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The Top 5 College Football Teams To Watch This Season

Gavin Turner

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Fall season is approaching, and this means time for school and colder weather, but this also means it’s time for college football. The first official game of college football for the 2018-2019 season was Thursday, August 30th. University of Central Florida played Connecticut and got the victory, 56 to 17. The reason the outcome of this game was one sided is because UCF is ranked 16th as of now in division 1 football, and Connecticut isn’t ranked. This was still a good season opener, especially because it gave us a taste of how exciting this season is hyped up to be. Over 100 teams, all trying to compete for that #1 spot. In this article, I will be ranking the top 5 teams in NCAA Football. These rankings are based off of win loss records of last year, toughest schedules, and key players on each team. I will also be talking about the most important and anticipated games of the season, and specific players to watch this season. Lastly, I will be talking about the projected win loss record of each team.

5. Miami Hurricanes
In 2017, the hurricanes had an overall record of 10-3. They lost to Pittsburgh, Clemson, and Wisconsin. This season, the Hurricanes are projected on “espn.com” to repeat their same win loss record as last year, 10 wins and 3 losses. Miami had a nice season last year, but it was cut short in the Orange Bowl, losing 34-24 against the Wisconsin Badgers. You’ve probably heard of the Miami Hurricanes even if you aren’t into college football, as they are one of the more popular organizations in the nation. But the Hurricanes aren’t just popular for no reason, they have been one of the best NCAA teams for decades. The Hurricanes have some special players on their roster this year, and I’m going to show you a few jersey numbers to look at for the Hurricanes this season.

Malik Rosier, QB, 12
Last season, Rosier threw 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, this ratio isn’t too bad, especially because he completed 54% of his passes. Malik also totaled over 3,100 yards, with a passer rating of 131.1. This is their starting quarterback, so this season relies heavily on him.

Joe Jackson, DE, 99
There’s a lot you can say about this top defensive end, but let’s start with his frame. He’s a 6’5, 270 pound beast who stacked up 8 and a half sacks his freshman season. This is his third year, and he’s projected to total double digit sacks. He’s fast, heavy, and hungrier than ever for more sacks.

Ahmmon Richards, WR, 82
This is Miami’s star wide receiver going into his junior year, and is expected to grab more touchdowns and run more yards than ever before in his college career. In Ahmmon’s career, he has over 1,300 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns.

4. Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers, led by third-year head coach Paul Chryst, were members of the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and played their home games at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. They finished last season 13–1, going 9–0 in Big Ten play to finish the regular season undefeated and win the Big Ten West Division championship. They represented the West Division in the Big Ten Championship Game where they lost to East Division champion Ohio State. The final score of the Wisconsin- Ohio State game was 27 to 21. This was a disappointing loss for Wisconsin, especially after going 9-0. If Wisconsin were to beat Ohio, I believe they would have won the Championship. These key players I’m about to show you are the reason they could have won it all last year.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, 23
This speedy half back was a huge part of this team last year, and he was only a freshman. In his first year of college, Taylor racked up a total of almost 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. I put Taylor on this list because of his remarkable stats as a young player, and because of how much time he has to develop into an elite college running back. Many say this is his season and his team.

T.J. Edwards, LB, 53
This 6’1, 248-pounder decided to come back for his senior season, and this is spectacular news for the Badgers. A thumper on the inside with great instincts, he was second on the team with 81 tackles with 2 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions, taking one for a score against Maryland in 2017.

D’Cota Dixon, S, 14
Switching to safety his Junior year, D’cota is a spectacular defensive back with speed, agility, and can lay someone down with ease. Last season, he had 37 solo tackles and an interception.

3.Ohio State Buckeyes
For the first time since winning the national championship in 2014, Ohio State can call itself “Big Ten champs.” But unlike that magical season, the Buckeyes won’t be going to the playoffs. Despite a strong resume that includes the aforementioned title along with big wins vs. No. 2 Penn State, No. 12 Michigan State and No. 4 Wisconsin, Ohio State was left out of the College Football Playoff. A 31-16 home loss in September to then-No. 5 Oklahoma hurt OSU. But the fact the Buckeyes got destroyed, 55-24, by an unranked Iowa team in November proved most costly to Urban Meyer’s club.
This 2017 Buckeyes team was dominant on offense under new coordinator Kevin Wilson. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring (42.5 ppg) and No. 1 in total offense (523.6 ypg). J.T. Barrett is the consensus first-team All-Big Ten quarterback, ranking No. 1 in the Big Ten in pass efficiency by hitting 64 percent of his attempts for 2,939 yards with 35 touchdowns and 732 yards rushing. K.J. Hill is is favorite target, who has 55 catches for 546 yards. Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins ranks second in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,364 yards. Billy Price won the Rimington Award as the nation’s top center. Tackle Jamarco Jones was consensus first-team all-league, while guard Michael Jordan was first-team by the coaches.
The defense also did its part, ranking No. 6 in the Big Ten in scoring (19.9 ppg) and No. 3 in total defense (292.3 ypg). Ends Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis were consensus first-team All-Big Ten picks; cornerback Denzel Ward, who is now on the Cleveland Browns, was first-team All-Big Ten by the media. End Sam Hubbard was a consensus second-team selection.

Jeffrey Okudah, CB, 29
This sophomore 5-star cornerback is looking to lead Ohio’s defense to victory this season. Okudah had a solid season last year playing alongside Denzel Ward, and projected by 247Sports, his stats at the end of this season are elite college defensive back numbers. 33 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 10 passes defended. He’s their best cornerback this season, and as expected by many, he should have a breakout year.

Dwayne Haskins, QB, 7
This is his team, this is Ohio State’s starting quarterback, and through his leadership the Buckeyes look to win it all this year. His projected 2018 season stats are spectacular, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be a top 5 pick. 2,799 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Haskins could be in the Heisman race by mid season.

J.K. Dobbins, RB, 2
This all-purpose running back is something special. Coming out of his breakout season last year, Dobbins has potential to have serious NFL talent. Last season as a freshman, Dobbins had ran 1,400 yards, 27 receptions and ran in 7 touchdowns. Come his sophomore season, he’s more experienced, he’s trained more, got faster and has gained more power.

2. Clemson Tigers
The Clemson Tigers have been a top seed NCAA football team for years, and this 2018-19 season will be no different. With new faces and developing players to add onto their already special roster, the Clemson Tigers are many’s favorites to take it all this season. Last year, the Tigers won 12 games, only losing to Syracuse Orange and Alabama Crimson Tide. Although these were tough losses, the Tigers haven’t lost a step. They are still hungry for another championship and have plenty of talent to do so.

Trayvon Mullen, CB, 1
In 2017, Mullen had a stand out year with 30 solo tackles, and 3 interceptions. His junior season has begun, and he already has 3 solo tackles in one game, so this should be his best year yet.

Kendall Joseph, LB, 34
Joseph’s been an amazing linebacker for the Tigers, and this season is going to be his best yet. Last season, he toadled many tackles, solo and assisted last season to go along with his 37 yard interception.

Tee Higgins, WR, 5
Tee Higgins is a huge receiver. Standing 6’5, and this height along with his speed makes him an outstanding receiver in college. He can beat the best defensive backs in the nation with his height and vertical, and he’s the type of wide receiver that can make a bad throw look like a good throw.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is no question the best team in College right now. They won the national championship last season, and they have acquired more talent on their roster this year. Their championship season’s record was 13-1, they had lost to the Clemson Tigers 35-31. With the talent on this 2018-2019 roster, the Crimson Tide are looking to have a good chance on winning back to back national championships. Now here’s the top players to look out for on Alabama this season.

Jalen Hurts, QB, 2
Jalen is no question Alabama’s starting quarterback, last season he threw 17 touchdowns with only one interception, and this year, Hurts has better targets to throw to, and his running back also developed well.

Raekwon Davis, DE, 99
Last season, Davis earned a first team ALL-SEC accolade as a sophomore. This 6’7 Defensive end is one of the most important pieces to this great team.

Mack Wilson, MLB, 30
Leading this defense going into 2018, Wilson is coming off a spectacular season. At linebacker, Wilson had 21 solo tackles, and had many near-interception plays. Going into this season, Mack is going to want interceptions to go along with tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles more than anybody.

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