The preseason AP Top 25 poll is out. Below is my ballot, which reserves the top four positions for my College Football Playoff predictions. Notes will follow, but my general philosophy on picking the preseason top 25 is based on a combination of perceived strength of program in that year, the quarterback, defensive playmakers, coaching, line play and schedule.

My top four is not a prediction of the CFP itself — just the teams I think will make it. I was 0 for 4 last season, so, you know, grain of salt.

Notes to follow.

1. Alabama

2. Florida State

3. Wisconsin

4. USC

5. Ohio State

6. Oklahoma State

7. Penn State

8. Georgia

9. Oklahoma

10. Washington

11. Clemson

12. Kansas State

13. Florida

14. Auburn

15. Stanford

16. Michigan

17. South Florida

18. Louisville

19. LSU

20. Miami

21. Washington State

22. BYU

23. TCU

24. Virginia Tech

25. Northwestern


>> Wisconsin. The Badgers should be favored in every regular season game, and I’m picking them to “upset” Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. The offensive and defensive lines are among the nation’s best. I’ll probably be wrong here, but we’ll see. OSU has blinked pretty hard in some big games recently.

>> Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will play each other for the Big 12 title one month after playing the first time. It’ll cost the Big 12 a shot at the playoff, because the teams will split the games.

>> Remember when Clemson had the nation’s No. 1 defense in 2014 and finished 10-3 because it was breaking in a new quarterback and couldn’t decide between a seasoned backup and a true freshman phenom? News flash: Clemson should not be fifth in the poll.

>> I don’t think you’ll find any “glaring omissions” here. Tennessee? Nah. West Virginia? Nah. Texas? I’ll go ahead and wait to see Texas actually produce a great team, rather than assuming, as I did last year, it would happen. 

Which Big Ten team has the best chance at making the College Football Playoff?

Four Big Ten teams are in the first eleven of the preseason AP Top 25. Which one do you think has the best chance at reaching the College Football Playoff?

You voted:

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.