KillerFrogs' College Football Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

With the usher in for the new athletic year, it's time to start turning our focus to the 2024 college football season. And, with that, debut KillerFrogs' preseason Top 25!
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart talks with Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) during a football game between Tennessee and Georgia at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart talks with Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) during a football game between Tennessee and Georgia at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. / Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

Happy New Athletic Year, to those who celebrate. Maybe in 2024, you aren't celebrating, given that all of the major conference realignment moves cement with the turn of the calendar. Since those changes are irreversible, us here at KillerFrogs are celebrating the ringing in of a new year in July. To celebrate, here's KillerFrogs' college football preseason top 25, if not a couple weeks early.

Before diving in, check out last year's preseason top 25!

KillerFrogs College Football Preseason Top 25

1. Georgia Bulldogs

College Football Preseason Top 25
Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) throws a touchdown pass to Georgia wide receiver Rara Thomas (5) during the first half of a NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. / Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Georgia returns its best NFL prospect at quarterback since Matthew Stafford alongside a downright unfair cast of skill and offensive line talent. The Bulldogs landed Florida RB Trevor Etienne, Vanderbilt WR Will Sheppard, Miami WR Colbie Young, and Stanford TE Benjamin Yurosek in the transfer portal. Defensively, it might not be the 2021 or 2022 cast, but this group is older than last year and features All-American candidates like SAF Malaki Starks and LB Smael Mondon Jr.

Kirby Smart's 2024 team might be the most well-balanced he's had yet. The offense is likely the best he's ever had. Georgia is the clear No. 1 team entering this season.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

College Football Preseason Top 25
April 13, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) catches a pass for the scarlet team during the first half of the LifeSports Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. / Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch /

What happens when the most valuable program in the country goes all-in on NIL and transfers? Guess we'll find out. Ohio State brought in Kansas State QB Will Howard, Ole Miss 1,400-yard rusher Quinshon Judkins, and All-American safety Caleb Downs from Alabama, among others. The Buckeyes rise phenom freshman WR Jeremiah Smith in the nation's best WR room.

The defense returns a defensive line filled with all-conference players like J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, and Tyleik Williams. The secondary is now one of the nation's best with the addition of Downs alongside All-American Denzel Burke. If it weren't for the ceiling of Georgia, Ohio State would be the nation's No. 1 team – and could be, depending on how well Howard plays.

3. Oregon Ducks

College Football Preseason Top 25
Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Jordan James (20) breaks a tackle by Liberty Flames cornerback Kobe Singleton (3) as he runs the ball during the second quarter of the 2024 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Out goes uber-efficient QB Bo Nix and in comes uber-efficient QB Dillon Gabriel. Oregon features among the best cast of weapons nationally, including RB Jordan James (nearly 10 yards per carry!), SLOT Tez Johnson, and WR Evan Stewart from Texas A&M. The offensive line again should be one of the best in the country and the defense continues to improve under Dan Lanning.

Despite moving leagues, Oregon is one of the favorites in the Big Ten from Day 1. This is the most talented Ducks team since its 2015 national runner-up team. This team might actually be, top-to-bottom, better than that squad.

4. Texas Longhorns

College Football Preseason Top 25
Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) snaps the ball during the Big 12 Championship game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at AT&T stadium on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 in Arlington. / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Not that Texas needed a bigger target on its back entering the SEC, but QB Quinn Ewers said in a presser that the Longhorns are every team's biggest game. While there was a lot of pushback online, he's not all that off the mark. The SEC would be foolish to underestimate the 2024 Longhorns.

Texas has a top-three offensive line in the country, a deep cast of running backs led by C.J. Baxter, and a well of talent at receiver. Of course, a Heisman-caliber season from Ewers would vault Texas into the SEC title conversation – a conversation Texas is already in, according to sportsbook odds. Only Georgia has better odds to win the league.

5. Ole Miss Rebels

College Football Preseason Top 25
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) reacts after a first down against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Portal King Lane Kiffin went and did it again. He bulked up the defensive line with Texas A&M DL Walter Nolan and Florida All-SEC EDGE Princely Umanmielen. Up to six defensive starters could be transfer portal additions this year. While Judkins exited on the offensive side, Kiffin landed South Carolina star WR Antwane "Juice" Wells and Miami (OH) 1,000-yard rusher Rashad Amos.

That's all in addition to returning QB Jaxson Dart – who appears poised to make a run at the Heisman trophy conversation – and one of the best receiving corps in the country. Tre Harris is a certified superstar and Jordan Watkins is as good a No. 2 as there is.

6. Penn State Nittany Lions

College Football Preseason Top 25
Penn State linebacker Abdul Carter (11) motions to the crowd during a White Out game against Iowa Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in State College, Pa. Carter, a sophomore, has recorded 11 total tackles, one sack and one interception through the first four games of the season. / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

If QB Drew Allar thrives under new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and finally lives up to his lofty recruiting expectations, then No. 6 is too low for Penn State. They landed Ohio State WR Julian Fleming to bolster a subpar unit (by Penn State standards). A dynamic duo backfield of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen return behind a stud offensive line.

Another year, another head coach added to James Franklin's assistant staff. Former Indiana coach Tom Allen takes over as DC. He has some serious firepower to work with, namely EDGE Abdul Carter, CB Cam Miller, and LB Kobe King. Keep an eye on LB Tony Rojas as a breakout star this year.

7. Alabama Crimson Tide

College Football Preseason Top 25
Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer watches his quarterbacks go through drills during practice of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team Wednesday. / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Alabama post-Nick Saban might not slip as much as you'd think. His successor, Kalen DeBoer, has an absurd career record of 104-12 (37-9 in the FBS). It took him two whole seasons to take Washington to the National Championship. He's the definition of a winner at every level.

The cupboard isn't empty, either. Dynamic (if not flawed) QB Jalen Milroe returns to Tuscaloosa, as does All-American candidate SAF Malachi Moore. DeBoer hit the portal hard, bringing a host of Washington Huskies with him. Alabama still has the recruiting chops and reputation to bring in top-end talent, and they won't be far from the top, even in a rebuilding year.

8. Michigan Wolverines

College Football Preseason Top 25
Michigan defensive lineman Kenneth Grant celebrates a sack on Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the second quarter during the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. / Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Speaking of turnover, Michigan has more of it than anybody else in the country. One offensive starter returns – TE Colston Loveland. The QB position is a big question mark, but Michigan has a handful of possible answers. We'll probably see a few QBs rotate in to begin the season. Donovan Edwards is one of the best returning RBs and even landed on the EA College Football 25 video game cover.

Defensively, Michigan will be just fine. Josiah Stewart is the next dominant Michigan pass rusher to rise and the Wolverines' interior duo of Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant is easily the nation's best. Can new head coach Sheronne Moore carry Michigan without Jim Harbaugh setting the tone during the week? We'll soon find out.

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

College Football Preseason Top 25
Oct 14, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman celebrates with safety Xavier Watts (0) after Watts intercepted a pass in the first quarter against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 48-20. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Two major pieces are inbound for Notre Dame: LSU offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock and Duke QB Riley Leonard. Denbrock just led Jayden Daniels to record-breaking levels, culminating in the Heisman Trophy. Leonard has to stay healthy in 2024 after toughing out a difficult 2023. Once again, the Fighting Irish should have a top-end offensive line and sturdy defense.

Keep an eye on All-American caliber defensive backs Benjamin Morrison and Xavier Watts this season. Marcus Freeman has found a team identity – one he intends to upkeep this year. Physicality, grit, and swagger. This year, Freeman hopes to add in some more offensive pop.

10. Florida State Seminoles

College Football Preseason Top 25
Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell watches on as his players come off the field. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 39-17 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. / Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

FSU loses a majority of what propelled them to a 13-0 regular season and ACC championship last year. So, they hit the portal to reload. D.J. Uiagalelei looks to remake his image as a star QB in Tallahassee, much like Jordan Travis was able to do over the course of a few seasons. He has a solid, although not all-star, cast around him. But Mike Norvell finds a way to generate efficient offenses.

The Seminoles may lean more on the defense this year than years past. The pass rush duo of Patrick Payton and Georgia transfer Marvin Jones Jr. is one of the ACC's best. Fentrell Cypress, Shyheim Brown, and Azareye'h Thomas make up a strong secondary.

11. Clemson Tigers

Defensively, Clemson should remain an elite team. Its defensive front seven is one of the country's best. Dabo Swinney seriously improved the receiving room with recruting additions of Bryant Wesco Jr. and T.J. Moore. Phil Mafha takes the bellcow role and will be one of the best rushers in the ACC. The Tigers' success comes down squarely on the shoulders of Cade Klubnik, who has far from delivered on his five-star promise.

12. LSU Tigers

LSU turns over a ton, chiefly a Heisman-winning QB. Garrett Nussmeier is plenty ready to start in the SEC and the cast around him is still strong. Defensively, the Tigers must improve after finishing outside the top 100 a year ago. They hired Missouri DC Blake Baker, but the talent is still thin. Expect to hear a lot of Harold Perkins at linebacker this year.

13. Utah Utes

OK, now Utah returns QB Cameron Rising from his torn ACL in January 2023. Kyle Whittingham is one of the country's best head coaches. Last year, Utah won eight games with half the roster on the injured list and most of those guys return this year. DT Junior Tafuna is likely a preseason All-American and APEX Sione Fotu is a defensive machine. This was a 10- to 11-win Utah team at full strength last year and most of that talent returns this year.

14. Boise State Broncos

Get ready for a Boise breakout. The Broncos landed former five-star QB Malachi Nelson from USC and return all-world RB Asthon Jeanty. Boise will have no problem scoring the ball at-will, even on Power Conference foes. But defensively is where it surprises this year. The secondary is one of the Group of Five's best, if not the country's. Returning a top-20 offensive line doesn't hurt, either.

I expect Boise State to secure the Go5's automatic playoff bid.

15. Missouri Tigers

QB Brady Cook and WR Luther Burden might be the country's most dynamic pass-catching duo. Burden is a future high NFL draft pick and leads a room that isn't devoid of other talent. Mizzou replaces 1,600-yard rusher Cody Schrader with a combination of Marcus Carroll (Georgia State) and Nate Noel (App State), two capable rushers. Losing DC Baker is a tough pill to swallow, but Eliah Drinkwitz hired South Alabama DC Corey Batoon, who led the Jaguars top to-25 finishes the last two years.

16. Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners face a brutal schedule their first year in the SEC, but that's not a reason to downgrade this team. Jackson Arnold forced Dillon Gabriel to hit the transfer portal, indicating at least Gabriel expected him to take over as QB1. Purdue transfer Deion Burks might be the most exciting addition of anyone in the portal. Defensively, Oklahoma made massive strides. Head coach Brent Venables received a raise and re-worked six-year deal this offseason, too.

17. Virginia Tech Hokies

Get ready for the Hokies. QB Kyron Drones is dynamic, but needs to improve his accuracy. He returns alongside Virginia Tech's best receiving room in years, led by Ali Jennings, Jaylin Lane, and Da'Quan Felton. Bhayshul Tuten is a do-it-all beast at RB. But watch for Virginia Tech's defense this year. Its defensive line and secondary are particular strengths, especially after landing Duke All-ACC DT Aeneas Peebles in the portal.

18. Liberty Flames

Few programs in the country have as dynamic a QB as Kaidon Salter. Liberty ponied up in the NIL department to keep Salter in Lynchburg despite him testing the waters briefly. He and RB Quinton Cooley will make up one of the most dynamic rushing attacks under Jamey Chadwell. While the team will need to find a new No. 1 WR – C.J. Daniels left for LSU – Liberty should tear through Conference USA like tissue paper and is a nationally-relevant team in 2024.

19. Texas A&M Aggies

Finally, Texas A&M has an adult in the room. I've historically left Texas A&M outside my preseason Top 25 and, annually, been correct in doing so. But I trust Mike Elko and the talent is there. QB Conner Weigman, when healthy, has been one of the most efficient QBs in the country, even in a flawed system. Enter Kansas State OC Collin Klein. While I don't think the Aggies have the roster talent to be a top-10 program this year, they're certainly inside the top 25.

20. Tennessee Volunteers

Learn the name Nico Iamaleava. The rising QB – famous for his reported lucrative NIL deal – is a definitive upgrade from Joe Milton, especially in Josh Huepel's system. Tennessee returns a very good cast of pass-catchers that suffered cluster injuries last year. The Vols also return All-American EDGE James Pearce Jr., likely a top-10 NFL draft pick. The biggest liability: Tennessee's secondary. That could sink the Vols on multiple occasions in the SEC.

21. Kansas State Wildcats

QB Avery Johnson has a pretty strong resume so far – five rushing TDs in his debut and a Pop-Tarts Bowl victory over NC State in which he accounted for every touchdown scored by K-State. Losing Klein to Texas A&M is tough, but this offensive system is uniquely Chris Kleimann's. Eight starters return on defense, but two NFL draft picks must be replaced on the offensive line.

22. Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Like Texas A&M, it's been tradition to omit Miami from the top 25. This year, I truly believe they have so much talent on the roster that Mario Cristobal has no choice but to win games. Whether they finish the year inside the top 25 is certainly up for debate – after all, this is a preseason top-25 rank – especially when Cristobal can't get out of his own way. Cam Ward is a definitive upgrade at QB, Damien Martinez is a top-flight RB, and WR Xavier Restrepo is an All-American candidate.

Defensively and along the offensive line, Miami is truly loaded. Let's see if they can talent their way out of incompetent coaching.

23. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Mike Gundy does one thing: win football games. Oklahoma State is always better than the consensus expects and 2024 is no exception. The Pokes return almost everyone, but notably RB Ollie Gordon, who received Heisman votes last year. The continuity from a 10-win, conference runner-up finish is too strong to believe Oklahoma State takes a step back, especially in a conference that just got easier.

24. West Virginia Mountaineers

QB Garrett Greene is poised to be a breakout star this season. Greene finished near the top of the country in average depth of target, big time throws, and nearly every QB rushing metric. Bringing up his completion percentage could vault him into Heisman conversations. WVU returns a bulk of its overall production from last year, but does face a gauntlet.

25. Tulane Green Wave

Willie Fritz just went 23-5 in two seasons with Tulane, including a Cotton Bowl win over USC. So, how do you replace him? You go hire Jon Sumrall, who went 23-5 in two seasons at Troy with two league titles. QB Kai Horton shined in replacement duty last year and Tulane brings in USC transfer Mario Williams and Alabama WR Shazz Preston. This is a good football team that I don't expect to miss much of a beat in transition.

Next five out: Iowa, Kansas, SMU, Arizona, Louisville

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Brett Gibbons


Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s covered college sports for Fansided, Stadium Journey, and several independent outlets over the past five years. A graduate of BGSU, Brett currently works on-site at Google as a project lead for content curation products.