STRIPLV0918

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Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0918

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW - RANKING COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S TOP 10 TEAMS By Howard T. Brody Given there are more than 100 major college football programs in the NCAA, it’s utterly impossible to predict the outcome of every team’s season, unless you somehow have managed to get yourself a flux capacitor-powered DeLorean and a copy of “Gray’s Sports Almanac.” But, college football forecasters and prognosticators alike don’t need to do that. All they need to is take a look at the top 15 to 20 programs from the year before, carefully examine the changes in their personnel (to see what impact players have graduated or gone to the NFL), study the recruits that were brought on board and finally see if there have been changes to the coaching staff— and if so, determine if it will have a positive or negative effect on the team. Then, after all that has been analyzed, these forecasters should just close their eyes and roll the dice. Why? Because trying to predict college football isn’t a science; it’s a calculated gamble, and we all know it. Nothing is guaranteed. And so, like all the others who are out there giving their opinions on the upcoming NCAA college football season, here is STRIPLV’s best guess for 2018. 1. Alabama Crimson Tide You will be hard pressed not to find Alabama at the very top of anyone’s Top 10 to start the season. Let’s face it: They are in a class by themselves. Not only did they recently set an SEC record by having 12 players taken in the NFL draft, including four in the first round, but in 2011 and 2012 they were the only team to go back-to-back as national champions since the start of the BCS in 1998. Coach Nick Saban may have a quarterback controversy between junior Jalen Hurts and sophomore Tua Tagovailoa— who missed most of the spring with an injury his throwing hand— but he’s working with the same talented stable of skill position players (linemen Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis as well as linebackers Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson to name a few). One possible hiccup: Saban will be working with his third defensive coordinator in four seasons as Tosh Lupoi got promoted after Jeremy Pruitt left for Tennessee. 2. Clemson Tigers If you don’t believe the Crimson Tide will repeat as national champs, there’s a pretty good chance we might find our pick for number two at the top of the heap when it’s all said and done. Despite the Clemson Tigers losing a few key players such as Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud in the NFL draft, the biggest question mark for Coach Dabo Swinney is whether Kelly Bryant can hold onto his job as starting quarterback from a group of talented underclassmen including Trevor Lawrence (pictured), the No. 1 freshman recruit in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite. Consider that along with running back Travis Etienne as a potential Heisman Trophy winner and a defensive line that features four potential first-round picks in next year’s NFL draft in Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, and you might find the Tigers at No. 1 come January. 3. Ohio State Buckeyes While Coach Urban Meyer could potentially face the usual setbacks caused by graduation and the NFL draft (as of this writing, Meyer is currently under investigation at Ohio State for his handling of domestic abuse allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith)— Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis to name a few— he’s got a great group of core players to build around. In addition to running back J’Kaylin (J.K.) Dobbins is returning for the 2018 campaign and the Ohio State defensive line looks strong for the season with Nick Bosa, Jonathon Cooper, Dre’Mont Jones and Chase Young. And while Dwayne Haskins won the starting quarterback job for the Buckeyes after a fierce battle, keep an eye out for Las Vegas’ very own Bishop Gorman alumni Tate Martell who is waiting in the wings, ready to take his job, and obviously if Meyer’s gets dismissed, this could throw a huge wrench in this rating. 4. Georgia Bulldogs The defending SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs were hit hard by graduation and the NFL draft. They lost wide receiver Javon Wims and four starting linebackers including Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith who is now a Chicago Bear. And while their defense will take time to rebuild, as standout sophomore Monty Rice can’t do it alone, never count Coach Kirby Smart out, as he has a strong defensive recruiting class coming in. Meanwhile, Georgia has a potentially explosive offense that can be built around quarterback Jake Fromm as they are deep with receivers including tight end Isaac Nauta and wideouts Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley. Ridley had six catches for a team-high total of 82 yards during last year’s national championship game.

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