1. Alabama: I’m going out on a limb here and picking Alabama as one of the playoff teams since they have been there every season. But, they literally have zero competition in the SEC. Seriously, other SEC fans, who is going to beat Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide? It’s not going to happen. Plus, the Offensive Line is solid with sophomore and experienced Jalen Hurts. The Tide has a boat load of Running Backs, and the very best in the country, they have really good Wide Receivers. The defense will also be good again even with some big losses there. They have an all new Defensive Line, but it’s going to be almost as good as the old one. The recruiting is the same and the talent is still there. Most
people have them starting the season ranked 1st.
An improved Auburn could be a problem in the Iron Bowl, but that’s a long way off and Jarrett Stidham hasn’t played a down for the Tigers as of yet.
2. Ohio State: Another surprise pick and the Big 10 has not looked good in the Playoffs since winning the initial one in 2014. Ohio State got blown out by Clemson last season, 0-31. But, this team should be different with the addition of Kevin Wilson as Offensive Coordinator. Quarterback JT Barrett is back for his 4th season as a Buckeye Quarterback, but some Buckeye fans will say that’s a bad thing. The Offensive Line should be improved with most everyone back. Wide Receivers still might be a question mark. But, the defense should be better than ever. They have a dominating Defensive Line that is deep and they have plenty of speed in the back 7.
3. USC: The Trojans finally live up to their own standards and with Sam Darnold as Quarterback, they win the Pac 12 easily. At least, they should win the Pac 12 easily. Washington might have something to say about that, but the Trojans have the Huskies visiting Los Angeles. It should be an interesting battle, and they will need to get past Stanford which is something they have struggled with plenty in recent years. The Trojans lost a bunch of talent in the Offensive Line, but they have recruited good players. They lost JuJu at Wide Receiver, but there is still lots of speed and quality there. The defense could be improved with the returning players even if Adoree Jackson is gone. Most have USC ranked in the top 5 or 10 and this very well could be the year they bounce back into the limelight while Darnold wins the Heisman Trophy and becomes the 1st player picked in the 2018 NFL Draft.
4. Florida State: Alabama and Florida State meet in opening week and we will know more about both of these teams then. If Alabama wins big, Florida State might be out of it early. If the Seminoles win, and it could happen, they could run the table and win the ACC. Last season, Florida State had a
few issues mostly with the Offensive Line and a young Quarterback. This year, those issues should be fixed. Deondre Francois is an experienced and talented Quarterback. Running Back Jacques Patrick finally gets his chance, if he can hold off super true freshman Cam Akers. The defense returns maybe the best player in college football in Safety Derwin James. Derrick Nnadi on the Defensive Line is a monster and Cornerback Tarvarus McFadden picked off 8 passes a year ago. This is a team that can go far with experienced talent and good coaching. Getting past Clemson might be a task, but if they beat Alabama look out for the Seminoles.