Weider’s NCAA Football Top 25 (May 2024)

CFB NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings - Georgia QB Carson Beck

Patrick Weider follows college football for 365 days a year, keeping tabs on every game and development. Here is his ranking of the top 25 NCAA football teams following Spring 2024.

1. Georgia

It comes down to Ohio State and Georgia for the top spot. I give a slight edge to Georgia because of quarterback Carson Beck’s experience. The Bulldogs return 16 starters overall. Georgia is one of those teams that reloads but does not rebuild. They should also improve on defense with Kirby Smart always getting the unit to play at a high level. 

2. Ohio State

It is a make-or-break season for Ryan Day. He has lost three straight years to Michigan, and the Ohio State fanbase will not take another loss. This is Day’s most talented team with 11 returning starters and many key pickups from the transfer portal. OSU should be the favorite to win the Big Ten. 


3. Texas

Steve Sarkisian had a successful third season in Texas with a playoff berth. The Longhorns, much like Georgia, bring back an experienced quarterback in Quinn Ewers. Texas lost a decent amount of players to the NFL Draft but has done well in the transfer portal to make up the difference. I expect them to be one of the best teams in the NCAA. 

4. Oregon

Dan Lanning is an up-and-coming head coach who won 12 games for Oregon last year. They have been one of the big-time leaders in the transfer portal as they have picked up several good players, including quarterback Dillon Gabriel from Oklahoma. Oregon should be one of the top teams in their first season in the Big Ten. 


5. Florida State

Florida State lost many players from last year’s team that won 13 games, but head coach Mike Norvell has done a nice job building a successful program. This might be higher than what most people have for Florida State, but I think Norvell has built a successful team and his team should be in the mix for the ACC this season. 

6. Ole Miss

Lane Kiffin is in a similar situation as Norvell. He has built a nice program, largely through the transfer portal. The other big component of his success is his ability to develop quarterbacks. Kiffin brings back a talented signal-caller in Jaxson Dart. Ole Miss should be in the running for one of the top teams in the SEC. 

7. Notre Dame

Marcus Freeman’s teams have been consistently winning nine and 10 games his first two years, but they have not leaped to an elite team like so many Notre Dame fans desire. Freeman has had two offensive coordinators in two seasons but brought back a successful offensive mind in Mike Denbrock from LSU. He and Riley Leonard, a quarterback transfer from Duke, should upgrade the offense. 

8. Missouri

This might be a surprising team for the top 10, but Missouri earned it after winning 11 games last year. Missouri also returns quarterback Brady Cook and talented wide receiver Luther Burden. Missouri should be very competitive this season and have a chance to make a run in the SEC. 


9. LSU

LSU lost Jayden Daniels, the Heisman Trophy winner, but returns ultra-talented quarterback Garrett Nussmeier. Brian Kelly’s team was awful on defense last year, so he brought in Missouri’s defensive coordinator, Blake Baker, to fix the issue. I expect the Tigers to be better on defense, and with Nussmeier showing his potential during bowl season, I expect them to be good in the SEC. 

10. Penn State

James Franklin and Penn State are in an interesting situation. They have been consistently good but failed to get over the hump to the “elite” level. Now, they are in the Big Ten with Oregon, Washington, USC, and UCLA. Can they win a big game under Franklin? They bring back talented quarterback Drew Allar, and Franklin hired an exciting offensive coordinator from Kansas in Andy Kotelnicki. Time will tell this season if they can achieve their goals in the new, revamped Big Ten. 

11. Michigan

Sharone Moore replaces Jim Harbaugh who left for the NFL. Michigan has a tough schedule that includes home games against Texas, USC, and Oregon. They also have an away game at Ohio State. Moore does bring back some elite talent in Donovan Edwards at running back, Will Johnson at cornerback, and Mason Graham at defensive tackle. It will come down to whether they can replace J.J. McCarthy at quarterback. 

12. Miami

This might seem high for Miami, but they should be able to make a successful leap this season. Mario Cristobal has steadily built a successful program through recruiting and the transfer portal. In particular, he picked up a talented quarterback in Cam Ward. I expect Miami to compete in the ACC this season. 

13. Alabama

Well, it is the end of an era for Alabama with the retirement of Nick Saban. I, for one, will miss watching him patrol the sidelines. In comes Kalen DeBoer after a successful run at Washington. DeBoer is one of the best offensive minds in the game, but can he step in and succeed in replacing the greatest coach ever? Those are some big shoes to fill. I think DeBoer will be good, but how good can he get Alabama in Year 1? 

14. Oklahoma

Brent Venables enters Year 3 at Oklahoma; this will be their first season in the SEC. Can they build a successful team to compete in the SEC? Time will tell, but Venables has steadily built a good program. They lost a talented quarterback in Dillan Gabriel, but everyone in Oklahoma trusts Jackson Arnold to fill the void. 

15. Tennessee

Tennessee can be one of the most improved SEC teams this season. After winning 11 games two years ago, Josh Heupel’s team fell back to nine wins last year. I can see them bouncing back to make a bigger leap in 2024. They will start the year with a talented quarterback, Nico Iamaleava, who showed his skills during bowl season. Tennesee should compete in the SEC. 

16. Kansas

What Lance Leipold has done at Kansas has been a miracle. Kansas was one of the worst teams in CFB for over a decade, but they have steadily climbed from two wins to six wins to nine wins. Now, they bring back a talented group of players who are ready to build off that success, including quarterback Jalon Daniels. 

17. Clemson

It’s crazy to think that Dabo Swinney’s teams would ever be this low in rankings, but that is where Clemson is as a program. They went 9-4 last year, which is not a bad year for most programs, but after winning double-digit games every year since 2011, Clemson has shown vulnerability. Swinney refuses to use the transfer portal, which has constantly hurt the program, especially at the skill positions. I don’t think they will be terrible, but the days of competing for national championships might be over. 

18. Kansas State

Kansas State has been one of the most consistent teams over the last several seasons. They are very well-coached by Chris Klieman and should compete in the Big 12 this season. There is a lot of buzz around talented quarterback Avery Johnson. I expect Kansas State to push for a league title. 

19. Utah

Utah had a slight down season under Kyle Wittingham last year, but I expect them to be one of the top contenders in the Big 12. Cam Rising is back as the quarterback for another season, which should help them stay competitive. I expect Utah to continue to gain momentum this season and be in the mix in the Big 12. 

20. Iowa

Yes, Iowa at No. 20. Don’t roll your eyes. Iowa had a top-10 defense the last several years, but their offense was putrid. They now have a breath of fresh air with new offense coordinator Tim Lester. If the offense improves, they could be competitive in the Big Ten. However, they will no longer have the crutch of the Big Ten West. They also have former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara healthy, so between him and a new coordinator, they should improve on offense. 

21. Louisville

Jeff Brohm had a surprisingly successful first season in Louisville. Winning 10 games and upsetting Notre Dame is an impressive debut season for Brohm. He is hoping to build on that success for this season. Brohm brought in a ton of talented transfers, including quarterback Tyler Shough. Louisville could compete in the ACC. 

22. Arizona

I sympathize with Arizona fans. They had a breakthrough season with Jedd Fisch last year when they won 1o games. Then, he bolted to Washington after the season. Arizona did land on its feet with the hire of Brent Brennan who convinced several good players to stay, including quarterback Noah Fifita and wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan. I expect them to be competitive this season. 

23. Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. Last year, his team started slow but rebounded to finish strong. He brings back one of the best running backs in the country, Ollie Gordon, and also returns a good quarterback in Alan Bowman (it’ll be Year 7 for him). I expect Oklahoma State to compete in the Big 12. 

24. Wisconsin

There is no denying that Luke Fickell has been a successful head coach. Usually, Year 2 is when teams make a move with successful coaches. It happened at Cincinnati when he won 11 games. I expect his second season at Wisconsin to go similarly, but it will be harder since he is in the Big Ten now.

25. USC

Lincoln Riley is one of the best offensive minds in the game. However, the bottom fell out for him in 2023 when USC went 8-5 with Caleb Williams under center. Riley fired his defensive coordinator and brought in D’Anton Lynn after his successful season at UCLA. The pressure is on Riley for 2024. 

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