There are few names in college football media more trusted than Phil Steele, especially when it comes to this time in the calendar. His annual preview magazine is gospel for many during the lead-up to the season.
Phil Steele’s 2021 College Football Preview is available for purchase now. That means his Top 25 is now available, as we close in on just two months from the season.
Steele says his Top 25 is a reflection of the “totality of the circumstances that I feel each team will face in the 2021 season, such as: schedule strength, foes’ schedule (coming off byes), experiences edges at the start of the year and so forth.” It is not intended as a snapshot power rankings for where teams stand entering the year.
In his No. 1 spot: the Oklahoma Sooners. Lincoln Riley enters year two with a starting quarterback for the first time since Baker Mayfield was at the helm. Spencer Rattler had a rocky start to his freshman season in 2020, but was fantastic by year’s end. The defense should also continue to take steps forward with Alex Grinch leading the way as coordinator.
Why Phil Steele Picks Oklahoma to Win the National Championship https://t.co/Wd6K5jBwc6
— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) June 29, 2021
“The schedule is very manageable with the toughest tests away from home being Texas and Oklahoma State,” Steele writes. “I know Riley is 0-3 in the Playoff, but this time he has a complete team and finally breaks through, giving Oklahoma their first national championship since 2000!’”
The top five is littered with usual suspects in the college football national championship conversation. Alabama slides in behind Oklahoma for the No. 2 spot, followed by Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia.
The full Top 10:
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Clemson Tigers
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Washington Huskies
- Cincinnati Bearcats
The full Top 25 is available over at 247Sports.