We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the 2021 college football season. As we reach the middle of August, Sports Illustrated college football analyst Pat Forde has released his preseason top 25 ranking for the upcoming year.
As has become pretty typical, the reigning national champion starts the season with the crown. In this case, that’s Alabama, who dominated college football last season en route to a 14-0 season and a national title game win over Ohio State.
Alabama’s opponent in that game, the Ohio State Buckeyes, start the season out as the No. 2 team in the nation. But Forde quickly brings in a few surprises with Georgia coming in at No. 3 despite failing to win the SEC East last year.
ACC juggernaut Clemson rounds out what would be the College Football Playoff field at No. 4. Big 12 giant Oklahoma (No. 5) and reigning AAC champion Cincinnati (No. 6) just miss the cut.
Here are the first 10 picks in Pat Forde’s top 25 ranking (for a full breakdown of the list, check the link here):
- Ohio State
- Iowa State
- Texas A&M
It’s a pretty strong list, combining some of the usual suspects with teams that have been steadily rising up the ranks.
Iowa State is coming off a historic season that ended with a Big 12 regular season title and a Fiesta Bowl win. Many believe that they could be contenders to reach the College Football Playoff too.
Wisconsin and Texas A&M remain strong contenders in the Big Ten and SEC respectively, but need to beat the resident powers to give everyone confidence.
As for USC, they were runner-ups in the Pac-12 last year, but expectations are always high for the Trojans.
What changes would you make to Pat Forde’s top 25 preseason ranking?