Ohio State Tops Lindy’s 2015 Preseason Top 25 Staff

July 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm.

Joey Bosa leads Lindy’s top-ranked defensive line. (Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports)

With 17 starters back from a team that won the first-ever College Football Playoff, how can anyone in their right mind not like Ohio State to be right in the middle of the national title chase? Armed with three talented — and experienced — quarterbacks, Lindy’s top-rated tailback (Ezekiel Elliot), Lindy’s National Defensive Player of the Year (Joey Bosa) and all sorts of next-level talent on both sides of the ball, not to mention one of college football’s best coach’s and a favorable schedule, the Buckeyes are our No. 1 pick by a landslide.

Here’s the 2015 Lindy’s preseason Top 25…

1.     Ohio State

OUR CALL: There won’t be a regular-season contest in which the Buckeyes don’t have a gigantic edge in — what’s that word? — talent. That monumental collection of talent, along with Meyer’s eminence, makes No. 1 an easy call.

2.     TCU

OUR CALL: The committee wouldn’t dare rain on an 11-1 TCU parade again, would it? The Frogs — who get Baylor at home in the regular-season finale — have 12-0 potential.

Derrick Henry (27) is ready to shine for Alabama. (Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

3.     Alabama

OUR CALL: Hell-lo, this is Bama we’re talking about. We feel like maybe we’ve said that before, but hasn’t everybody? A spectacular SEC West division makes for tough sledding, but this is Ala-damn-bama.

4.     Oregon

OUR CALL: By picking them at No. 4, we’re probably asking the Ducks to win at Michigan State early in the year or else have to run the table in the Pac-12. Tall order, but we’d have to ask the same of another team, and, well, we trust Oregon.

Shock Linwood (32) and tackle Troy Baker celebrate a Baylor TD in the second half against Texas last year. Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

5.     Baylor

OUR CALL: There’s at least one loss on that schedule along the way, and one loss could be enough to snuff out the playoff chances of a team that — old story — plays absolutely nobody out of conference.

6.     Michigan State

OUR CALL: Without much doubt, we’ll still call this the Big Ten’s second-best team. The Spartans can old-school the rest of the Big Ten — other than Ohio State — into submission.

7.     Notre Dame

OUR CALL: Why not the Irish? Why can’t they leap into playoff contention? They have the horses to do it. Early results against Texas (home), Georgia Tech (home) and Clemson (road) will speak volumes.

Jeremy Johnson could be in line for a big season. (Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)

8.     Auburn

OUR CALL: If the Tigers can survive an opening neutral-site matchup with Louisville and an SEC-opening visit to LSU — huge “if,” right? — they’ll be in serious contention for the playoff. We like this team to bounce back from last season and peak late.

9.     Clemson

OUR CALL: When the Tigers visit Louisville in Week Three, it’ll be their second game in five days. After that, they’ll have two-plus weeks to prep for a huge home test against Notre Dame. Clear those hurdles and a glorious finish will be within reach.

10.            Georgia

OUR CALL: Second-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is building a dominant group— a dangerous reality for the rest of the East. Shootouts: bad. Shootouts: good. In Athens this year, the D is the real key.

11.             USC

OUR CALL: Admit it: Most of your questions about ‘SC center on the head coach being able to shed his “7-win Shark” label. Same here. The Trojans will zoom past seven and capture the tough Pac-12 South, but ultimately bump up against the Green ceiling (yes, that’s Oregon).

12.             Florida State

OUR CALL: The closer you look at the ‘Noles, the harder it is to see pieces of a championship puzzle. But it’ll still be hard as heck to beat this team, which has a great shot at its customary double-digit victories.

13.             LSU

OUR CALL: Why does it seem, year after year, that LSU is particularly up against it in the schedule department? Alas, the Tigers can’t worry about that. If they want to stay in the West hunt, they’ll just have to out-tough everybody.

Mike Bercovici (2) takes over at QB for Arizona State. (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

14.             Arizona State

OUR CALL: ASU has posted back-to-back 10-win seasons. That sounds like the ceiling for this season, but a very fine ceiling it would be.

15.             Georgia Tech

OUR CALL: There’s enough “bad” above that it’ll take everything Tech has to win 11 games again. If it can fight its way to the top of the Coastal, though, the ACC title game will be can’t-miss theatre.

16.            Wisconsin

OUR CALL: We didn’t even mention that the Badgers have to open in Arlington, Texas, against — yikes — Alabama. With the stench of last year’s 59-0 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game still wafting, there’s no way to see a league title happening. But the B1G West is really weak.

17.             Tennessee

OUR CALL: There is no doubt the arrow is pointing up for this program. UT will be a tough out for anybody it plays. Winning the East is unlikely — 0 for 3 vs. Missouri so far, by the way — but the earth is shifting in Knoxville and we’re not about to pretend otherwise.

18.             Oklahoma State

OUR CALL: A sudden move to the top of the Big 12 is possible here. We’re not simply talking about improvement — a league title could happen. But nobody says it’ll be easy.

Anu Solomon (12) leads a potent Arizona offense. (Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports)

19.             Arizona

OUR CALL: The team’s all-around depth is still lacking. With that said, it’s a bit much to expect Arizona to successfully tip-toe to another South title while playing 12 consecutive games without a bye.

20.             UCLA

OUR CALL: We’ll know soon in the conference season which way this is going. UCLA opens at Arizona, then is home to Arizona State in tone-setting South division games.

21.             Oklahoma

OUR CALL: There just seems to be more urgency at TCU and Baylor. At Texas, too. The Sooners have the horses, but the mojo this squad brings into 2015 isn’t impressive.

22.             Boise State

OUR CALL: If we thought of BSU as a rip-through-the-Mountain-West sort of team, we’d rank it higher. More likely, there’s a loss or two lying in wait, even if they get through the gauntlet of September. And that means the playoff will be reserved for the big conference boys. As usual.

23.             Texas A&M

OUR CALL: Contention in the SEC West is too much to hope for. But with a relatively soft league schedule, A&M can step forward from last year’s 8-5 record, which would represent meaningful progress and overall success.

Michael Brewer returns as a key member of the Hokies. (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

24.            Virginia Tech

OUR CALL: We’re not about to see six losses again, but three or four of them seems likely. The opener at Ohio State — probably unwinnable — will be good preparation for the rest of the season.

25.             Missouri

OUR CALL: A third straight appearance in the SEC title game feels like a reach, but we’re done stuffing Mizzou in the also-ran box. Without a lot of national fanfare, Pinkel has built quite the well-oiled machine.

To read more on these teams, check out all of our preseason college football previews here:    You can also download our Free App and access our previews digitally as well.

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