As the College Football Season world gears up for the 2024-25 season, Stewart Mandel’s early Top 10 rankings have ignited discussions and anticipation among fans. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the insights provided by Mandel, analyzing the strengths and challenges of each of the top-ranked teams. From powerhouse programs like Georgia and Alabama to emerging contenders like Texas and Oregon, let’s explore the potential storylines that may unfold on the gridiron.
Top 10 Teams College Football Season 2024-25:
#1 Georgia: Defending Champions Reloaded (Rank: 1)
Georgia, fresh off a triumphant 13-1 season in 2023, looks poised to maintain its dominance. Boasting a formidable defense with key returnees like Mykel Williams and Nazir Stackhouse, alongside a promising offense led by quarterback Carson Beck, the Bulldogs aim for another title run. Despite losing star tight end Brock Bowers and wide receiver Ladd McConkey, additions like Trevor Etienne and Colbie Young add depth to an already talented roster.
#2 Alabama: Milroe Leads the Charge (Rank: 2)
Alabama, perennial contenders, enter the college football season with quarterback Jalen Milroe at the helm. The departure of key defensive players like Dallas Turner and Kool-Aid McKinstry poses challenges, but promising talents like Caleb Downs and Deontae Lawson look set to step up. The addition of USC cornerback Domani Jackson adds strength to the secondary, maintaining Alabama’s defensive prowess.
#3 Oregon: Gabriel Takes Charge (Rank: 3)
Under the guidance of coach Dan Lanning, Oregon made a splash in the transfer portal by acquiring quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Despite losing Troy Franklin, the Ducks’ receiving corps remains potent with Tez Johnson and Traeshon Holden. Defensive standouts Jordan Burch, Jeffrey Bassa, and Tysheem Johnson return, providing a solid foundation for success.
#4 Ohio State: Ryan Day’s Strategic Moves (Rank: 4)
Coach Ryan Day made strategic moves to reinforce Ohio State’s roster, securing veteran quarterback Will Howard and star running back Quinton Judkins. The Buckeyes’ defense, already a top-five unit, looks to strengthen further with key returnees like Jack Sawyer and Tyleik Williams. The potential return of defensive stars JT Tuimoloau, Denzel Burke, and Jordan Hancock bolsters Ohio State’s title aspirations.
#5 Texas: Ewers and the Longhorns (Rank: 5)
Assuming quarterback Quinn Ewers returns, Texas aims for offensive prowess with running backs CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue. Despite losing standout defensive tackles T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy, transfers like Trey Moore and Anthony Hill Jr. strengthen the defense. The Longhorns look to build on their 12-2 record from the previous season.
#6 Michigan: Navigating Uncertainties (Rank: 6)
Michigan faces uncertainties with potential departures of key players, including quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Blake Corum. The defense, anchored by Will Johnson and Mason Graham, remains a strong suit. Coach Jim Harbaugh’s ability to navigate roster changes will be crucial as the Wolverines aim for continued success.
#7 Washington: Transition at the Helm (Rank: 7)
With Mississippi State transfer Will Rogers stepping in for Heisman runner-up Michael Penix Jr., Washington faces a transition at quarterback. The departure of key defensive players, including Bralen Trice, poses challenges. However, the potential returns of Carson Bruener and Elijah Jackson offer stability on the defensive front.
#8 Ole Miss: Dart and Defensive Reinforcements (Rank: 8)
Quarterback Jaxson Dart leads Ole Miss into the college football season, supported by a talented receiving corps. Despite the surprise departure of star running back Quinton Judkins, the Rebels bolstered their defense with key transfers, including DL Walter Nolen and CB Decameron Richardson. Coach Lane Kiffin’s strategic moves position Ole Miss as a contender in the College Football Playoff race.
#9 Notre Dame: Defensive Strength and Offensive Additions (Rank: 9)
Notre Dame aims to maintain its defensive prowess with key returnees like Xavier Watts and Howard Cross. Offensive additions, including LSU offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, enhance the Fighting Irish’s scoring capabilities. Running back Audric Estime’s departure is offset by promising talents like Jadarian Price and Jeremiah Love.
#10 Clemson: Building on Late-Season Momentum (Rank: 10)
Clemson, riding a five-game winning streak to end the previous college football season, aims to build on that momentum. Quarterback Cade Klubnik, supported by a solid offensive line, leads the charge. Despite losing star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., the Tigers’ defense retains key playmakers, setting the stage for another competitive season.
As the college football landscape takes shape for the 2024-25 college football season, these early rankings provide a glimpse into the potential storylines and matchups that will captivate fans. From defending champions Georgia to perennial contenders like Alabama and emerging forces like Texas and Oregon, the upcoming college football season promises excitement and fierce competition. Stay tuned for more updates as we follow the journey of these top 10 teams on the road to the College Football Playoff.