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Alabama tops Way-Too-Early Top 25 in update after signing day

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Way Too Early Top 25 (2:13)

Mark Schlabach is back with another edition of the Way Too Early Top 25. (2:13)

Florida State, Alabama and Michigan dominated the college football discussion on national signing day.

The Seminoles signed the country's top-ranked class, unseating Alabama as the king in recruiting. With 11 starters coming back on offense, Florida State moves into the top four of the 2016 Way-Too-Early Top 25, along with No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Baylor.

Clemson, which was No. 1 in the first edition of the Way-Too-Early Top 25, dropped four spots to No. 5 after losing a boatload of defensive players to the NFL draft. Six defensive starters, including three of four defensive backs, left early for the draft. Pass-rushing specialists Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson also departed.

Say hello to Florida and Boise State, which are now ranked, and goodbye to Washington State and Louisville.

Here's the second edition of the 2016 Way-Too-Early Top 25:


1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2015 record: 14-1, 7-1 SEC
Returning starters: 7 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: RB Derrick Henry, QB Jake Coker, C Ryan Kelly, DE A'Shawn Robinson, DE Jarran Reed, LB Reggie Ragland, CB Cyrus Jones, S Geno Matias-Smith

Outlook: The Crimson Tide followed up their fourth national championship in seven years with another top-three recruiting class. They're going to have to replace a lot of firepower on defense after losing star linebacker Reggie Ragland and defensive end A'Shawn Robinson. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt takes over for Kirby Smart, who left to become Georgia's new coach. Junior college signee Charles Baldwin might be able to help on the offensive line right away, and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett is the early favorite to replace Jake Coker at quarterback.


2. Florida State Seminoles

2015 record: 10-3, 6-2 ACC
Returning starters: 11 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: CB Jalen Ramsey, DT Nile Lawrence-Stample, LB Reggie Northrup, LB Terrance Smith, FS Lamarcus Brutus, QB Everett Golson, K Roberto Aguayo

Outlook: The Seminoles were already loaded enough to challenge Clemson in the ACC, and then coach Jimbo Fisher signed the country's No. 1 recruiting class. If FSU can get more consistent play at quarterback, it might be the team to beat in the ACC. Returning starter Sean Maguire will miss spring practice after undergoing ankle surgery, so redshirt freshman Deondre Francois might have a legitimate chance to win the job. Every starter is coming back on offense, including star tailback Dalvin Cook. FSU opens the season against Ole Miss in Orlando, Florida, and plays Clemson and North Carolina at home.


3. Michigan Wolverines

2015 record: 10-3, 6-2 Big Ten
Returning starters: 8 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: C Graham Glasgow, QB Jake Rudock, LB Desmond Morgan, LB Joe Bolden, LB James Ross, FS Jarrod Wilson, DE Willie Henry

Outlook: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made a big splash with his first full recruiting cycle, signing a top-10 class. The crop includes No. 1 prospect Rashan Gary, who might be able to help on the defensive line right away. The Wolverines have to replace only three starters on offense, and Houston transfer John O'Korn is the early favorite to replace departed quarterback Jake Rudock. New defensive coordinator Don Brown will have to replace the team's entire starting linebacker corps, but incoming freshman Devin Bush Jr. might be able to help.


4. Baylor Bears

2015 record: 10-3, 6-3 Big 12
Returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: WR Corey Coleman, OT Spencer Drango, DE Shawn Oakman, LB Grant Campbell, DE Jamal Palmer, NT Andrew Billings, CB Xavien Howard

Outlook: Baylor coach Art Briles transformed the Bears from a Big 12 cellar dweller into a national championship contender with recruiting classes that weren't highly ranked. Now he has inked what is arguably the best class in school history. The Bears picked up a couple of much-needed ESPN 300 offensive linemen (Patrick Hudson and J.P. Urquidez) and a quartet of speedy receivers (Devin Duvernay, Tren'Davian Dickson, Jared Atkinson and Denzel Mims). The Bears have to replace four starting linemen and star receiver Corey Coleman this coming season. The good news is that quarterbacks Seth Russell (neck) and Jarrett Stidham (ankle) are coming back from injuries.


5. Clemson Tigers

2015 record: 14-1, 8-0 ACC
Returning starters: 8 offense, 3 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: DE Shaq Lawson, DE Kevin Dodd, LB Travis Blanks, LB B.J. Goodson, CB Mackensie Alexander, S T.J. Green, S Jayron Kearse, G Eric Mac Lain, WR Charone Peake

Outlook: It's a good thing that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is coming back. The Tigers might have to score a lot of points this coming season after their defense was decimated by early losses to the NFL draft. Seven underclassmen left early, including three of four starters in the secondary. Ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd also left. Highly coveted, five-star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and No. 2 cornerback Trayvon Mullen might have to help right away.


6. LSU Tigers

2015 record: 9-3, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: 9 offense, 9 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: OT Vadal Alexander, LB Lamar Louis, LB Deion Jones, FS Jalen Mills, OT Jerald Hawkins

Outlook: Stop me if you've heard this question before: Does LSU have a quarterback who is capable of consistently throwing the ball? If the Tigers can upgrade their passing game, they might be one of the top four teams in the country. If not, tailback Leonard Fournette figures to have a sore back again by season's end. LSU coach Les Miles' uncertain job security didn't seem to affect the Tigers on the recruiting trail. They signed the No. 3 class, and 19 of their 23 signees were ESPN 300 selections. Even more important, Miles lured Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to LSU. And offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said he's staying.


7. Oklahoma Sooners

2015 record: 11-2, 8-1 Big 12
Returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: WR Sterling Shepard, C Ty Darlington, LB/DE Eric Striker, DE Charles Tapper, CB Zack Sanchez, LB Dominique Alexander

Outlook: The Sooners will have to replace a lot of production on defense after losing top pass-rushers Eric Striker and Charles Tapper and linebacker Dominque Alexander, who left early for the NFL draft. But with quarterback Baker Mayfield and tailbacks Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon coming back, they'll be capable of scoring a lot of points this coming season. Penn State transfer Geno Lewis might help OU replace departed receivers Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal. Texas A&M transfer Kyler Murray might be the Sooners' quarterback of the future.


8. Stanford Cardinal

2015 record: 12-2, 8-1 Pac-12
Returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: QB Kevin Hogan, OT Kyle Murphy, G Joshua Garnett, TE Austin Hooper, LB Blake Martinez, DE Aziz Shittu, FS Kodi Whitfield

Outlook: If the Cardinal can find a consistent replacement for departed quarterback Kevin Hogan, they might be the best team in the Pac-12 this coming season. Homegrown sophomore Keller Chryst is the early favorite to replace Hogan, who led the Cardinal to 36 victories. Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey is coming off one of the best seasons by a running back in NCAA history. The left side of the offensive line will have to be replaced, as well as two starting linebackers and two defensive backs on defense. Incoming tight end Kaden Smith and cornerbacks Treyjohn Butler and Obi Eboh might be able to help early.


9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

2015 record: 10-3
Returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: OT Ronnie Stanley, C Nick Martin, WR Will Fuller, RB C.J. Prosise, WR Amir Carlisle, DL Sheldon Day, LB Joe Schmidt, LB Jaylon Smith, CB KeiVarae Russell

Outlook: If the Irish can stay healthy this coming season, they might have a chance to compete for one of the four spots in the playoff. Coach Brian Kelly must again settle a brewing quarterback battle. Malik Zaire returns from a fractured ankle to battle DeShone Kizer, who started 11 games in his absence. The Irish also have to replace two of their top offensive linemen and a pair of productive receivers. Notre Dame plays only three true road games this coming season: at Texas, NC State and USC.


10. Ohio State Buckeyes

2015 record: 12-1, 7-1 Big Ten
Returning starters: 3 offense, 3 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: RB Ezekiel Elliott, OT Taylor Decker, C Jacoby Boren, WR Braxton Miller, DE Joey Bosa, LB Darron Lee, LB Joshua Perry, S Tyvis Powell, WR Michael Thomas, S Vonn Bell

Outlook: The Buckeyes signed the country's No. 5 recruiting class, and it's a good thing, because coach Urban Meyer said he wants 18 of his 25 signees to play this coming season. Ohio State certainly has plenty of holes to fill after nine underclassmen left early for the NFL draft. Five-star defensive end Nick Bosa is certainly capable of stepping on the field right away, as well as No. 3 outside linebacker Keandre Jones and No. 2 running back Demario McCall. The good news: Quarterback J.T. Barrett is coming back for his junior season. The bad news: The Buckeyes play road games at Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State.


11. Houston Cougars

2015 record: 13-1, 7-1 AAC
Returning starters: 7 offense, 5 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: OT Alex Cooper, OT Carter Wall, WR Demarcus Ayers, RB Kenneth Farrow, LB Elandon Roberts, SS Adrian McDonald, FS Trevon Stewart, CB William Jackson III, CB Lee Hightower

Outlook: Houston coach Tom Herman's #HTownTakeover continued, as the Cougars signed one of the best classes in school history. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver of Houston's Westfield High School was the No. 4 player overall in the ESPN 300. Highly coveted receiver Tyrie Cleveland flipped to Florida on national signing day, but the Cougars still snagged ESPN 300 receivers Courtney Lark and Keith Corbin. With quarterback Greg Ward Jr. coming back, Houston again looks like the best bet for a New Year's Six bowl bid from the Group of 5 conferences.


12. Tennessee Volunteers

2015 record: 9-4, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: 9 offense, 8 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: OT Kyler Kerbyson, WR Von Pearson, DT Owen Williams, SS LaDarrell McNeil, FS Brian Randolph, DE/LB Curt Maggitt

Outlook: After slowly improving under coach Butch Jones, the Volunteers seem ready to take the next step in his brick-by-brick rebuilding job. With nine starters coming back on offense and eight on defense, the Volunteers might be the favorites in the SEC East. Tennessee added two juco defensive linemen -- ends Jonathan Kongbo and Alexis Johnson -- who might be able to help new coordinator Bob Shoop's defense immediately.


13. Ole Miss Rebels

2015 record: 10-3, 6-2 SEC
Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: WR Laquon Treadwell, OT Laremy Tunsil, DT Robert Nkemdiche, WR Cody Core, RB Jaylen Walton, DB Mike Hilton, S Trae Elston

Outlook: Perhaps it's time to admit the Rebels can recruit very well -- and they're here to stay. Ole Miss signed the country's No. 4 recruiting class, its second top-five class in four years, and it comes at the perfect time. With the stars of the 2013 class departing, the Rebels need some help to keep pace with Alabama and LSU in the SEC West. The Rebels signed 13 ESPN 300 selections and had two five-star prospects -- offensive tackle Greg Little of Allen, Texas, and defensive tackle Benito Jones of Waynesboro, Mississippi.


14. Michigan State Spartans

2015 record: 12-2, 7-1 Big Ten
Returning starters: 3 offense, 6 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: QB Connor Cook, WR Aaron Burbridge, C Jack Allen, G Donovan Clark, OT Jack Conklin, DE Shilique Calhoun, DT Joel Heath, DE Lawrence Thomas, LB Darien Harris

Outlook: Michigan State's recruiting class is being called the best of coach Mark Dantonio's 10-year tenure in East Lansing. It's a needed boost, because the Spartans have to replace all but three starters on offense this coming season. The departed senior class guided MSU to 43 victories, three straight top-10 finishes and two Big Ten championships. While the Spartans lost three starting defensive linemen, ESPN 300 end Josh King and tackles Naquan Jones and Mike Panasiuk might be able to provide depth. Quarterback Messiah DeWeaver and ESPN 300 receiver Donnie Corley headline the offensive signees.


15. TCU Horned Frogs

2015 record: 11-2, 7-2 Big 12
Returning starters: 3 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: QB Trevone Boykin, WR Josh Doctson, RB Aaron Green, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, C Joey Hunt, FS Derrick Kindred, CB Corry O'Meally

Outlook: After injuries derailed the Horned Frogs' Big 12 title hopes in 2015, they'll have to reload to make another run this coming season. TCU loses record-setting quarterback Trevone Boykin and All-American receiver Josh Doctson, along with six other starters on offense. Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill is the early leader to replace Boykin, and coach Gary Patterson has help coming for the receiver corps. LSU transfer John Diarse and juco transfers Ryan Parker and Taj Williams might be able to help immediately.


16. USC Trojans

2015 record: 8-6, 6-3 Pac-12
Returning starters: 9 offense, 5 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: QB Cody Kessler, C Max Tuerk, OLB Su'a Cravens, LB Anthony Sarao, DT Delvon Simmons, NT Antwaun Woods, DE Greg Townsend Jr.

Outlook: New USC coach Clay Helton's first recruiting class was a success; the Trojans signed arguably the best class in the Pac-12. The Trojans flipped safety Jamel Cook from Florida State and snagged offensive tackle E.J. Price out of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Now, USC can focus on developing a new starting quarterback -- rising junior Max Browne and sophomore Sam Darnold will battle to replace three-year starter Cody Kessler. Every offensive lineman who started the second half of the 2015 season is expected back.


17. Iowa Hawkeyes

2015 record: 12-2, 8-0 Big Ten
Returning starters: 6 offense, 8 defense, 0 special teams

Key losses: RB Jordan Canzeri, TE Henry Krieger Coble, WR Tevaun Smith, C Austin Blythe, G Jordan Walsh, LB Cole Fisher, FS Jordan Lomax, DE Nate Meier

Outlook: Coming off a 12-0 regular season and its first Rose Bowl appearance in 25 years, the Hawkeyes signed a recruiting class that ranked in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten. That's nothing new for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who has focused on developing three- and four-star players during his long tenure. The Hawkeyes signed Nate Stanley, who might be their quarterback of the future, and four receivers who should be able to help their depleted receiver corps. Iowa will play a favorable schedule again in 2016; the Hawkeyes won't play Michigan State or Ohio State during the regular season and will face Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska at home.


18. North Carolina Tar Heels

2015 record: 11-3, 8-0 ACC
Returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: QB Marquise Williams, WR Quinshad Davis, G Landon Turner, LB Shakeel Rashad, S Sam Smiley, DT Justin Thomason

Outlook: After leading North Carolina to an ACC Coastal Division title and winning more than eight games in a season for the first time since Mack Brown's final year in 1997, UNC coach Larry Fedora signed his biggest recruiting class with the Tar Heels. UNC signed 26 players after scholarship reductions limited their previous two classes. UNC was able to keep defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, and it signed six defensive backs and two linebackers to help on that side of the ball. UNC will have to replace quarterback Marquise Williams, who accounted for 4,020 yards of offense with 37 touchdowns in 2015. Backup Mitch Trubisky completed 85.1 percent of his passes with six touchdowns.


19. Georgia Bulldogs

2015 record: 10-3, 5-3 SEC
Returning starters: 7 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: LB Jordan Jenkins, LB Jake Ganus, LB Leonard Floyd, DE Sterling Bailey, WR Malcolm Mitchell, G/T Kolton Houston, C Hunter Long, OT John Theus

Outlook: After only seven weeks on the job, new Georgia coach Kirby Smart was able to secure a top-10 recruiting class. Three highly regarded prospects -- No. 1 tight end Isaac Nauta, No. 1 pocket passer Jacob Eason and No. 8 defensive tackle Julian Rochester -- have already enrolled in school. Eason will battle rising senior Greyson Lambert and junior Brice Ramsey for the starting job this spring. The Bulldogs also signed juco receiver Javon Wims, who might play early. The Bulldogs are anxiously waiting to see if junior tailback Nick Chubb fully recovers from a knee injury.


20. Oregon Ducks

2015 record: 9-4, 7-2 Pac-12
Returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: OT Tyler Johnstone, G Matt Pierson, QB Vernon Adams Jr., DE DeForest Buckner, LB Joe Walker, LB Rodney Hardrick, WR Bralon Addison

Outlook: After slipping to a 9-4 record in 2015, Ducks coach Mark Helfrich is looking for a quick turnaround this coming season. Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke was hired to shore up Oregon's porous defense, which allowed 37.85 points per game last season. He replaces former defensive coordinator Don Pellum, who stayed with the team as linebackers coach. Receivers coach Matt Lubick was promoted to offensive coordinator and replaces Scott Frost, who left to become Central Florida's new coach. Montana State transfer Dakota Prukop has already enrolled in classes at Oregon and is the leading candidate to replace starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.


21. UCLA Bruins

2015 record: 8-5, 5-4 Pac-12
Returning starters: 5 offense, 9 defense, 0 special teams

Key losses: RB Paul Perkins, WR Jordan Payton, C Jake Brendel, OT Caleb Benenoch, NT Kenny Clark, LB Aaron Wallace

Outlook: After falling to 8-5 in 2015, UCLA coach Jim Mora wants the Bruins to become bigger and more physical on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone left for Texas A&M, and Mora promoted running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu to replace him. Quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo was lured away to USC, and Rip Scherer was elevated to tight ends coach. The Bruins are expected to play a more pro-style offense to take advantage of sophomore Josh Rosen's passing skills. The Bruins wanted to address their run defense in their recruiting class, and they signed six defensive linemen and a couple of inside linebackers. No. 4 juco defensive tackle Nick Terry might be able to provide immediate help.


22. Oklahoma State Cowboys

2015 record: 10-3, 7-2 Big 12
Returning starters: 10 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, WR David Glidden, QB J.W. Walsh, CB Kevin Peterson, CB Michael Hunter

Outlook: After the Cowboys dropped their final three games in 2015, OSU coach Mike Gundy was determined to improve his team's offensive line and running game. OSU ranked 113th in FBS in rushing (126.8 yards per game) and surrendered 32 sacks. The Pokes signed seven offensive linemen, including juco transfers Larry Williams and Shane Richards, who might be able to provide immediate help. Seven starters are coming back on defense, but pass-rushing star Emmanuel Ogbah will be missed. OSU's road schedule this coming season includes challenging trips to Baylor, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma.


23. Washington Huskies

2015 record: 7-6, 4-5 Pac-12
Returning starters: 8 offense, 7 defense, 1 special teams

Key losses: C Siosifa Tufunga, TE Joshua Perkins, WR Jaydon Mickens, DT Taniela Tupou, DE Travis Feeney, LB Cory Littleton, S Brian Clay, RB Dwayne Washington

Outlook: After a couple of so-so seasons to start his tenure at Washington, coach Chris Petersen seems poised to become a Pac-12 North challenger in 2016. Quarterback Jake Browning and tailback Myles Gaskin were two of the best freshmen in the country this past season, and six other starters are coming back on offense. Seven starters are expected back on a defense that led the Pac-12 in scoring defense (18.8 points), total defense (351.8 yards) and red zone defense (79.5 percent). Washington's recruiting class includes ESPN 300 cornerback Byron Murphy and athlete Isaiah Gilchrist.


24. Florida Gators

2015 record: 10-4, 7-1 SEC
Returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, DL Jonathan Bullard, OL Trip Thurman, LB Antonio Morrison, QB Will Grier, RB Kelvin Taylor, WR Demarcus Robinson, DL Alex McCalister

Outlook: After guiding Florida to an unexpected SEC East title, coach Jim McElwain's first season with the Gators ended with a flop. The Gators dropped their last three games and weren't competitive against Florida State, Alabama and Michigan. McElwain will revamp his struggling offense during the offseason. Junior Luke Del Rio, who previously played at Alabama and Oregon State, is the favorite to start at quarterback. Former starter Treon Harris is working at receiver, and incoming freshmen Feleipe' Franks and Kyle Trask also will compete for the QB job. The Gators had 12 players enroll early, including seven who are expected to play on offense.


25. Boise State Broncos

2015 record: 9-4, 5-3 Mountain West
Returning starters: 9 offense, 6 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: SS Darian Thompson, CB Donte Deayon, NT Armand Nance, DT Justin Taimatuia, DE Tyler Horn, C Marcus Henry, WR Shane Williams-Rhodes

Outlook: The Broncos lost four games for the second time in three seasons in 2015, but there's reason to believe they'll bounce back this coming season. Quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 3,353 yards with 20 touchdowns as a freshman, and tailback Jeremy McNichols had 1,337 rushing yards with 20 scores. Coach Bryan Harsin is taking over the play-calling duties on offense after coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz left for NC State. Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates also left for Arizona, and linebackers coach Andy Avalos was promoted to replace him.