NFP Top 25

The AP has its poll. ESPN/USA Today has one, as well. And we all know about the polarizing BCS rankings. The NFP? We want in on the fun, too.

A look at how the National Football Post stacks up the Top 25 teams in the nation heading into the season, with 2009 records in parentheses.

NFP Director of College Scouting Wes Bunting contributed to these rankings.

Bernard PierceICONBernard Pierce paced Temple's rushing attack with 1,361 yards and 16 TDs in '09.

25. Temple (9-4)
Expect the Owls to lean heavily on their run game as they look to capture their first ever MAC title in 2010.

24. Penn State (11-2)
With questions at quarterback, it’s tough to see the Nittany Lions making a run toward the top 15 this season.

23. Clemson (9-5)
The Tigers have a filthy defense. While the running game should be solid even without C.J. Spiller, who will step up at receiver for quarterback Kyle Parker?

22. Houston (10-4)
With quarterback Case Keenum at the helm, the passing offense has enough firepower to give just about any defense fits.

21. Georgia (8-5)
The pressure will be on new quarterback Aaron Murray to lead a veteran Bulldogs squad — and take some heat off of head coach Mark Richt.

20. Arizona (8-5)
Quarterback Nick Foles has weapons everywhere on offense, but the defense is replacing seven starters.

19. Georgia Tech (11-3)
New defensive coordinator Al Groh’s 3-4 scheme should pose problems for opposing quarterbacks.

18. Miami (9-4)
Jacory Harris is healthy. Can he make better decisions with the football and help the Hurricanes raise havoc again.

17. West Virginia (9-4)
New quarterback Geno Smith will be leading a veteran Mountaineers team in the Big East.

Ryan MallettICONWe know Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks will score points. But can the Hogs step up on defense?

16. Arkansas (8-5)
We know the Razorbacks will score points consistently. But can the Hogs step up defensively?

15. Wisconsin (10-3)
The Badgers get the Buckeyes in Madison, but they must travel to Iowa City to battle the Hawkeyes.

14. Virginia Tech (10-3)
The Hokies simply have the most talented backfield in the nation. Will Tyrod Taylor continue to make strides?

13. Oregon (10-3)
Darron Thomas should be able to run Chip Kelly’s offense. But what if the Ducks still had Jeremiah Masoli?

12. Pittsburgh (10-3)
Close but no cigar the last two seasons in the Big East. With Brian Kelly out of the league, is it Dave Wannstedt’s year?

11. Texas (13-1)
Being thrown into the fire against Alabama in the BCS national championship was a blessing for Garrett Gilbert, who replaces Colt McCoy at quarterback.

10. USC (9-4)
The Trojans will play with a chip on their shoulders in Lane Kiffin’s first year as head coach.

9. Iowa (11-2)
The Hawkeyes are led by a steady senior signal-caller in Ricky Stanzi and play their toughest games in Iowa City.

8. Auburn (8-5)
Head coach Gene Chizik is building a strong program at Auburn. Can the Tigers unseat the Tide in the SEC West?

7. Ohio State (11-2)
Can Terrelle Pryor deliver more performances for the Buckeyes like the one in the Rose Bowl?

6. Nebraska (10-4)
The defense should still be fierce without Ndamukong Suh, but will the play be good enough under center?

5. Florida (13-1)
He’s a different player than Tim Tebow, but John Brantley will get things done under center for the Gators.

DeMarco MurrayICONWill DeMarco Murray give the Sooners a full season?

4. Oklahoma (8-5)
With a healthy DeMarco Murray and an improved offensive line, the Sooners are ready for a bounce back season.

3. TCU (12-1)
Andy Dalton may be the best quarterback many college football fans don’t know about. Just don’t ask him about the loss to Boise State last season.

2. Boise State (14-0)
With a legitimate nonconference schedule and stellar talent, the Broncos have their best shot to play for a national championship.

1. Alabama (14-0)
Despite some key personnel losses on defense, the Crimson Tide remains on top until they are defeated.

Stay with the NFP as we count down until the start of the 2010 college football season on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave or send your college football questions to dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com

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