CFN Staff Predictions: The National Championship Winner Will Be …
Who will the College Football Playoff National Champion at the end of the 2017 season?
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The National Championship Preseason Prediction
@Rich Cirminiello, CFN: Alabama. No guarantees, as last year in Tampa proved, but Nick Saban and the Tide remain the safest bets in college sports. The D is never an issue in Tuscaloosa, and now the offense returns a starting quarterback for the first time in four years and a backfield loaded with future pros.
@Jeff Feyerer, CFN: Florida State. Again, every ounce of me is shaking while I type this for fear Alabama will “do what they do,” but this Florida State team could be one of the best defenses in recent college football history. Its schedule is a beast, but its opponents come at the right times and locations.
Alabama in Week One will harden the Seminoles, and then they catch Miami in Week Three before they’ve settled in with their post-Brad Kayya quarterback. They get revenge against Louisville at home, and as hard as it may be to travel to Death Valley and Gainesville late in the season, Deondre Francois and the boys will be rolling by that point.
@Pete Fiutak, CFN: Alabama. It’s a horrifically unimaginative and boring call, but start with who’s a rock-solid guarantee to be in the CFP, and Alabama is the surest thing possible with a relatively easy schedule – at least after Florida State and before closing out at Auburn – along with it’s alway-great team. Outside of Florida State, there isn’t another 2016 Clemson out there who looks close to the Crimson Tide’s level.
@Jeremy Harper, SunBeltHeat: Call me a doofus, but I feel coaches are catching up to Saban. No way that Oklahoma wins the whole thing the first year Stoops bails. I’m going with my gut here and saying Mark Richt’s Hurricane team shocks the world.
@Phil Harrison, CFN: Alabama – again. It’s simple. If you are a betting man and had to put a boat-load of cash down on a team, how are you not going with the Tide at this point? I’m convinced it could lose almost every starter, team manager and third string waterboy and still be in the CFP. Sure, an Ohio State or Clemson type of scenario might emerge again this year, but who is there every year?
@Jeremy Mauss, MWwire.com: Alabama. I would love nothing more than to not pick the Crimson Tide but here we are going with the chalk. Even though Alabama lost 10 players to the NFL Draft, they have a former blue-chip prospect waiting in the wings to replace that departed star.
@Russ Mitchell, CFN: USC. Palmam qui meruit ferat. Not exactly sure how much value a palm holds today, and why Trojans celebrate a Spartan tradition should turn Helen in her grave. That said, expect these Trojans to play a lot more like The 300 than the 30. Ask Reggie Bush… Or better yet, Lane Kiffin. I’m sure he’ll explain it to you.
Keith Stewart, Winners & Whiners: Southern California. Believe the hype people. This team is ultra-talented. Darnold will put this team on his shoulders and carry them home if he has to.
@Joe Vitale, UGAFootballLive: Miami. And what a story that will be. After 15 years of not getting the job done in Athens, Richt returns back to Coral Gables, and with an experienced team (sans at the quarterback position), wins their first National Championship since 2001.