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College football: Let’s go ahead and look ahead to 2018

The 2017 college football season is over. 

That of course means anticipation of the 2018 college football season has begun. 

It’s never too early to look ahead, right? 

RELATED: What Alabama’s win means for college football, Ohio State and more

After all, they only play games for a span of about four months, meaning about 75 percent of the year consists of… chatter, arguments, anticipation — whatever you want to call it. 

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Yes, we often end up spending more time talking about who we think is going to be good than finding out who actually is good. It’s strange but true. 

So here’s a first look at who the experts think is going to be contending to knock Alabama off the top of the mountain. 

RELATED: Land of 10’s early Big Ten power rankings

These rankings figure to change soon, though, as players declare their intentions for the 2018 draft. 

Spring football will bring another shift, not to mention various injuries, suspensions, etc. 

But we’ve got to start somewhere! 

Here are thoughts from three sources that might interest local readers: 

VEGAS 

Bookmakers at Bovada have already installed Alabama as the favorite for 2019, which makes sense because Alabama has more good players than anyone else. 

The Crimson Tide are getting early odds of 11/4. 

They’re followed by 2016 national champion Clemson (6/1) while Georgia and Ohio State are both at 15/2, Michigan is at 9/1, Penn State is 11/1 and Oklahoma is 18/1. 

The Wolverines are on the rise after taking some lumps with a young team in ‘17 while the Nittany Lions and Sooners both have to replace their best offensive player in Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield, respectively. 

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 

  1. Georgia 
  2. Alabama 
  3. Clemson 
  4. Ohio State 
  5. Auburn 
  6. Wisconsin 
  7. Penn State
  8. Oklahoma 
  9. Miami (Fla.) 
  10. Virginia Tech

Also: 12. Michigan State, 13. Notre Dame, 18. TCU (plays Ohio State in week two), 23. Michigan. 

ESPN 

  1. Alabama 
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State 
  4. Oklahoma 
  5. Georgia 
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Miami (Fla.) 
  8. Washington 
  9. Michigan State 
  10. West Virginia 

Also: 11. Penn State, 13. Michigan, 16. TCU, 20. Notre Dame. 

The next two dates you’ll want to circle on the calendar: Jan. 15, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft, and Feb. 7, the next time high school seniors can sign national letters of intent. 

 

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