Stadium’s Brett McMurphy has been compiling his preseason Top 25. While we’re still waiting on his write-up for the top five, we do have some info on the teams at the very top of his list.
Clemson is, understandably, McMurphy’s top team. The Tigers just won the national championship, and bring back the majority of their dynamic offensive playmakers, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The No. 2 and 3 spots are where McMurphy gets a little controversial. He slotted Alabama down at No. 3, behind SEC foe Georgia.
Brett McMurphy explained his controversial Alabama ranking in a Stadium clip:
— Stadium (@Stadium) February 15, 2019
McMurphy discusses turnover on Alabama’s staff and roster, thanks to the NFL Draft, and thinks that Georgia will have what it takes to beat the Crimson Tide after two years of close, dramatic losses.
He’ll release his top five article soon. We do have the rest of his list, including some of the interesting notes and blurbs he’s shared.
“…when favored, Scott Frost’s teams have won their last 14 conference games straight up – Frost’s final 12 games as a favorite at UCF in 2016-17 and 2-0 as a Big Ten favorite in 2018.”
19. Mississippi State
18. Penn State
“Since 2013 as a road favorite, Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes are a remarkable 15-2-1 against the spread and 17-1 straight-up when favored in regular season road games.”
16. Iowa State
“In four years at Michigan, Coach Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines have been an underdog only six times. Michigan, under Harbaugh, is 0-6 straight up when it is not favored.”
“Tom Herman is a wizard as an underdog. In his four years as head coach at Houston and Texas, Herman’s teams have been an underdog 15 times. They have won 10 of those 15 games and are 14-1 against the spread as an underdog.”
9. Texas A&M
7. Notre Dame
“Notre Dame’s loss in the College Football Playoff was the Irish’s eighth consecutive loss in one of the New Year’s 6 or traditional major bowls dating back to 1994. Notre Dame’s last major bowl victory came against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1994.”
Given the list so far, it is a fair bet that Ohio State and Oklahoma round out the top five, in some order.