No Guts contributor, J Will will be your captain on your College Football Preseason Top 25 ship. Make sure you ridicule his picks in the comments. I know I will.
#19 North Carolina Tar Heels – Atlantic Coast Conference
The Tar Heels come in at No.19 after finishing 8-5 following a loss to West Virgina in their bowl game. Coach Butch Davis has done a great job of building talent and has the Tar Heels in contention for the ACC title in only two years. Quarterback T.J. Yates returns along with tailbacks Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston, but they need to replace Hakeem Nicks and rebuild their offensive line. Look for the Tar Heels to lean on their defense until the offense gets going as they have one of the best defenses in the ACC. Defensive tackles, Marvin Austin and Cam Thomas anchor the ACC’s best defensive line. Add star linebackers, Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter and the Tar Heels will be very tough to score on. The Heels have tough road games against Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Virgina Tech and North Carolina State, but they do get Florida State and Miami at home.
#18 TCU Horned Frogs – Mountain West Conference
TCU comes in at No.18 after finishing 11-2 and beating Boise State in their bowl game. Quarterback Andy Dalton returns along with top receiver, Jimmy Young and tailbacks Joseph Turner and Ryan Christian. TCU set school records for points and touchdowns for a season last year and look to improve on that. Defensively, they have to replace seven starters. Top defensive end Jerry Hughes, who led the nation in sacks, is back along with defensive backs Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders. TCU have two tough non-conference road games against Virgina and Clemson along with going to BYU then hosting Utah.
#17 Georgia Bulldogs – Southeastern Conference
The Bulldogs come in at No.17 after finishing 10-3 and winning the Captial One Bowl over Michigan State. Quarterback Joe Cox steps into the starting role to replace Matthew Stafford to run the Georgia offense. Running backs Caleb King, Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas look to replace Knowshon Moreno, but star receiver, A.J. Green looks to improve on last year’s success. Defensive tackle Jeff Owens returns after missing last season to improve Georgia’s defensive line, but they still need some defensive ends to emerge.The Bulldogs have a tough opening schedule as they travel to Oklahoma State and South Carolina comes in the following week. They get LSU at home, Florida in Jacksonville and visit Georgia Tech so the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them.
#16 Florida State Seminoles – Atlantic Coast Conference
Florida State comes in at No.16 after finishing 9-4 and beating Wisconsin in the Champ Sports Bowl. Christian Ponder returns to run the offense with up and coming tailback Jermaine Thomas and one of the best offensive lines in the country. The Noles do have to replace Preston Parker who was kicked off the team and Greg Carr who has graduated. Defensively, the Noles have to replace Everette Brown but the coaches love what defensive end Markus White brings to the table. The Noles will be young in the secondary so the offense will be counted on for helping the defense out. The Noles open up against Miami on Labor Day night and they get South Florida, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State all at home. Their big road games are at Florida, BYU, North Carolina, Clemson, and Wake Forest.
#15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Atlantic Coast Conference
Georgia Tech is No.15 after finishing 9-4 and losing to LSU in the Chik-fil-A Bowl. The Yellow Jackets shocked the nation with their triple option and with nine starters returning on offense, they could be even better. Jonathan Dwyer and Roddy Jones are one of the top tandems in college football and if quarterback Josh Nesbitt can make big plays in the passing game, it’s going to be hard to stop this offense. On defense, they need to replace three star defensive lineman, Michael Johnson and tackles, Darryl Richard and Vance Walker so they can create some type of pass rush. Safety Morgan Burnett returns and he is a ball hawk in the secondary. Schedule wise, they have some tough home games which are Clemson, North Carolina, Virigina Tech, and Georgia. The tough road games are Florida State and Miami.