Clemson will have to replace most of the offensive line, Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, and Travis Etienne. But with Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, and a deep WR core they should be fine. The defense was semi-young this year and return a lot of starters. Clemson will be dangerous again in 2020.
2. Ohio State
The offense should be the best in the Big Ten again with Justin Fields and most of the offensive line back. WR Garrett Wilson is coming off a great freshman season and will be the number 1 target. The question will be on defense where they replace many talented starters including Chase Young and Jeffrey Okudah.
Tua is gone, but the combination of Mac Jones and Bryce Young keeps the quarterback position a strength. The offense will stay a strength, but can the 2019 defense improve? The youth last year will have an extra year of maturity and their defensive MVP Dylan Moses will actually play in 2020. The dynasty isn’t over…
The champions return most of their defense including star CB Derek Stingley. The offense also has plenty of weapons with Biletnikoff winner WR Ja’Marr Chase and Terrance Marshall. However, Myles Brennan is not Joe Burrow and a run like 2019 is not likely.
They lose Justin Herbert and most of their offensive line. However, rumors are going around Eugene that there won’t be much of a drop off to new starting QB Tyler Shough. The defense will continue to be solid especially with how Oregon has been recruiting. They’ll compete for the Pac-12 and the defense will keep them in the playoff conversation again.
A boatload of defensive returning talented players come back next year for Georgia. But Georgia has to replace four offensive lineman to a struggling offense. The offense may be getting an upgrade with Wake Forest graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman as the probable starter. The defense is talented, but without the offense improving playoffs are out of the question.
QB Kyle Trask and almost the entire defensive secondary returns after two straight 10+ win seasons. Dan Mullen has something going on there and should compete with Georgia for the SEC East.
8. Penn State
The entire offense comes back and the defense returns their MVP LB Micah Parsons. If the Nittany Lions plug and play some new quality starters on defense, the playoffs is not out of the question. QB Sean Clifford will need to step up his play in order to achieve this top ten ranking.
The Badgers return several quality starters on each side of the ball, but lose their MVP in RB Jonathan Taylor. If they can find a substitute to the impact of Taylor a Big Ten Championship isn’t out of the question.
The Oklahoma defense went from terrible to average in 2019. The defense was actually pretty young so a jump to an above average defense is possible. No LB Kenneth Murray, NT Neville Gallimore, or CB Parnell Motley will make an impact. The offense is also a question mark. The entire offensive line is back, but they lose their two playmakers Jalen Hurns and CeeDee Lamb. It’ll be the start of the QB Spencer Rattler era, but many questions remain with the 2020 Sooners.
11. Texas A&M
Year 3 of the Jimbo Fisher era at Texas A&M and this team looks promising. Sure the team returns their starting QB Kellen Mond and four out of the five starters on the offensive line. But where the promise lies is in the young, talented defense that returns nine starters. A&M will be a tough opponent in the SEC in 2020.
12. Oklahoma State
QB Spencer Sanders, WR Tylan Wallace, and RB Chuba Hubbard are all back on offense. The 82nd ranked defense only loses one starter and will most certainly improve. The Cowboys are a sleeper for the Big 12 Championship in 2020.
The offensive line and defensive line will be hit hard by graduating senior departures. Add in the question of does Bo Nix take a leap in performance from his average Freshman year. The offense does have skill position weapons, but the defense declining has Auburn outside the top ten.
Michigan loses their quarterback and four offensive lineman to an offense that mostly struggled in 2019. WR Nico Collins and WR Ronnie Bell are the few bright spots to the start of the QB Dylan McCaffrey era. The defense gets a few key pieces back including DE Kwity Paye and S Dax Hill… but lose other key starters mostly in the secondary. Overall, the team isn’t as strong as 2019.
15. Notre Dame
QB Trevor Book and the top two linebackers back is a major plus for the Fighting Irish. The negatives? They lose their entire secondary and their top skill position player returning is Braden Lenzy… who had a total of 254 yards.