Way too early CFB Top 25 for 2019

It’s never too early to think about college football. Between recruiting, spring practices, practices, the season, bowls, and the National Championship, it’s a 365-day a year sport. And we’ve got you covered. Without further ado, here is the Way too early CFB Top 25 for 2019.

1. Clemson

The Tigers lose a ton of production on defense. However, they return QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne and very talented WRs Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers and Tee Higgins. The defense loses every starter on the D-Line but they’ll be replaced by extremely talented players like Xavier Thomas and KJ Henry.

Key Returners:

  • QB Trevor Lawrence
  • RB Travis Etienne
  • WR Tee Higgins
  • WR Justyn Ross
  • CB A.J. Terrell
  • LB/DB Isaiah Simmons
  • Safety K’von Wallace

2. Alabama

The Crimson Tide always lose key players to the Draft. And each year they reload and make a National Championship run. They lose OT Jonah Williams, TE Irv Smith Jr, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Damien Harris, RB Josh Jacobs, DT Quinnen Williams. The only difference this year is they return a Heisman Contending QB in Tua Tagovailoa. And he also has a ton of weapons returning. I’d be surprised if the National Championship isn’t Clemson vs Alabama once again.

Key Returners:

  • QB Tua Tagovailoa
  • RB Najee Harris
  • WR Jerry Jeudy
  • WR Henry Ruggs III
  • DE Raekwon Davis
  • LB Dylan Moses
  • DB Trevon Diggs
Jake Fromm returns for his junior season in 2019.

3. Georgia

The Bulldogs lose QB Justin Fields, RB Elijah Holyfield, WRs Riley Ridley Terry Godwin and Mecole Hardman, TE Isaac Nauta, LB Natrez Patrick, LB D’andre Walker and 🔒 CB DeAndre Baker. That’s a lot of production and talent. But QB Jake Fromm, RB D’andre Swift & Safety J.R. Reed return to lead the way. Georgia should be considered the favorite in the SEC East. However, they’ll be pushed by Florida and Missouri.

Key Returners:

  • QB Jake Fromm
  • RB D’andre Swift
  • WR Demetris Robertson
  • Safety J.R. Reed
  • LB Brenton Cox
  • CB Tyson Campbell

4. Ohio State

The Ryan Day era in Columbus gets underway in 2019. It could also be the beginning of the Justin Fields era. Fields announced his decision to transfer to Ohio State and a few days later QB Tate Martell decided to transfer out of Columbus. Ohio State loses star QB Dwayne Haskins & DE Nick Bosa. Both should be a Top 10 picks in the NFL Draft. They also lose DT Dre’Mont Jones, who I think will have an excellent NFL Career.

Key Returners:

  • RB J.K. Dobbins
  • WR K.J. Hill
  • DE Chase Young
  • LB Tuf Borland
  • CB Jeffrey Okudah
  • Safety Jordan Fuller

5. LSU

The Tigers lose two of the best players in College Football with LB Devin White and CB Greedy Williams. While that’s two big losses, star safety Grant Delpit is back and DE/LB K’Lavon Chaisson, who missed most of the season, is also back. On offense QB Joe Burrow, WR Justin Jefferson and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire are all back. LSU will have a really good team in 2019. But they play at Alabama, at Texas, and still have to contend with Texas A&M, Florida and Auburn at home.

Key Returners:

  • QB Joe Burrow
  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • WR Justin Jefferson
  • DE/LB K’lavon Chaisson
  • CB Kelvin Joseph
  • Safety Grant Delpit
Ronnie Perkins will be the leader of an experienced Sooner defense in 2019.

6. Oklahoma

The Sooners made it back to the CFP again this season, led by QB Kyler Murray, who’s expected to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Murray isn’t the only star player leaving Norman. They also lose WR Hollywood Brown & LT Bobby Evans. However the defense returns a lot, including DE Ronnie Perkins and LB Kenneth Murray. The biggest question mark is at QB. Murray is gone and Austin Kendall is transferring. True freshman Spencer Rattler will have a chance to win the job. The Sooners could target former Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, as well.

Key Returners:

  • RB Trey Sermon
  • RB Kennedy Brooks
  • WR Ceedee Lamb
  • DE Ronnie Perkins
  • LB Kenneth Murray
  • CB Brendan Radley-Hiles

7. Texas

2019 will be a big opportunity for Texas to make the CFP. They have a lot of key players returning like QB Sam Ehlinger, WR Collin Johnson and Safety Caden Sterns. However, they also lose a ton of production. The Longhorns lose WR Lil’jordan Humphrey, DE Charles Omenihu, DE Breckyn Hager, LB Gary Johnson, LB Anthony Wheeler, CB Kris Boyd and Safety P.J. Locke. Texas gets a big test in Week 2 when LSU comes to Austin. The Oklahoma game October 12th could decide the Big 12.

Key Returners:

  • QB Sam Ehlinger
  • RB Keontay Ingram
  • WR Collin Johnson
  • WR Devin Duvernay
  • Safety Caden Sterns
  • Kicker Cameron Dicker

8. Oregon

The Ducks got HUGE news when QB Justin Herbert announced that he was returning. LB Troy Dye also announced he would return in 2019. WR Dillon Mitchell will leave for the Draft and seniors DE Jalen Jelks & LB Justin Hollins are gone. But the Ducks have a great opportunity to win the Pac 12 and make the CFP in 2019. They also landed the Nations #1 Recruit in DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, a player who will make an immediate impact.

Key Returners:

  • QB Justin Herbert
  • RB C.J. Verdell
  • WR Johnny Johnson
  • DT Jordan Scott
  • LB Troy Dye
  • CB Thomas Graham
  • CB Deommodore Lenoir

9. Florida

The Gators lost OT Jawaan Taylor, RB Jordan Scarlett, DE Jachai Polite, LB Vosean Joseph and CB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson early to the draft. Senior DT Khairi Clark, DE CeCe Jefferson and OT Martez Ivey are also gone. But the Gators have a lot of weapons returning. QB Feleipe Franks, RB Lamical Perine and the WR Unit are back. On Defense, the secondary will be the best unit with CB Marco Wilson, CB C.J. Henderson, Safety Brad Stewart and DB Trey Dean all back. The Gators have a team good enough to win the SEC East in 2019.

Key Returners:

  • QB Feleipe Franks
  • RB Lamical Perine
  • WR Tyrie Cleveland
  • WR Trevon Grimes
  • LB David Reese
  • CB Marco Wilson
  • CB C.J. Henderson
  • CB Trey Dean
TAMU fans hope that their strong finish in 2018 will continue in to 2019.

10. Texas A&M

The Aggies’ schedule in 2019 will be very tough. They play at Clemson, at Georgia, and at LSU. They get Alabama, Auburn, and Mississippi State at home. With a tough schedule like that it’s always nice to have a QB like Kellen Mond returning. The Aggies will lose RB Trayveon Williams & TE Jace Sternberger early to the Draft. They also lose DT Kingsley Keke, LB Otaro Alaka, LB Tyrel Dodson and DE Landis Durham to graduation. Even with losing production like that, and having one of the hardest schedules in the nation, I still expect A&M to win 8-10 games.

Key Returners:

  • QB Kellen Mond
  • WR Jhamon Ausbon
  • WR Quartney Davis
  • Four OL Starters
  • Safety Derrick Tucker

11. Michigan

The Wolverines lose some great defensive players heading into next season in DE Rashan Gary, DE Chase Winovich, LB Devin Bush and CB David Long. They also lose RB Karan Higdon. But QB Shea Patterson announced he’s returning in 2019. Michigan also returns WRs Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black. On defense LB Khaleke Hudson & CB Lavert Hill are back along with DE Kwity Paye, who’s a really underrated and excellent player. Jim Harbaugh needs to lead this Michigan team to a win over Ohio State and to the Big Ten Championship game or Wolverine fans could come unglued.

Key Returners:

  • QB Shea Patterson
  • WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • WR Tarik Black
  • RB Chris Evans
  • OC Cesar Ruiz
  • DE Kwity Paye
  • LB Khaleke Hudson
  • CB Lavert Hill

12. Penn State

The Nittany Lions lose QB Trace McSorley, RB Miles Sanders, WR Juwan Johnson, WR DeAndre Thompkins, OG Conner McGovern, OT Ryan Bates, DE Shareef Miller, DT Kevin Givens, LB Koa Farmer and CB Amani Oruwariye. As you can tell, Penn State loses a lot of production. But the cupboard isn’t bare. First PSU must find a QB. Barring them landing a Transfer from the Magical Portal, Tommy Stevens and Sean Clifford will be the front runners. They must also replace RB Miles Sanders. Ricky Slade should be the front-runner. They return WR KJ Hamler & TE Pat Freiermuth who had great 2018 seasons. DE Yetur Gross-Matos is back to lead the defense (Sack Machine). If Penn State can get good QB play, they will have an opportunity to win the Big Ten East.

Key Returners:

  • WR KJ Hamler
  • TE Pat Freiermuth
  • DE Yetur Gross-Matos
  • DT Robert Windsor
  • LB Micah Parsons
  • LB Ellis Brooks
  • CB John Reid
Will Notre Dame be able to make the playoff 2 years in a row?

13. Notre Dame

The Irish made it to the CFP in 2018. If they’re getting back in 2019, they’ll need to replace some big time players. DT Jerry Tillery, WR Miles Boykin, RB Dexter Williams, CB Julian Love, LB Drue Tranquill and LB Te’von Coney. The good thing for the Irish is QB Ian Book is back, along with WR Chase Claypool, RB Tony Jones and DBs Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott. Notre Dame plays road games at Georgia, Michigan, and Stanford next season. They get UVA, VT, USC, Navy, and BC at home.

Key Returners:

  • QB Ian Book
  • RB Tony Jones
  • RB/WR Jafar Armstrong
  • OT Liam Eichenberg
  • CB Shaun Crawford
  • DB Jalen Elliott
  • DB Alohi Gilman

14. Utah

The Utes get QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss back in 2019. The defense will be very good returning most of it’s production. Utah does lose versatile LB/DB Chase Hansen and Safety Corrion Ballard. But DE Bradlee Anae, CB Jaylon Johnson and CB Julian Blackmon are all back.

Key Returners:

  • QB Tyler Huntley
  • RB Zack Moss
  • DE Bradlee Anae
  • CB Jaylon Johnson
  • CB Julian Blackmon
QB McKenzie Milton hopes to return to the football after a brutal injury ended his season last year.

15. UCF

If McKenzie Milton returns in 2019 from that horrific injury he suffered, the Knights have a chance at an undefeated season. If he doesn’t, they’ll still be in good hands with Darriel Mack. UCF loses LBs Pat Jasinski and Titus Davis and SS Tre Neal. The skill positions for the Knights in 2019 will be loaded. RBs Adrian Killins and Greg McCrae are both back, and WRs Dredrick Snelson, Gabriel Davis and Tre Nixon also return. The Knights’ schedule in 2019 consists of a game vs Stanford, and they travel to FAU, Pitt, Temple, Tulane and Cincinnati.

Key Returners:

  • QB McKenzie Milton
  • QB Darriel Mack Jr
  • RB Adrian Killins
  • RB Greg McCrae
  • WR Gabriel Davis
  • LB Eriq Gilyard
  • WR Dredrick Snelson
  • WR Tre Nixon

16. Washington

The Huskies lose a ton of production heading into 2019. They lose QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, OT Trey Adams, NT Greg Gaines, LB Ben Burr-Kirven, CB Byron Murphy, and Safety’s JoJo McIntosh and Taylor Rapp. Even with all that production gone, I think this team can still compete for the Pac 12. Former 5☆ QB Jacob Eason, a Georgia transfer, could replace Jake Browning. He will have a skilled WR corps to throw to.

Key Returners:

  • RB Salvon Ahmed
  • WR Aaron Fuller
  • WR Ty Jones
  • TE Hunter Bryant
  • DB Myles Bryant

17. Wisconsin

The Badgers underperformed in 2018, but ended the year with a nice bowl win over Miami. Going into 2019 they’ll lose LB T.J. Edwards, LB Andrew Van Ginkel, LB Ryan Connely and Safety D’Cota Dixon. The Badgers return star RB Jonathan Taylor, who will be a Heisman contender once again. The Badgers play Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in crossover games next season, which makes their schedule that much tougher. The QB battle will be interesting to watch with Alex Hornibrook, Jack Coan, and incoming freshman Graham Mertz, who was the top performer at the 2019 Army All-American game, battling for the job.

Key Returners:

  • RB Jonathan Taylor
  • WR A.J. Taylor
  • DE Isaiah Loudermilk
  • DE Garrett Rand
  • DB Scott Nelson
Kelly Bryant may not be at Clemson any more but he is still a Tiger. Will the talented QB be able to provide a spark for the Missouri offense?

18. Missouri

The Tigers lose star QB Drew Lock heading into 2019. However, he will be replaced by Clemson Transfer Kelly Bryant. Bryant will have some key weapons to throw to as well, as WR Johnathan Johnson and TE Albert Okwuegbunam both return. Missouri will be a dark horse team to watch for in the SEC East next season.

Key Returners:

  • WR Johnathan Johnson
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam
  • RB Larry Roundtree
  • DT Jordan Elliott
  • CB Adam Sparks

19. Army

The Black Knights roll into 2019 fresh off a 11-win season, the first in their 125-year history. QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr returns for his senior season along with RB Kell Walker. Army loses a lot of production on Defense, especially on the D-Line and Secondary. But they’ll return one of the best CBs in College Football in Elijah Riley.

Key Returners:

  • QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr
  • RB Kell Walker
  • LB Cole Christiansen
  • CB Elijah Riley
  • DB Jaylon McClinton
  • RB Artice Hobbs IV
  • FB Connor Slomka

20. Iowa

The Hawkeyes lose a lot of key players to the NFL Draft. Safety Amani Hooker, DE Anthony Nelson and TE Noah Fant are all leaving early. DE Parker Heese, FS Brandon Snyder and WR Nick Easley have all graduated, but the cupboard isn’t bare for Iowa. On offense they return QB Nate Stanley, RBs Ivory Kelly-Martin, Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent. At WR Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette are back. The defense will be led by DE A.J. Epenesa, who’s one of the best pass rushers in CFB.

Key Returners:

  • QB Nate Stanley
  • RB Ivory Kelly-Martin
  • RB Toren Young
  • WR Brandon Smith
  • RB Mekhi Sargent
  • WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  • DE A.J. Epenesa
  • Safety Julius Brents
Bryce Perkins might be one of the best QBs that nobody is talking about.

21. Virginia

The Hoos impressed this season. QB Bryce Perkins who’s back in 2019 for his senior season will lead them. One of the best CBs in CFB Bryce Hall also announced he would come back in 2019. UVA loses star Safety Juan Thornhill and WR Olamide Zaccheaus, which are big losses. But the Hoos have good options behind them like WR Joe Reed and Safety Joey Blount. With so much returning in 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if UVA wins the ACC Coastal.

Key Returners:

  • QB Bryce Perkins
  • WR Joe Reed
  • NT Eli Hanback
  • LB Charles Snowden
  • LB Jordan Mack
  • CB Bryce Hall
  • Safety Joey Blount

22. Nebraska

The Huskers showed some promise late in the season, and QB Adrian Martinez is back for his sophomore season. RB Maurice Washington, TE Jack Stoll and WR J.D. Spielman are also back and will be big weapons for Martinez. Nebraska loses star WR Stanley Morgan Jr, OG Tanner Farmer, Safety Aaron Williams and LB Dedrick Young. 2019 has a chance to be a good season for Nebraska, as they don’t have to face Michigan, Michigan State or Penn State in crossover play.

Key Returners:

  • QB Adrian Martinez
  • RB Maurice Washington
  • WR J.D. Spielman
  • TE Jack Stoll
  • LB Will Honas
  • CB Lamar Jackson
Defensive end Marlon Davidson returns for his senior season.

23. Auburn

The Tigers lose QB Jarrett Stidham, WR Ryan Davis, NT Dontavius Russell, LB Darrell Williams and CB Jemel Dean. Auburn got good news when DE Marlon Davidson and DT Derrick Brown decided to return for their senior seasons. Also, DE Nick Coe is back which will make the Tigers’ D-Line one of the best in CFB. The biggest question mark is at QB. Malik Willis, Bo Nix, and Joey Gatewood will compete for the job. Auburn plays Oregon to open the season in Dallas. They travel to LSU, Florida, Texas A&M and get Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State at home.

Key Returners:

  • RB JaTarvious Whitlow
  • OT Prince Tega Wanogho
  • OG Marquel Harrell
  • DE Marlon Davidson
  • DE Nick Coe
  • DT Derrick Brown
  • Javaris Davis
  • FS Jeremiah Dinson
  • SS Daniel Thomas

24. Northwestern

The Wildcats hardly ever get big time 4 or 5-star recruits, but HC Pat Fitzgerald does a great job at developing talent. Star middle linebacker Paddy Fisher is back to lead the defense (227 Tackles in 2 seasons). Also returning are DE Samdup Miller, DT Alex Miller and DE Joe Gaziano, which will give NU one of the best & most underrated D-Lines in the nation. The biggest question mark is at QB. Clayton Thorson is off to the NFL. TJ Green and former 5☆ Clemson Transfer Hunter Johnson should battle for the QB job.

Key Returners:

  • RB Isaiah Bowser
  • WR Ben Skowronek
  • TE Cam Green
  • DE Samdup Miller
  • DT Alex Miller
  • DE Joe Gaziano
  • LB Paddy Fisher
  • DB JR Pace

25. Cincinnati

The Bearcats won 11 games in 2018 and did it with a freshman QB and sophomore RB. They will be losing seven defensive starters and WR Kahlil Lewis. However, led by the coaching of Luke Fickell, I expect the Bearcats to have another big year in 2019.

Key Returners:

  • QB Desmond Ridder
  • RB Michael Warren III
  • WR Rashad Medaris
  • TE Josiah Deguara
  • CB Coby Bryant
  • DB Darrick Forrest

Best of the Rest

Who will replace WR Hakeem Butler in the Iowa State offense?
Iowa State

The Cyclones return QB Brock Purdy who threw for 2,250 yards as a freshman this season. However, they must replace stud WR Hakeem Butler and RB David Montgomery.

Washington State

QB Gardner Minshew is gone, but Mike Leach never has trouble getting the most out of his QB. RBs James Williams and Max Borghi are both back in 2019.

Michigan State

The Spartans had one of the best defenses in CFB in 2018 and still went 7-6. QBs Brian Lewerke & Rocky Lombardi are both back in 2019, as well as WR Cody White. The defense will be strong again next season. If the Spartans can get the offense going, they could win 9-10 games.


The Orange had a great season in 2018, winning 10 games. They lose QB Eric Dungey, but Tommy Devito replaces him. Devito has impressed me in limited time playing. Safety Andre Cisco is also back (7 INTs).

The Hokies are returning a lot of receivers for the 2019 season.
Virginia Tech

The Hokies return everyone on defense except DT Ricky Walker. They also return one of the best WR corps in CFB with Tre Turner, Eric Kumah, Damon Hazelton & Hezekiah Grimsley. The QB battle will be interesting to watch as Josh Jackson returns from injury, but Ryan Willis looked good coming in to replace him.

Mississippi State

QB Nick Fitzgerald, DE Montez Sweat and DT Jeffery Simmons are all gone. Keytaon Thompson will fill the void at QB, and RB Kylin Hill is a star in the making.


The Gophers won 7 games in 2018, when most people thought they win 3 or 4. RB Mohamed Ibrahim is a star in the making, and WR Rashod Bateman has unreal athleticism.

RB Lorenzo Lingard is poised for a big year in 2019.

The Canes defense was spectacular in 2018, but the offense let them down. QB is a big question mark, and the Canes are interested in a few graduate transfers such as Jalen Hurts. But if he goes elsewhere, the job most likely goes to QB N’Kosi Perry. RB Lorenzo Lingard is a player I expect to breakout in 2019.


RB Benny Snell and linebacker Josh Allen are both gone. Allen should be a Top 5 pick in the Draft. QB Terry Wilson is back and so is star WR Lynn Bowden. The biggest question mark is can the Wildcats replace the production they’re losing on defense.


QB J.T. Daniels and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown are both back for their sophomore seasons. The Trojans will have an excellent team from a talent standpoint. But as we all know, talent doesn’t always win games. I’m marking USC down as a dark horse to win the Pac 12.

WR Rondale Moore was one of the most impressive freshman this past season.

Elijah Sindelar will take over at QB. He has experience (20 TD Passes). Superstar WR Rondale Moore is back and will be the focal point of the offense. The Boilermakers also return a lot on defense and bring in big time recruit George Karlaftis at DE.

Georgia Southern

HC Chad Lunsford, who received the 3rd best grade of new coaches in the country, turned Georgia Southern around this season, going 10-3 after a 2-10 record in 2017. QB Shai Werts is back to lead the charge (25 TDs in 2018).

Appalachian State

The Mountaineers lose their HC, star RB & CBs in Jalin Moore and Clifton Duck, as well as senior CB Tae Hayes. But all isn’t lost in Boone. QB Zac Thomas and a great group of WRs are back in 2019, including Thomas Hennigan and Corey Sutton.


The Thundering Herd return QB Isaiah Green and a loaded backfield of RBs in 2019. The defense loses some key pieces but should still be solid in 2019.

The Temple Owls were 7-2 since naming QB Anthony Russo the starter.

QB Anthony Russo is back, as well as star DE Quincy Roche. I expect the Owls to compete for the AAC in 2019, and Temple gets UCF at Lincoln Financial Field this season.

North Texas

QB Mason Fine, one of the best signal callers in CFB, is back (9,417 Passing yards, 64 passing TDs in 3 seasons). The WR unit for the Mean Green also returns a bunch of production, so the offense should carry the team.


The Blazers have been great under HC Bill Clark, winning 19 games the past two seasons QB Tyler Johnston III is back in 2019, as well as RB Spencer Brown.