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Way-Too-Early No. 1-128 College Football Rankings For 2017 Season

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Campus Insiders’ way-too-early No. 1-128 College Football Rankings for the 2017 season. This is how all 128 FBS programs grade out and project for the 2017 season as we look ahead to spring football.


The 2016-17 college football season has, sadly, come to an end, as Clemson defeated Alabama to claim its first national championship since 1981.

The Tigers battled back from a 14-0 deficit and handed Nick Saban his first loss as Crimson Tide head coach when he entered the fourth quarter with a double-digit advantage. He had been 97-0 in such situations heading into Monday night’s contest.

While a long offseason is ahead, it’s never too early to look at the national landscape and anticipate another exciting season of the greatest sport on Earth.

Where does your team land in the way-too-early 2017 1-128 rankings?

No. 1-128 College Football Rankings

128. Rice
127. Kent State
126. UTEP

125. San Jose State: New head coach Brent Brennan has a tough rebuild ahead of him, although he knows the lay of the land from spending six years at SJSU in a variety of offensive coaching roles under Dick Tomey and Mike MacIntyre. He understands the challenges of this job and still holds recruiting connections throughout the state due to stints at SJSU, Arizona, Washington, Hawaii and others during his coaching career. He has a chance to succeed with the Spartans.

124. New Mexico State
123. Texas State
122. Georgia State
121. Buffalo
120. UMass
119. Charlotte
118. Bowling Green
117. Rutgers
116. Kansas
115. Fresno State
114. Utah State
113. Louisiana-Monroe
112. Tulane
111. Marshall
110. UNLV
109. UConn
108. Northern Illinois
107. Ball State
106. FIU
105. Nevada
104. Illinois
103. Virginia
102. East Carolina

101. FAU: New Owls head coach Lane Kiffin brought in former Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles to assume the same position, so expect an immediate impact on that side of the ball. Kiffin brings a pedigree to his new job that has to excite the FAU fan base. How much did he learn from Saban during his ‘Bama tenure?

100. Georgia Southern
99. Louisiana-Lafayette

98. Hawaii
97. Purdue

96. Eastern Michigan
95. Missouri
94. Akron
93. Central Michigan
92. Iowa State
91. Oregon State
90. North Texas
89. Maryland
88. SMU
87. UTSA
86. Baylor
85. Arizona
84. Cincinnati
83. South Alabama
82. Boston College
81. Idaho

80. Oregon: New head coach Willie Taggart brings discipline and improved focus, while new coordinator Jim Leavitt will start to improve the Ducks on the defensive side of the ball. It will be a different brand of football in Eugene, but it just may be what the doctor ordered. Taggart had major impacts at Western Kentucky and USF after working with Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.

79. Miami, OH
78. Ohio

77. Texas Tech
76. Cal
75. Arizona State

74. Colorado State
73. Army
72. Vanderbilt
71. Duke
70. Southern Miss
69. Indiana

68. Michigan State
67. Mississippi State

66. UCF: Scott Frost finished his first season with the Knights in disappointing fashion, as they fell to Arkansas State, 31-13, in the Cure Bowl. It was still a successful season, though, as UCF went from winless in 2015 to a bowl team in 2016. The future is bright if you are a Knights fan.

65. Syracuse
64. Wake Forest
63. Arkansas State

62. UCLA
61. South Carolina
60. Northwestern
59. Western Kentucky
58. Appalachian State
57. Old Dominion
56. New Mexico

55. Louisiana Tech
54. TCU

53. Wyoming
52. Memphis
51. Kentucky

50. Houston: Major Applewhite assumes head-coaching duties after Tom Herman left to take over at Texas. This is a program that has found a lot of success over the past decade, as Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin and Herman had nice runs at the school. Applewhite has a tough act to follow, but he deserved a head gig.

49. Toledo
48. Middle Tennessee
47. NC State
46. San Diego State
45. Troy
44. Temple

43. Western Michigan
42. Arkansas

41. Georgia Tech
40. Iowa

39. Air Force
38. Nebraska

37. Boise State
36. Utah
35. Minnesota
34. Pittsburgh

33. North Carolina

32. Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane finished their 2016 season with a win over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl. Montgomery’s bunch suffered just a loss to Ohio State and then two setbacks by a combined nine points to Houston and Navy on its way to a 10-3 record. This is a dangerous AAC squad, and a non-conference road test looms at Oklahoma State to kick off the ’17 campaign.

31. Notre Dame
30. Ole Miss
29. Washington State
28. Navy

27. Colorado
26. Kansas State

25. BYU
24. Texas A&M
23. Virginia Tech
22. Texas
21. USF
20. Tennessee
19. Stanford
18. Miami
17. West Virginia
16. Florida
15. Auburn
14. Wisconsin

13. Louisville
12. LSU
11. Georgia
10. Washington
9. Michigan
8. Penn State
7. Oklahoma

6. Clemson: With Deshaun Watson gone, all eyes will be on rising junior Kelly Bryant, rising redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper and incoming true freshman Hunter Johnson as the Tigers look to replace their two-time Heisman Trophy finalist. There’s a chance that offensive stars such as Mike Williams, Artavis Scott and Wayne Gallman leave early too, and the defense will lose veterans such as linebacker Ben Boulware and cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. But the cupboard isn’t bare, and Swinney is almost at the point where he can plug in replacements and not see too much dropoff. The leadership of Watson will be the biggest void to fill.

5. USC: The Trojans received an incredible performance from star freshman Sam Darnold in their Rose Bowl win over Penn State, as he passed for 453 yards and five touchdowns to help ‘SC win its ninth consecutive game. Even with the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster and the expected departure of corner Adoree’ Jackson, Clay Helton has his Trojans ready to take over the Pac-12 once again.

4. Oklahoma State: Quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington will return, and the Cowboys get rival Oklahoma at home. The non-conference slate is tricky, but this could be the year that Mike Gundy’s crew breaks through onto the national stage.

3. Florida State: Redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois showed his toughness and grit starting with the season opener against Ole Miss, but looming is a tough ’17 debut versus Alabama in Atlanta. Even with a loss in that game, FSU could still get into the College Football Playoff by winning the ACC. Jimbo Fisher’s squad will be loaded.

2. Ohio State: Urban Meyer will remain embarrassed throughout the offseason after his team was shut out by Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, which was the first time in his head coaching career that an offense was blanked. J.T. Barrett returns to a retooled offense for his senior season, and the Buckeyes are not short on elite talent.

1. Alabama: As long as Nick Saban is head coach, the Crimson Tide will remain national title contenders year in and year out. Quarterback Jalen Hurts will only get better, and premier talent is always ready to step in when a star leaves Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide!

MORE: Way-Too-Early College Football Playoff Predictions For 2017 Season

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