Quick Guide to the Top College Football Teams of 2021


notre dame football

American Football is a national pastime. More than baseball, it’s America’s obsession, with the Superbowl being a near-religious experience. However, many die-hard fans already know where the true heart and soul of football exists. 

College football has long held the attention of the American public, and for a good reason. The teams are more localized, as is the experience of attending their games and cheering. 

The best college football teams garner tons of fans even outside of their region. The quality of the play tends to be quite high, especially among FBS teams. Additionally, national broadcasting makes it easy to watch from home. 

If you’re looking forward to the 2021 college football season, then look no further. Here’s a guide to the best college football teams and rankings for the upcoming season. 

alabama cheerleaders

Pre-Season Rankings 

There’s always something about having the advantage of being in the know. When it comes to the top college football teams, you have to consider two things: the AP top 25 and the coaches’ poll. 

Both are neck and neck predictions. However, they do have a couple of deviations here and there. Being able to take this into account makes all the difference for any college football 2021 list. 

Some coaches and analysts tend to have biases. It’s important to weigh the rankings against each other for better accuracy. This comparison is the closest to insider information you’ll get. 

Most AP analysts consider specific strengths and weaknesses of teams. This, in turn, affects the rankings depending on the personnel a team has. AP looks at returning talent alongside new talent to see what a team is missing or excelling in. 

Coaches consider this too but tend to focus more on style and substance rather than skill on paper. How well teams did last year, what reputation they have, and what habits they have as opponents factor in a lot. Football win totals aren’t the only consideration, but it is an important one. 



Being the last season’s champions, it’s no surprise that Alabama has a unanimous top 1 ranking. They have an abundance of talent, including new QB Young and a star-studded backfield. They have plenty of depth for their offensive line, with the only question being how new players fit in. 

Alabama is a titan, leading the SEC for scoring defense. The only concerns are replacing Surtain at CB, Moses at linebacker, and Barmore at lineman. It’s a good thing they have plenty of defensive depth, too, making them poised for a repeat of last season. 



Oklahoma has won 6 consecutive Big 12 titles and is looking to do it again. They have one of the most explosive offenses in college football. Their defense often held them back during playoffs, but this is changing fast. 

With a 40 pt/g average for 6 years straight, QB Rattler is looking to continue the team’s form. The addition of talented players like Gray (RB) and Woods (WR) join returning veterans like Brooks (RB) to create plenty of depth. 

Coordinator Grinch has seen the team’s defensive numbers skyrocket from 2018. The team used to give up an abysmal 33.3 pts/g, which they improved to 21.7 in 2020. They have a great linebacker in Bonitto, with more talent, and only gave up 5.19 yards per play last season. 

clemson tigers


Clemson is a powerhouse that ranks interchangeably with Oklahoma in many listings. They’ve won the ACC 6 times straight and are now poised to go all the way this season. Clemson led the way in scoring for their league for 3 years in a row, and their offensive depth could do it again. 

QB Uiagalelei should have a spectacular season, but depth in that position is a question, thanks to injury. In the defensive aspect, Clemson may be the best college team period. Skalski is an NFL-ready linebacker, with Simpson being a rising star. 

Losing CB Kendrick is a blow, but they should be solid despite this. For 8 years straight, they’ve been in the top 4 for the lowest yds/play. If they keep their heads in big games, they could win it all this season. 

notre dame

Notre Dame 

There’s a bit of discrepancy when it comes to Notre Dame. The AP has them pegged at a firm 9, while coaches think they belong at 7. With a fearsome reputation and one of the best programs in the country, it’s no surprise why. 

Last season, Notre Dame made the CFB playoffs and held teams to only 19.7pts/g. Since then, they’ve had to replace 4 starters, including lead QB Book. 

Mayer is a high-quality tight end and may even get All America honors. However, they’re still out a starting linebacker in Owusu-Koramoah. 

Returning players make Notre Dame one of the strongest in the backfield. The introduction of Madden should help their offensive line, but new QB Coan will have to get used to a different style from Wisconsin. Coordinator Freeman is a good pick-up, and they still have Hamilton at safety. 

Dark Horses: North Carolina and Cincinnati 

North Carolina sits 10th and 9th for AP and coaches in college football team ranking. They’ve been on the rise for a while and have a puncher’s chance going into this season. Howell is a top-tier QB, and it shows, as he led the team to a 41.7 point average per game last season. 

They have a few new players which Howell will have to synergize with, but they have plenty of talent to go around. Defensively they are strong, with Duck and Grimes among the best cornerbacks in the ACC. Surratt leaving opens up a space at linebacker, and they’ve allowed 29.4 pts/g last season. 

Cincinnati is strong this year, even if coaches peg them at 10. They averaged 37.5 pts/g and had the highest yards/play in the AAC. QB Ridder is a huge asset, with Ford ready to step up as RB and Whyle a promising tight-end. 

Defensively they’re one of the best college football teams in the FBS, keeping opponents to 16.8 pts/g. Cornerbacks Gardner and Bryant are a big part of that. The only offensive concern is how they replace Hudson and Harper as tackles and if they can show up in big games. 

cincinnati bearcats cheerleaders

Know the Best College Football Teams to Watch and Cheer For 

College football is making a triumphant return this season. Ranking and predictions have already begun, and analysts are hard at work. 

If you want more on the best college football teams, then be sure to check out our site for all the best info. 


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