ESPN updates Way Too Early Top 25 college football rankings

On3 imageby:Nick Kosko02/13/24

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ESPN updated its way-too-early top 25 college football rankings ahead of the 2024 season. Yes, we have to talk about the upcoming season because well, the last one is over!

There were some changes from the January list. But some of the top teams stayed the same, relatively speaking of course.

Let’s dive into ESPN’s updated list of the top 25 teams in college football, albeit still early in the offseason. 

1. Georgia

Kirby Smart-Georgia
(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)

If Georgia beats Alabama, do the bulldogs run the table and win a third straight national title? There’s an argument for sure.

But still, Georgia is the favorite to win it all and could win a title three out of four years. Carson Beck is back and the team landed running back Trevor Etienne in the transfer portal.

2. Ohio State (+3)

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Ohio State has a new OC in Chip Kelly, a new quarterback in Will Howard and a new running back in Quinshon Judkins. If this isn;t the year Ryan Day and the Buckeyes win it all, will they ever?

Maybe they will. Ohio State has a great ability to sustain excellence in an ever changing college football landscape. The Buckeyes enter as the Big Ten favorites in 2024.

3. Oregon

Oregon HC Dan Lanning
© Chris Pietsch/The Register Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dan Lanning is here to stay and not chase the Alabama job. The Ducks head coach pilots one of the best teams in the Big Ten in 2024.

Dillon Gabriel transferred in and the Ducks have a veteran quarterback once again. Other transfers include Kobe Savage and Jabbar Muhammad in the secondary.

4. Texas (-2)

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Quinn Ewers (Will Gallagher/Inside Texas)

Quinn Ewers is coming back and so is Arch Manning, so it’s quality quarterback depth for Steve Sarkisian. A move to the SEC is the next big challenge though.

Yes, Texas could make the playoff again in a 12-team format. But the Longhorns are not the cream of the crop in their conference. But still, they’ll be a worthy challenger.

5. Notre Dame (+5)

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman
(Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports)

How about the Fighting Irish moving up these rankings a month later? Marcus Freeman could have something special brewing as he truly molds the program into his vision.

Riley Leonard is a transfer quarterback and a quality starter. The team also added transfer wideouts Kris Mitchell and Beaux Collins.

6. Ole Miss (+1)

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss usually wins the transfer portal game over most teams. The power of Lane Kiffin right? Well, the 12-team playoff is the Rebels’ opportunity to finally make the bracket.

Defensively, they improved by getting guys like Walter Nolen (DT) and Chris Paul Jr. (LB). The good news with the schedule by the way, Ole Miss plays Georgia and Oklahoma at home.

7. Missouri (+1)

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

What a season in 2023 for Eli Drinkwitz and the Tigers as the team won 11 games last fall. However, Missouri has to replace some players.

So, they added running back Marcus Carroll, cornerback Toriano Pride Jr., linebacker Darris Smith and defensive lineman Cris McClellan. Good work in the portal by Mizzou.

8. Penn State (+4)

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State moved up into the top 10 in February and the Nittany Lions could have a loaded squad. James Franklin gets Drew Allar back at QB and the team hopes he takes the necessary steps forward.

Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen are in the backfield once again and now Tom Allen will operate the defense. The former Indiana head coach goes to a DC role and has the chops to make it one of the best.

9. Alabama (-5)

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Alabama moves down due to the loss of Nick Saban, of course. But Kalen DeBoer was a solid choice to take over. There are questions of how he’ll mold the roster into his vision and implement his offense.

But, he’s done a good job keeping players intact, despite losing talent to the portal, like Caleb Downs. He brought over Washington players Austin Mack (QB), Germie Bernard (WR) and Parker Brailsford (OL) on offense and other transfers like defensive lineman LT Overton (Texas A&M) and cornerback Domani Jackson (USC).

10. Utah (+3)

Urban Meyer had high praise for Kyle Whittingham
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The good ole Kyle Whittingham way. Utah moves into the Big 12 as a top 10 team overall going into 2024. Cam Rising is back, again, at quarterback. Brant Kuithe is back from injury too, giving the Utes quite a tight end.

Running back Micah Bernard is back as well and the offensive line is a year older. Heck, it was full of freshmen and sophomores last season. Transfers came in as well in the defensive backfield.

Rest of ESPN’s Way-too-Early Top 25

11. Arizona (-2)
12. LSU (+2)
13. Michigan (-7)
14. Oklahoma (+1)
15. Florida State (+1)
16. Tennessee (+1)
17. Oklahoma State (+1)
18. NC State (+2)
19. Clemson
20. Kansas State (+1)
21. Louisville (+1)
22. Kansas (+1)
23. Kentucky (NR)
24. Miami (NR)
25. Texas A&M (NR)

Again, it’s way too early right? But really, it’s never too early to project into the next season. Next up is spring practices and the spring transfer portal window so a lot can change in just the next few months.