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.
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 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.
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. The ongoing pandemic has left several questions about whether a season is possible and what alternatives might exist if football can be played in the fall. The Big Ten was the first conference to move to a conference-only schedule. Sporting News also is keeping track of the conferences that will not play football in the fall, and we are tracking where each Power 5 conference stands.
What about the schedule?
The college football schedule remains up in the air. The Big Ten and SEC lost several nonconference games, and the ACC has announced a conference schedule that includes Notre Dame. The Pac-12 is the only Power 5 conference with dates on the games at this moment, and the Big 12 is still making a decision. We will update those schedules as each Power 5 conferene makes those big decisions in August.
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 and Miami's D'Eriq King.
Sporting News released its bowl projections for all 43 bowl games, including College Football Playoff and New Year's Day 6 picks. We also looked back at previous bowl projections to see how good (or bad) they were.
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 starts 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? We have Power 5 rankings for the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
Sporting News is one of five outlets used to determine consensus All-Americans at the end of the college football season. We have released its annual Preseason All-American team, though Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley, a second-team selection, has decided to opt out of the season.
Sporting News top 40 players
Who is the best player in college football? Which conference has the most players in that top 40? Sporting News answered those questions when it released its Top 40 Players for the 2020 season. That list starts with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and is filled with several Alabama stars. Find out who else made the list.