Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

By Ed Jones 

TOP 50 in 2018...and Ed's Projections Of Where They Could Finish Up!

 

September 1, 2018 | View PDF

Never in my forty years of doing pre-season projections on how the top college football teams will finish their regular season, have I seen how the scene looks this year. Seven teams have a good chance to finish undefeated. As far as I can remember this has never happened and it is not really expected in 2018. Some of these teams will have a bad game and drop out of the undefeated category.

Clemson has the best avenue to an undefeated season because of their schedule. The Tigers play at Texas A&M, Florida State and Boston College. The biggest game on their schedule is the last one on November 24 in Clemson against state rival South Carolina. They will be heavily favored in all the rest.

Alabama, Georgia, Washington, USC, Oklahoma and Miami can also go undefeated. The Tide will have to really have a bad game with LSU in Baton Rouge, or lose to Auburn. It is possible. Georgia plays at South Carolina and at LSU. The big "Tea Party" in Jacksonville with Florida is a possible stumbling block as well as a home game with Auburn.

Speaking of Auburn, their first game with Washington in Atlanta is the key to the success of both teams. It looks like Auburn may be the only team that can beat Washington. If they do, the Tigers will be headed for a great season and Washington will have to win out if they have any hopes of a play-off berth.

Oklahoma is well positioned if they beat Texas in Dallas. Their other big tests will come at TCU and at West Virginia. Coach Mark Richt at Miami is a reach to play for the national championship. That is something that alluded him when he was coaching at Georgia. It would be bad news for Georgia fans if he gets in and Georgia does not.

Southern Cal has a legendary history of greatness in college football, but of late they have been just mediocre. That can change this year. Former Auburn quarterback Clay Helton has the talent and schedule luck going for him. He is in his fourth year as head coach, replacing Lane Kiffen in 2014. He has a chance to bring back some glory. It is doable, but with their schedule it will not allow much rest for the Trojans. They play at Stanford, Texas, Arizona, Utah and UCLA. The last game is at home with the always overrated Notre Dame.

Winning that gauntlet will put the Trojans in the play-offs.

Other teams who are capable of being play-off contenders are four teams from the Big 10. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin will be very good. However, this year they will beat up on each other and probably miss the "big dance".

Auburn is a dark horse this year. But, I see them losing to Washington, Georgia and Alabama. The Tigers could surprise if their defense is as good as advertised. We will see very early when the Huskies from Washington come to Atlanta, which has not been a good venue for Gus Malzahn's Tigers.

Well, once it starts, the season controls me for five months. Maybe you will be smart enough to avoid this addiction.

Tee it up boys. I need a fix!

1. Clemson 12-0

2. Alabama 11-1

3. Miami 11-1

4. Georgia 11-1

5. Oklahoma 11-1

6. Washington 11-1

7. USC 11-1

8. Ohio State 10-2

9. Michigan 10-2

10. South Carolina 10-2

11. Wisconsin 10-2

12. Penn State 10-2

13. Auburn 9-3

14. Stanford 10-2

15. Notre Dame 9-3

16. Michigan State 9-3

17. Florida 9-3

18. Iowa 9-3

19. Texas 9-3

20. Boise State 10-2

21. TCU 9-3

22. Mississippi State 9-3

23. Central of Florida 10-2

24. Memphis 9-3

25. North Carolina 9-3

26. Louisville 9-3

27. LSU 8-4

28. Oregon 8-4

29. West Virginia 8-4

30. Western Michigan 9-3

31. Florida State 8-4

32. Texas A&M 7-5

33. Kansas State 8-4

34. Oklahoma State 8-4

35. Minnesota 8-4

36. Northwestern 8-4

37. Nebraska 8-4

38. Utah 8-4

39. Virginia Tech 8-4

40. Arizona 8-4

41. Army 9-3

42. Appalachian State 10-2

43. Troy 9-3

44. Ohio 10-2

45. Florida Atlantic 9-3

46. Navy 8-4

47. South Florida 8-4

48. Northern Illinois 8-4

49. Wyoming 8-4

50. Washington State 7-5

 

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