Top-10 contenders to reach College Football Playoff
#1- Alabama- The Tide are the defending national champion and even though they lost last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and a slew of defensive players to the NFL draft, no team across the country has the kind of elite depth that the Crimson Tide has. Bo Scarborough is Henry 2.0 and the defense will be in the top 10 nationally.
#2- Clemson- The Tigers gave Alabama all they could handle in last year’s championship game. They return junior quarterback and current Heisman front runner Deshaun Watson. Watson is the most dynamic quarterback college football has seen since Vince Young or Cam Newton.
#3- Stanfod- The Cardinal has the best player in college football returning for his junior season. Christian McCaffery broke the long standing all-purpose yards record last year and looks to keep rolling. Stanford is known for having a physical offensive line and this year will be no different.
#4- Florida State- The Seminoles have been able to recruit very well during the Jimbo Fisher era and were one game away from being in the playoff last year. With a Heisman contender in Dalvin Cook and playing Clemson on their home field, things shape up nicely for Florida State to make the playoff and compete for another title.
#5- LSU- Les Miles found himself on the hot seat last year due to offensive inconsistencies and the inability to get the big win over Alabama. The Tigers’ roster is loaded with players that will be playing on Sundays in the NFL. The question is: Can their quarterback make enough down-field plays to help Leonard Fournette, one of the country’s best running backs.
#6- Oklahoma- The Sooners are another team that has elite talent on their roster from top to bottom. The problem has been their inability to live up to expectations and hype. They did make the playoff last year and with quarterback Baker Mayfield returning, Oklahoma is in a great spot to compete for a national title once again.
#7- Ohio State- All eyes are on Ohio State to see if it can be an example of addition by subtraction. Last year, the Buckeyes had three very capable quarterbacks, but none of them were consistent enough. This year, it will be J.T. Barrett’s team. But with huge losses on the defensive side, it will be difficult to compete at an elite level.
#8- TCU- The Horned Frogs have been one of the most consistent programs over the last decade. They were able to secure former five-star recruit Kenny Hill after he transferred from Texas A&M. They have been one or two games from the playoff the last two years and expect them to be in the mix this year, too.
#9- Michigan State- The Spartans made the College Football Playoff last year and have performed as consistent as any other elite program across the country. In the past three years, Michigan State has played in two Cotton Bowls and a Rose Bowl. They lost quarterback Connor Cook to the NFL, but the Spartans have recruited well and will be competitive.
#10- Houston- The Cougars do not belong to a Power Five conference, but have the talent to compete with any team across the country. Head coach Tom Herman has turned the Houston football program into a real contender. If he can overachieve again this year, he will have his pick of head coaching jobs across the nation.
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