SportsPulse: Did your team make USA TODAY Sports’ college football post-spring top 25? Paul Myerberg breaks it all down. USA TODAY Sports
Every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision got better this spring, if only because itâ€™s hard to get worse during the first few months of college footballâ€™s dreary offseason.
But a few things have changed. Clemson and Alabama might have inched closer to settling their respective quarterback competitions. Penn State found its next running back. Michigan landed a five-star quarterback.
Nowâ€™s a good time to re-rank the USA TODAY Sports way-too-early Top 25 for 2018. That one had Clemson and Alabama at No. 1 and No. 2. This one does as well. But there are changes.
Each team is listed with its rank in Januaryâ€™s early Top 25 with either the teamâ€™s best asset or biggest question.
Itâ€™s a return trip to the College Football Playoff or bust for Dabo Swinney and Clemson, and the argument is there for the Tigers as the top team in the country entering the summer.Â
Biggest question: The Tigers still need to settle a quarterback competition between incumbent starter Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence following Lawrenceâ€™s strong spring.
The NFL draft may suggest that Alabama has a huge number of holes to fill on both sides, but thatâ€™s nothing new for Nick Saban and the Tide.Â
Biggest question: Itâ€™s a good thing Saban is the best coach of defensive backs in all of football, because the Tide need to do some rebuilding without Minkah Fitzpatrick and several other key pieces.
The offense is going to be Wisconsinâ€™s best in years while the defense has just enough returning talent on the line and at linebacker to bridge the gap to a new cast in the secondary.
Best asset: An offensive line that brings back every single contributor from 2017 will pace the Badgers to a Big Ten Conference title.
The only thing brighter than Washingtonâ€™s chances in 2018 is the programâ€™s overall potential under Chris Petersen and his staff.
Biggest question: What the Huskies really need is increased production from senior quarterback Jake Browning, and to do that demands some retooling and development at receiver.
The Buckeyes are going to be challenged in the East Division, but Urban Meyerâ€™s team simply looks too talented and too deep to be unseated.
Biggest question: With a new quarterback, the Buckeyes need to find new leaders at tackle and center along the offensive line.
Some big names have left the building, from star linebacker Roquan Smith through the two-headed backfield combination of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.
Best asset: The backfield as a whole remains a monster, with as many as five capable runners, a top-of-the-line starting quarterback in Jake Fromm and a capable backup in rookie Justin Fields.
The Sooners donâ€™t budge from their January ranking.
Best asset: OUâ€™s greatest asset remains not specifically its quarterback â€” there will be a drop-off from Baker Mayfield to Kyler Murray â€” but head coach Lincoln Riley and his canâ€™t-fail offensive scheme.
Re-evaluating TCUâ€™s odds reveals a team loaded and ready at nearly every position, though the offensive line needs to round into form before September.
Biggest question: If unaddressed, an offensive line that needs to replace several multiple-year starters will be the Horned Frogsâ€™ downfall.
Replacing Saquon Barkley wonâ€™t be easy, but James Franklin has brought in enough talent to keep the Nittany Lions in the Playoff race.
Best asset: In a year short of elite quarterbacks, Trace McSorley gives PSU one of the nationâ€™s best at the position.
The Hurricanes will keep inching up the ladder under Mark Richt and his staff.
Best asset: The Hurricanes need to shake off last yearâ€™s three-game losing streak, but the teamâ€™s biggest asset might be another offseason learning Richtâ€™s system.
Auburn has what it takes to win another SEC West Division title.
Best asset: Much like Penn State, the Tigers will have an advantage at quarterback with Heisman Trophy contender Jarrett Stidham.
Washington looks tough, but Bryce Love alone gives Stanford a chance at another division title.
Biggest question: The Cardinal wonâ€™t reach their full potential unless quarterback K.J. Costello takes a step forward in 2018.
The Wolverines move up three spots after Shea Patterson was made eligible for the 2018 season.
Best asset: Pattersonâ€™s a major deal, but what makes Michigan dangerous is what should again be one of the stingiest defenses in football.
In terms of depth, experience and returning production, this looks like the best team in the Group of Five.
Biggest question: Now a senior, quarterback Brett Rypien needs to grab the reins and take full control of the Â offense.
Nine wins is the baseline for the Spartans after last yearâ€™s bounce-back finish landed them tied for second in the Big Ten East.
Biggest question: The lack of proven defensive linemen is worrisome, though the Spartansâ€™ track record up front eases some of those concerns.
Notre DameÂ again is a threat for 10-plus wins and more, but almost everything hinges on quarterback play.
Biggest question: The Irish have options up front, but itâ€™s hard to see the offensive line maintain its recent play without a pair of first-round picks on the left side.
Lane Kiffin plus offense plus Twitter equals what should be another fun year for FAU.
Best asset: The Owls get another full spring, summer and fall camp to delve even deeper into Kiffinâ€™s offense, which should worry the rest of Conference USA.
Tech slides seven spots from its January ranking amid some concerns over how well the Hokies can replace some defensive stars now off in the NFL.
Biggest question: The defense needs to find some playmakers along the front seven and particularly at linebacker.
WVU storms into the Top 25 on the expectations that the defense will be improved and Will Grier will be among the most prolific passers in the country.
Best asset: Grier will be a preseason Heisman dark horse and perhaps even more than that should he lead the Mountaineers to non-conference wins against Tennessee and North Carolina State.
Rocky Long and the Aztecs arenâ€™t going anywhere.
Biggest question: The coaches have praised new running back Juwan Washington, but itâ€™s fair to wonder whether the junior can match the impact Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny had at SDSU.
The Bulldogs and first-year head coach Joe Moorhead move up four spots after a productive spring.
Best asset: Moorheadâ€™s offense tore through the Big Ten and may achieve somewhat similar results in the SEC as quickly as this season.
After taking a major leap last season, Iowa State aims for another step up the Big 12 Conference ladder in 2018.
Biggest question: The receiver corps has a strong top option in junior Hakeem Butler, but the Cyclones need depth to effectively run Matt Campbellâ€™s scheme.
Oklahoma State might not be the favorite in the Big 12, but itâ€™s hard to see the Cowboys fall too far off the pace set by Oklahoma and TCU.
Biggest question: Thereâ€™s a hole at quarterback and no sure answer coming out of the spring, though the competition will take on a new feel once freshman Spencer Sanders and Hawaii transfer Dru Brown hit campus this summer.
The Gamecocks look like Georgiaâ€™s biggest threat in the SEC East.
Best asset: Will Muschamp has himself a quarterback in junior Jake Bentley, who looks ready to earn all-conference honors in 2018.
Thereâ€™s talent to burn, as always, but the transition from Sam Darnold to a new quarterback â€” Iâ€™m betting itâ€™ll be true freshman J.T. Daniels â€” will have its share of hiccups.
Best asset: The Trojans can lean on the play of a top-level defense, though the staff needs to find some pressure off the edge.