ESPN’s college football SP+ rankings have been released ahead of the upcoming 2020 season.
Alabama, not Ohio State, tops the initial rankings from ESPN’s Bill Connelly. This is somewhat surprising, considering the Buckeyes topped last year’s rankings and bring back most of their talent on offense, led by quarterback Justin Fields.
“I was expecting Ohio State and Clemson as the top two teams here, and you probably were, too. But the injury that defined Bama’s 2019 season helped boost its 2020 odds. Losing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to injury for four late games meant that backup Mac Jones got an extended audition in the starting role, and he looked mostly great,” Connelly wrote.
Clemson and Ohio State should be No. 1 and No. 2 in the official preseason top 25 polls, but it’s Alabama at No. 1 in the preseason SP+.
Here’s the complete top 25 from the SP+:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Texas A&M
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
The Huskers coming in at No. 25 is another surprise, but Scott Frost’s offense is expected to make a major jump in 2020.
Nebraska will look to contend in the Big Ten West Division. The Huskers will need quarterback Adrian Martinez to be much better in 2020 than he was in 2019.
You can view ESPN’s full rankings here.