Here’s a look at the next team in Chop Chat’s 2016 Preseason College Football Top 10 Rankings.
As we are in the final month without college football (thank God that nightmare is almost over), teams from across the country will be hitting the practice fields getting ready for the 2016 season. For 25 of those teams, the season will start being ranked in the first polls for the 2016 campaign.
From Tallahassee to Tuscaloosa and Norman to South Bend, everyone from the traditional powers to the upstart programs will look to find their name with a number beside it for (at least) the opening weekend of the 2016 season.
Here at Chop Chat, we aren’t different from anyone else…we have the teams we think will start off the year ranked way too high and those who aren’t getting enough respect. So, here is our list of the top ten teams entering the 2016 season.
Before we get hate mail from fans of schools who are mad we didn’t rank their team high enough (or didn’t rank them at all), know that this is just a preseason list entering week one. In no way are we saying that this list is the way things will end up on January 10, 2017 after the national championship team. After all, with (spoiler alert) a lot of our top 10 teams playing each other this season, there will be plenty of changes before the month of September is even done.
No. 1 – Clemson Tigers
For years, the Tigers were always close to making it to the promise land in college football…but would self implode to the point that the term “Clemsoning” became used. In 2015, Dabo Swinney’s team put that away with wins over Notre Dame and FSU, followed by winning the ACC and their CFP semifinal before coming within one score of winning the national title.
It’s no secret that the offense runs through maybe the best quarterback in college football. The things Deshaun Watson was doing as a sophomore last season were enough to make even the most cynical fan take notice. The likely Heisman Trophy favorite will be helped by returning stars at the skill positions, including running back Wayne Gallman and wide receivers Artavis Scott and Mike Williams.
While the defense does lose plenty of talent to the NFL (Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Mackenzie Alexander, the list goes on), one of the advantages for Clemson is that many of the players that will be in the starting lineup last year did get serious playing time and won’t have the deer in the headlights look. One major return is that of linebacker Ben Boulware, who may very well be the best in the ACC.
Game of the Year
October 29th at Florida State – I feel like we just talked about this game, but it is that big. More than likely, both teams will be ranked in the top five, making it just the fifth time in the history of the ACC a conference matchup will have that status (and the second game between these schools to have that distinction).
Biggest Chance for an Upset
September 22nd at Georgia Tech – We don’t have to tell FSU fans the torture that comes with playing weekday games during the regular season…or playing games in Atlanta against Yellow Jacket teams that you should beat. Overlooking their longtime conference rivals would be a mistake for Dabo and company.