The dreaded offseason has only just begun, but there is already plenty of looking ahead to the kickoff of the 2019 season. With bowl games in the books and many NFL announcements made, the way-too-early preseason rankings are rolling in.
Like many fans and media members, Scooby Axson of Sports Illustrated sees Clemson and Alabama at Nos. 1 and 2 going into the new season. Axson also sees six other SEC teams in the top 25, but not as many in the top 10 as ESPN.
Knocking on the door of the top 10 is Texas A&M, a team that turned heads for playing Clemson close in 2018. The Aggies also ended the year on a four-game winning streak.
“Jimbo Fisher had a promising first year at College Station, finishing 9–4, but he is going to have to replace two centerpieces of his 2018 offense if he wants to build on that success in ’19: Trayveon Williams, the SEC’s leading rusher, declared for the draft early, as did All-America tight end Jace Sternberger,” Axson writes of the team. “Quarterback Kellen Mond (3,107 yards and 24 TDs this season) is a rising star, but he will have to lead the Aggies through some brutal road tests, including a trip to Clemson on Sept. 7 and visits to Georgia and LSU once SEC play begins.”
Get ready for plenty of debate as to whether Alabama and Georgia will remain the top two teams in the conference and where the other five teams belong.
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Penn State
- Iowa State
- Michigan State
- Virginia Tech