1. Texas: Like last year, this team is an embarrassment of riches, talent-wise, beginning at the top of the lineup with Walker Cupper Beau Hossler and NCAA Freshman of the Year Scottie Scheffler. If the Longhorns stay together through the spring, they should be the No. 1 challenger for another national title.
2. Illinois: With Thomas Detry, Charlie Danielson and breakout candidate Nick Hardy leading the way, there’s a lot to like about arguably the strongest lineup in college golf. It’d be a surprise if the Illini aren’t among the last teams standing at NCAAs.
3. LSU: Lost two key seniors to graduation and standout junior Brandon Pierce is still recovering from a broken neck, but the Tigers “rebuilt” with No. 1-ranked recruit Sam Burns and two other highly regarded newcomers.
4. Florida State: Returning all five starters from a year ago, the Seminoles have the potential to go all the way if junior Jack Maguire takes the final step to stardom.
5. UCLA: The Bruins’ trio of seniors (Jonathan Garrick, Jake Knapp, Lorens Chan) have more than enough firepower to push the Bruins into NCAA match play. If they get a little help from the inexperienced back end, look out.
6. USC: The Trojans’ appearance in the finals wasn’t a fluke. Sean Crocker seems poised to capitalize on his strong freshman campaign (and semifinal run at the U.S. Amateur), and junior Rico Hoey and sophomore Jonah Texeira will only get better in Year 2 together.
7. Auburn: Quietly, the Tigers have assembled one of the country’s deepest lineups, with four returnees who were ranked inside the top 110 a year ago. This is a group that can win four or five events this season.
8. Arizona State: New season, old question: After Jon Rahm and Max Rottluff – who are talented enough to carry this team to another high ranking – who else will step up for the Sun Devils? Their NCAA run depends on it.
9. South Carolina: Former top-ranked junior Matt NeSmith is starting to realize his awesome potential, and he could – or should – have been a U.S. Walker Cupper this fall. Now he leads a trio of Gamecock seniors who will look to build on last year’s school-record, five-win campaign.
10. South Florida: The Bulls won’t surprise anyone this season. After five wins in 2014-15, and with the team’s core (Chase Koepka, Rigel Fernandes and Claudio Correa) still intact, expectations are even higher in Steve Bradley’s second year at the helm.
ALSO KEEP AN EYE ON: Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, Wake Forest