2015 college football preseason Top 25: Ohio State, Auburn, TCU and Notre Dame headline Sports Illustrated's rankings.

August 04, 2015

These rankings and scouting reports appear in the Aug. 10, 2015, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here.

Year One of the College Football Playoff went rather well. Ohio State, a team that lost early but appeared to be playing the best, most-dynamic football at season's end, got a chance to prove its mettle on the field, which the Buckeyes did by taking down Alabama and Oregon. The new system brought with it a selection committee that was free enough to drop undefeated Florida State to third in its final rankings, which was the right move (the Seminoles often looked shaky) but would have been unthinkable under the BCS. That's how it's supposed to work, right?

Sort of. Baylor and TCU were one-loss teams, like three of the four that made the playoff, yet neither Big 12 power was given a shot. This didn't quite feel right, but the reality is someone is always going to be left out. Even in an eight-team bracket—an expansion many see as inevitable—there will be little difference between, and much debate about, who's No. 8 and who's No. 9. But the debate is key: It reflects possibility and passion. It gives the regular season meaning. It makes early-August predictions about the Top 25 teams and the four-team playoff field a spark for study and discussion (and maybe even ridicule). Let the arguments begin.

STAPLES: Uncertainty reigns as 2015 college football season nears

1
1Ohio State Buckeyes
2014 record: 14-1
2
2Auburn Tigers
2014 record: 8-5
3
3TCU Horned Frogs
2014 record: 12-1
4
4Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2014 record: 8-5
5
5Alabama Crimson Tide
2014 record: 12-2
6
6Baylor Bears
2014 record: 11-2
7
7Michigan State Spartans
2014 record: 11-2
8
8USC Trojans
2014 record: 9-4
9
9Florida State Seminoles
2014 record: 13-1
10
10Oregon Ducks
2014 record: 13-2
11
11Georgia Bulldogs
2014 record: 10-3
12
12Clemson Tigers
2014 record: 10-3
13
13Ole Miss Rebels
2014 record: 9-4
14
14UCLA Bruins
2014 record: 10-3
15
15Arizona Wildcats
2014 record: 10-4
16
16Boise State Broncos
2014 record: 12-2
17
17Arizona State Sun Devils
2014 record: 10-3
18
18Stanford Cardinal
2014 record: 8-5
19
19Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
2014 record: 11-3
20
20Missouri Tigers
2014 record: 11-3
21
21Oklahoma Sooners
2014 record: 8-5
22
22Arkansas Razorbacks
2014 record: 7-6
23
23LSU Tigers
2014 record: 8-5
24
24Wisconsin Badgers
2014 record: 11-3
25
25Mississippi State Bulldogs
2014 record: 10-3

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