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Pre-Season Publications Top 25: 1st up, Phil Steele

Phil Steele’s Top 25 vs his Top 25

 

The teams with the greatest challenges, at least in terms of quantity of opponent, are Oklahoma, Florida State & Texas, as they all take on 5 Top 25 Opponents … this according to Phil’s Steele’s  Top 25 rankings.

The Seminoles open the season in Atlanta vs the #1 team in the land, Alabama, then do battle with #8 Clemson & #9 Florida on the road, and finally, welcome #11 Miami FL & #17 Louisville to Tallahassee!

The Sooners travel to Columbus to take on #2 OSU, then head for the other OSU, in Stillwater, #15 Ok State and finally land in Kansas to play #24 Kansas State. Their annual brawl vs #21 Texas is @ a Neutral site, Dallas? Then, at last, they get to play 1 of the 5 games vs Top 25 teams @ home, vs #20 TCU.

The ‘Horns’ host #15 Oklahoma State & #24 Kansas State!  In September, the Longhorns head west for California and a date with #4 USC and in November travel to Fort Worth to call out #20, TCU.  The Red River Shootout … oops … I mean the Red River Rivalry vs Oklahoma is played every year in early October at a neutral site, Dallas, which is about the same distance from Norman as it is from Austin!

The Badgers have only one T-25 opponent, #16 Michigan in Madison, on November 18th. Wisconsin has a legitimate chance to reach the B-10 Championship game this season w/o a blemish on their record. The real scary issue for Bucky is … the team waiting for them in Indy, may also be undefeated and it could be one of two teams … #2 OSU or #6 PSU. This will be decided in Columbus on Oct. 28th!

Conferences represented in Phil Steele’s Top 25 are: B-12 5 teams (#5 Oklahoma, #15 Oklahoma State, #20 TCU, #21 Texas, & #24 Kansas State). SEC has 5 teams (#1 Alabama, #9 Florida, #12 Auburn, #13 LSU, & #22 Georgia). The ACC has 5 teams (#3 Florida State, #8 Clemson, #11 Miami, #17 Louisville, & #25 Virginia Tech) The Big Ten has 4 teams (#2 Ohio State, #6 Penn State, #10 Wisconsin, & #16 Michigan). The PAC 12 has 4 teams (#4 USC, #7 Washington, #14 Stanford, & #22 Oregon) Independents (#19 ND & BYU, The Cougars not rated in the T-25; ND & BYU are counted by SCFP as P5 Teams … the other 2 Independents, Army & U Mass as G5’s) & The AAC has 1 team (#18 South Florida). USF is the only G5 team rated by Phil Steele and his staff!

Finally, as stated, Phil Steele rated only one team from the the Group of Five (G5), South Florida, they play only 1 Power 5 (P5) opponent, Illinois. Lovie Smith (Illini Coach) is at least another year out before he fields a quality team in Champaign. So, if USF were to go unbeaten, should they be consider for one of the play-off spots or have they scheduled themselves out of contention?

Check out the match-ups below and please share your thoughts  …

  1. Alabama: @ #12 Auburn; #3 FSU in Atlanta, & @ Home vs #13 LSU
  2. Ohio State: @ #16 Michigan & @ Home vs #5 Oklahoma & #6 PSU
  3. Florida State: vs #1 Bama, @ #9 FL, #8 Clem; @ H vs #11 The U & #17 L’ville
  4. USC: @ H vs #14 Stanford & #21 Texas in Sept. & #19 ND in South Bend
  5. Oklahoma: @ #2 OSU, #15 Ok St, & #24 K St; @ H #20 TCU, #21 TX in Dallas
  6. Penn State: At #2 Ohio State & Home vs #16 Michigan
  7. Washington: @ #14 Stanford and Home vs #23 Oregon
  8. Clemson: Home vs #3 FSU & #12 Auburn, @ #17 Louisville & #25 V-Tech
  9. Florida: #16 Michigan #22 Georgia Neutral Sites & @ H vs #3 FSU & #13 LSU 
  10. Wisconsin: Vs one Top 25 Opponent, #16 Michigan @ Home in October
  11. Miami FL: @ Home vs #19 ND & #25 V-Tech; @ #3 FSU
  12. Auburn: @ Home vs #1 Alabama; @ #8 Clemson & #13 LSU
  13. LSU: @ Home vs #12 Auburn and @ #1 Bama & #9 Florida
  14. Stanford: @ H #7 Washington & #23 Oregon, #19 ND; @ #4 USC
  15. Oklahoma St.: @ Home vs #20 TCU, #5 OU, & #24 K-St; @ #21 Texas
  16. Michigan: @ Home vs #2 OSU; @ #6 PSU, & #10 UW; and #9 FL @ Arlington
  17. Louisville: @ Home vs #8 Clemson and @ #3 FSU
  18. South Florida: Highest and only G5 in the T-25, USF does not play a T-25 
  19. Notre Dame: @ #14 Stanford & #11 Miami; @ Home vs #4 USC & #22 Georgia
  20. Texas Christian: @ #5 Oklahoma, #15 Ok St. & #24 K-St; @ H vs #21 Texas
  21. Texas: Home vs #15 Ok St. & #24 K-St; @ #4 USC & #20 TCU; #5 OU @ Dallas
  22. Georgia: @ #19 ND & #12 Auburn; & @ Jacksonville (Neutral Site) vs #9 FL
  23. Oregon: @ #7 Washington & @ #14 Stanford
  24. Kansas State: @ Home vs #5 OU, #20 TCU, @ #21 Tx & #15 Ok St.
  25. Virginia Tech: @ Home vs #8 Clemson & @ #11 Miami
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