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Can't Wait For Saturday | Welcome to my Top 5, Mizzou

Feb. 27—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 two weeks, well, almost. Time to update my preseason Top 5. I reserve the right to change my mind 20 or 30 times before the ballot is due late in the summer.

Of course, it has been a newsy off-season, with staff shake-ups and new folks in charge at big-time programs like Alabama, Michigan and Washington. Hopefully, the major coach shuffling is over until after the 2024 season.

Here's what I think today:

1. Texas 2

2. Ohio State 3

3. Georgia 1

4. Oregon 4

5. Missouri —

No offense to Mississippi, which was No. 5 last time, but let's take a look at anther SEC school. The one that plays in the other Columbia (nod to the nice folks in South Carolina).

Basketball is a disaster for the Tigers, but at least Eli Drinkwitzitz has himself a team.

The quarterback (Brady Cook) returns and so does superstar receiver Luther Burden III.

The schedule has two toughies: at Alabama and home against Oklahoma. But neither team is unbeatable. Given the softness of the rest of the schedule a Missouri split will be enough to earn a decent seed in the 12-team playoff.

I'm projecting Missouri to reach at least the semifinal round.

Texas moves back to the top thanks to the wisdom of the Longhorns administration in giving Steve Sarkisian a contract extension. Nothing helps with recruiting more than stability at the top.

Clearly, Sarkisian with his quarterback again on the team is going to be hard to beat, even with the talent lost to graduation and departures.

Just below Texas, Ohio State and Georgia are dealing with staff changes that will be forgotten by the time the teams are done with spring ball. Though Ryan Day won't be calling the plays in Columbus (Chip Kelly's job now), he will have a major influence.

The Buckeyes get to warm up against an ice cream soft nonconference schedule. But they will get tested in the Big Ten against Michigan, Oregon and Penn State, which are all potential Top 10 teams to start the season (reserving judgment until after the spring on defending national champion Michigan. Though I am confident Sherrone Moore is the right hire).