The 2020 college football season remains to be determined because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Sporting News, like most fans, is hoping for the best. We’re rolling out our preseason content in the hopes that we’ll have football in the fall — even if the games don’t start on time.
Now, to business: This is the seventh year of the College Football Playoff era. Alabama and Clemson each have claimed two national championships in that stretch, and Ohio State and LSU have one apiece. Is there a school out there that can join that exclusive fraternity in 2020?
This year’s semifinals are on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl Game and Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff championship game is scheduled for July 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
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SN will have preseason top 25 rankings, bowl projections, Heisman contenders, preseason All-Americans and more to get you ready, we hope, for the upcoming season.
COVID-19 and college football
The impact of COVID-19 on college football remains the leading conversation about college football. What alternatives are in place in terms of start date and format for the season? The SEC and Big Ten will allow voluntary workouts with football student-athletes on June 8, though that’s the first of many logistical hurdles that remain between now and the start of the season. SN will keep you updated on those developments, including whether fans will be allowed to attend games this fall.
College football rankings: SN’s preseason top 25
Sporting News released its preseason top 25 after spring football was canceled, and there are familiar names at the top of the list. Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama hold the top three spots. Georgia — which is looking for its first national championship since 1980 — is at No. 4. Defending national champion LSU is No. 5. SN also looked across other publications to form a composite top 25.
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- North Carolina
- Arizona State
- Boise State
Ranking top quarterbacks for 2020
Who are the best quarterbacks in college football? The top of the list is easy: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence — who has played in the last two CFP championship games — and Ohio State’s Justin Fields — who was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2019 — take up the top two spots, respectively. But there are surprises among our top 25 quarterbacks. Moreover, SN also looked at the top transfer quarterbacks for 2020, which includes Georgia’s Jamie Newman.
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Best nonconference games
Let’s assume the games go on as planned and everybody in the FBS is able to start on time. There are 13 awesome nonconference games on the schedule for September. Ohio State at Oregon and Texas at LSU are among those big-ticket games we’re hoping to see. Which games made the cut?
Bowl projections for 2020
Sporting News will release bowl projections for the 2020 season this week, including College Football Playoff and New Year’s Day 6 picks. Last year, SN picked Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama and Texas to make the CFP. Which four schools will make the cut this season?
Sporting News is one of five outlets used to determine consensus All-Americans at the end of the college football season. We also have our annual preseason All-America team in the works, a list that could include star players such as Clemson running back Travis Etienne and LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase, among others.
Coach rankings, 1-130
One of SN’s favorite pieces of the season is ranking the FBS coaches from 1-130. It’s a list that typically begins with Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, but where do the other active coaches with national championships — Ed Orgeron, Jimbo Fisher, Mack Brown and Les Miles — fit in? That list, always subject to hot offseason debate, is coming soon. In the meantime, catch up on all the first-year coaches for 2020.