Our ranking: No. 13 GEORGIA Coach: Kirby Smart (8-5, entering second season; 8-5 overall) 2016 record: 8-5 overall, 4-4 Southeastern Conference; tied for second in East Division Look back: The Bulldogs got off to a shaky 3-0 start under first-year coach Kirby Smart, Alabama coach Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator during four national championships. Wins included a... Read more
Our ranking: No. 14 VIRGINIA TECH Coach: Justin Fuente (10-4, entering his second season; 36–27 overall) 2016 record: 10-4, 6-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference, first in Coastal Division Look back: Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente got off to a great start in 2016 replacing legendary coach Frank Beamer, guiding the Hokies back to... Read more
Our ranking: No. 15 PENN STATE Coach: James Franklin (25-15, entering the fourth season; 49-30 overall) 2016 record: 11-3, 8-1 in Big Ten, tied for first in East Division/Big Ten Champions Look back: Penn State struggled to find its offensive identity early in the 2016 season, with Nittany Lions dropping two of their... Read more
An interesting poll came out Tuesday that should not warm the hearts of SEC fans everywhere. Coaches do not believe cheating is rampant in college football. But if there’s cheating going on, you know who is guilty. The SEC. “Out of the 130 FBS schools in FBS, I would... Read more
Our ranking: No. 16 LSU Coach: Ed Orgeron (6-2, entering second season; 22-29 overall) 2016 record: 8-4 overall, 5-3 Southeastern Conference; tied for second in East Division Look back: Coach Les Miles survived a near-firing at the end of the 2015 season, but his stay of execution did not last long. Lackluster showings in... Read more
Our ranking: No. 17 STANFORD Coach: David Shaw (64-17, entering the seventh season; 64-17 overall) 2016 record: 10-3, 6-3 in the Pac-12, finished third in North Division Look back: Stanford opened the 2016 season by winning its first three games for the first time since 2013. That included wins over Pac-12 South foes USC and UCLA.... Read more
Our ranking: No. 18 FLORIDA Coach: Jim McElwain (19-8, entering third season; 41-24 overall) 2016 record: 9-4 overall, 6-2 Southeastern Conference; first in East Division Look back: The Gators defended their SEC East title, but not without plenty of suspense. A second-half collapse in September at Tennessee ended the Gators’ 11-game win streak in the series and... Read more
Our ranking: No. 19 OKLAHOMA STATE Coach: Mike Gundy (104-50, entering 14th season; 104-50 overall) 2016 record: 10-3 overall, 7-2 in the Big 12 (second in Big 12) Look back: The 2016 Oklahoma State season was overshadowed by feelings of “what if.” A controversial loss to Central Michigan, which officials later agreed should... Read more
Our ranking: No. 20 UTAH Coach: Kyle Whittingham (104-50, entering 13th season; 104-50 overall) 2016 record: 9-4, 5-4 in the Pac-12, finished third in the South Division Look back: Utah opened the 2016 season with wins during seven of its first eight games before dropping a close fought contest 31-24 against eventual Pac-12... Read more
Our ranking: No. 21 NOTRE DAME Coach: Brian Kelly (59-31, entering the eighth season; 230-88-2 overall) 2016 record: 4-8 Look back: Few programs went through as much of a reversal of fortunes as Notre Dame did from 2015 to 2016. The football seemed to bounce away from the Irish, with the team struggling... Read more
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