Top 25 for 2016: Clemson's No. 1, UGA's No. 21

Sunday's AJC offered the annual college football early-bird Top 25Here's the short version:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Michigan
  4. Baylor
  5. Tennessee
  6. Florida State
  7. Stanford
  8. Houston.
  9. Oklahoma
  10. LSU
  11. Ohio State
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Oregon
  14. Michigan State
  15. TCU
  16. Louisville
  17. Southern Cal
  18. Ole Miss
  19. Iowa
  20. UCLA
  21. Georgia
  22. North Carolina
  23. Washington State
  24. Oklahoma State
  25. Miami

These teams were considered but, in the end, omitted: Arkansas, Boise State, Utah, Washington. I considered Florida for about two seconds but said, "Nah."

I admit to peeking at other folk's early Top 25s, and I can tell you that just about all of them had the same top dozen as I do. (SB Nation offers a compilation . You'll see what I mean.) I have Tennessee higher than most, but I've been touting the Vols for two years. I have Oklahoma lower than most: That's because I was unimpressed with what I saw in the Orange Bowl and also because the Sooners' three best Big 12 victories -- against Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State -- came against teams without their No. 1 quarterback.

As for Georgia: I think the Bulldogs will, once again, be good but not great. I think Kirby Smart could be an upgrade over Mark Richt. I think Jacob Eason, even if he's not quite as good as advertised, will be better than Greyson Lambert/Faton Bauta. I think an empty chair will be an improvement on Brian Schottenheimer. And the schedule is not terrible. There's no Alabama. Ole Miss has lost three big-time talents. The Tennessee game is in Athens. Florida still doesn't have a quarterback, and the rest of the East is awful.

As for Georgia Tech: A reader asked if I'd have put the Jackets in a Top 40. My answer: No.