In today’s AJC and on myajc.com, our premium site, we present our Top 25 for the 2014 college football season. Much will change between now and then — Georgia might just hire a new defensive coordinator, and the bold guess here is that Vanderbilt will name a new head coach — but this is where we begin.
The contrarian in me would love to report that surprises abound in this listing, but they don’t. This Top 25 starts where you’d expect and continues more or less apace. But enough with the blather. Here’s the rundown.
- Florida State.
- Ohio State.
- Michigan State.
- Notre Dame.
- South Carolina.
- Southern Cal.
- Arizona State.
- Ole Miss.
- Central Florida.
The list includes seven teams from the SEC, six from the Pac-12, four from the ACC (Louisville newly included), three from the Big Ten, three from the Big 12, one from the AAC and one from South Bend, Ind. Some folks really get into this conference thing, I’m told.
Keen observers will have noted that I have Alabama rated higher than Auburn and Georgia above South Carolina, and you can take that to mean I’m projecting the Tide and the Bulldogs to win their respective divisions. You’ll also note that I include only one team from the ACC Coastal, which is Georgia Tech’s division, and it’s not Tech. It’s Duke. I thought about including Miami and North Carolina, but I’m really not high on any team in the Coastal.
And, if you’re looking ahead to the College Football Playoff, please note that one semifinal would match Oregon against Ohio State, presumably in Pasadena, Calif. The other would be staged in New Orleans and would feature Florida State, the 2013 BCS titlist, against Alabama which won in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Whoa, Nellie.