The 2017 college football season is just around the corner, and it’s time to honor the best of the best for the upcoming year. The 2017 season features plenty of big names returning to the gridiron, including a standout group of quarterbacks.
Ranking all 130 college football teams is no easy task, but with the first Saturday of action on Aug. 26 approaching quickly, it’s never too early to see how every FBS program stacks up for 2017. At the top, Alabama leads the way as Athlon’s projected national champion. The Crimson Tide lost to Clemson on the final play of last year’s title game, and even though both sides of the ball have a few holes to fill, coach Nick Saban’s program is still the team to beat. Ohio State is a close No.
After two successful seasons under Tom Herman, it’s up to former offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to maintain Houston's upward trajectory. Applewhite has plenty of pieces returning on offense, but he’ll have a new quarterback leading the attack. The defense has one of the nation’s best anchors up front, but was hit hard by departures at linebacker and cornerback.
The American Athletic Conference leads the way among Group of 5 leagues, with USF entering 2017 as the clear favorite. The Bulls are the predicted champion by Athlon Sports, and coach Charlie Strong’s team has a good shot at an undefeated record.
College football’s 2017 season starts on Aug. 26 and concludes with the national championship on Jan. 8 in Atlanta. The season is still a few months away, but it's never too early to project and rank college football's top 25 teams.
Predictions for any FBS conference and all 130 college football teams are an inexact science. Some teams are just a bigger mystery than others or a hard program to get a read on for the upcoming year. Coaching changes, transfers, players returning from injury, scheme tweaks or just overall depth chart concerns make any preseason prediction difficult for a number of teams.