The Athlon Sports 2017 preview magazines will be hitting newsstands on Tuesday, but Athlon gave everyone an appetizer by releasing its College Football Top 25 on Monday.
Keep in mind, Athlon’s ranking takes into account where it thinks teams will finish after the national championship in January.
Of the 25, there are six SEC teams, and Alabama is pegged at No. 1. Therefore, the Crimson Tide is Athlon’s choice to win the national championship on Jan. 8. Rival Auburn is No. 9, followed by No. 11 LSU, No. 15 Georgia, No. 16 Florida and No. 19 Tennessee.
The Vols being among the top 20 may come as a surprise to many based on how much the team is losing from last season, including DE Derek Barnett, RB Alvin Kamara, CB Cameron Sutton, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, WR Josh Malone and QB Josh Dobbs in the 2017 NFL draft.
Here’s a look at the rest of the top 25:
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
- Kansas State
- South Florida
- Virginia Tech
Joining Alabama as the picks to make the College Football Playoff are Ohio State, Florida State and Washington. Again, these are the projected rankings after the national championship is played, but those are the four CFP teams as stated by Athlon.
That also means that Athlon predicts Alabama and Florida State could play twice this coming season, and maybe even twice in Atlanta. The Tide and Seminoles will open the season on Sept. 2 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Alabama is also on the cover for the regional SEC issue.
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) May 22, 2017
The SEC leads all other conferences with six selections in this top 25.