Ranking all 130 college football head coaches is an impossible task. But with the 2017 season right around the corner, Athlon Sports is continuing its countdown to Week 1 by evaluating all 130 coaches and ranking them from best to worst.
Buffalo took a step backwards last season, winning just two games after going 5-7 in head coach Lance Leipold’s 2015 debut. The Bulls ranked last in the MAC in points scored and 10th in points allowed per game, so there’s room for improvement on both sides of the ball. Leipold is hoping a dual-threat quarterback and trio of running backs can give the receiving corps time to develop, but that’s somewhat dependent upon how quickly an improving offensive line comes together.
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.
Ohio, Western Michigan, Miami and Toledo finished 2016 as the top teams in the MAC, and all four should be near the top of the standings in the 2017 predictions. The Broncos have some significant personnel losses to address, but new coach Tim Lester still has enough talent to guide Western Michigan to a division title.
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.
The favorites to win the 2017 MAC title feature a couple of familiar faces in Toledo, Western Michigan and Ohio, but Miami is a team to watch after winning six of its final seven games last year. The RedHawks feature 14 players on Athlon’s 2017 All-MAC team, which is tied with Western Michigan for the most of any team in the league.