Which four teams will be in the College Football Playoff?
Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State: The Sooners don’t miss a beat sans Baker Mayfield, while the Nittany Lions soar post-Saquon Barkley to provide the surprise. Bama and Clemson because y’know, Bama and Clemson.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia. If you’re going by the Four Best Team theory the College Football Playoff committee believes in, that’s it. It doesn’t matter what their records are or if there are upsets along the way, those are the four best teams in college football.
But, of course, that’s not how this works.
Put in Alabama as a mortal lock. The team is too good and the schedule too easy.
If Washington beats Auburn to start the season, it’ll get in. Washington will beat Auburn.
Of course Clemson will get in, just because I’m actually crazy enough to think there might be two whiffs along the way. In an ACC without a true free-space team, be careful … and then watch it be the CFP No. 1 again.
And finally … Michigan.
Ohio State should be there, but the Urban thing is going to be enough to miss on two regular season games again. Wisconsin will lose to the Wolverines, and … so will Michigan State. Just like I did with the Spartans until they went to and won a Rose Bowl, I’m going to make this happen by picking Harbaugh and Michigan until I get this right.
Clemson, Alabama, Wisconsin, Washington. A lot of chalk here, but being cute for its own sake tends not to end well. Ohio State, warts and all, is tempting. (Speaking of warts, watch out for that TCU game at Jerry World.) Notre Dame is tempting, too, but we’ll cross that bridge when it collapses.
Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Washington
Alabama, Clemson, Washington, and Ohio State. At this point you’d be crazy to bet against the Tide and Tigers who seem to have a cheat code on this whole playoff thing.
As long as Ohio State can stiff-arm the distractions and get to work, this might be the most talented Buckeye team Urban Meyer has had (as long as he’s still the coach). It has to survive a brutal Big Ten East, but is the most complete team in the best conference.
Oklahoma is tempting, but I like Washington to get the fourth spot. Jake Browning is back, and as long as the Huskies take care of business in the non-conference with Auburn, I think the they get through a relatively favorable schedule to get in.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Washington. I really wanted to put Oklahoma in Washington’s spot, but considering we don’t know how the Sooners recover from losing Baker Mayfield, it was too much of a gamble. Alabama and Clemson are locks. Really, any of five Big Ten teams can get in, but going with Ohio State, because of its history.
Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia
Shannon McKinley, TicketCity.com
Alabama – I feel like I pick Alabama No. 1 in the preseason bowl projections every year, but there is no reason not to. We don’t even know who its quarterback will be, and it actually doesn’t matter. That’s every team’s dream problem to have.
Georgia – Although UGA lost a few key parts to the NFL, it reloaded just fine. Kirby learned from Saban and will develop quickly. Experience at quarterback, and D’Andre Swift in the backfield, should overcome any possible drop-off.
Clemson – Recent success of Clemson (finishing as the CFP No. 1 in two of the last three seasons) plus the return of Kelly Bryant means there should be no dip in the success. It should dominate the ACC and earn a spot back in the playoff for the fourth year in a row.
Washington – Because defense wins championships. This is one of college football’s most experienced and most accomplished teams in the last few years.
Crowley Sullivan, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, http://SpartansWire.com; Peabody/Emmy Award Winning Content Creator, Programming VP, ESPN 1997-2006; Campus Insiders EVP/GM 2012-2016
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