Below is pretty much the preseason top 25 you'll see in August.
With Signing Day, assistant coaching changes, roster attrition, transfers, spring breakouts, fall camp position battles, and an offseason of analysis still to go, little will change in the overall collective mindset between now and the start of the season.
Alabama's gonna be your preseason No. 1 again, unless something disastrous happens (or people look extra closely at what Ohio State brings back and get over the Fiesta Bowl; Bama's always a fine pick, but OSU looks like a clear top-two as well). No preseason No. 1 since 2004 has won that year's national title, but based on every year since, the champ's almost certain to be in the preseason top 10 and very likely to be in the top five.
Combining rankings from SB Nation, Athlon, Bleacher Report, Campus Insiders, CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, Gridiron Now, Pro Football Focus, Scout, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today — with 25 points for first place, 24 for second, and so on — gives us:
|1||Alabama||298||Like everybody||GN, USAT (2)|
|2||Ohio State||273||6 outlets (2)||SI (7)|
|3||USC||272||3 outlets (2)||3 outlets (5)|
|4||Florida State||268||GN, USAT (1)||3 outlets (6)|
|5||Penn State||240||SI (3)||3 outlets (8)|
|6||Oklahoma||236||4 outlets (4)||ESPN (10)|
|7||Clemson||233||FOX (3)||CBS (13)|
|8||Washington||224||GN (5)||SI (9)|
|9||Michigan||185||USAT (4)||GN (16)|
|10||Oklahoma State||184||GN (6)||SB Nation (15)|
|11||LSU||181||SI (5)||ESPN (15)|
|12||Wisconsin||175||4 outlets (9)||PFF (18)|
|13||Auburn||151||GN (10)||CBS (18)|
|14||Georgia||138||3 outlets (13)||USAT (17)|
|15||Stanford||136||CBS, GN (11)||Athlon, PFF (19)|
|16||Louisville||119||B/R (10)||GN (22)|
|17||Florida||84||Athlon (16)||CBS (unranked)|
|18||Texas||78||PFF (14)||ESPN (25)|
|19||Miami||71||3 outlets (16)||USAT (unranked)|
|19||USF||71||CBS (10)||SI (25)|
|21||Kansas State||57||CBS, ESPN (17)||USAT (unranked)|
|22||Tennessee||51||SI (16)||4 outlets (unranked)|
|23||West Virginia||35||SB Nation (17)||3 outlets (unranked)|
|24||Virginia Tech||31||USAT (13)||4 outlets (unranked)|
|25||Oregon||20||Athlon, CBS (21)||5 outlets (unranked)|
|Also receiving rankings: Boise State, Washington State, Northwestern, NC State, Utah, TCU, Colorado, UCLA, Pitt, Notre Dame, Wyoming|
Any teams you're surprised aren't there?
I'm surprised Georgia Tech didn't get any listings anywhere, for one. A bowl-winning, 9-4 team that returns almost everybody? Replacing a three-year starting QB is scary, but so much is back otherwise. I didn't have Tech on my ballot, which was part of SB Nation's ranking, but might change that up today if we did this over. Nebraska and Texas A&M are a couple others I could see as top-25-ish.
USF as the designated mid-major of the year makes plenty of sense (I had the Bulls at No. 20 on my ballot), with so much returning and a new coaching staff that could fortify the biggest weakness, if Charlie Strong can slap together some defense. Boise State always makes sense for a few votes, and Wyoming loses very little outside its receiving corps. Houston, Old Dominion, and Troy are a few other mid-majors worth thinking about.
Some Oregon players are speaking out in support of their strength coach, who was suspended after three players were hospitalized.
Signing Day is only two weeks away! Here's your quick, high-level catch-up.
Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware, a bearded John Cena, got a trophy tattoo on his Achilles heel just to spite ESPN.
Oklahoma should have the country's best QB situation, with A&M transfer Kyler Murray as a situational weapon behind Heisman contender Baker Mayfield.
Well, Bill Belichick is saying nice things about Rutgers again. Someone has to.