Way-Too-Early Top 25

8. Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are headed back in the right direction, finishing 11-2 and upsetting Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Rising sophomore Trevor Knight finally looked like the quarterback everyone thought he could be against Alabama, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns. The Sooners have to get more production out of their passing game in 2014, especially with top tailbacks Brennan Clay and Roy Finch departing. The Sooners also lose center Gabe Ikard, guard Bronson Irwin and receivers Lacoltan Bester and Jalen Saunders on offense. Nine starters might return on defense, and the Sooners were much better in coordinator Mike Stoops' second season back with the program. Oklahoma's schedule might set up favorably this coming season; it plays Texas in Dallas and Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State at home during Big 12 play.

For more on how the Sooners will look in 2014, check out Oklahoma's recruiting profile Insider and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.

9. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes fell just short of going undefeated in two consecutive regular seasons under Urban Meyer, but then finished the season with consecutive losses against Michigan State and Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl. Now Meyer will have to rebuild much of his offense, even with quarterback Braxton Miller returning for his senior season. OSU will have to replace four starting offensive linemen, tailback Carlos Hyde and H-back Philly Brown. The Buckeyes might bring back seven starters on defense; safeties Corey Brown and C.J. Barnett, junior cornerback Bradley Roby and junior linebacker Ryan Shazier are the only starters leaving. OSU opens the season against Navy in Baltimore and plays Virginia Tech and Cincinnati at home in nonconference games. The Buckeyes won't play Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern or Wisconsin during Big Ten play, and their most difficult league road games seem to be at Penn State and Michigan State.

For more on how the Buckeyes will look in 2014, check out Ohio State's recruiting profile Insider and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...