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College football: Newsday's preseason Top 10, Heisman watch

Alabama is the preseason favorite to repeat, but Clemson or Georgia could stand in the Crimson Tide's way.

Stanford running back Bryce Love runs in front

Stanford running back Bryce Love runs in front of Southern California safety Chris Hawkins during the Pac-12 Conference championship in Santa Clara, Calif. Love's decision to return for his senior year instantly made him a preseason front-runner for some of college football's top individual awards. Photo Credit: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

1. Alabama — The defending national champions have two quarterbacks — Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa — to lead a talented offense, but need to replace some big names on defense.

2. Clemson — The defense, particularly the super talented front four, will be among the best in the country, but the Tigers need to settle on Kelly Bryant or Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.

3. Georgia — Quarterback Jake Fromm will look to build on a strong freshman season and should be in the Heisman conversation all season. Kirby Smart needs to retool his defense.

4. Oklahoma — The Sooners need to find their replacement for Baker Mayfield — and it might be talented Kyler Murray. Oklahoma’s offense should be among the nation’s most explosive.

5. Wisconsin — Running back Jonathan Taylor is a serious Heisman contender, and quarterback Alex Hornibrook continues to get better. The Badgers travel to Iowa, Michigan and Penn State.

6. Ohio State — Sophomore Dwayne Haskins takes over at quarterback. The Buckeyes have one of the top defensive players in the country, end Nick Bosa, and running back J.K. Dobbins is back.

7. Washington — The Huskies’ roster is loaded, led by quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. Washington opens with a tough test against Auburn.

8. Auburn — Quarterback Jarrett Stidham had a good first season with the Tigers and should be even better. A tough SEC schedule awaits, with games at Georgia and Alabama.

9. Miami — Mark Richt has the Hurricanes back on the national stage. Malik Rosier, who threw for 3,120 yards and 26 touchdowns last season, is back, and the defense should be good.

10. Penn State — Quarterback Trace McSorley could be a Heisman contender and the schedule is favorable, with Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin coming to State College.

Playoff predictions

CFP semifinals

Orange Bowl: No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Georgia

Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

CFP National Championship

Alabama vs. Clemson

New Year’s Day six bowls

Sugar Bowl (SEC/Big 12): Auburn vs. Texas A&M

Rose Bowl (Big Ten/Pac 12): Wisconsin vs. Washington

Fiesta Bowl (At-large/At-large): Ohio State vs. Boise State

Peach Bowl (At-large/At-large): Penn State vs. Miami

Heisman favorites

Bryce Love, Stanford: The senior running back rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, finishing second in the Heisman voting.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin: The sophomore running back rushed for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, finishing sixth in the Heisman voting.
Jake Fromm, Georgia: The sophomore threw for 2,615 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, leading the Bulldogs to the CFP national title game.
Khalil Tate, Arizona: The junior quarterback threw for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Will Grier, West Virginia: The senior quarterback had a breakout season for the Mountaineers last year, throwing for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns.

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