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It's no shocker that Clemson and Alabama top the first ESPN Way-Too-Early Top-25 Poll for the 2019 season respectively, but there are some big surprises a little further down the list.
Tom Herman's Texas Longhorns headline this group of surprising returns after cracking the Top-10 with the No. 8 spot in the nation. And in-state rival Texas A&M isn't far behind at the No. 9 spot after closing Jimbo Fisher's first season as the Aggies head coach with a 9-4 record.
After seeing a slip from two consecutive 11-win seasons rooted in consistent Top-10-caliber contention, Penn State lost four games in the 2018 campaign. Combining this decline with the loss of star QB Trace McSorley, the Nittany Lions fell to No. 17 in the first Way-Too-Early Top-25 Poll.
One thing all three of these programs have in common is a spot on 247Sports' Top-10 incoming recruiting classes ranked for the 2019 season, with Texas A&M at No. 3, Texas at No. 9 and Penn State at No. 10.
Overall, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Notre Dame round out the Top-5 teams in that order, with only Oklahoma and Florida separating the top from No. 8 Texas.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.