The top 25 college football rankings are the bottom-line determination of a team’s fate. Beginning with the Associated Press and Amway polls, and followed by the College Football Playoff rankings, the NCAA football pecking order becomes clearer as the season goes on.
Of course, nothing is normal in 2020, and at this late juncture of the year, even some top-tier programs have suited up for only a handful of games or so. While that paints an incomplete picture of the sport’s landscape, it makes it all the more interesting to power rank where everyone stands.
At Sportsnaut, we’ll spice up your weekly college football rankings. Instead of sticking to the status quo of the AP or Amway polls, or even the CFP rankings, check out our own editorial NCAA gridiron hierarchy, which will be updated weekly and feature some bold departures from how the primary polls stack up.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0)
Is Mac Jones the new Joe Burrow? Not quite, but Jones has made a similar leap from relative obscurity and afterthought to legitimate Heisman candidate and NFL draft prospect. He also threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns against Burrow’s former team, LSU, in the Tide’s 55-17 blowout win mere weeks ago, and this past weekend, Jones guided a high-powered offense to a 52-46 triumph over Florida to win the SEC title.
Jones could well win the national title, the Heisman and be drafted in the first round, and all of the Crimson Tide’s trademark strengths are still there: an elite defense and punishing rushing attack. Combine that with a precise passer like Jones (76.5%) who isn’t afraid to take downfield shots, and it seems unlikely anyone will dethrone Alabama, as coach Nick Saban once again navigates the brutal SEC gauntlet with sheer force.
2. Clemson Tigers (10-1)
The one loss to Notre Dame sticks out, but even without Trevor Lawrence for that marquee duel, the Tigers nearly pulled it off in South Bend. Lawrence has been back in the lineup, and Clemson got their chance at redemption in the ACC Championship Game and took full advantage of it. Turns out, Lawrence is a big deal. He accounted for 412 yards of total offense in a 34-10 romp.
Losing so much defensive talent to the NFL in the past couple of seasons showed when the Tigers got beat 47-40 by the Irish. They certainly learned from those mistakes. Lawrence is a far more ideal passer to have in such a shootout, but when the teams met again, Clemson prevailed in dominant fashion. Look for the Tigers and Lawrence to carry this momentum into the playoffs in a big way.
3. Texas A&M Aggies (8-1)