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    The Top College Football Teams Over The Next 3 Years 🎓

    College football's top-25 future overall power rankings


    These are turbulent times with more questions than answers, including when college football will resume. The future power rankings, which always appear in the spring, hopefully provide a reminder of normalcy.
    After examining quarterbacks, defenses and offenses, this list projects the top 25 teams for the next three seasons. The forecast covers the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons, and factors in both current rosters and future recruiting classes, as well as coaching, program trajectory and other categories.
    The team rankings obviously contain overlap with earlier versions, particularly at the top, but there's some variance, too. Coaching success/longevity and potential coaching change is arguably a bigger factor when projecting how teams will fare going forward.
    Check out last year's list, which had the eventual national champ (LSU) at No. 10 and the other three College Football Playoff participants in the top five (No. 1 Clemson, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Ohio State). I overvalued Texas (No. 7), Washington (No. 8), Michigan (No. 11) and Stanford (No. 15), while not giving enough love to Oregon (No. 14) and Minnesota (not ranked). Then again, these are three-year projections, so a lot will change.
    Let's look ahead to the new team rankings.

    1. Clemson Tigers

    Future QB ranking: 1
    Future offense ranking: 1
    Future defense ranking: 2

    Scouting the Tigers: Clemson has supplanted Alabama as the dominant team of the CFP era and leads off these projections for the second consecutive year. Both Alabama and Ohio State are in the conversation, but Clemson's ability to produce elite-level quarterbacks, reload on defense and dominate in recruiting is virtually unparalleled. The addition of D.J. Uiagalelei as Trevor Lawrence's likely successor solidifies the quarterback position. Skill-position depth on offense is never an issue, and the line isn't a liability.

    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables refuses to let his group slip, the biggest reason why Clemson stays at No. 1. Clemson lost a historically great group of defensive linemen from its national title team, and the unit still thrived last fall. A 2020 recruiting class headlined by Bryan Bresee (ESPN's top-rated tackle and No. 3 overall player) and Myles Murphy (ESPN's No. 4 end and No. 13 prospect) suggests Clemson's defense will thrive. The Tigers will enter next season favored to win a national title, and more could be on the way.

    2. Ohio State Buckeyes

    Future QB ranking: 2
    Future offense ranking: 2
    Future defense ranking: 3

    Scouting the Buckeyes: Ohio State's impressive 2020 NFL draft output suggests the program has underachieved while going without a national title since 2014. Given the roster and a 2021 recruiting class currently ranked No. 1 nationally, the Buckeyes should expect to hoist a trophy in the next three years. Ohio State's defense restored its edge last fall after a messy 2018, and the outlook is strong despite losing two of the top three overall draft picks in Chase Young and Jeff Okudah. A veteran linebacker group and star cornerback Shaun Wade lead the 2020 defense, and a pipeline of younger players (Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith) and recruits (Jack Sawyer, Tunmise Adeleye) fortify the future.
    Coach Ryan Day has dramatically elevated quarterback play, which the Buckeyes should be able to sustain even after Justin Fields departs. Ohio State is recruiting elite-level offensive skill players such as Garrett Wilson (2019), Julian Fleming (2020) and TreVeyon Henderson (2021), and its offensive line should remain one of the nation's best, as five-star tackle Paris Johnson Jr. joins a talented group featuring Wyatt Davis and others.

    3. Alabama Crimson Tide

    Future QB ranking: 4
    Future offense ranking: 4
    Future defense ranking: 5

    Scouting the Tide: Alabama missed the CFP for the first time last season, but don't expect the Tide to fall out regularly. The key is Nick Saban's defense restoring its performance standard after not looking right since the end of the 2018 season. Better injury luck will help, as linebacker Dylan Moses returns to lead a group that gained experience in 2019. The front seven projects well, especially if nose guard DJ Dale plays two more seasons and recruits such as defensive end Chris Braswell blossom. But Alabama will need to restore its typical depth and excellence in the secondary.
    Tua Tagovailoa leaves an incredible legacy, but Alabama has enough playmakers surrounding his successor at quarterback -- likely Mac Jones or incoming freshman Bryce Young -- to maintain the unit's production. Wide receiver is a nationally elite position in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama's outlook at running back -- one more year of Najee Harris, then Trey Sanders and others for 2021 and 2022 -- might be the best on the entire team.

    4. Georgia Bulldogs

    Future QB ranking: 11
    Future offense ranking: 6
    Future defense ranking: 1

    Scouting the Bulldogs: Here's the deal, Dawgs. You're staying here because of the incredible talent you've compiled, especially on defense, and a still-thriving recruiting operation. But another year without a CFP appearance and with offensive stagnancy will result in a drop. Georgia's defense projects well through 2022, especially at linebacker with veterans such as Monty Rice and underclassmen like Azeez Ojulari and Nakobe Dean. Coach Kirby Smart is also building great depth in the secondary, buoyed by the signing of Kelee Ringo (ESPN's top-rated cornerback).
    The key figure in Georgia's trajectory might not be a player, but a playcaller in Todd Monken. The new offensive coordinator's work, beginning with quarterback transfer Jamie Newman, should determine whether Georgia gets over the hump. Georgia just had two offensive linemen drafted in the first round, a pipeline likely to continue despite Sam Pittman's departure to Arkansas. Wide receiver is a big spot to watch, as Georgia gets George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock for at least two more years.

    5. LSU Tigers

    Future QB ranking: 15
    Future offense ranking: 5
    Future defense ranking: 4

    Scouting the Tigers: LSU is capable of owning a top-three spot annually in these rankings. Last fall, the Tigers showed what they can become with the right quarterback and right offensive architect. Coach Ed Orgeron now must show he can win championships without Joe Burrow and Joe Brady. While a one-year slide is possible, given all that LSU loses, the roster is positioned well long term. New quarterback Myles Brennan, who could play through 2021, will be throwing to reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall Jr. and other talented targets, including incoming freshman tight end Arik Gilbert (ESPN's No. 6 2020 recruit). New passing game coordinator Scott Linehan and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger must keep a proven structure in place.
    LSU's defense also goes through transition but has standout cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. for two more years, as well as standout recruits such as linebacker Phillip Webb and lineman Jaquelin Roy. New coordinator Bo Pelini likely will prioritize identifying and developing pass-rushers.

    6. Oklahoma Sooners

    Future QB ranking: 5
    Future offense ranking: 3
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Sooners: OU is at a crossroads, an odd spot for a program that has claimed five consecutive Big 12 titles and 58 wins since 2015, fourth-most nationally. The Sooners remain arguably the nation's preeminent offense, orchestrated by coach Lincoln Riley and executed by a gifted group of backs, receivers and linemen. Riley won't be molding a quarterback transfer into a Heisman Trophy contender in 2020, but he has enough to work with at QB and especially at receiver, where Charleston Rambo, Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease all could play two more seasons. All-American center Creed Humphrey leads a line that should never slip under Bill Bedenbaugh's watch.
    OU remains winless in the CFP because it lacks the defensive personnel to stop top offenses from the Southeast. The defense's development under coordinator Alex Grinch will determine if OU stays in the top five or slips closer to No. 10 in future team rankings. Two NFL draft picks in the first three rounds (Kenneth Murray, Neville Gallimore) is a good sign, but the unit lacks star power. Recruiting gains such as 2020 LB/DE Reggie Grimes are encouraging.

    7. Florida Gators

    Future QB ranking: 8
    Future offense ranking: 8
    Future defense ranking: 7

    Scouting the Gators: Dan Mullen has energized Florida's offense and positioned the program for a breakthrough season. Although recruiting can be a knock against Mullen, Florida has signed back-to-back ESPN top-10 classes, heavy with defensive front-seven players like Mohamoud Diabate (2019) and Gervon Dexter (2020). ESPN ranks the 2021 class at No. 5. Florida must show it can overcome Georgia and make a genuine push for the CFP, but the ingredients are coming together. Senior quarterback Kyle Trask leads an offense featuring Mackey Award candidate Kyle Pitts, wideout Trevon Grimes, running back Dameon Pierce and others. If the offensive line stabilizes, the unit projects well through 2022.

    The defense remains on a positive track under Todd Grantham, although the pass rush and linebackers will be mostly new in 2020. Florida has good depth at cornerback (Marco Wilson, Trey Dean) and defensive tackle (Kyree Campbell, Tedarrell Slaton). If the unit's recruiting success translates, it can crack the top five.

    8. Oregon Ducks

    Future QB ranking: 19
    Future offense ranking: 13
    Future defense ranking: 6

    Scouting the Ducks: Oregon's defense projects as the Pac-12's top unit -- and among the nation's best -- and coach Mario Cristobal has upgraded areas like offensive line. The Ducks' overall recruiting momentum -- they landed ESPN's No. 6 class in 2019 and finished No. 13 in 2020 -- also strengthens the program's profile. Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos returns a veteran, ball-hawking secondary that includes non-seniors like Jevon Holland and Verone McKinley III. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (nine sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss) will trigger the pass rush for at least two more years.
    There are short-term questions on offense, but new playcaller Joe Moorhead is an exciting pickup and the run game should thrive with veteran back CJ Verdell and Outland Trophy winner Penei Sewell creating space. Moorhead's quarterback development -- of sophomore Tyler Shough or Boston College transfer Anthony Brown -- likely will determine whether Oregon returns to the CFP.

    9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Future QB ranking: 7
    Future offense ranking: 9
    Future defense ranking: 13

    Scouting the Irish: Notre Dame is 33-6 since 2017 with one CFP appearance, and it seems unlikely to fall out of the top 10 anytime soon. The question is whether the Irish take a step and challenge for their first national title since 1988. Notre Dame needs more star power on offense, which might come through improved recruiting. Running back Chris Tyree, wide receiver Jordan Johnson and tight end Michael Mayer are already signed, and quarterback Tyler Buchner arrives in 2021. Ian Book (6,118 pass yards, 57 touchdowns) leads the unit for one more season, playing behind a very seasoned line.
    The defense has a lot to replace in the short term, but sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton is a key building block for coordinator Clark Lea, who also could get linebackers Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Drew White for multiple seasons.
    Coaching is an area to watch, as 27-year-old Tommy Rees becomes the team's offensive coordinator, while Lea remains a hot commodity for head-coaching positions and Brian Kelly could be nearing retirement.

    10. Penn State Nittany Lions

    Future QB ranking: 12
    Future offense ranking: 10
    Future defense ranking: 10

    Scouting the Lions: Three 11-win seasons out of the past four suggests Penn State is on the brink of its first CFP appearance. Like several teams in this section of the power rankings, the Lions need to get through a key opponent, Ohio State, to reach the elite tier. They have recruited well enough: a landmark 2018 class (ranked No. 4 by ESPN), followed by two top-15 classes. An ascending defense under coordinator Brent Pry features national player of the year candidate Micah Parsons, emerging pass-rusher Jayson Oweh and an exciting group of young players, including incoming recruits Curtis Jacobs and Cole Brevard. The long-term outlook on defense is very good.
    PSU's offense wants to recapture its 2016-17 production under new playcaller Kirk Ciarrocca, who inherits a good quarterback situation with Sean Clifford, Will Levis and others. There are multiple playmakers at both running back and tight end, including Mackey Award candidate Pat Freiermuth, and the offensive line boasts a nice mix of veterans and talented non-seniors.

    11. Texas Longhorns

    Future QB ranking: 6
    Future offense ranking: 12
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Longhorns: Texas is a challenging team to project, but not because of talent. The Longhorns recruit well enough on both sides of the ball, which could help the defense make significant strides under new coordinator Chris Ash after a shaky performance in 2019. The defense lacks many seniors and returns promising players such as safety Caden Sterns and junior linebacker Joseph Ossai, who had a breakout Alamo Bowl performance (three sacks, six tackles for loss). Ash's priority will be getting more out of talented underclassmen like tackle Keondre Coburn, linebacker Ayodele Adeoye and cornerback Jalen Green, as well as decorated recruits including lineman Alfred Collins.
    Senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a proven star, surrounded by promising running backs and solid receivers. Texas has recruited well behind Ehlinger (Hudson Card, Ja'Quinden Jackson), at running back (Bijan Robinson) and elsewhere, which will benefit new playcaller Mike Yurcich. Offensive line is an area to monitor, but Texas should be disappointed if it doesn't make its CFP debut by 2022.

    12. Auburn Tigers

    Future QB ranking: NR
    Future offense ranking: 19
    Future defense ranking: 9

    Scouting the Tigers: The tricky part with Auburn isn't talent. The program boasts enough to challenge for the SEC and the CFP. But coach Gus Malzahn's job status, along with questions about whether he's lost his fastball on offense, casts a shadow over the program and its three-year outlook. Auburn's defense is rolling under veteran coordinator Kevin Steele and projects well at positions like linebacker with senior K.J. Britt and dynamic sophomore Owen Pappoe. Although the Tigers will miss Derrick Brown and others up front, their line development and back-seven recruiting (Christopher Thompson Jr., Ladarius Tennison, Wesley Steiner) virtually ensures no major slippage.
    The SEC is trending more toward offense, though, and both Malzahn and new coordinator Chad Morris need more from quarterback Bo Nix in his second season. Auburn has enough at wide receiver and running back, especially after adding standout 2020 recruit Tank Bigsby. An offensive line upgrade will help, although the group will have continuity.

    13. Wisconsin Badgers

    Future QB ranking: 22
    Future offense ranking: 22
    Future defense ranking: 12

    Scouting the Badgers: Despite recent struggles in its biggest games, Wisconsin is a model of consistency, winning 10 or more games in five of the past six seasons and in eight of the past 11. The defense should remain Wisconsin's signature unit under Jim Leonhard, as the depth along the line and in the secondary should help overcome the loss of linebackers Zack Baun and Chris Orr. Leonhard's influence over the secondary is showing with Reggie Pearson, Faion Hicks and others. Wisconsin gets productive linebacker Jack Sanborn for two more years, alongside young backers like Leo Chenal.
    Wisconsin's next-step status as a program hinges on its offense and the quarterback position, which will go to efficient senior Jack Coan or Graham Mertz, a decorated 2019 recruit. A short-term dip at running back is likely with Jonathan Taylor exiting, but Wisconsin ultimately needs more playmakers in its passing game. Senior Cole Van Lanen anchors the offensive line, which also has several key non-seniors (Logan Bruss, Tyler Beach, Logan Brown).

    14. Washington Huskies

    Future QB ranking: NR
    Future offense ranking: NR
    Future defense ranking: 8

    Scouting the Huskies: Washington has been a top-10 regular in these projections and could soon rejoin that exclusive club. But there are questions to answer, beginning with Jimmy Lake, a first-time head coach replacing future Hall of Famer Chris Petersen. A Huskies assistant since 2014, Lake helped in the program's revival, and there's little doubt his defenses will remain among the nation's best. The 2020 unit is loaded, as safety Elijah Molden and end Levi Onwuzurike are both national awards candidates. Washington also has plenty of talented non-seniors and standout recruits such as Sav'ell Smalls, ESPN's No. 15 prospect for 2020.

    Washington's big unknowns are on offense, beginning with quarterback but filtering elsewhere, as leading rusher Salvon Ahmed and tight end Hunter Bryant, the team's top receiver in 2019, both depart for the NFL. Lake's hire of coordinator John Donovan came as a surprise. There are short-term concerns along the line and really throughout the whole unit, which casts some clouds over the program's forecast.

    15. Texas A&M Aggies

    Future QB ranking: 13
    Future offense ranking: 16
    Future defense ranking: 20

    Scouting the Aggies: Texas A&M is a midtier regular in the FPR team projection, but the upcoming season will show whether the program can move up in class. There's rare opportunity in the SEC West, as both LSU and Alabama might be vulnerable. Coach Jimbo Fisher's third season will be pivotal, as Texas A&M returns veteran quarterback Kellen Mond and other key contributors. Although Mond departs in 2021, Texas A&M has recruited well behind him and also projects well at running back (Isaiah Spiller), tight end (Jalen Wydermyer, Baylor Cupp) and along the line (Kenyon Green). Fisher shouldn't be limited in how he calls games through 2022.
    The Aggies' defense also could be poised for big things under coordinator Mike Elko, who has a strong mix of veterans (linebackers Anthony Hines III and Buddy Johnson, safety Demani Richardson) and young guys (sophomore tackle DeMarvin Leal, incoming freshman cornerback Jaylon Jones). The $75 million coach must deliver a contender, beginning in the next season.

    16. Baylor Bears

    Future QB ranking: 14
    Future offense ranking: 21
    Future defense ranking: 17

    Scouting the Bears: Dave Aranda inherits a much better situation in Waco, Texas, than his predecessor, Matt Rhule, did. While Aranda is a first-time head coach, his steady approach and expertise on defense should keep Baylor on a positive trajectory. Baylor's defense loses a lot from 2019, including All-American end James Lynch and linebacker Clay Johnston. But Aranda can build around linebacker Terrel Bernard for at least another year, and the secondary looks solid with cornerbacks Raleigh Texada and Kalon Barnes. Aranda and veteran coordinator Ron Roberts should make Baylor a destination for top in-state defensive recruits.
    Baylor's offense is set up well at quarterback, as senior Charlie Brewer returns with sophomore Gerry Bohanon and redshirt freshman Jacob Zeno behind him. The Bears boast solid seniors at running back and wide receiver, as well as younger players like junior wideout R.J. Sneed. Offensive line play must be upgraded, but Baylor's offense could be more productive under new coordinator Larry Fedora.

    17. USC Trojans

    Future QB ranking: 3
    Future offense ranking: 7
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Trojans: Coach Clay Helton remains on the hottest of seats, but he also could have his best team since 2016, when the Trojans won the Rose Bowl and finished No. 3 nationally. Then again, would a coaching change improve USC's long-term forecast?
    Here's what we know: USC's offense should be very good for the next few years. Quarterback Kedon Slovis could lead the unit through 2022 after a record-setting freshman season. Wide receiver projects well with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns in the short term and top 2019 recruits Bru McCoy and Kyle Ford beyond. Although coordinator Graham Harrell's offense is pass-oriented, USC has options at running back, including speedy sophomore Kenan Christon. Offensive line is worth watching, as USC needs more consistency after a recent run of quarterback injuries.
    The big key is upgrading a talented but sloppy defense, now under coordinator Todd Orlando. USC's two-deep is filled with talented non-seniors such as linemen Jay Tufele and Drake Jackson, and defensive backs Talanoa Hufanga, Isaiah Pola-Mao and Chris Steele.

    18. Michigan Wolverines

    Future QB ranking: 24
    Future offense ranking: 23
    Future defense ranking: 11

    Scouting the Wolverines: There's a lot of doom and gloom around the Maize and Blue, but Michigan just produced 10 NFL draft picks for the second time in five years. The program is 47-18 (32-12 Big Ten) under Jim Harbaugh, although failings against Ohio State (0-5) and in bowl games (1-4) stand out. Michigan's roster needs upgrades, beginning at quarterback, where Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton compete, each with multiple seasons of eligibility. Until an elite QB emerges, Michigan likely won't sniff the top 10 of these rankings. Running back and wide receiver project well, even after veteran wideout Nico Collins departs. Offensive line depth is a short-term concern, but Michigan already has three ESPN 300 juniors committed for 2021.
    Michigan's defense remains sturdy enough against Big Ten teams not named Ohio State. The line and secondary will be the unit's strength in 2020, as end Aidan Hutchinson and safety Daxton Hill are among those with multiple seasons of eligibility. Veteran coordinator Don Brown seems entrenched at U-M, but what happens if his unit continues to struggle against Ohio State?

    19. North Carolina Tar Heels

    Future QB ranking: 9
    Future offense ranking: 15
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Tar Heels: UNC is by far the biggest riser in the team rankings. Outside of LSU, few programs had a more positive one-year change. The Heels fast-tracked a star in quarterback Sam Howell, who will lead the offense for at least two more seasons after throwing 38 touchdown passes as a true freshman. UNC's offense features non-seniors like running back Javonte Williams and wide receiver Dyami Brown, as well as running back Michael Carter and wideout Dazz Newsome for one more year. If the Heels address short-term issues with the line, their offense should thrive.
    UNC's defense just missed the top-25 rankings, but coordinator Jay Bateman is excellent and the unit likely will continue to improve. There are short-term line concerns, but UNC has good experience at linebacker (Chazz Surratt, Jeremiah Gemmel) and cornerback depth with returning players and transfers.
    The other huge factor is recruiting. UNC signed ESPN's No. 16 class in 2020, headlined by defensive ends Desmond Evans (No. 2 player overall) and Myles Murphy (No. 100 overall). The Heels already have 11 ESPN 300 juniors committed, including end Keeshawn Silver (No. 10 overall), and their 2021 class currently ranks No. 3 nationally.

    20. UCF Knights

    Future QB ranking: 18
    Future offense ranking: 14
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Knights: UCF showed some cracks in 2019, dropping three regular-season games (albeit by a total of seven points) and failing to make the New Year's Six for the first time in three years. But the Knights still outscored opponents 564-299 and developed yet another standout young quarterback in Dillon Gabriel, who could lead the offense through 2022. A UCF offense that ranks second nationally in scoring since 2017 (44.95 points per game) isn't about to derail. The Knights regain productive veterans like running back Otis Anderson and wide receiver Tre Nixon for one more year, as well as key juniors like All-AAC guard Cole Schneider.
    A veteran and talented secondary featuring Richie Grant and Aaron Robinson will lead the defense in 2020. UCF will lose a lot after next season, but the potential of younger players like ends Tre'mon Morris-Brash and Randy Charlton, and linebacker Eriq Gilyard bodes well for 2021.

    21. Oklahoma State Cowboys

    Future QB ranking: 10
    Future offense ranking: 11
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Cowboys: Mike Gundy's coaching history -- eight seasons of nine or more wins, no three-year stretch without nine wins since his first three seasons -- indicates Oklahoma State should improve after two mediocre seasons. The Pokes' offense fuels the optimism, as Gundy has one of his better groups. Running back Chuba Hubbard, the nation's rushing leader in 2019, is back for another season. He'll share a backfield with quarterback Spencer Sanders, the 2019 Big 12 offensive freshman of the year. Wide receiver Tylan Wallace, a 2018 Biletnikoff Award finalist, also returns from injury and leads a receiving corps featuring senior Dillon Stoner, junior Braydon Johnson and others. The line has a mix of seniors (Teven Jenkins) and players who should return in 2021 (Bryce Bray, West Virginia transfer Josh Sills).

    Oklahoma State's defense returns nearly intact and boasts All-Big 12 players at linebacker (Amen Ogbongbemiga, Malcolm Rodriguez) and safety (Kolby Harvell-Peel). Non-seniors such as Harvell-Peel, safety Tre Sterling and end Trace Ford strengthen the defense's long-term forecast.

    22. Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Future QB ranking: 17
    Future offense ranking: 18
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Gophers: Like North Carolina, Minnesota is a newcomer to these rankings and carries momentum with both its current roster and in recruiting. The Gophers had a milestone 2019 season with 11 wins and a No. 10 poll finish. Although Minnesota loses five NFL draft picks, its most in the modern draft era, the roster remains solid, especially on offense.
    Quarterback Tanner Morgan has two years of eligibility left (team-record 3,253 pass yards, 30 touchdowns in 2019). He will target Rashod Bateman, the 2019 Big Ten wide receiver of the year, for at least one more season. Minnesota has a strong group of non-senior running backs (Mohamed Ibrahim, Cam Wiley) and wideouts (Chris Autman-Bell, Demetrius Douglas), and landed a commitment from ESPN 300 junior receiver Sam Jackson. Minnesota regains all five offensive line starters, and only two are seniors.
    The Gophers' defense improved substantially in 2019 but loses four All-Big Ten players, including NFL second-round draft pick Antoine Winfield Jr. There are building blocks at cornerback (senior Coney Durr), tackle (senior Micah Dew-Treadway) and elsewhere, and Minnesota has a commitment from 2021 cornerback Avante Dickerson (ESPN's No. 48 overall player).

    23. Iowa Hawkeyes

    Future QB ranking: NR
    Future offense ranking: NR
    Future defense ranking: 15

    Scouting the Hawkeyes: Since 2015, Iowa is tied for 12th nationally in wins (47). The Hawkeyes haven't quite achieved Wisconsin's consistency, but they aren't far off. Although Iowa prides itself on player development, its recent NFL draft run -- 16 players selected in the past four years -- indicates a recruiting uptick, amplified by the 2021 class (No. 8 in ESPN's rankings). Iowa loses three draft picks on defense plus leading tackler Kristian Welch. Senior end Chauncey Golston provides a pass-rushing presence and fortifies the line with junior tackle Daviyon Nixon. There are short-term questions in the front seven, but Iowa's secondary, a premier group in recent years, remains strong with cornerback Matt Hankins, safety Jack Koerner and others.
    On offense, Iowa turns to sophomore quarterback Spencer Petras to replace three-year starter Nate Stanley. Petras will have help with running back Tyler Goodson, who could play through 2022, and an improving receiving corps featuring seniors Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette and sophomores Nico Ragaini and Tyrone Tracy Jr. The offensive line projects well despite losing first-round pick Tristan Wirfs. Non-senior linemen Tyler Linderbaum, Kyler Schott and Mark Kallenberger will help beyond 2020.

    24. Louisville Cardinals

    Future QB ranking: 21
    Future offense ranking: 17
    Future defense ranking: NR

    Scouting the Cardinals: Last fall, Scott Satterfield did something extraordinary for a first-year coach, repairing a neglected locker room while also upgrading play. Although the Cardinals went only 8-5, they competed very hard and showed plenty of growth potential. Louisville's offense sets up very well for 2020 and beyond, especially if quarterback Micale Cunningham stays healthy. The Cardinals could get both leading receiver Tutu Atwell (1,276 yards in 2019) and leading rusher Javian Hawkins (1,525 yards) for multiple seasons, and tight end Marshon Ford also should play through 2021. Offensive line is an area to watch, especially after losing first-round NFL draft pick Mekhi Becton.
    Louisville's defense spent last season rebuilding, but upgrades are coming as coordinator Bryan Brown brings a strong record of player development. A speedy linebacking corps featuring seniors C.J. Avery, Rodjay Burns and Dorian Etheridge will lead the defense for one more season. Louisville also has some key non-seniors such as cornerbacks Chandler Jones (17 career starts) and Anthony Johnson (three forced fumbles in 2019), and linebacker Monty Montgomery (three forced fumbles, team-high five sacks).

    25. Appalachian State Mountaineers

    Future QB ranking: NR
    Future offense ranking: 24
    Future defense ranking: 23

    Scouting the Mountaineers: Several teams have a case for the final spot, including Cincinnati, Utah, Memphis, Arizona State, TCU, Stanford and Tennessee, which is on a recruiting surge. But Appalachian State is fifth nationally in winning percentage (.811) since 2016 and made both the offense and defense rankings. Although Shawn Clark will be the Mountaineers' third head coach in as many years, he has worked with the program since 2016 and inherits a very good situation. The forecast on offense is excellent, especially in the short term, as quarterback Zac Thomas (4,790 pass yards) is back, along with a veteran receiving corps and four starters on the line. The depth chart turns over a bit in 2021, although running back projects well with Daetrich Harrington and others.
    Appalachian State's defense goes through some short-term transition, especially at linebacker, but it regains two key building blocks in senior end Demetrius Taylor (team-high seven sacks, three forced fumbles in 2019) and junior cornerback Shaun Jolly (five interceptions). Jolly and other key non-seniors such as linebacker D'Marco Jackson will boost the unit in 2021.

  2. #2
    19th Hole
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    Stop it Hman.
    This is heartbreaking.
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  3. #3
    [Too Long]
    Hman's Avatar Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19th Hole View Post
    Stop it Hman.
    This is heartbreaking.
    Never know, could happen #19

  4. #4
    POINTS and CONTESTS only
    RudyRuetigger's Avatar SBR PRO
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    look app state is a feel good story

    you are eliminating big time schools so they can get 25?

    FLORIDA STATE worse than APP state????

    joke show

    im sure everyone would rather go to NEBRASKA than App St
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  5. #5
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    jjgold's Avatar Horses Moderator
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    same teams last 25 years

  6. #6
    Emma Mackey does it for me and idk why
    cjwatsonfan32's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Totally biased here but Tennessee should at least crack this top 25 list. No Im not like a lot of idiot Tennessee fans that believe every year is our year but we are doing very well in recruiting and Harrison Bailey seems to be on track to being a pretty good QB. Id say recent past success is a big factor in this list but I think Tennessee is a top 25 program in three years time
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    HMan, thanks for sharing

    it does look like a list of the best teams over the last 3-5 years.

    you look at a great story like minnesota this season. pretty rare AND eventually they lost to the 2 best teams in their division (if memory seres me correctly). so some of it had to do with timing of schedule....... not sure about baylor this year, but probably similar to some ways.

  8. #8
    Mr KLC
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    Arizona State
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    donation 02/17/2020

  9. #9
    BigdaddyQH's Avatar SBR PRO
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    So if Saban retires, or Meyer gets a vacant USC job, that would not change the rankings? The problem with these articles is that you are trying to project the future based on today's talent, and that never works.