7. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
10. Washington – People are going to write off the Huskies after losing Myles Gaskin and a lot of their defense, but Washington has been able to replace players the past three years of Chris Peterson’s tenure in the way the programs they are being ranked around every year do. They key will be the development of Georgia transfer and former five-star recruit QB Jacob Eason who has as much talent as any QB in the nation and who could push their offense back to where it was in 2016.
12. Utah – We’re still waiting on whether or not a handful of Utes declare for the draft or not, but I’m projecting all but possibly Zack Moss to return and should set up 2019 nicely for Utah. Their fate likely rests in Tyler Huntley’s hands as the Utes kind of went where he went in 2018 – soaring when he put it all together, but struggling when he struggled or was injured.
13. Texas A&M
15. Penn State
16. Oregon – The Ducks are going to be ranked a lot higher than this in a lot of preseason polls, but I can’t remember the last time a team like them that people are banking on current personnel making so many strides in one offseason actually paid off. Still, this is a generous spot given where they finished in 2018 and sets them up for a really exciting 2019 as well.
19. Iowa State
21. Washington State – The Cougars will have to find a transfer or someone on their roster to step in where Gardner Minshew left off, but no coach is better at transitioning QBs and keeping things going than Mike Leach. The Cougars are now a team you have to give the benefit of the doubt and rank until proven otherwise.
22. Stanford – Speaking of teams you have to give the benefit of the doubt, Stanford still has some really nice pieces even though they lose Bryce Love, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Nate Herbig and some nice defensive players. David Shaw’s system is still solid and K.J. Costello was the conference’s second-best QB in 2018 outside of the Sun Bowl performance.
On the edge-
26. Florida State
28. Michigan State
29. Oklahoma State