CFB: THE TOUCHDOWN’S TOP 25 (POSITIONS 15-11)
By Rory Daniels
In our third installment of The Touchdown’s Pre-Season College Football Top 25, we take a look at the teams ranked 15-11.
All the rankings are collated from our four college football writers Lee Wakefield, Jack Brentnall, Si Carroll and Rory Daniels.
Utah played party-pooper in the PAC-12 last year. In a conference notorious for cannibalising itself out of the playoff picture, the Utes obliged again defeating number 4 ranked USC in the PAC-12 Conference game. A healthy Cam Rising at QB and Brant Kuithe returning at tight end mean this team will be difficult to beat once again.
Player to Watch: Brant Kuithe – Dalton Kincaid won a lot of plaudits last year, now it’s time for Kuithe to take on the role of TE1 and impress NFL scouts.
14. Notre Dame
Last year was a baptism of fire for head coach Marcus Freeman who was thrown into the job after Brian Kelly’s departure. It couldn’t have started worse with back-to-back defeats against Ohio State and then Marshall. The Fighting Irish rallied and now have optimism with a legitimate QB talent in Sam Hartman. He will lead the team in their season opener in Dublin as they hope to take down Navy.
Player to Watch: Audric Estime – If you enjoy watching big, physical backs crash through defenses then make sure to watch Estime closely.
Could Bo Nix make a run for the Heisman? The former Auburn QB has appeared much more settled in Oregon and Dan Lanning will be hoping Nix can lead the Ducks to a conference championship. The likes of Brandon Dorlus and Jestin Jacobs should make the Ducks as strong defensively as they are on offense.
Player to Watch: Bucky Irving – A true livewire back. Irving can beat you in multiple ways. He has the speed to hit the outside and the elusiveness to find gaps through the middle.
It looked for a long time like the Vols were going to be a serious title contender last year. Now they must reset for another charge. Without their two best receivers Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt, as well as QB Hendon Hooker, it may not be straightforward. What they do have is an exciting talent in Joe Milton. The quarterback has a huge arm but must improve his accuracy if the Vols are to repeat last year’s success.
Player to Watch: Joe Milton – It’s impossible to look elsewhere, the hype train has left the station on Milton, can he meet those expectations?
Clemson have got off schedule in recent seasons. Dabo Swinney has been inflexible in regards to the transfer portal and the Tigers still look light on receiving talent. That said they have a young, talented QB in Cade Klubnik, a dynamic back in Will Shipley and another stacked defense, perhaps their stock is back on the rise?
Player to Watch: Reke Orhorhoro- Clemson have developed plenty of NFL quality defensive linemen and Orhorhoro is next man up.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.