College football rankings: Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon lead post-spring top 25 ahead of 2024 season

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When it comes to ranking college football teams, there’s limited room to include Group of Five teams. That’s safe to say for every top-25 projection from here to … well, forever. You could chalk that up to the lingering after effects of realignment as the power conferences have gobbled up some of the best of the rest. 

In the last two years alone, Cincinnati, Houston, UCF (Big 12) and SMU (ACC) have matriculated to the Power Four, while BYU enters its second season in the Big 12 after 12 years as an independent.

It’s called consolidation, folks, and it has diminished the Group of Five. 

Below we present the CBS Sports post-spring top 25 where 24 of the 25 teams are members of what now has become the Power Four in the wake of the Pac-12 dissolving. Independent Notre Dame is the only exception. Not surprisingly, nine of the top 10 are from the dominant leagues of that consolidation: the Big Ten and SEC. 

Thankfully for those Group of Five teams, the highest-ranked champion of those conferences (MAC, Mountain West, Conference USA, AAC and Sun Belt) will be guaranteed a spot in the 12-team College Football Playoff as the field expands this season. 

No Group of Five team made its way into these rankings, but below the post-spring top 25 we’ve highlighted teams from those conferences to keep an eye on as squads with a chance to join the fold when the season gets going. 

In terms of upheaval during the second portal window, well, there wasn’t much. Hence, the lack of movement from the pre-spring top 25

Georgia remains the way-too-early, pre-spring, post-spring and likely preseason No. 1 team in the country. As was the case with the pre-spring rankings, right behind the Bulldogs is Ohio State after the Buckeyes enjoyed a monstrous offseason. We do, however, have a new team occupying the No. 3 slot in the rankings. 

The biggest risers included Miami and Clemson. Texas A&M made it in after being previously unranked. 

But for the powers that be, the rich get ranking richer.

Dropped out: Virginia Tech 
Group of Five teams to watch: Boise State, Liberty, Tulane, Memphis, Appalachian State

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