Scoring more points than the opposition will allow you to emerge victorious. That’s the only simple thing about college football. In a world of 120-man rosters, multi-million dollar annual facility upgrades, graduate transfers, redshirt seasons, complex schemes and constant media scrutiny, the sport has far too many variables to be oversimplified with all-encompassing statements or one-line judgements.
However, that won’t stop us from trying to do just that with every team in the preseason top 25. With oversimplification in mind, here is a simple one sentence preview for each team in the Preseason Top 25 FBS Rankings:
BR-1 Ohio State looks to defend their title after a 2014 season that will eventually be made into an ESPN “30 for 30” film and the Buckeyes are loaded, with 15 starters returning, including Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and four starters on an elite offensive line.
BR-2 TCU is all about about proving the playoff committee and their 2014 critics wrong as Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin looks to lead the Horned Frogs to the third national title in program history and their first in 75 years.
BR-3 Alabama is facing an unusual amount of skepticism as Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin and Co. look to their running back duo of Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake to carry a record-setting offense that lost a dozen key contributors in hopes of snagging the Crimson Tide’s fourth title in eight years.
BR-4 Oregon‘s offseason was dominated by the departure of Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, subsequent transfer of Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (and Adams’ delayed arrival in Eugene) and return of two big-time wideouts that suffered ACL injuries in 2014 (Bralon Addison and Devon Allen), but many are still expecting the Ducks to emerge from an improved Pac-12.
BR-5 Georgia might have their best team under 15th-year head coach Mark Richt, who will rely heavily on running back Nick Chubb and a stout linebacking corps to bring the Bulldogs back to the top of the SEC East and earn a playoff spot.
BR-6 Baylor is in a similar position to TCU, as the Bears welcome back a heap of veterans and under-the-radar playmakers to achieve one goal and one goal only: National Championship.
BR-7 Michigan State is yet another team looking to take the final step of the title-seeking journey, as seniors Connor Cook and Shilique Calhoun look to retake their place atop the Big Ten East and end the Ohio State lovefest.
BR-8 Mississippi State sure has fallen from national title contender to an afterthought after the Bulldogs saw a 9-0 start and No. 1 ranking become a 10-3 season and very little national optimism, but elite quarterback Dak Prescott is back with hopes of easing his team through a mini redevelopment season.
BR-9 Ole Miss has the pure talent and size to match up with anyone in the country, but will an already-inconsistent offense be able to improve on the 28 points per game they posted in 2014 after losing quarterback Bo Wallace?
BR-10 Auburn has become a trendy playoff pick as Gus Malzahn reeled in a new defensive coordinator in dismissed Florida head coach Will Muschamp and big-time JUCO running back transfer Jovon Robinson to lead both sides of the ball.
BR-11 Georgia Tech posted an 11-win season in 2014 but almost no one noticed and now the Justin Thomas-led Yellow Jackets are out to prove they’re capable of winning the ACC in 2015 after a near-miss last year.
BR-12 Kansas State finds itself in a familiar position, as Bill Snyder must replace a handful of key players and is looking at a bunch of JUCO transfers, under-the-radar youngsters and hardworking veterans to reach eight wins for the fifth-straight season.
BR-13 Arkansas could not be higher on the 2015 Optimism Radar, with fans and analysts gushing over the potential of a Bret Bielema-led Razorbacks team that features dynamic running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams and the nation’s most underrated defensive coordinator in Robb Smith, who vastly improved their defense in 2014.
BR-14 Florida State could not have had a worse offseason, with the Seminoles facing numerous off-the-field issues while watching loads of key personnel depart to the NFL or via graduation, but they still have enough talent to win a deep and greatly improved ACC.
BR-15 Missouri is seeking their third-straight SEC East title behind outstanding linebackers, running back Russell Hansbrough and senior quarterback Maty Mauk, who must improve his consistency if the Tigers expect to knock off East favorite Georgia.
BR-16 Wisconsin lost another head coach and elite running back and face another title-contending SEC opponent in their season opener…so what else is new for the Big Ten West favorites?
BR-17 USC quarterback Cody Kessler might have lost Nelshon Agholor but he’ll team with Juju Smith and JUCO transfer De’Quan Hampton on offense while Adoree’ Jackson, Su’a Cravens and Leon McQuay III lead the Pac-12’s most improved defense.
BR-18 UCLA fans have every reason to believe they’ll reach 10 wins for the third-straight season as potential All-Americans, linebacker Myles Jack and running back Paul Perkins, seek the Bruins’ first Pac-12 title in 17 years.
BR-19 Arizona State returns nine starters from an improving defense and senior quarterback Mike Bercovici leads a senior-laden offense that ranked 16th nationally in scoring last season.
BR-20 LSU head coach Les Miles has not given any indication if quarterback Anthony Jennings will be subjected to a game(s) suspension following his offseason arrest but unless it’s more than one game (LSU opens at home against McNeese State), Tiger fans shouldn’t be concerned, especially with guys like Leonard Fournette on the roster.
BR-21 Stanford lost eight defensive starters to graduation and might be forced to rebuild the stout run game so often associated with Cardinal football, as quarterback Kevin Hogan needs some relief under center.
BR-22 Clemson gets quarterback Deshaun Watson back after the freshman missed more than half of 2014 with injuries and will face their biggest ACC threat, Florida State, at home.
BR-23 Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has never faced this much scrutiny, with the 17th-year head coach looking prove Big 12 predictors wrong by taking down favorites Baylor (away) and TCU (home).
BR-24 Texas A&M‘s defense was atrocious in 2014, as the Aggies ranked in the nation’s bottom third in most categories, but the return of premier pass rusher Myles Garrett and hire of LSU coordinator John Chavis are two ingredients for a quick turnaround.
BR-25 Arizona is all about the Pac-12 title as quarterback Anu Solomon, who was nation’s best freshman passer in 2014, and All-American linebacker Scooby Wright, who put together one of the most prolific seasons in college football history, seek the Wildcats’ first conference title since 1993.