Sanders.
20. North Carolina
If catching Clemson is a short-term impossibility, UNC could put a strong hold on the coastal division and be a factor in reaching a New Years six bowl if the Tigers advance to the playoffs again. In sophomore Sam Howell, the Tar Heels have a contender for the nation’s best quarterback once Trevor Lawrence heads to the NFL.
21. Boise state
The biggest defeat occurs in defense, where the All-America rusher Curtis Weaver leaves a void that cannot be replaced by any defender who returns. Most of the other spots appear to be in good shape or better, and Boise State has maintained an enviable degree of consistency under the guidance of coach Bryan Harsin. This will not change in 2020.
22. Southern California
The USC is capable of being the best team in the South Division and a threat to a major bowl, although there is a large gap on paper between the Trojans and Oregon in the Pac-12. A few changes to the off-season trainer could increase the defense intensity of Trojans. As Clay Helton’s somewhat unexpected comeback dominated the headlines of the offseason, don’t forget the importance of retaining another coach: attacking coordinator Graham Harrell.
There’s a ton of high-level defense experience, coach Justin Wilcox’s specialty, and the possibility of a pretty successful attack if quarterback Chase Garbers remains healthy. The Golden Bears were undefeated last season in games that Garbers started and ended.
The Pac-12 team race ends with Washington and new coach Jimmy Lake. The defense is talented, seemingly as always, and Lake’s comments on a redesign of part of the Huskies’ offense are promising. But there is an unknown aspect in the way Lake will orchestrate the program, which makes Washington difficult to predict.
A clearly rising program led by second-year coach Scott Satterfield, whose national popularity will continue to grow in the near future. (Satterfield could be the next Matt Rhule in college football, which means a media shortlisted coach for most major openings regardless of the interests of either party.) After taking a big step ahead in 2019, the Cardinals could be online for another breakthrough in September.