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***Official 2020 College Football Thread***

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11. Texas A&M

2019 record: 8-5, 4-4 SEC
Returning starters: eight offense, eight defense, one special teams
Key losses: P Braden Mann, DT Justin Madubuike, DB Charles Oliver, C Colton Prather, CB Debione Renfro, WR Quartney Davis, WR Kendrick Rogers.

Outlook: With Auburn and LSU having to reload, and Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas each undergoing head-coaching changes, is this upcoming season when Texas A&M makes its move in the SEC West? It's Year 3 for coach Jimbo Fisher, and the Aggies should start seeing better on-field results. The Aggies played 19 true freshmen last year, and Fisher signed another top-10 recruiting class. If Texas A&M is going to climb the pecking order, it will have to get more from quarterback Kellen Mond (especially on the road), find Isaiah Spiller help in the running game, and get stronger performances from its offensive line. Fisher added three new assistants: defensive backs coach TJ Rushing (Memphis), tight ends coach James Coley (Georgia) and linebackers coach Tyler Santucci (Wake Forest).

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12. Oklahoma State

2019 record: 8-5, 5-4 Big 12
Returning starters: eight offense, 10 defense, one special teams
Key losses: G Marcus Keyes, C Johnny Wilson, WR Jordan McCray, CB A.J. Green, K Matt Ammendola.

Outlook: Is 2020 going to be the year of the Mullet in the Big 12? The Cowboys have been a little down the past couple of seasons, but OSU coach Mike Gundy is bringing back FBS rushing leader Chuba Hubbard (2,094 yards with 21 touchdowns in 2019) and 2018 Biletnikoff finalist Tylan Wallace, who caught 53 passes for 903 yards with eight scores before suffering a knee injury in practice in November. Quarterback Spencer Sanders was pretty good as a freshman before a thumb injury sidelined him for the season's final three games. Gundy promoted receivers coach Kasey Dunn to offensive coordinator after Sean Gleeson left for Rutgers. With 10 starters expected to return on defense, the team should continue to improve in 2020, especially if it gets more from the front four. OSU added Missouri grad transfer Christian Holmes, who started 12 games at cornerback for the Tigers.

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13. Wisconsin

 

Wisconsin will have to replace running back Jonathan Taylor, but should contend again in the Big Ten West. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

2019 record: 10-4, 7-2 Big Ten
Returning starters: six offense, nine defense, one special teams
Key losses: RB Jonathan Taylor, C Tyler Biadasz, WR Quintez Cephus, LB Zack Baun, LB Chris Orr, G David Moorman, G Jason Erdmann.

Outlook: The Badgers will have a difficult time replacing Taylor, who ran for 6,174 yards in three seasons and was a two-time Doak Walker Award winner. They might have just as much trouble replacing Cephus, who had 59 catches for 901 yards with seven touchdowns in 2019. He was a big reason why quarterback Jack Coan was so successful in his first season as a starter. It doesn't help that dynamic kick returner/receiver Aron Cruickshank transferred to Rutgers. Wisconsin might go with a tailback by committee this coming season, and Nakia Watson and Garrett Groshek will get early looks. Replacing the interior offensive line will be another priority this spring.

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14. Auburn

2019 record: 9-4, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: three offense, five defense, one special teams
Key losses: DT Derrick Brown, DE Marlon Davidson, S Jeremiah Dinson, S Daniel Thomas, CB Noah Igbinoghene, OT Prince Tega Wanogho, G Marquel Harrell, RB JaTarvious Whitlow.

Outlook: For whatever reason, the Tigers are historically among the most difficult teams to project, but their 2019 results were pretty predictable, given the strength of their schedule. With road games at Georgia and Alabama, the slate isn't much easier in 2020, and Auburn has to replace many of its starters on both lines of scrimmage. Quarterback Bo Nix should be better in Year 2 as a starter, especially with former Arkansas coach Chad Morris joining the staff as offensive coordinator. The Tigers might need highly regarded freshman tailback Tank Bigsby to help right away, after leading rusher Whitlow left the team earlier this month. Auburn's best offseason move was signing Kevin Steele to a new three-year contract that will pay him $2.5 million annually, making him the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the FBS.

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15. Michigan

2019 record: 9-4, 6-3 Big Ten
Returning starters: five offense, six defense, one special teams
Key losses: QB Shea Patterson, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, OT Jon Runyan, G Ben Bredeson, G Michael Onwenu, LB Jordan Glasgow, S Lavert Hill, LB Josh Uche, LB Khaleke Hudson.

Outlook: Who's got it better than us? Well, Ohio State for starters, and maybe Penn State and Wisconsin in the Big Ten. Michigan is 47-18 under coach Jim Harbaugh, including some unsightly records -- 0-5 against the Buckeyes, 1-4 in bowl games and 2-11 against AP top 10 opponents. Is there any reason to believe the Wolverines' fortunes in big games will change in Year 6? It seems like Michigan and Harbaugh have reached a crossroads. His contract is set to expire after the 2021 season, and there's been little movement to extend it. On the field, the Wolverines will go into spring practice looking for a new quarterback -- Dylan McCaffrey, Christian's younger brother, is the favorite to replace Patterson. Either McCaffrey or Joe Milton will have a plethora of playmakers around him, including receivers Ronnie Bell and Nico Collins, tight end Nick Eubanks and tailbacks Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins.

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16. Minnesota

2019 record: 11-2, 7-2 Big Ten
Returning starters: nine offense, four defense, one special teams
Key losses: WR Tyler Johnson, RB Rodney Smith, DB Antoine Winfield Jr., LB Kamal Martin, LB Thomas Barber, DB Chris Williamson, DE Carter Coughlin.

Outlook: If the Gophers are going to match their success from 2019, when they finished with more than 10 victories for the first time since 1904 and defeated Auburn 31-24 in the Outback Bowl, they're going to have to rebuild their defense, which brings back only four starters. Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi will have to replace nearly his entire front seven. Coach P.J. Fleck hired former Utah State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. to replace Kirk Ciarrocca, who left for Penn State. With quarterback Tanner Morgan, receiver Rashod Bateman, running back Mohamed Ibrahim and all five offensive line starters returning, Minnesota should once again be explosive. The Gophers don't play Ohio State or Penn State during the regular season and get Michigan at home.

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17. Cincinnati

2019 record: 11-3, 7-1 AAC
Returning starters: six offense, nine defense, one special teams
Key losses: G Chris Ferguson, G Morgan James, TE Josiah Deguara, WR Rashad Medaris, LB Perry Young, LB Bryan Wright, K Sam Crosa, RB Michael Warren II.

Outlook: Talk about an offseason jolt of momentum. The Bearcats had to feel good after coach Luke Fickell reportedly turned down a potential opportunity to replace Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, who unexpectedly retired from coaching earlier this month. A coach from a Group of 5 program doesn't often turn down a Power 5 job that would have paid him more. With all due respect to the Spartans, with the way the Bearcats have performed the past two seasons and with what they have coming back in 2020, Fickell can probably get a better job if he wants one. The Bearcats should be AAC favorites this coming season, especially if quarterback Desmond Ridder stays healthy. Fickell and his staff just signed one of the best recruiting classes in school history, which was ranked ahead of several Power 5 teams, including USC. The Bearcats' most pressing concern is replacing linebackers Young and Wright, who combined for 181 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

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18. Iowa State

2019 record: 7-6, 5-4 Big 12
Returning starters: five offense, seven defense, two special teams
Key losses: WR Deshaunte Jones, WR La'Michael Pettway, OT Julian Good-Jones, G Josh Knipfel, NG Ray Lima, LB Marcel Spears Jr., SS Braxton Lewis.

Outlook: If the Cyclones are going to get back on track under Matt Campbell, who keeps turning down interviews for good jobs, they'll have to rebuild their offensive line this spring. Four starters with 147 combined starts are gone. Left guard Trevor Downing and center Colin Newell are the only returning linemen with more than 10 career starts. That said, Iowa State has a lot of nice pieces coming back on that side of the ball, including quarterback Brock Purdy, tailback Breece Hall, receiver Tarique Milton and tight ends Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen. If the Cyclones can rebuild up front and get back to winning close games (they lost four by a combined 11 points this past season), they'll be in the Big 12 race.

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19. Boise State

2019 record: 12-2, 8-0 Mountain West
Returning starters: five offense, six defense, one special teams
Key losses: DE/LB Curtis Weaver, QB Jaylon Henderson, WR John Hightower, OT Ezra Cleveland, DE Chase Hatada, S Kekoa Nawahine, NT Sonatane Lui, DT David Moa.

Outlook: After going unbeaten in MWC play for the first time and claiming another league title in 2019, the Broncos head into spring drills with a couple of big goals: replacing four starting offensive linemen and keeping quarterback Hank Bachmeier upright. Bachmeier won seven of his eight starts as a freshman, but he took far too many hits and was plagued by injuries. Part of the issue was that he held onto the ball for too long, much like a lot of freshmen. The Broncos bring back 1,000-yard rusher George Holani and budding receiver Khalil Shakir, so they'll have plenty of firepower on offense. On defense, they must replace Weaver, who had 13.5 sacks last season, and starting defensive linemen Hatada, Lui and Moa. The Broncos will have a chance to make an early statement when they host Florida State on the blue turf on Sept. 19.

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20. Iowa

 

One of Iowa's biggest offseason challenges: Finding someone to replace defensive end A.J. Epenesa (19.5 sacks over past two seasons). Photo by Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

2019 record: 10-3, 6-3 Big Ten
Returning starters: six offense, five defense, one special teams
Key losses: QB Nate Stanley, OT Tristan Wirfs, DE A.J. Epenesa, LB Kristian Welch, SS Geno Stone, CB Michael Ojemudia, DT Cedrick Lattimore, DT Brady Reiff.

Outlook: The Hawkeyes have quietly won 47 games over the past five seasons, which is the best five-year mark in program history. They won 10 games in 2019, despite not getting much from their offense at times. Quarterback Spencer Petras, who attempted 10 passes in three games last season, is the heir apparent to replace Stanley, a three-year starter. Three starting offensive linemen are coming back, including left tackle Alaric Jackson, who bypassed leaving early for the NFL draft. The top seven pass-catchers and top two rushers are expected to return as well. The Hawkeyes will miss Epenesa's pass-rushing skills, as well as leading tackler Welch. Iowa's 2020 schedule is daunting with road games at Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State.

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21. USC

2019 record: 8-5, 7-2 Pac-12
Returning starters: 8 offense, 9 defense, 2 special teams
Key losses: WR Michael Pittman Jr., OT Drew Richmond, OT Austin Jackson, DE Christian Rector, LB John Houston Jr.

Outlook: It was a surprise to many USC fans that coach Clay Helton wasn't fired after this past season, but there's reason for optimism heading into 2020. The Trojans bring back 17 starters on offense and defense, perhaps the best receiver corps in the FBS and two very highly regarded quarterbacks. USC was downright awful on defense last season, but youth and injuries were legitimate reasons for some of the struggles. Nine freshmen or sophomores started on that side of the ball in a 49-24 loss to Iowa in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. Former Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando was hired after another major shake-up to Helton's staff. He was able to retain offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, who was contacted by Texas. Quarterback Kedon Slovis ranked third in the FBS in completion percentage (71.9%), 11th in total QBR (76.2) and ninth in yards per game (291.8) as a freshman. JT Daniels, who is coming back from a torn ACL, is sticking around to compete with him this spring.

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22. North Carolina

2019 record: 7-6, 4-4 ACC
Returning starters: 10 offense, seven defense, two special teams
Key losses: OT Charlie Heck, NT Aaron Crawford, DT Jason Strowbridge, LB Dominique Ross, S Myles Dorn.

Outlook: After going 7-6 in coach Mack Brown's first season, in which each of the losses were decided by seven points or fewer, the Tar Heels might be the team to beat in the ACC Coastal Division. With sophomore Sam Howell returning, the Tar Heels might have a better quarterback situation than any ACC team outside of Clemson. Howell was named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2019, throwing for 3,641 yards with 38 touchdowns, the most by a true freshman in FBS history. Nine other offensive starters are also expected back, including star receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. Brown parlayed UNC's sudden success into a recruiting class that was ranked No. 16 nationally by ESPN Recruiting. The Tar Heels signed two in-state prospects -- Desmond Evans and Myles Murphy -- who were ranked the Nos. 1 and 11 defensive ends in the country.

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23. Texas

2019 record: 8-5, 5-4 Big 12
Returning starters: seven offense, nine defense, two special teams
Key losses: WR Devin Duvernay, WR Collin Johnson, G Parker Braun, C Zach Shackelford, DE Malcolm Roach, S Brandon Jones.

Outlook: Is Year 4 now or never for Longhorns coach Tom Herman? Texas has fallen short of preseason expectations the past two seasons, and Herman made wholesale changes to his coaching staff after an 8-5 campaign in 2019. Herman hired seven new assistants, including offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich (from Ohio State) and defensive coordinator Chris Ash (former Rutgers head coach). Herman also plucked Oklahoma's Jay Boulware to be his associate head coach for special teams/tight ends. Ash, a former defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State, will try to improve a defense that surrendered 431.5 yards per game last season, the third most in school history. Yurcich got the better end of the deal with quarterback Sam Ehlinger (33 career starts) returning. The Longhorns will have to identify new go-to receivers after Duvernay and Johnson exhausted their eligibility.

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24. Appalachian State

2019 record: 13-1, 7-1 Sun Belt
Returning starters: eight offense, five defense, one special teams
Key losses: RB Darrynton Evans, OT Victor Johnson, LB Jordan Fehr, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB Noel Cook, S Josh Thomas, S Desmond Franklin.

 
Outlook: After becoming the first Sun Belt team to win 13 games in a season in 2019, the Mountaineers will begin their first campaign under coach Shawn Clark as overwhelming favorites to win at least a share of a fifth straight conference title. Quarterback Zac Thomas returns after completing 62.7% of his passes for 2,718 yards with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions. Four starting offensive linemen are also returning. The Mountaineers will miss Evans, who ran for 1,480 yards with 18 scores in 2019, but three returning players ran for 300 yards or more (and Camerun Peoples is back after missing 2019 with a torn ACL). Star receiver Corey Sutton is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered against Texas State on Nov. 23. On defense, Appalachian State will have to rebuild its linebacker corps; Fehr, Davis-Gaither and Cook combined for 281 stops and 10 sacks in 2019. Clark lured Louisville's Dale Jones back to Boone, North Carolina, to coordinate the defense, and former Marshall, Louisiana Tech and East Carolina coordinator Tony Petersen will direct the offense.

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25. Baylor

2019 record: 11-3, 8-1 Big 12
Returning starters: seven offense, two defense, two special teams
Key losses: WR Denzel Mims, RB JaMycal Hasty, LB Jordan Williams, S Chris Miller, LB Blake Lynch, DL James Lynch, CB Grayland Arnold, NT Bravvion Roy.

Outlook: After losing Matt Rhule to the Carolina Panthers, the Bears hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to replace him. Aranda, 43, has never been a head coach, but he was the architect of nationally ranked defenses at Utah State, Wisconsin and then LSU. The good news for Aranda is Rhule did most of the hard work resurrecting Baylor's program after it hit rock bottom following a sexual assault scandal. Aranda will have to replace nine starters from last season's defense, which was the best in the Big 12. Aranda hired Louisiana's Ron Roberts as defensive coordinator, and was smart to keep associate head coach/outside linebackers coach Joey McGuire on staff. Former North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora is the new offensive coordinator, and he'll bring his spread background to Waco. Passing game coordinator Jorge Munoz, who was an analyst at LSU last season, is another nice addition.

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14 hours ago, suh_fan93 said:

 

 

 

1-hour-ish version

 

 

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