And with little surprise, Florida State was ranked at the top. Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma and Ohio State round out the top-five teams.
While the Southeastern Conference did not hold the top spot in the season’s first poll, they do hold a heavy presence in the Top 25. At No. 2, the Roll Tide were ranked highest of the SEC’s eight teams.
Unlike years in the past, Division I FBS will use a four-team playoff system to determine the national champion. They call it… The College Football Playoff.
Here’s a very early prediction of how the college football season will finish:
No. 4 – Auburn: Auburn’s season directly falls on the shoulders of senior quarterback Nick Marshall. Marshall was in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons this off-season, and that’s something he’ll need to straighten out if he wants to take his team back to the national championship game.
Considering Auburn is runs an up-tempo, triple/quadruple offense, it makes this team is fun to watch, but the Tigers are hard to stop too. If Auburn can have the same success they did on the ground last season, as the nation’s top rushing attack, without Tre Mason in the backfield this team can go places.
No. 3 – Oregon: Oregon has a legitimate shot to win the national championship this fall. With a quarterback in Marcus Mariota, capable of winning the Heisman Trophy and going No. 1 overall in the spring, the sky is the limit for the Ducks.
Sure Oregon lost De’Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff on offense to the NFL draft, but this team has reloaded. Expect freshman wide receiver Jalen Brown to make an immediate impact in the Ducks up-tempo, no huddle offense this season.
One obstacle for Oregon this fall is their tough schedule. Playing games against four ranked opponents will be tough, but if they can get through the gauntlet of UCLA, Washington and Stanford between Weeks 6-9, they’ll be in good shape. One benefit for the Ducks is the new playoff system, because even if they do lose one of those tough Pac-12 games, they’re hopes won’t be crushed so quickly.
No. 2 – Ohio State: With quarterback Braxton Miller under center every week, the Ohio State Buckeyes are ready to make a run this season. Considering this team brought a 24-game winning streak into the Big 10 championship game and didn’t lose too many players in the off-season, Urban Meyer’s team is in very good shape.
Watch for Miller to get some heavy consideration for the Heisman Trophy as the season progresses. The Buckeyes are also in a good position considering they play in a conference that had three team’s in the Top 25 to open the season and have single game against a ranked opponent on their schedule this season.
No. 1 – Florida State: With Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at the helm and playing in a weak Atlantic Coast Conference, Florida State should be in good position to hold an undefeated record as they enter the postseason. Aside from Winston returning, the Seminoles are bringing back a lot of talent on both offense and defense; wide receiver Rashad Greene, defensive end Mario Edwards and corner back Ronald Darby are just to name a few.
Calling the ACC a weak conference is an understatement. Aside from Florida State, Clemson was the only other team form the ACC ranked in the Top 25, and Clemson lost their top-two offensive threats to the NFL in the off-season. Other than their game against Clemson on September 20, a Week 8 match-up against No. 17 Notre Dame will be a nice test for the Seminoles.
National Championship Game – No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 3 Oregon: If Oregon can make it out of the Pac-12 championship game and a semifinal match-up against Ohio State alive, than they will give the Seminole their toughest test since EJ Manuel was on the roster.
Oregon will be much more battle tested than Florida State come January, and will have more of a chip on their shoulder than Jameis Winston’s squad. If Marcus Mariota can stay healthy, the Oregon Ducks should be able to pull off the upset against the reigning national champions. Oregon 42-28