Top 25 for 2016: Clemson’s No. 1, UGA’s No. 21

Hmmm. What to do about a big winner who hasn't won big enough? (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

I struck a similar pose when pondering my Top 25. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Sunday’s AJC offered the annual college football early-bird Top 25Here’s the short version:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Michigan
  4. Baylor
  5. Tennessee
  6. Florida State
  7. Stanford
  8. Houston.
  9. Oklahoma
  10. LSU
  11. Ohio State
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Oregon
  14. Michigan State
  15. TCU
  16. Louisville
  17. Southern Cal
  18. Ole Miss
  19. Iowa
  20. UCLA
  21. Georgia
  22. North Carolina
  23. Washington State
  24. Oklahoma State
  25. Miami

These teams were considered but, in the end, omitted: Arkansas, Boise State, Utah, Washington. I considered Florida for about two seconds but said, “Nah.”

I admit to peeking at other folk’s early Top 25s, and I can tell you that just about all of them had the same top dozen as I do. (SB Nation offers a compilation. You’ll see what I mean.) I have Tennessee higher than most, but I’ve been touting the Vols for two years. I have Oklahoma lower than most: That’s because I was unimpressed with what I saw in the Orange Bowl and also because the Sooners’ three best Big 12 victories — against Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State — came against teams without their No. 1 quarterback.

As for Georgia: I think the Bulldogs will, once again, be good but not great. I think Kirby Smart could be an upgrade over Mark Richt. I think Jacob Eason, even if he’s not quite as good as advertised, will be better than Greyson Lambert/Faton Bauta. I think an empty chair will be an improvement on Brian Schottenheimer. And the schedule is not terrible. There’s no Alabama. Ole Miss has lost three big-time talents. The Tennessee game is in Athens. Florida still doesn’t have a quarterback, and the rest of the East is awful.

As for Georgia Tech: A reader asked if I’d have put the Jackets in a Top 40. My answer: No.

Reader Comments 0

79 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

GT should be better, but will they improve enough to take on the other ACC teams that are improving? Tech is behind in almost every category and to catch up they really need a change in the athletic dept. There's no reason Tech can't be a factor in the ACC except for an antiquated offense. They have a QB that can do the job but he is not likely to last the season running the ball. I think PJ is insane. He is not coaching the talent he is coaching his offense. He throws that same offense on the field and expects players to perform that may not be suited for that type of offense. I would like to see all of the Georgia teams do well. At the rate GT and the other teams are going, Tech may soon be the 4th best team in Georgia.

GTBee
GTBee

GT stinks. Johnson needs fired.

ShowMeYurTDs
ShowMeYurTDs

I would put tech in the top 40. They come in at 39.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I see where the "Chosen One" has won an award worth bragging about!...The Bobby Dodd Back of the year award........hard to trump that one!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Mark.........we wouldn't put you in the Top 40 either!.......no hard feelings?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket Why would he put Tech in the top 40?  They are not even in the top 6 of their crappy division.  LOL!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Big Wally @TOJacket Heck Lil Wally, it won't be near as upsetting to drop out of sight from 21 than say 7-8-9?......lol

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Big Wally @TOJacket Their crappy division was ranked higher than the SEC Least!!......dawgs were 3rd in the worst rated division......you don't think I care if Tech is in a pre-season poll?....pre-season means nothing, you dawgs prove that every year!......lol

TideDawg
TideDawg

@TOJacket @Big Wally Yeah! Tech is also ranked higher than the Ivy League teams. TO Jacket you are a bitter man! Lighten up....it's just a game.

OpenMindedOne
OpenMindedOne

UT will lose 4+.  Dawgs will be the surprise team of CFB.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

GT number @ 21....Right Bradley...

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

UGA Dawgs #1Bradley!! What's wrong with you? LOL

SLR
SLR

Good column, Mr. Bradley.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

"And the schedule is not terrible. There’s no Alabama."


That kinda sux. I was looking forward to pounding the dogs again 38-10. 


4 championships in 7 years. Roll Tide! 

ErkMunson
ErkMunson

You went from lauding the Great Kirby HIre to "I think Kirby Smart could be an upgrade over Mark Richt." Wow. And Tennesse at #5? I can sense the UGA negativity already beginning.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@ErkMunson


UT has 9 starters back on one side of the ball, including 4 of 5 O-lineman, their qb, and they have 8 starters back on the other side. Several consecutive good recruiting classes too. They finished with a flurry and were the only SEC team other than Ole Miss to give Alabama a game. This may be their year to get 10-12 wins or more and make the seccg. 

Redfin
Redfin

@ErkMunson I said from day #1 that Smart or whoever took the Ga job would come in with a target on his back. 

Stinger2
Stinger2

Are the Jackets going to be that bad Mark? Where would you rank them?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket 

Yeah, kinda like your prediction on the outcome of last season's UGA-GT game:

TOJacket July 12, 2015

CMR 5........CPJ 2..............soon to be 5-3.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

If you don't have to ask, why are you asking? Or are you still unsure about what a question mark (?) means?

I've been wrong about plenty--I thought FSU would beat GT last season, for example--just not dumb enough to expose/embarrass myself on blogs.

Nothing wrong with being a fan of them Dawgs though. You're a closet fan, aren't you? C'mon outta that closet, gtcd!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket Don't have to ask.....I'm sure you've never been wrong about anything?....except being a fan of the dawgs?

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket You don't think you embarrass yourself when you're petty enough to point out someones grammar or spelling on a blog......if you're a male, you embarrass us all Mrs. Landers. Who in their right mind would want to be a fan of an Under achieving team like UGA?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

YOUR ignorance is not MY embarrassment. Own it!

If you don't like that ignorance being exposed, stop being ignorant--or keep your yap shut.

Again, you have no problem taking constant potshots at UGA, but when you get it tossed back in your face, you puff up like a toad. 

Few things more distasteful than a whining hypocrite; tampongator1 should've taught you that.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Big Wally @DawgNole @TOJacket We have won a conference and NC more recently than UGA and have more of each than UGA......what do you guys brag about?.....recruiting class championships?....LOL!!!!!!....starting into your 2nd decade without a SEC Ship!...keep posting and talking little wally!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJackett Got ya a little stirred up now huh sally?.....go grade your papers and get those panties untangled!

Big Wally
Big Wally

I can take a similar record, I just want them to be competitive in the big games.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Big Wally @TOJacket Bama and Florida did what good teams always do to the dawgs?.....figured you were used to it by now?