College Football Returns

Kamryn Torr, Editor In Chief

College football season is right around the corner and you know what that means: preseason rankings are out. Last season ended with Clemson beating Alabama in the Championship game, but several pre-season rankings still have Alabama at the number one rank.

I understand that Clemson lost some key players, such as Deshaun Watson who now plays for the Texans in the NFL, but for players that are returning and earned that championship win, they should be ranked number one overall no matter what. Alabama being ranked number two going into their first game against Florida State isn’t going to hurt them. They lost the championship game, so why should they still be ranked #1?

Aside from deciding the top two ranks, there is also a lot of talk whether Ohio State should be above teams such as USC (52-49W), Penn State (52-49L), and LSU(29-9W). USC won the Rose Bowl, Penn State won the Big Ten Championship and only lost in the Rose Bowl by 3 points, and LSU beat Louisville’s Heisman quarterback winner Lamar Jackson.

Although Ohio State made it into the playoffs, they played Clemson and didn’t score a single point, so I personally think that people could debate whether they should be ranked higher than the Rose Bowl winner and other teams that showed they could compete with teams with Heisman winners and high level teams.

There was a lot of talk following the playoff committee’s decision whether Penn State should’ve been in the playoffs instead of Ohio State. Penn State won the Big Ten East division, beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, and beat Ohio State head to head in the regular season. In the last couple weeks, social media has released a quote from Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer saying, “Should they {Penn State} have belonged in that playoff? Absolutely.”

People can argue different facts on whether specific teams should be in the top 10 or even the top 25, but I know who I would have in my top 15:

  1. Clemson; They won the National Championship.
  2. Alabama; Although they lost the National Championship, they shouldn’t be anywhere lower/higher than #2.
  3. Southern California; Won the Rose Bowl.
  4. Oklahoma; Beat a very good Auburn team in the Sugar Bowl 35-19
  5. Washington; Lost to a very good Alabama team in the Peach Bowl 24-7
  6. Penn State; Lost a tough, but well played Rose Bowl game against USC. Won Big Ten Championship.
  7. Ohio State; Although they made it into the playoffs, they didn’t score a point. The only reason why I have them at seven and not six is because Penn State beat them head to head in the regular season.
  8. Florida State; Beat a very good Michigan team 33-32 in the Orange Bowl.
  9. Wisconsin; Gave Western Michigan their first loss of the season in the Cotton Bowl, Made it to the Big Ten Championship.
  10. Michigan; Had an overall good season, but ended up third in the Big Ten East and lost to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
  11. Stanford; finished 10-3 on the season after a 25-23 win over UNC in the Sun Bowl
  12. LSU; Although they only finished the season with a record of 8-4, they ended the season with a bowl game win over Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals.
  13. Oklahoma State; finished the season with an Alamo Bowl game win over Colorado 38-8
  14. Western Michigan; lost to Big Ten Championship runner-up, Wisconsin, in the Cotton Bowl, but had an impressive 13-1 season overall
  15. Florida; beat an unranked Iowa team 30-3 in the Outback Bowl.

The Associated Press (AP) polls came out on August 21. AP Polls are rankings assembled by a lot of sportswriters and broadcasters for several college sports. The polls revealed that Ohio State’s preseason official ranking is #2, which I don’t understand considering that they lost their playoff game without scoring a single point. Ohio State is ranked higher than Clemson and Penn State whom both beat the Buckeyes. Truly don’t understand how and why Ohio State is ranked at #2. If anything, Clemson should be #2 if they are looking at the future considering Alabama always has the top class coming into each season, but not Ohio State.

Clemson’s preseason rank, after winning the National Championship last year, is #5. I don’t understand how the reigning National Champions are ranked lower than the team they beat 31-0. Social media interprets that it is because Deshaun Watson left for the NFL, but Deshaun Watson wasn’t Clemson’s entire team. Yes, he had a huge impact on their success last season in winning the National Title and the season before in getting to the National Championship, but at the same time, there are a number of players returning that helped Clemson get that National Championship Title.