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Can't Wait For Saturday | Off-season work moves Mississippi into N-G's Top 5 ... for now

Feb. 3—Sign up for our daily Illini football newsletter here

Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.

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It has been a couple of weeks since I changed my preseason Top 5. Time to take another look, which I plan to do every so often.

There are many on- and off-the-field actions that can potentially impact my Top 5. So, the goal is to revise and keep fresh. Staying up to date allows me to better prepare to put together my Top 25, which will be due shortly beore the start of the season.

I'm sticking with my No. 1 Texas, but the margin in razor thin. I heard Texas coach Steve Sarkisian during the East-West Shrine Bowl broadcast and every time he talks, I feel better about the choice. One sharp cookie. Who has recovered nicely from a rough patch earlier in his career.

He's got a loaded team in Austin and a schedule that includes Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Here's the rest of the latest list:

1. Texas 1

2. Ohio State 2

3. Georgia 3

4. Mississippi 7

5. Oregon 6

Lane Kiffin's team moves up thanks to the retention of quarterback Jaxon Dart and multiple top receivers. Now, he's got former Illini assistant George McDonald on the staff to help the players take the next step.

McDonald seemed to play a vital role in the development of converted quarterback Isaiah Williams.

Kiffin has turned the team into a national title contender by picking up help on defense in the transfer portal.