The first official college football playoff rankings came out this week, and the Top 4 teams to start off are Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama. Some people have already voiced concerns over the rankings, and over her we have our own ideas. So, without further ado, here is N2K’s first college football playoff predictions.
Number 4 Seed
Kevin: At fourth I’m going to pick TCU. I really like this team and how they’ve been playing recently. They’re offense is great and has been getting some big weeks from receiver Josh Doctson. They have had some really good players but at the end it all come down to Trevone Boykin. He has been tearing up everyone recently and is really making a push to win the Heisman. There is no team left on the Schedule who can stop him and TCU ends the season playing 3 ranked teams.
Tyler: My four seed is my team- Notre Dame. Currently at the fifth seed, I think ND is sitting at a desirable spot, and here’s why… there’s no pressure. Lots of people didn’t see the Irish in the picture in the preseason, and Malik Zaire’s ankle injury (which seems ages ago) didn’t help their standing. But much like I predicted, DeShone Kizer has come in and played exceptional. The defense leaves a lot to be desired, but if they keep getting that big stop every game, I don’t see ND losing again this regular season. Also, the only team in the playoff picture that I completely don’t see losing at all is Clemson. So that leaves three open spots the Irish can take, not to mention they play real teams, as opposed to both TCU and Baylor.
Number 3 Seed
Kevin: At number 3 I have Alabama. This pretty much rides on the LSU game but I believe the Crimson Tide will win with a strong performance by Derrick Henry. Their defense isn’t as good as it has been in the past but it still has great players such as Reggie Ragland and freshman standout Minkah Fitzpatrick. The offense has progressed as the season has gone on and they have a star running back in Derrick Henry. Even with one loss they Alabama should make the playoffs.
Tyler: Ohio State will fall to the three seed, in my opinion. Going back to last year, I thought OSU was a no-brainer for that fourth seed, but there they were with doubters. Now, the Buckeyes haven’t won in sexy ways consistently at all this year. And yeah, I do think that matters. But talent wise? They’re a top team based on that alone. I think they’d be in a better position to be a higher seed if they had J.T. Barrett starting, but that situation is really complicated and hard to foresee. So for now, if Ohio State wins out, they’ll get in at 3.
Number 2 Seed
Kevin: My second seed goes to Ohio State. They have a great defense with stars like edge rusher Joey Bosa and cornerback Eli Apple. They play great and know what they’re doing. On offense they have a very good line and a monster in the backfield named Ezekiel Elliott. They also have playmakers at the receiver spot with Braxton Miller and Mike Thomas. It really doesn’t matter if they have Cardale Jones or JT Barrett under center, they’re both talented and the rest of the roster might have the most talent in college.
Tyler: Until Alabama has more than two losses, we will not see a playoff without the Crimson Tide. But I won’t get too much into SEC biases- that’s a gripe for another day and another article. ‘Bama took that really bad loss at home to Ole Miss, but when you read into the fact that they still almost won that game, I think it says something. They’re not like the championship era teams- they have a good, but not utterly dominant defense. In my eyes, they don’t have a quarterback. I think this team will ultimately go as far as Derrick Henry takes them. The Tide and Ohio State should be close, but even though the Buckeyes are defending national champs, I still think the committee will award the higher seed to Alabama.
Number 1 Seed
Kevin: For my top seed I’m going to side with the committee and pick Clemson. They have played great up to this point in the year and have a great chance of winning out. They’re offense has been explosive, headed by Sophomore Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Their Defense has been stalwart and opportunistic as they have had great performances in the secondary by Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse
Tyler: How can you go against Clemson? I think they’ve most consistently been the best team in all of college football. I thought they were really hyped at the beginning of the year, but for right now I’m eating my words. I also think this weekend is the last regular season game I could conceivably see Clemson lose (not to say they will). But they’re definitely not going down to Wake Forest, Syracuse or South Carolina. With a great defense and a dynamic offense, they’ll be fun to watch down the stretch and into the new calendar year.
Kevin: Look out for Oklahoma. Their last three games are against Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma State. That’s a tough Schedule and if they win out they have to get some consideration from the playoff committee. Even with that one loss to Texas they would have a very strong case if they can win out. They have a good defense and they have a very good offense behind Quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Tyler: My sleeper resides in Gainesville. This is Florida’s first team that has come close to the success that the Tebow era had. Unlike Oklahoma, who would need three straight marquee wins to potentially get in, Florida will need to win out and hope everyone else crumbles in the SEC. Their hardest remaining game is against Florida State at home, and I don’t see them losing any of those games. Despite losing Will Grier, Treon Harris has looked awesome since taking over. They’ve got a good back in Kelvin Taylor and a balanced group of receivers/tight ends. Don’t forget about that defense either, who I could argue as the SEC’s best.