After winning the national championship earlier this month, Ohio State leads SI.com's 2015 Way-Too-Early College Football Top 25 Power Rankings. What other top teams made the list?
Ranking teams in January immediately following the national championship feels a lot like giving a review to an upcoming sequel the second you walk out of the theater after you saw the first installment. You’re going to be swayed by the performances you just watched, and it’s impossible not to tie the two together.
Not to mention, you have no idea whether the entire cast will be back, which director will be linked to the project and if the script is even any good. It’s a pointless and often fruitless endeavor. But so is ranking teams in the first place.
Our insatiable need for football drives us. It is the only thing that keeps us going. It is nothing and everything.
And so, here is a much-too-early top 25 heading into the 2015 season. Don’t laugh -- it’ll be fall camp before you know it.
How this ranking will be wrong: Complacency, or something.
How this ranking will be wrong: Baylor beats them again.
How this ranking will be wrong: The defense is still a work in progress in Year 1. Despite some improvement throughout the year, it doesn’t do quite enough to keep Auburn ahead of the pack.
How this ranking will be wrong: A weak nonconference schedule dooms Baylor again even though the Bears have a very good year.
How this ranking will be wrong: BAMA
How this ranking will be wrong: Mariota was a once-in-a-generation quarterback, and the Ducks can’t quite recover. It’s the kind of stuff that becomes a Bruce Springsteen song.
How this ranking will be wrong: Michigan State has a bit of a letdown after losing defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to Pittsburgh and can’t get past the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East.
How this ranking will be wrong: UCLA gets up for big games but plays down to its competition. The Bruins drop a couple games they should win before November, knocking them out of the playoff conversation.
How this ranking will be wrong: The losses on both sides of the ball are just too much to overcome and even though the Florida State still wins a bunch of games, nobody is #TalkinBoutTheNoles come playoff time.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Rebels miss Bo Wallace more than they thought they would. They find out that Bad Bo never left, that Bad Bo was a part of them all along.
How this ranking will be wrong: Watson’s good play is for naught as the Tigers can’t quite get the defense to pull together early after replacing so many key guys from last year’s team.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Cardinal continue to have trouble scoring in the red zone in 2015.
How this ranking will be wrong: The exact opposite of what is written above happens.
How this ranking will be wrong: Anu Solomon regresses, forcing Rodriguez back to the drawing board. He never quite finds the answer, and the offense squanders a talented batch of skill guys.
How this ranking will be wrong: Nick Chubb still runs all over everybody but in limited opportunities as the Brian Schottenheimer Experiment (a perfect mid-90s Merge Records artist name) fails to produce results. Fans numb the pain by typing “Run The Ball Schotty” hundreds of times into their message board dialogue boxes.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Irish get lost on a team-building tour of the RV Hall of Fame after entering an RV that has a sign hanging on the door that says “No Tresspassing.” That RV acts as a Stargate, sending them into another dimension, and Notre Dame is forced to forfeit the entire season. The whole ordeal will later be immortalized in a J.J. Abrams film.
How this ranking will be wrong: A volcano erupts off the Pacific coast sending ash flying into the air and pushing tidal waves miles inland. The Coliseum collapses, leaving those brave souls scrambling to find shelter elsewhere. One poet stays behind to document the epic, risking his life for the sake of the story.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Coastal Wheel of Destiny lands on Georgia Tech [insert your own Price Is Right loser horn], and the Yellow Jackets have enough bad luck to count toward eight broken mirrors, four walks under a ladder and two black cats crossing their path.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Badgers miss Melvin Gordon more than they thought they would. With too much of the offense on Joel Stave’s shoulders, Paul Chryst’s Madison homecoming feels too much like a hangover and not enough like a party.
How this ranking will be wrong: Bob Stoops does not believe in physical energy or meditation, and his disregard for the spiritual world leads to missed tackle after missed tackle as the Sooners fail to keep pace in the Big 12.
How this ranking will be wrong: It’s quite a lot to replace a talent like Ajayi, especially when your starting quarterback is gone, too. The always-tough Mountain West catches up with the Broncos, who lose their side of the division due to those blasted tiebreakers.
How this ranking will be wrong: The departures of Ray and Golden prove to be too much for Missouri. The Tigers have to rely on Mauk to try to engineer comebacks, which means the Kenton, Ohio, native throws too many interceptions.
How this ranking will be wrong: After using three quarterbacks last year, the quarterback shuffle continues as Rudolph, Walsh and Garman play Rock Paper Scissors to determine who will start. All three keep throwing rock, and coach Mike Gundy is forced to put Pistol Pete under center.
How this ranking will be wrong: Lofty expectations and a preseason ranking lead to more disappointment when Texas A&M stumbles in a loss to Arizona State. The Aggies grow but not quickly enough to tame the always difficult SEC West.
How this ranking will be wrong: The Gophers can’t keep pace in the Big Ten West, and the losses of playmakers David Cobb and Maxx Williams prove to be too much for quarterback Mitch Lender to handle.
Next Five: Mississippi State, Utah, Tennessee, Texas, Kansas State