Synan Says: The Real Top 25 in College Football, 2018 Wrap Up

With the season over, there are plenty of interesting developments for college football in Florida.

Florida State is taking a huge risk by hiring former Baylor offensive coordinator Kendall Briles. So far, Briles has not been made available to the media and with good reason. The culture of rape and cover up was shocking in Waco. While Briles probably deserves a second chance and to return to coaching, it looks really bad for Florida State. Would you want to send your child to play for him? Florida State is still trying to salvage its recruiting class and having an offensive coordinator is good. Having one with the baggage being carried by Briles is not good.

What does the future hold for UCF? Fans across the country were thrilled to see the team’s winning streak end at 25 games but the Knights feel like they can simply start a new one. The schedule gets tougher next year. People keep saying UCF needs to beat the big boys to belong and they’ll get their chance when Stanford comes to Bounce House in 2019. UCF was crushed when they went to Palo Alto in 2015. I’m very interested to see what DJ Mack can do as the full time starter. I think UCF should feel very fortunate to be in contention for an AAC Championship next year. UCF is about to come back to reality. The team and coaches will be just fine but I am interested to see how UCF fans react. I wonder how many of the fans will get off the bandwagon.

Why do we need an eight or sixteen team playoff? So teams with two losses like Georgia and LSU can be in mix? Should conference champions be in the mix? Why should Washington get into the playoffs? College football is the greatest sport on the planet because no one has a regular season that matters more.

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney was spot on in why he opposes expanding the playoffs.

“We’ve had a playoff since September,” Swinney said. “Every game has been a playoff game to get to this point. Every game. If we’d have lost to whoever, we’re probably not here. If we had lost to Pitt in the ACC Championship, we’re not here. If we had lost to South Carolina we’re not here. Every game is a playoff game.”

This is unique to college football and worth preserving. Congratulations to Clemson for winning the title game in such a convincing manner over Alabama. Adding more teams to the playoffs is not necessary. Clemson is the best and proved it on the field all season long.

FINAL TOP 25

  1. Clemson (15-0). The Tigers are the first team in the modern era to go 15-0.
  2. Alabama (14-1) Clearly the second best team in the country despite getting hammered by Clemson.
  3. Notre Dame (12-1) Which was worse? Notre Dame’s 27 point loss to Clemson or Ohio State’s 29 point loss to Purdue?
  4. Ohio State (13-1) Fascinated to see if the run can continue with Ryan Day as coach.
  5. Oklahoma (12-2) Once they got over the shock of how good Bama was, they played well.  It was too late.
  6. UCF (13-1) Just could not get it done with a backup QB against a team as good as LSU.
  7. LSU (10-3) Thumped Miami and beat UCF. Would have been state champs were it not for the Gators.
  8. Georgia (11-3) Should have talked less about the playoffs and prepped more for the Sugar Bowl.
  9. Washington State (11-2) Deserved a better bowl.
  10. Florida (10-3) Yes, I know they beat LSU. Too bad. LSU had better wins.
  11. Kentucky (10-3) See why the SEC is best? Five teams in the top 11–and they proved it in bowl season.
  12. Texas (9-4) Texas beat Oklahoma and Georgia in Tom Herman’s second year. Watch out.
  13. Michigan (10-3) Jim Harbaugh needs to get it together. His team crumbled down the stretch.
  14. Syracuse (10-3) Played Clemson tougher than Bama did.
  15. Washington (10-4) This is not a team that would deserve a playoff spot.
  16. Cincinnati (11-2) Great second year for Luke Fickel.
  17. Texas A&M (9-4) Jimbo Fisher may be building a monster in College Station.
  18. Iowa (9-4) Once again, Kirk Ferentz wins a bunch of games. Just wish he would schedule someone in the out of conference slate.
  19. Fresno St. (12-2) Another Group of 5 win over a Power 5 team in the Vegas Bowl as Fresno State beat Arizona State 31-20.
  20. Penn State (9-4) Are Penn State fans happy with this level of performance? Got to a New Year’s Day bowl but lost to Kentucky.
  21. Utah State (11-2) I was high on them all season but I wish they had a better bowl opponent.
  22. Army (11-2) Did you see what they did to Houston? Wow! Got a winning coach fired.
  23. Stanford (9-4) Ugly Sun Bowl win gets them back in the Top 25.
  24. West Virginia (9-4) Maybe they should be higher since Will Grier did not play in bowl but the team stumbled across the finish line.
  25. Appalachian State (11-2) Only losses: at Georgia Southern, and at Penn State in overtime.

 

Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.

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