College Football top-10 list: Spring practice edition

John Michaels
March 11, 2019 - 10:25 am
Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence

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As the next six weeks or so will be filled with spring practice reports around college football, John Michaels puts together his list of the top 10 teams in the country:

1. Clemson 
Strengths : Trevor Lawrence is a Heisman front-runner so the offense should be great. Travis Etienne and Tee higgins lead elite skill players.
Weakness: The entire starting front four is gone, but Clemson normally reloads.

2. Alabama 
Strengths: Tua, Jeudy, Ruggs, Waddle, Najee Harris....yep Bama is loaded on offense once again.
Weakness: Saban is once again replacing most of his staff and loses stud Quinnen Willims off the D-Line.

3. Georgia
Strengths: Fromm is back for Year 3 and he will be the star of the offense. D'Andre Swift should be the star at RB,
Weakness: Gone are Ridley, Hardman and Nauta so Fromm will need some new guys to step up at WR and TE. Are the new OC and DC better than the guys they are replacing?

4. Oklahoma
Strengths: Jalen Hurts transferred in to replace Kyler Murray, and should put up monster numbers. We know the offense is ready made to put up monster numbers.
Weakness: The defense was historically bad, so Alex Grinch has a lot of work to do to make them respectable.

5. Texas
Strengths: Sam Ehlinger is a bulldog at QB...hes got a star WR with Collin Johnson, and the offense should be better than 2018. Tom Herman finally has his guys in place and has the momentum for a big 2019.
Weakness: Lil'Jordan humphrey left early for the NFL and Texas lost a couple of key pieces off Todd Orlando's defense.

6. Ohio State
Strengths: Thanks to the transfer portal, Justin Fields will be eligible immediately at QB. He should be a better fit to run Ryan Day's system, although he wont throw it like Dwayne Haskins did.
Weakness: Is Ryan Day Urban Meyer, or eve close? He's stepping into monster shoes and anything short of the playoff will be a disappointment.

7. Washington
Strengths: Jacob Eason will be an upgrade from Jake Browning, or at least Huskies fans hope so. Salvon Ahmed averaged almost 6 yards per carry in backup duty in 2018.
Weakness: The Huskies replace a ton of defensive talent, and playing in the Pac-12 leaves zero room for error.

8. LSU
Strength: The defense will always be great with Dave Aranda as the DC. They lost pieces but they always reload. John Emery is a 5-star talent to watch at RB.
Weakness: The offense while better, was still spotty. Joe Burrow needs to play like he did in the Fiesta Bowl to carry the Tigers.

9. Notre Dame
Strengths: Ian Book came in and set the offense on fire, and with a year under his belt, he should be the unquestioned leader.
Weakness: They got thumped in the playoffs and looked slow in doing so. Gone are stalwarts Drue Tranquill and Te’Von Coney, gone is star CB Julian Love, gone is upperclassman leader Jerry Tillery up front.

10. Oregon
Strengths: Justin Herbert is back for his senior season, and when he is on, he is as good as any QB in the country. They have speed all over the place on offense ,and picked up the No. 1 recruit in the country on the defensive side.
Weakness: Herbert when he is off, is not very good. Also, Oregon had some brain fart moments in 18. Can they be a more consistent group?