This season is going to be different, no question about it. Unless something drastic changes, two of the Power-5 leagues aren’t even going to be playing this season.
There is one thing that will not be different though. The College Football Playoff will go on, with or without the Big Ten and little brother the Pac-12. The season would absolutely be better if everyone was involved, but it is what it is, and we have to make the best out of a bad situation.
Currently only 77 FBS teams will be playing, and many of those are from the Group of Five conferences, with slim to none chances of breaking through that glass ceiling and being the first of those teams to get in.
Originally, along with Clemson and Alabama, I had Ohio State and Oregon making the playoff this season, but obviously both of those teams are now out of the running. Yes, I know going with Oregon was a little bit of a stretch, but I really like what they were going to have on the defensive side of the ball this season, despite having a new starter at quarterback.
That is all irrelevant now, so in the place of the Buckeyes, I will now go with Oklahoma. The Sooners are the best team in the Big-12. Lincoln Riley has proven that plugging a new quarterback into the starting lineup isn’t an issue, and that will be the case again this season.
My fourth team is Florida. Georgia still doesn’t know who their starting quarterback is going to be and Kirby Smart is still the head coach. The Gators have experience returning at the quarterback position and a defense every bit as good as the Bulldogs, That is the difference for me.
Clemson, Alabama, Florida, and Oklahoma
Many expect the Big12 to mess up and miss out on getting one of their teams into the College Football Playoff (CFP) while the ACC and SEC teams seem a little more supplanted. For me though, I expect this year’s CFP to look like this. I’m expecting Clemson to go in as the number one seed followed by Alabama at number two, Oklahoma number three and Georgia rounding out the four.
This would have Clemson renewing an old rivalry with Georgia in the Rose Bowl or as many call it, “The Grandaddy Of Them All,” with Alabama meeting up with Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. I expect Clemson and Alabama to win those semifinal games on January 1 and meet up for another #1 vs #2 matchup in the national championship game on January 11.
LSU broke the jinx of the number one seed never winning a College Football Playoff National Championship Game last year and I expect Clemson to make it two consecutive years of a one seed winning it all.
Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia