2018 College Football Top 10 - Way-Too-Early Edition

The 2017 college football season will wrap up on Monday when the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Alabama Crimson Tide, and while the 2017 season may be over, it's never too early to look ahead to 2018. Every other program in the country is already looking ahead to next fall, and so are we. As broken down by our College Football Daily crew in the video above, here's our way-too-early look at next year’s top 25:

Just missed the cut: Stanford, Notre Dame, UCF, Washington, USC, TCU

10) Penn State Nittany Lions (11-3 - 2017 record)

Key returners: QB Trace McSorley, OL Ryan Bates, CB Amani Oruwariye
The Nittany Lions were just four points away from being undefeated in 2017, and while Saquon Barkley will be gone, Penn State has plenty of talented returners that figure to keep them near the top of the Big Ten, headlined by quarterback Trace McSorley.

9) Auburn Tigers (10-4)

Key returners: QB Jarrett Stidham, DE Jeff Holland, CB Carlton Davis
Auburn's late-season success - which including wins over Alabama and Georgia - showed what the Tigers can be when quarterback Jarrett Stidham is playing his best. The defense will be great again in 2018, and if Stidham can start playing with more consistency, they'll be a College Football Playoff threat next season.

8) Michigan State Spartans (10-3)

Key returners: QB Brian Lewerke, RB L.J. Scott, WR Felton Davis III
Michigan State is coming off a 10-win season and will return all of their major offensive players. We know head coach Mark Dantonio's squad will always play good defense, and if the offense can play at an elite level, the Spartans could be making a return to the College Football Playoff.

7) Oklahoma Sooners (12-2)

Key returners: RB Rodney Anderson, WR CeeDee Lamb
Losing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield is going to hurt the Sooners, but former five-star recruit and Texas A&M transfer Kyler Murray should keep Oklahoma's offense playing at a very high level. With the rest of their major offensive contributors back, OU will be the Big 12 favorite again.

6) Miami Hurricanes (10-3)

Key returners: QB Malik Rosier, RB Travis Homer, LB Shaquille Quarterman, CB Malek Young
Miami's rise to national prominence in 2017 was stunning because of how young the team was. Virtually everyone - with a few exceptions - will be back as the Canes try to improve upon their 10-win campaign in 2017. They'll also be bolstered by a top recruiting class.

5) Wisconsin Badgers (13-1)

Key returners: QB Alex Hornibrook, RB Jonathan Taylor, LB T.J. Edwards
Wisconsin is coming off their first 13-win season in school history and returns 2018 Heisman favorite Jonathan Taylor and quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who will be in his third year as the Badgers' starting quarterback. As long as they play their patented brand of tough defense, the Badgers could be headed towards another 13-win season.

4) Georgia Bulldogs (13-1)

Key returners: QB Jake Fromm, RB D'Andre Swift, WR Mecole Hardman, WR Terry Godwin
Running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will not be back for the Dawgs, but Georgia returns so much that they'll be among the favorites to return to the College Football Playoff. D'Andre Swift will lead a running game bolstered by their top recruiting class and quarterback Jake Fromm will be back - along with his top best receivers. Head coach Kirby Smart will have the defense playing well and has recruiting to fill the void left by any players who leave for the NFL.

3) Ohio State Buckeyes (12-2)

Key returners: RB J.K. Dobbins, S Jordan Fuller
Ohio State has proven that they have the talent and depth to re-tool all of their losses and have two talented quarterbacks in Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell who will be battling to replace J.T. Barrett. However, whoever wins will spend most of his time handing off to J.K. Dobbins, who may rush for over 2,000 yards in 2018.

2) Clemson Tigers (12-2)

Key returners: QB Kelly Bryant, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, DE Clelin Ferrell
Clemson endured several major personnel losses last offseason and still finished the regular season as the No. 1 team in the country. All of those young players will be back with an extra year of experience. They should run through the ACC again and should very well be in the playoff - especially if quarterback Kelly Bryant improves as a passer.

1) Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)

Key returners: QB Jalen Hurts, RB Damien Harris, DE Raekwon Davis
Surprise, surprise. All the Tide do is reload - and they really don't have to do that much of it next year. Jalen Hurts is back, and he will be joined in the backfield again by Damian Harris, Najee Harris, and potentially Bo Scarbrough. The big changes will come on the defensive side of the ball, but we've seen this team re-tool time and time again. They deserve this ranking.

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Related Topics: College Football Rankings, NCAA Football