- These 25 teams have the strongest playoff cases in the country entering Week 1—but there are two sides to every argument.
It’s that time of year again: College football’s preseason rankings will no doubt look nothing like the ones that matter in December, and yet we lap them up in mid-August as table-setters for a new season. There looks to be no dominant team that will wipe the floor with the rest of the country, and no less than seven or eight teams have a legitimate chance of ending up taking in the confetti in Atlanta on Jan. 8, but every team who cracks the preseason rankings can talk itself into a conceivable playoff path.
Each of the top teams have questions that will certainly be answered as the season kicks into gear. Will Alabama’s last-second title loss to Clemson be the motivation to get the Crimson Tide to the playoffs for a fourth straight year? Has Ohio State solved its offensive problems? Is USC the real deal behind Heisman candidate Sam Darnold? Will a dark horse threaten and possibly even join the playoff regulars?
Below are the preseason power rankings (which exist for a different purpose than SI’s Preseason Top 25), along with one reason why each team will and won’t make college football’s final four.
Maybe next week: Utah, Tennessee, Colorado, TCU, NC State.