College Football Playoff projections from 10 major media outlets
Believe it or not, we are only 125 days away from New Year’s Eve, when the second College Football Playoff will kick off this season.
You may or may not remember last year’s final four – Florida State, Oregon, Alabama and Ohio State. The Buckeyes bounced the Crimson Tide before destroying the Ducks, 42-20, in the national championship game.
Saturday Down South has taken a look at the most recent playoff projections by 10 fairly important outlets, and their selections aren’t very surprising. Based on their collective votes, these are the teams they most likely envision making this season’s playoff: Ohio State, TCU, Auburn and Alabama.
Of course, there was a lot of speculation last year that two SEC teams might reach the final four, but that talk fizzled once Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s seasons started falling apart.
So to reiterate, this year’s final four games — the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl — will take place on Dec. 31. The winners of those matchups will meet for the national championship on Jan. 11 in Glendale, Ariz.
And without further ado, here’s a national list of playoff predictions. It bears noting that not every projection includes national finalists or a champion for that matter. At the very least, they all have a final four.
Associated Press: According to college football writer Ralph D. Russo, Auburn beats Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl while Ohio State tops Baylor in the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes meet the Tigers in the national title game, but the AP gives no potential champion.
Athlon: Writer and editor Steven Lassan Has Ohio State topping Auburn in the Cotton Bowl, and Alabama beating Baylor in the Orange Bowl. He has also has the Buckeyes defeating the Crimson Tide yet again — this time in the national title game.
Bleacher Report: Featured Columnist Steve Silverman has Ohio State, Michigan State, Alabama and TCU in his final four.
CBS Sports: Bowls Expert Jerry Palm has TCU taking on Auburn in the Cotton Bowl, and Ohio State facing Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
ESPN: Senior writer Mark Schlabach and college football reporter Brett McMurphy revealed their respective final fours in May. Schlabach sees it this way: TCU, Oregon, Ohio State and Oregon, with the Buckeyes meeting the Horned Frogs for the title. Meanwhile, McMurphy’s fantastic four consists of TCU, USC, Ohio State and Auburn, with the Tigers taking on the Horned Frogs for the national championship.
Fox Sports: Veteran play-by-play man and former “SEC on CBS” studio host Tim Brando has these four teams in the playoff: Ohio State, TCU, USC and Alabama. He also sees the Crimson Tide and the Horned Frogs reaching the title game.
NBC Sports: Kevin McGuire, who covers breaking college football news for NBCSports.com’s College Football Talk, sees these final four teams in his crystal ball: Ohio State vs. Oregon in the Orange Bowl, and TCU vs. Auburn in the Cotton Bowl.
Sporting News: National college football writer Bill Bender predicts this final four: TCU, Auburn, Ohio State and Oregon.
Phil Steele: The longtime college football prognosticator has Ohio State, USC, TCU and Alabama in his final four, with the Buckeyes beating the Horned Frogs for the national championship.
Washington Post: Navy football beat reporter Gene Wang likes this final four: Ohio State, Baylor, Alabama and TCU.