Today at No. 3: Oklahoma Coach: Lincoln Riley (0-0, entering first season; 0-0 overall) 2016 record: 11-2, 9-0 in Big 12, first in league Look back: Oklahoma rebounded after a dismal start to the 2016 season. The Sooners lost two out of their first three games, then rattled off nine consecutive wins and earned... Read more
Today at No. 4: Florida State Coach: Jimbo Fisher (78-17, entering eighth season; 78-17 overall) 2016 record: 10-3, 5-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference, finished third in Atlantic Division Look back: Starting quarterback Deondre Francois and the Seminoles started the season with the largest comeback in school history, a 25-point swing against Ole Miss, showing... Read more
Our ranking: No. 5 MICHIGAN Coach: Jim Harbaugh (20-6, entering third season; 78-33 overall) 2016 record: 10-3, 7-2 in Big Ten, second in East Division Look back: Expectations were high for the Wolverines, who began the season ranked in the top 10 for just the third time since 2007. Michigan was a double-digit favorite in... Read more
Our ranking: No. 6 WASHINGTON Coach: Chris Petersen (27-14 the entering fourth season; 119-26 overall) 2016 record: 12-2, 8-1 in Pac-12, finished first in North Division Look back: The Washington program took a big step forward in Year 3 under Chris Petersen, with the Huskies entering the season ranked in the top 15... Read more
Our ranking: No. 7 CLEMSON Coach: Dabo Swinney (14-1, entering 10th season; 89-28 overall) 2016 record: 14-1, 7-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference, finished tied-first in Atlantic Division Look back: Mission accomplished. The 2016 Clemson football team, led by Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Deshaun Watson and standout linebacker Ben Boulware, avenged its 2015 national championship loss with... Read more
Our ranking: No. 8 WISCONSIN Coach: Paul Chryst (21-6, entering the third season; 40-25 overall) 2016 record: 11-3, 7-2 in Big Ten, first in West Division Look back: Wisconsin opened the 2016 season with a stunning upset of LSU in the opener after being double-digit underdogs to the fifth-ranked Tigers. The Badgers would rely on a... Read more
Our ranking: No. 9 AUBURN Coach: Guz Malzahn (35-18, entering fifth season; 44-21 in five seasons overall) 2016 record: 8-5 overall, 5-3 Southeastern Conference; tied for second in West Division Look back: Coach Gus Malzahn’s 2016 Tigers ended a pivotal year for the program with a Sugar Bowl bid. But the accomplishment did anything but... Read more
Our ranking: No. 10 USC Coach: Clay Helton (16-7, entering third season; 16-7 overall) 2016 record: 10-3, 7-2 in Pac-12, second in South Division Look back: Clay Helton’s first full season at USC didn’t start off well, with the Trojans dropping three of their first four games to ranked opponents. But surprisingly the team... Read more
Our ranking: No. 11 LOUISVILLE Coach: Bobby Petrino (9-4, entering the fourth season; 26-13 overall) 2016 record: 9-4, 7-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference, finished tied for first in Atlantic Division Look back: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson shredded opposing defenses for more than 3,500 yards through the air and 1,500 yards on the ground en route... Read more
Today at No. 12: TCU Coach: Gary Patterson (149-54, entering 17th season; 149-54 overall) 2016 record: 6-7, 4-5 in Big 12 Conference, finished fifth in league Look back: TCU experienced back-to-back seasons of prosperity, registering double-digit win seasons in 2014 and 2015. But after losing longtime QB Trevone Boykin to graduation, the Horned Frogs... Read more
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