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Preview 2017: Predicting The Final College Football Playoff Rankings, No. 1-130

College Football News logo College Football News 5 days ago Pete Fiutak

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- CFN Preview 2017

All that matters after all the fun and all games and all the hoo-ha is what the final College Football Playoff rankings will be.

What will the committee come up with on the first weekend of December as it tries to figure out which four teams deserve to be in the tournament?

Records matter. Conference championships matter. Finishing with one loss or fewer, apparently after last year, really matters.

Remember, the CFP is looking at all the data presented to them - strength of schedule, key wins, and stats. And then there's their own judgement, too.

And here's what it's going to be.

All 130 teams are ranked by where they're going to end up after it's all done. This is how the season will play out, and it's what the College Football Playoff committee's final answer will be.

Preview 2017: Ranking

-Ranking (Based on Talent) From No. 1 to 130

AAC | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA

Ind | MAC | MW | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

130. UAB Blazers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 1-11

Blazer fans are expecting a whole lot more than a clunker if a first year back, and they'll get it … in 2018. UAB will beat Alabama A&M to kick off the season, and that'll be it unless they can hold serve at home against …

- UAB Preview | Back To Life

129. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

A win over UAB will early in the season will keep CCU out of the bottom spot. The Chanticleers will be more competitive than many might think, but it'll be a rough run after starting out 2-1.

- CCU Preview | Most Interesting Coach In The World

128. San Jose Spartans

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 1-11

It'll be a rough run for the new coaching staff with a win over Cal Poly, and that's it. The Spartans will be underdogs the rest of the way, mostly be double digits. They'll have to come up with something special to stay out of the bottom ten.

- SJSU Preview | New Coach, New Energy

127. New Mexico State Aggies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

The final season in the Sun Belt world before going off to independence won't be fun for a while, but they'll rally late in emotional wins over Idaho and South Alabama at home to make one last final statement.

- NMSU Preview | Can Aggies Go Out With A Bang?

126. Kent State Golden Flashes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

There's still no offense, and it'll show time and again. There might be a few wins and several low scoring, tight games, but it'll be yet another ugly season in an improved MAC.

- Kent State Preview | Overdue For SOMETHING Good

125. ULM Warhawks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

How is the team going to be worse with an improved team returning? The schedule will be a bear with few winnable home games and a few 50/50 toss-ups - Texas State and Idaho - on the road. Closing out with Appalachian State, at Auburn and Arkansas State will be a disaster.

- ULM Preview | Sun Belt's Breakthrough Team?

124. Charlotte 49ers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

After beating NC A&T and Georgia State early, it's going to be a rough road the rest of the way. The 49ers will be competitive, but they won't be able to get by winnable games against Eastern Michigan or Florida Atlantic to make it a breakthrough season.

- Charlotte Preview | Patience, Patience, Patience

123. Massachusetts Minutemen

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

The team will be better than the final record - which is why the final ranking won't be any lower despite the record. The offense will be entertaining, but the schedule doesn't have enough winnable moments. The Minutemen will beat Coastal Carolina and Maine, and lost a slew of shootouts.

- UMass Preview | Independence Isn't East

122. Texas State Bobcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

After a disastrous first season under Everett Withers, things will look up in an improved Year Two. There might still be several clunkers, but having Houston Baptist and Coastal Carolina on the slate will help.

- Texas State Preview | Can TXST Sneak Up?

121. Kansas Jayhawks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 1-11

Yes, Kansas will be better than a whole bunch of teams ranked higher, but the 1-11 record will keep the final spot low. The Jayhawks will beat SE Missouri, but a stunning loss to Central Michigan will set the tone for yet another disaster.

- Kansas Preview | KU, Stop Sucking At Football

120. Ball State Cardinals

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

A 2-1 start will look promising, but then the problems will come. Ball State won't be awful, but the toughest games are home - and likely losses - while winnable games against Akron and Eastern Michigan are on the road.

- BSU Preview | Getting Close To Greatness, But …

119. Rice Owls

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

Can the Owls pull up out of the nosedive? Not really. It'll have its moments against in-state neighbors - relatively speaking - UTSA and North Texas, but there will be too many double-digit losses to finish much better than this.

- Rice Preview | Is The Turnaround Coming?

118. Buffalo Bulls

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

A big disappointment considering the upside, the Bulls will sputter against the MAC schedule. A late win at Ball State will keep them from tumbling further than this after spending a big part of the season in the bottom ten.

- UB Preview | Bulls About To Be Better

117. Fresno State Bulldogs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Jeff Tedford will eventually do major things with the Fresno State program, but it's going to take a little while to get there. At least the offense will be stronger in wins over San Jose State and UNLV, but there are too many tough road games.

- Fresno St Preview | Tedford Will Crank Up O Fast

116. UTEP Miners

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Can the Miners start to get a few key conference wins to get into the bowl mix? They'll have a few, but not enough, with a late-season slide ruining a win over UTSA. Closing out with a win over UAB won't be enough.

- UTEP Preview | Will UTEP EVER Win?

115. Connecticut Huskies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

The team will be defense enough to stay around in most games - and lose. The Huskies will beat Holy Cross and slip pass East Carolina, but it'll sputter and struggle on the road in close loss after close loss.

- UConn Preview | Can UConn Win With Edsall?

114. Idaho Vandals

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

In their last run in the FBS world, the Vandals will have their good moments, but compared to last season, there won't be enough of them. They won't get the Sun Belt road wins needed to go bowling again, with late losses at New Mexico State and Georgia State dragging down the final ranking.

- Idaho Preview | NOW Idaho Is Good?!

113. Georgia State Panthers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

A 2-5 start will be too much to overcome. A rough November with three straight losses will ruin any dreams of going bowling, but a win over Idaho to close out the season will keep the Panthers from dropping into the abyss.

- Georgia State Preview | The Remodeling Job

112. North Texas Mean Green

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Will the Mean Green really take a step back after going bowling? Yup. They'll hit the two-foot putts against Lamar and UAB, but they won't get the upsets wins needed to go back to a bowl. After a promising 3-3 start, they'll win just one win - home against UTEP - the rest of the way.

- UNT Preview | Green Getting Mean Again

111. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

Here's the problem with what Eastern Michigan's final ranking will be - the team will be fine, but the record will be a disaster. After getting by Ball State, the Eagles will lose their last three games to finish off a clunker. Unlike previous seasons before last year's apparent breakthrough moment, EMU will get a wee bit more respect.

- EMU Preview | Can the Eagles Keep It Going?

110. Utah State Aggies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

The Aggies won't be able to get the year going. They'll be good enough to beat Wyoming, but they'll follow it up with a loss at UNLV. They'll beat Hawaii, but it won't be enough to turn the season around. Expect a whole lot of frustration.

- Utah State Preview | Back To Bowl Form?

109. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 2-10

It's going to be next to impossible to make a massive step forward with a schedule without a whole lot of breaks. Yeah, playing Purdue isn't bad, and dealing with Maryland and Illinois shouldn't be that hard, but they'll be losses. The Scarlet Knights will start out 2-1 before losing the rest of the way.

- Rutgers Preview | Young & Rebuilding

108. Florida International Golden Panthers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Butch Davis will have a rough time getting things rolling in his first season, with an early loss at Rice and a home defeat to Tulane being a huge problem. A big win over Old Dominion late in the year will help, but it'll be followed up by losses to Florida Atlantic and WKU.

- FIU Preview | Butch Davis? It's An Interesting Idea

107. Tulane Green Wave

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

The option offense will be great, but the defense won't be able to hold up well enough to make this the bust-out season Green Wave fans are hoping for. With a 4-5 start, there will be hope to go bowling, and then they'll drop the final three games.

- Tulane Preview | The Fritz Fix

106. East Carolina Pirates

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

The Pirates won't be able to do much with a tough early part of the schedule, and outside of a loss at Connecticut, they'll end up going down to eight teams that'll go bowling. Wins over Temple and Tulane will provide hope and boost the final ranking just a wee bit.

- East Carolina Preview | Pressure On Pirates

105. Florida Atlantic Owls

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Lane Kiffin will get his Owls to a bowl game. There are just enough easy games - Marshall will be the toughest win - to put up a solid record, but there won't be any splashy victories. For a program that needs something positive, getting to six wins will be terrific.

- FAU Preview | The Kiffin Era A Success If …

104. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

In a disappointing season, the Ragin' Cajuns will bust through a slew of easy wins before coming up with a great performance against Georgia Southern, but a loss to Appalachian State will keep them from going bowling.

- ULL Preview | Will ULL Be In Sun Belt Chase?

103. Akron Zips

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

Akron will close out strong enough to rise up the rankings a bit. After a horrible start, the defense will kick in for a 3-1 finishing kick that'll be good, but not enough to go bowling.

- Akron Preview | Reason To Hope Again

102. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

It'll be a step back after a fantastic first season under head coach Nick Rolovich, and why? The schedule is crushing, with too many tough home games - like Colorado State, San Diego State, BYU - leading to a disappointing four-win campaign.

- Hawaii Preview | Warrior Football Is Fun Again

101. South Alabama Jaguars

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

The Jaguars are always plucky, and they proved last season they can pull off big upsets - not this year. It's not the same team, and it'll show early on. Even so, a 5-5 start will put them in a position to go bowling, and they'll blow it at Georgia Southern and New Mexico State.

- USA Preview | Sun Belt's Big Tease

100. Miami University Redhawks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Gus Ragland and the offense will be solid, but where are the big wins? Beating Bowling Green will be good, but the other five losses will be against the weak and mediocre. RedHawk fans won't care when they go bowling again.

- MU Preview | Ready To Take The East?

99. UTSA Roadrunners

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It might not be the year Roadrunner fans are hoping for - there won't be a Conference USA title - but getting to a bowl game for a second straight season will be a big deal. A few tough road losses to North Texas and UTEP will be annoying.

- UTSA Preview | Hot Program, Hot Coach

98. SMU Mustangs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

Will the Mustangs ever turn a corner? They'll be entertaining, but after a promising 4-1 start, they'll hit the skids with a long losing stream before finishing up with a win over Tulane.

- SMU Preview | The Plan About To Win

97. Bowling Green Falcons

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It'll be a tough run early thanks to a difficult non-conference schedule, but the wins will start tricking in before closing strong, winning three of the last four games to get bowling. The excitement will build for 2018 thanks to the finishing kick.

- BGSU Preview | Back To MAC Stardom

96. Northern Illinois Huskies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Will it be bounceback season for the former MAC star? Sort of. A 1-3 start will quickly be overcome by the MAC schedule, owning October before struggling late with a few key losses to Toledo and Central Michigan on the road.

- NIU Preview | NIU Needs A QB Break

95. UNLV Rebels

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

The Rebels will be better, but they won't quite be able to get over the bowl hump after losing the final three games. They'll look good early with a 3-1 start, but they'll keep dropping key Mountain West showdowns.

- UNLV Preview | Can UNLV Get Any Luck?

94. Army Black Knights

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Army will keep the momentum of last season rolling with a big 5-2 start to establish the base, but the ranking will drop after a 1-4 finish - with a loss to Navy. The Knights will go bowling for the second year in a row.

- Army Preview | Is Army The New Navy?

93. Virginia Cavaliers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

The team will be better than this, but the ranking will be a dud thanks to the record. The Cavaliers will be a year away from being dangerous, but a 2-1 start will get everyone fired up. That'll go away with tough loss after tough loss - there will be eight defeats to bowl-bound teams.

- Virginia Preview | Bronco's Big Challenge

92. Oregon State Beavers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

The Beavers will once again have issues, but this year the team will be better - the record won't show it. It'll be tough to come up with the upsets needed to make a big splash with a tough run of four losses in the final five games.

- OSU Preview | Why Isn't This Working?

91. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

Even though there's plenty of hope and lots of experience coming back from the bowl-bound 2016 version, it'll be tough to come up with the same success as the underdog in just about every game after a 2-1 start. The losses will mount, and the ranking will drop.

- Wake Forest Preview | Making Ugly Beautiful

90. Duke Blue Devils

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

The Blue Devils suffer from playing in an improved ACC. Where are the wins going to come from? They're not going to win at home against Miami or Florida State, and the road games aren't a help. They'll fight their way to four wins, though.

- Duke Preview | It's A Bad Time To Struggle

89. Arkansas State Red Wolves

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

The early ranking will stink after a 1-4 start, but that's nothing new - ASU is good at finishing strong. It'll win six of its last seven games and move up the charts, but the overall ranking won't be all that great without a signature win. And then the Red Wolves will finish up by beating Troy.

- ASU Preview | Reloaded For Another Title?

88. Nevada Wolf Pack

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

The first year in the new offensive system will be fun, and it'll close with a bang winning two of the final three games. However, there won't be any wins over teams that'll go bowling, and too many losses against the strong Mountain West squads will hurt.

- Nevada Preview | The Air Raid Is Here

87. Central Michigan Chippewas

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

Beating Kansas will get plenty of attention, and getting by Miami University will show the team is for real in a 3-1 start. But losing four of the next five will make the ranking nosedive, but winning the last three games will crank things back up in time for the bowl season.

- CMU Preview | It's All There To Win The West

86. Old Dominion Monarchs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

There will be a step back after a breakthrough season, but with a great second half run of four wins in five games, the ranking won't be all that bad. A few losses here and there will sting - like road games at Marshall, FIU and Middle Tennessee - but it'll still be a bowl season.

- ODU Preview | ODU's Quick Rise To Power

85. Ohio Bobcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-5

The eventual MAC East champs will get a little respect by beating Kansas early on, and wins over Central Michigan and Miami University will help out the resume a wee bit as the year goes on. Losing another MAC title game, though - this time to Toledo - won't help.

- Ohio Preview | Is It Finally Their Turn?

84. Temple Owls

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The defending American Athletic champs will need a little bit to get the season going, but it won't be the same. A three-win midseason rally will change around the ranking, but not enough after losing two of the last three games.

- Temple Preview | Can Collins Keeps It Going?

83. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

It still won't be a a Conference USA title season, but after a nice 4-2 start, and with wins over the easy teams on the slate late, it'll be a good year - just not an amazing one. There won't be a signature win to pump up the ranking.

- USM Preview | Will It Be Weird Again?

82. Iowa State Cyclones

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

After a promising 4-4 start and plenty of hope, the Cyclones will sputter and cough late losing the final four games. The 0-for-November run might spoil things after a good win over TCU, but there won't be big blowouts - they'll look good in defeat.

- Iowa State Preview | What Does ISU Do Well?

81. Marshall Thundering Herd

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

It'll be the rebound year. It might not be the season the Herd fans might want, and there won't be a whole bunch of special wins early on in a mediocre Conference USA, and then everything will change late. Wins over WKU and Southern Miss will be fantastic, but a loss to UTSA in between will keep the season from finishing with a kick.

- Marshall Preview | The Thundering Bounceback

80. Purdue Boilermakers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 3-9

It's a stepping-stone season under new head coach Jeff Brohm. Will the offense crank things up enough to come up with a few upsets? Not late, losing four of the last five games in wild shootouts that'll drop the final ranking, but there will be plenty of reasons to get fired up.

- Purdue Preview | Brohm The Scary-Good Hire

79. California Golden Bears

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

These won't be the same old Cal Bears. The defense will start to tackle and the offense won't be as crazy, but it'll take a while for the wins to show up. By the middle of the season will come just enough success to make a little bit of a splash - and then everything will sink in losses to Stanford and UCLA on the road.

- Cal Preview | Cal's Home Run Coaching Hire

78. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The offense will keep on going even after losing a slew of key parts, but it'll take a little bit. The ranking will suffer after a 1-4 start, but winning four of the last five - highlighted by an anchor victory over Memphis - will boost things back up.

- Tulsa Preview | Tulsa Is The Hidden CF Star

77. Wyoming Cowboys

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Early losses will take the bloom off the rose, even with all the attention paid to QB Josh Allen and the NFL potential. A run of four losses in five games will sink the ranking, but it'll bounce back a bit with two late losses over bad Fresno State and San Jose State teams.

- Wyoming Preview | Is Cowboy Football Cool?

76. Georgia Southern Eagles

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

The offense might lose a slew of key veterans out of the backfield, but the ground game will ramp up and roll to Sun Belt win after Sun Belt win. A few defenses will hold up just enough, and a few offenses will win in shootouts, but the Eagles will destroy a slew of bad teams on the slate - and shock Appalachian State - on the way to a decent final ranking.

- GSU Preview | Is The Ground Game Back?

75. Illinois Fighting Illini

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Lovie Smith will struggle to get it all going after starting out 2-0. Losing eight of the next nine will sink the ranking like a stone - especially after losing to Purdue and Indiana - but a regular season finale win over Northwestern will finish with a boost.

- Illinois Preview | Can Lovie Really Do This?

74. Colorado Buffaloes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 4-8

Boulder might be nestled in between the mountains and reality, and reality will creep in after a Pac-12 South championship season. The Buffs won't be miserable, but they won't be able to get into any sort of a groove with too many conference losses, dropping five of the last six games.

- Colorado Preview | Were Buffs Good Or Pac-12 Bad?

73. Boston College Eagles

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

The Eagles are trying to get prettier - or, at least, better offensively - but it'll still be the defense that takes over at times. However, with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Louisville and Florida State to deal with, coming up with a winning record and a great ranking will be tough.

- BC Preview | BC Going Up Tempo?

72. Maryland Terrapins

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

After going bowling, the Terps will suffer a losing season - and then the recruiting classes will kick in as the program becomes more of a factor in 2018. Before that, too many Big Ten losses - and an opening week loss to Texas - will ensure a losing campaign, but the tone will be set with a regular season finale win over Penn State.

- Maryland Preview | Wins Are Coming … Soon

71. WKU Hilltoppers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

It won't be the magical season of last year, but even with a coaching change and the loss of several key parts of the puzzle, the Hilltoppers will still be terrific. They'll overcome a midseason lull to beat Middle Tennessee and FIU to finish up strong - the rankings will show it.

- WKU Preview | The New Cradle Of Coaches

70. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

A 5-4 start will help the Red Raiders get up relatively high - highlighted by a win over Kansas State - but losing the last three games to Baylor, TCU and Texas will knock them right back down in another losing season.

- Texas Tech Preview | When Will O Start Winning?

69. Vanderbilt Commodores

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

Vandy fans might be jazzed up for a big year after going bowling, but the SEC will be better and an early loss to Kansas State will hurt. The Commodores will pull up out of the nosedive to win three straight, but it won't be enough. With everything on the line, a loss to Tennessee will lock down a losing season.

- Vandy Preview | What If The O Works?

68. Baylor Bears

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Baylor is pushing the reset button, but it's not going to be easy. An easy start to the season will make everything look good for a while, but the Big 12 schedule will drop on the Bears like a hammer. With wins over Kansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State, the final record and ranking won't be so miserable.

- Baylor Preview | It IS Possible To Win The Right Way

67. Kentucky Wildcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 5-7

It'll be a letdown after beating Louisville and going bowling, but the team will still be strong - the record won't be. Everything will look positive after a 4-2 start, but Kentucky will go back to being pre-2016 Kentucky and blow its bowl hopes losing five of the last six.

- UK Preview | Really? UK Win The East?

66. Troy Trojans

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

The breakthrough team of the 2016 Sun Belt season will keep it all going, but it'll be missing the big win to make the record look real. Georgia Southern will be the best victory - that doesn't get it done to finish much higher than this.

- Troy Preview | Trojans About To Roll

65. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-5

It's when it's all going to start coming together. The offense will work, the defense won't be bad, and the Blue Raiders will overcome an 0-3 start to rip off seven straight wins before losing to Western Kentucky. Still, they'll get to the C-USA title game - and lose to Louisiana Tech.

- MT Preview | Stockstill Needs A Big Win

64. Western Michigan Broncos

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

It's not going to be 2016, but there's enough still there to beat up on all the bad MAC teams on the schedule. Just when it seems like everything is rolling for the Broncos, losses to Northern Illinois and Toledo will drop them.

- WMU Preview | Broncos Keep On Rowing

63. Indiana Hoosiers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

A disastrous midseason will keep the Hoosiers from rising up too much, but a late run of three straight wins will change up the perception. It'll be a fight to get to six victories, but IU will get there.

- IU Preview | Hoosiers Loaded … Finally

62. Missouri Tigers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The Tigers will bounce back, but there will be a lid on the success late in the game with road losses to Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Even so, they'll get back on the map with a bowl season thanks to a great second half run led by wins over Florida and Tennessee.

- Mizzou Preview | The Plan Should Work … In Theory

61. Appalachian State Mountaineers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

The best team in the Sun Belt will have a few Georgia hiccups - Bulldogs to start the season, the Georgia Southern Panthers in November - but that'll be a bout it. Wake Forest might be the strongest win, but the record will be undeniable.

- ASU Preview | ASU Ripe For Expansion?

60. UCF Knights

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Meet the new year, same as the old year. The Knights will take care of all the easy wins on the schedule, but it'll take a late run of three wins in the final four games to get bowling again. The difference? Unlike last season, UCF will do something special - like beating South Florida to close out the regular season.

- UCF Preview | Just How Good Is Scott Frost?

59. Michigan State Spartans

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

There will be a rebound, but it'll take a while to make noise in the rankings after yet another struggle. A 2-6 midseason run will bring everything down, but beating Maryland and Rutgers to finish up will get the Spartans to a bowl game.

- MSU Preview | Can MSU Find IT Again?

58. Navy Midshipmen

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

Even with a ton of key losses on both sides of the ball, the team marches on. After a great start and a rough middle, closing out with a win over Army will mean a nice late record, but without a slew of outstanding victories to chirp about.

- Navy Preview | Navy's Still Good, But …

57. Pitt Panthers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The Panthers will have problems to start out, but the ACC wins will start coming. Beating NC State and North Carolina will help, but taking down Miami in the regular season finale will be the big boost up in the final ranking.

- Pitt Preview | From Tease To Terrific?

56. Ole Miss Rebels

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It's a lost season thanks to the NCAA violations, but the on-field product will be fine at times to help out the spot on the charts. With a 3-0 start and a win over LSU, the respect will come for the team with nothing to lose.

- Ole Miss Preview | SEC's Most Dangerous Team?

55. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

It'll be a rough year for Conference USA, but winning the league title should bring a decent ranking. An eight-game winning streak before taking the C-USA title will be nice, but there won't be any great wins to get fired up about until the tenth victory in the championship.

- Louisiana Tech Preview | Is Holtz Hot Again?

54. Syracuse Orange

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It'll be the next-step-forward season under Dino Babers, but it'll take the entire schedule to get there. After a great start, a 2-6 run will put the pressure on, but the Orange will come through with a win over Boston College to get bowling.

- Syracuse Preview | SU & Babers Get A Free Pass

53. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The Bulldogs will get to six wins beating Ole Miss, BYU, and Kentucky along the way, but where's the beef? The rankings won't love the production unless Louisiana Tech does what it's supposed to - MSU will beat the eventual C-USA champ early in the season.

- MSU Preview | From Comfortable To Contender?

52. Air Force Falcons

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

There will be just enough good wins to boost up the ranking, but not enough of them to make noise in the Mountain West chase. Beating San Diego State and Wyoming will be nice, but not enough to finish much higher than this.

- Air Force Preview | No Experience …No Problem?

51. New Mexico Lobos

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

The Lobos won't have the best of resumes, but with a 6-1 start and November wins over Utah State and UNLV, the record will look great. The problem will be the big moments - there won't be enough of them. It'll be a good year, but there will be a hard ceiling.

- UNM Preview | Can Lobos Ever Win The MW?

50. Cincinnati Bearcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

One of the year's breakthrough teams, the Bearcats won't have any big baller wins - Temple, UCF and Marshall will be the top line victories - but the first year under Luke Fickell will set the tone for a big 2018.

- UC Preview | Ready For Big 12 Pitch?

49. South Carolina Gamecocks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

Like 2016, South Carolina will do just enough to be okay, and it'll be just feisty enough to keep the losses from looking all that bad. But close won't be enough in November, and beating Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana Tech won't be impressive enough to make a final rankings splash.

- South Carolina Preview | Muschamp's Close Calls

48. Arizona Wildcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

After a 5-1 start with wins over Houston, Utah and UCLA, Arizona will be the hot team over the first half. But the flakiness will kick in with losses at Cal and against Washington State along the way. Worst of all, the Cats will lose at Arizona State to close out the regular season. Even so, the resume won't be all that awful thanks to the first half.

- Arizona Preview | RichRod Better Than You Think

47. North Carolina Tar Heels

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It'll be a disappointing season considering what the Tar Heels have done over the last few years. A 5-2 start will seem like it's business as usual, but with at Virginia Tech, Miami, at Pitt and at NC State over the second half of the season, there will be a brutal finishing kick.

- UNC Preview | Total Tar Heel Rebuild?

46. Arizona State Sun Devils

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

It's not going to be the return to Pac-12 title chase prominence ASU and head coach Todd Graham might need, but the splash will be there. Beating San Diego State will be a plus, and going bowling after beating Arizona will be great, but the ranking will be all about one moment - the October 28th win over USC.

- ASU Preview | Stop The Pass, Or Else

45. Washington State Cougars

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 6-6

The Cougars will be so, so interesting early on. They'll beat Boise State on the way to a 4-0 start, but the loss to USC will lead to the end of the fun. Beating Colorado and Arizona will be enough to go bowling, but all the fireworks won't be enough losing three straight to close things out.

- Wazzu Preview | Mike Leach's Best Team Yet?

44. Kansas State Wildcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

It's Kansas State, so there's a built-in base of wins thanks to a relatively easy non-conference schedule - even with a date at Vanderbilt. Beating Kansas and Iowa State won't move the needle, but getting by West Virginia will.

- Kansas State Preview | Slow & Steady Still Works

43. Northwestern Wildcats

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

There won't be the clunkers out of the gate like the Wildcats experienced last year, but it'll be a season of ebbs and flows. After three straight losses - with a dud at Maryland dropping the ranking - and then everything will bounce back winning four of the next five games to look fantastic. And then they'll lose to Illinois to ruin it all.

- NW Preview | Is It Possible To Win Big Ten?

42. Memphis Tigers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

The hot end to last regular season will keep on rolling with a 6-1 start that'll look great - even with a home loss to UCLA. A few misfires will sting, but with three straight wins to close things out, the nine-win record will be sensational.

- Memphis Preview | After Good Year, Get Ready For Great

41. Colorado State Rams

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

One of the season's hot Group of Five programs, the offense will start to work and the defense will be just enough to get by in wins over Colorado and Oregon State to go 6-1 - with that one loss coming to Alabama. Big moment losses to New Mexico and Boise State will keep it from being a truly special season, but the Rams will take 9-3.

- Colorado State Preview | Is It CSU's Turn?

40. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

Always dangerous, the Yellow Jackets and their great offense will be victims of the schedule. Tennessee will get all of August to prepare for the attack in the opener, Miami gets a week off to get ready in mid-October, and Clemson gets an extra week in late October. The best wins over North Carolina and Pitt just won't measure up.

- GT Preview | The Offense Still Rocks

39. San Diego State Aztecs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-4

Part of finishing with a great final ranking is being hot. The Aztecs won't be that in early September with a 1-3 start, and then the run will come winning eight straight, another West title, and a home victory over Boise State but losing the rematch in the Mountain West title game.

- SDSU Preview | Can SDSU Go Three Straight?

38. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

P.J. Fleck's first season will start out great and fizzle out late. Going 7-0 will boost the ranking, but there won't be a whole lot of substance - outside of, maybe, the Michigan State victory. But the fall will come with losses in four of the last five games thanks to three brutal road games - Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern - to go along with the annual defeat to Wisconsin. There will be only three wins over bowl bound teams.

- Minnesota Preview | Can Fleck Keep On Rowing?

37. West Virginia Mountaineers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

The Mountaineers will beat the teams they're supposed to. They'll lose the opener to Virginia Tech, drop a firefight to TCU, and struggle against the other Big 12 stars, but a win at home over Texas will change the perception. Once again, they'll be solid, but they'll also be just outside of the conference elite.

- WVU Preview | WVU, Reload That Musket

36. Texas A&M Aggies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

Once again, the Aggies will have their moments, and they'll get plenty of attention after a decent start - going 4-1. Once again, they'll lose to Alabama, and that'll be about it for any hope of being in the SEC title hunt. Outside of Arkansas and South Carolina, the impressive wins won't be there.

- A&M Preview | A&M Won't Win SEC, And Then…?

35. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

A 4-1 start with a loss to Oregon will seem promising, but the Huskers won't be able to take advantage of the big games at home. They'll lose to Wisconsin and Ohio State, and they'll drop road games to Minnesota and Penn State, but beating Northwestern and Iowa in November will boost the stock back up.

- Nebraska Preview | Isn't Nebraska Supposed To Be Great?

34. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

For a while it'll look like the Irish will be in for something special, and they'll be just good enough at times to tease. But they'll alternate big wins with losses, dropping a date to NC State after beating USC, and losing to Miami and Stanford in November. You are what your record is, but they'll be better than 7-5.

- ND Preview | ND Won't Win CFP, But You Knew That

33. Tennessee Volunteers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

Here we go again. Tennessee will start out 5-1 and be in the thick of the SEC title chase with a win over Georgia to counterbalance a loss to Florida. The annual defeat to Alabama won't be a big problem, and losing to LSU in a dogfight will be acceptable, but a loss at Missouri will sting.

- Tennessee Preview | Maybe Vols Are Just Okay

32. Utah Utes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 7-5

Last year, Utah had the win over USC to rally behind. This season, it'll be taking care of Stanford after getting a week off to prepare. Throw in wins over BYU, Arizona State and Washington State, and despite the five losses, a case will be made to crack the top 30.

- Utah Preview | What's Missing To Become Champ?

31. Toledo Rockets

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

Early losses to Nevada and Miami on the road will kill the early perception, and they'll bring down the MAC as a whole considering Toledo will be the league's star. However, the record and the ranking will rocket up in a hurry with nine-game winning streak including two wins over Ohio - the second being for the conference title.

- Toledo Preview | It's The Rockets' Turn

30. Boise State Broncos

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

Winning the Mountain West title will help the ranking, but road losses to Washington State, BYU and San Diego State will lead to a rocky first half. Taking down seven straight wins to close things out will make amends, but there won't be enough splashy wins.

- BSU Preview | Is Boise State The Standard Again?

29. BYU Cougars

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

The final regular season ranking will be based on two wins - Wisconsin and Boise State. The Cougars will lose to Mississippi State, LSU and Utah, and the rest of the wins will add up to fat load of nothing - BYU won't beat a bowl-bound team over the last six games - but beating the loaded Badgers and the eventual Mountain West champ will put them around the final regular season top 30.

- BYU Preview | What If BYU Goes 13-0?

28. Texas Longhorns

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

While everyone will hail the winning season and the eight-win campaign as a great step forward in the new Tom Herman era, it'll actually be a slight disappointment considering the talent level and experience. The losses to USC and Oklahoma will be fine, but losing at TCU and West Virginia will hurt. Beating Oklahoma State and Kansas State, though, will help the strength of schedule.

- Texas Preview | UT, You'd Better Be Right On Herman

27. TCU Horned Frogs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

The Horned Frogs will bounce back after a year off and dive back into the Big 12 title chase. Losing to Arkansas and Oklahoma State on the road in September will make it seem like yet another grind, but beating West Virginia and Kansas State will help. Unfortunately, a misfire at Iowa State will undo all of the good things accomplished in the rankings.

- TCU Preview | Here's Comes The Bounceback

26. Houston Cougars

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

Unlike last year, the Cougars will get to the American Athletic title game. They'll lose to South Florida for the second time, and the other other loss will come to Arizona. Beating Texas Tech, Memphis, Navy and Temple will push them just outside of the top 25.

- Houston Preview | A Major Push For Expansion

Preview 2017: Rankings

-Ranking From No. 1 to 130

AAC | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA

Ind | MAC | MW | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

25. Arkansas Razorbacks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

The'll lose to Texas A&M, and drop road games to South Carolina, Alabama and LSU, but they'll get through everyone else. The eight wins with victories over TCU and Auburn will be impressive, and closing out 5-1 will get the Razorbacks on the cusp of the top 25.

- Arkansas Preview | Hogs, Be Better Than The Belk

24. South Florida Bulls

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

Under Charlie Strong, USF will go 10-2 just like it did last season, but this time it'll lead to a shot at the American Athletic title. The Bulls will come through with a win over Houston, but where will the other good wins be? Cincinnati and Tulsa will be okay, but the Bulls will lose to Illinois - who'll come up with a great defensive performance - and against an inspired UCF and the road.

- USF Preview | Did Bulls Upgrade In Strong?

23. Oregon Ducks

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

The Willie Taggart arrival will turn around the Ducks in a hurry. They'll drop road games at Stanford, UCLA and Washington, but they'll look the part again on the way to a 5-0 start - including a win over Nebraska, and will close winning three of the final four. There just won't be that massive splash moment to finish higher.

- Oregon Preview | Uhhh, What Has Taggart Won?

22. UCLA Bruins

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

Beating Texas A&M to kick things off, and taking down a dangerous Memphis on the road will set the tone, but beating Oregon and Utah will be the keys to proving UCLA is for real. The Pac-12 will be stronger, and losses on the road to Stanford, Washington and USC will be more than forgivable.

- UCLA Preview | Why Isn't UCLA Better?

21. Florida Gators

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

The offense will be better with Malik Zaire under center, but it won't mean a better overall record. Opening up with a loss to Michigan and closing the regular season with a loss to Florida State won't matter in the SEC title chase. But back-to-back losses to Georgia and Missouri will.

- Florida Preview | Winning SEC East Is Good, But …

20. Iowa Hawkeyes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-4

Just when you think Iowa is about to be special, it'll come up with an annoying loss. Just like beating Michigan in a huge home moment last season, it'll tag Ohio State - and then lose at Wisconsin. It'll have a big home win over Penn State - and then lose at Michigan State. The top-line victories will be impressive.

- Iowa Preview | Don't Make Us Hate You

19. Virginia Tech Hokies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

Even with so many key losses on both sides of the ball, the final record won't be all that bad after slipping by West Virginia to set things off. Losing to Clemson and Miami will keep the Hokies from getting back to the ACC title game, but the rest of the schedule is just manageable enough to roll through unscathed.

VT Preview | The Perfect Transition

18. NC State Wolfpack

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

The ACC's breakthrough team will make noise with a win over South Carolina, and later will prove it's this year's Louisville by beating Louisville. In a fun fight, the Wolfpack will get Clemson this time around, but the momentum will fizzle with a loss to Boston College the week after.

- NC St Preview | How To Get Off A Hot Seat

17. Penn State Nittany Lions

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

Everyone will be expecting the same magic of last year's Big Ten title, but going 9-3 really would be terrific. Remember, the 2016 team lost twice, and needed a few miracles to prevent a whole lot more. Losing on the road to Iowa and Ohio State will be fine considering the wins over Michigan, Northwestern and Nebraska. A regular season finale loss at Maryland, though, will crush the ranking.

- Penn State Preview | They're Awake Now

16. LSU Tigers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

It won't be the season many Tiger fans will be hoping for, but it'll be okay. A 5-0 start will set the expectation high, but losing on the road to Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama will mean another disappointing campaign without an SEC title. Beating Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M, though over the second half of the season will put the Tigers just on the outside of the top 25.

- LSU Preview | 3 Plays From The CFP

15. Louisville Cardinals

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

After an uneven second half of last season, the Cardinals will be more complete. Having Lamar Jackson won't hurt, either, beating Clemson early on and rolling to a great second half with a win over Kentucky. But losses to NC State and Florida State on the road will kill ACC title hopes.

- Louisville Preview | College Football's Sugar Rush

14. Miami Hurricanes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

The Hurricanes will lose at Florida State early, and lose again in the rematch in the ACC Championship. What really matters, though, is that they'll finally get to the title game. The schedule is a dream - getting Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech at home is a massive break - but losing at Pitt to close out the regular season will bring down the ranking.

- UM Preview | Will "The U" Ever Win Coastal?

13. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

Once again, Oklahoma State will run into the Oklahoma wall - but it'll be in the rematch. A November win over the Sooners will boost up the ranking a ton, but road losses at Texas Tech and Texas will keep everything tempered. A loss to the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship might stink, but it'll come at the end of a five-game winning streak.

- OSU Preview | Gundy's A Man, He's 50. Win The Big 12

12. Georgia Bulldogs

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

The Bulldogs will have a few down moments in losses at Tennessee and Auburn, but they'll get to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. They'll get by Notre Dame early, slide by Florida, and will benefit by not facing Alabama or LSU in conference play - and then they'll lose to the Crimson Tide in the title game.

- Georgia Preview | It's Your Turn, Georgia

11. Auburn Tigers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 9-3

The Tigers will beat Alabama to end the regular season. That'll mean everything in the ranking, overcoming road losses to the other Tigers on the schedule - Clemson and LSU - along with a tough defeat at Arkansas. By beating Georgia, too, Auburn will have the honor of owning wins over the two teams in the SEC Championship.

- Auburn Preview | It's All There. Now What?

10. Stanford Cardinal

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

Back in the Pac-12 title hunt, the Cardinal will lose the early opener at USC, and they'll lose at Utah, but they'll win out taking six straight to be the 2016 USC-like hot team at the end - and like the Trojans, missing out on the Pac-12 title game. They'll beat Washington, but that'll be the Huskies' only loss.

- Stanford Preview | Time To Be CFP Good

9. USC Trojans

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-3

It's not going to be the season everyone predicts. It'll look like it after getting out to a 7-0 start, but back-to-back losses at Notre Dame and Arizona State will bring down the ranking. Even so, the Trojans will get to the Pac-12 Championship - where they'll lose to Washington.

- USC Preview | USC HAS To Be Great, Right?

8. Oklahoma Sooners

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

The loss of Bob Stoops won't matter all that much. The Sooners would've lost at Ohio State even with the legendary former head man on the sidelines, but would they lose the first time around against Oklahoma State? OU will win the rematch in the Big 12 Championship.

- OU Preview | How Do You Replace Stoops?

7. Clemson Tigers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

Losing on the road at Louisville and NC State will keep the Tigers from repeating as ACC and national champs, but they'll still be amazing all throughout the year. The regular season ranking will be terrific thanks to wins over Auburn, Virginia Tech and biggest of all, Florida State.

- Clemson Preview | Tigers' Instant Reload

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 10-2

Just when it looks like Ohio State is about to take control of the season - with an 8-0 record highlighted by wins over Oklahoma, Nebraska and Penn State - they'll go to Iowa and misfire. Everything will still be there for the taking, but unlike last year, Michigan won't gag away the regular season finale.

- OSU Preview | 31-0 Doesn't Matter

5. Wisconsin Badgers

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

Another season, another trip to the Big Ten Championship. With wins over Nebraska and Minnesota on the road, and Iowa and Michigan at home, it'll be easy to blow off an early season misfire at BYU. Unfortunately, with the College Football Playoff on the line, the Wolverines will take the rematch in the Big Ten title game.

- UW Preview | Best Program With No Title?

4. Michigan Wolverines

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

In a year full of mood swings, the Wolverines will come up with an emotionally-charged defensive stunner over Florida, along with a win over Michigan State, to start 6-0 - and then they'll lose at Penn State. They'll rally back with a dominant three-game run - and then lose at Wisconsin. Even so, there will still be hope to win the Big Ten title by beating Ohio State. They'll do it, and beat the Badgers for the B1G.

- Michigan Preview | Win SOMETHING Big

3. Florida State Seminoles

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 11-2

There won't be any more forgivable losses than Florida State's defeats to Alabama in the opener and at Clemson in mid-November. The Noles will beat Miami, NC State and Louisville before taking down Florida in the regular season finale. An ACC Championship win in a rematch over the Hurricanes will be harder than it looks.

- FSU Preview | Is FSU A Superpower?

2. Washington Huskies

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 12-1

The Huskies will be every bit as good as last year, and they'll look the part with a whole lot of muscle flexing over the first eight games of the season before making a big national statement against Oregon. They'll lose at Stanford, but they'll rebound to get to the Pac-12 Championship again, This time around, they'll beat USC to go off to the College Football Playoff.

- Washington Preview | Was It All For Real?

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Preseason Predicted Regular Season Record: 12-1

The Crimson Tide will get to the No. 1 spot in the final College Football Playoff rankings without worrying too much. They'll get by Florida State to kick things off, and roll through good home win over good home win, beating Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU along the way. They lose to Auburn to close out the regular season, but it won't matter. With a win over Georgia for yet another SEC title, Bama will get its shot to make amends for coming up short in Tampa.

- Alabama Preview | The Process Keeps Rolling

- CFN Preview 2017

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