NFL Week 16 Picks

September 28th NFL news ... NFL Week 16 Picks at

NFP post-spring Top 25

Here is a fresh set of rankings based off of what we saw in spring football and how we see these teams faring in the fall.

1. Alabama: Until the Crimson Tide get beat, Nick Saban and Co. remain at the top. And as we know, this is a program that just reloads no matter how much talent is lost to the NFL.

2. Oregon: Mark Helfrich is ready to lead the program, and Nick Aliotti remains one of the more underrated defensive coordinators in the nation.

Braxton Miller US PRESSWIREBraxton Miller and the Buckeyes could be in for another special season.

3. Ohio State: The Buckeyes have a very manageable schedule in 2013, and quarterback Braxton Miller continues to improve as a passer.

4. Stanford: Head coach David Shaw has this program trending toward BCS national championship game territory. The defense remains stout, and quarterback Kevin Hogan is legit.

5. Notre Dame: Quarterback Everett Golson is embracing his bigger role in the team's offense, and the defense will remain a force even without Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o.

6. Georgia: The Bulldogs lost a ridiculous amount of talent on defense, but Todd Grantham's unit developed depth last year. And quarterback Aaron Murray has returned to lead a skilled offense.

7. Texas A&M: The Aggies will have a target on their backs all season long after their standout debut season in the SEC, and all eyes will be on their rematch with Alabama early in the year.

8. South Carolina: A two-quarterback system just may work in Columbia if Steve Spurrier goes that route, and star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is primed to be the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

9. Florida: The Gators will need quarterback Jeff Driskel to take a big step in his development if they want a chance at an SEC crown.

10. Florida State: Playmakers abound on offense, and the defense should still be strong despite losing coordinator Mark Stoops and some top talent to the next level. But will the 'Noles trip up along the way against an inferior opponent as has been the case in recent years?

11. Clemson: Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins lead a prolific offense, but all eyes will be on Brent Venables as he tries to get continued improvement from the Tigers defense.

12. Louisville: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a Heisman hopeful, and the Cardinals are the best team in the Big East. Is another BCS game on the horizon?


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13. LSU: The Tigers will be much improved on offense under new coordinator Cam Cameron, but the defense lost a ton of talent from last year's squad. Don't count out a Les Miles team, but it may take awhile for the defense to gel.

Casey PachallUS PRESSWIRECasey Pachall is back, and he makes TCU even more dangerous.

14. TCU: Casey Pachall is back to pace the offense, while the defense will remain strong with star end Devonte Fields. We'll see just how good the Horned Frogs can be when they open with LSU.

15. Oklahoma: The Sooners begin the post-Landry Jones era with their sights set on reclaiming the Big 12 crown.

16. Northwestern: Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats gave away several games last year and still managed to make a New Year's Day bowl game. The 'Cats host Ohio State under the lights in October in a game that could have national implications.

17. UCLA: Star dual-threat quarterback Brett Hundley will only continue to get better as Jim L. Mora has the Bruins trending upward.

18. Nebraska: If Taylor Martinez and the offense can drastically cut down on their turnovers, it can be one of the best units in the country.

19. Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy's squad is going under the radar, but first-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is installing a more aggressive defense that features a lot of seniors.

20. Northern Illinois: The Huskies return dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch, who should have been invited to New York City for the Heisman ceremony last year. Even without former head coach Dave Doeren, this team is the class of the MAC.

21. Michigan: Devin Gardner enters a season filled with high expectations, but the Wolverines will have to play without star outside linebacker Jake Ryan until at least mid-October.

22. Boise State: The Broncos were strong against the pass and No. 8 in scoring defense last season, but replacing Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins at cornerback will be difficult.

23. Texas: Can the Longhorns put behind a disastrous defensive effort in 2012? And will this offense finally be able to forge an identity?

24. Arizona State: Taylor Kelly finished ninth in the nation in passer rating last year as just a redshirt sophomore, and ASU returns eight starters from a defense that tied for 17th nationally in yards per play allowed.

25. North Carolina: Larry Fedora's Tar Heels will score points with Bryn Renner at quarterback, so a spot in the ACC title game is not out of the question.

The next five: Oregon State, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Washington

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