by Christopher Aquino
With the 2016 college football season dwindling to the conference playoff tournaments, fans keep their eyes on their respected team to qualify in this year’s College Football Playoff Championship Tournament. A select few of teams throughout the country will even be in thought to contend in this tournament. Those of the four teams selected by a committee of experts on college football based on their win-loss record, schedule toughness and other criteria will duke it out to hoist the championship trophy. Some teams being chosen can be obvious choices while others can leap right on in upsetting others to earn their spot. With that being so, here are predictions on those who will contend and who will pretend making the cut being one of the four teams to face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship:
Alabama Crimson Tide –
Carrying an undefeated record, SEC Championship and currently ranked as the consensus number one team in college football, Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide team is the closest thing to a sure bet to making it to the playoffs. Alabama carried the strongest schedule this year, beating eight of the top 25 ranked schools. Taking the snaps, freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has been versatile throwing for 21 touchdowns and rushing another 12 into the end zone. Though the Crimson Tide might looks decent on offense, their defense looks freakish, racking in more defensive touchdowns (9) then rushing touchdowns allowed (3). Alabama’s
Tide is expected without a doubt to be a contender.
Clemson Tigers –
Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers had seen what it feels like to reach the College Football Championship only to finish into second place, losing to Alabama last year. Looking to redeem themselves, Clemson carried a 11-1 regular season record and third toughest overall schedule. To add on to their resume, Clemson had beaten Virginia Tech to earn the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. The quarterback-receiver duo of Deshaun Watson to Mike Williams is a key to their success. Watson threw 34 touchdowns, 10 of which went to Williams, who also had 1,171 receiving yards throughout the season. Let’s not forget running back Wayne Gallman’s 14 touchdowns this season as well. With a strong offense, Clemson can perhaps contend in the playoffs.
Washington Huskies –
The Huskies are a team few, if anybody, had predicted to even be in consideration to be in the contention of the playoffs. University of Washington’s dominant offense had helped guide them to a 11-1 overall record for the regular season. The Huskies second overall ranked efficient offense in the country had made a statement edging out University of Colorado to earn the Pac-12 Championship. Quarterback Jake Browning had thrown for an astronomical 42 touchdowns, including over thirty of them to two receivers, John Ross (17) and Dante Pettis (14). With an impressive fourth toughest schedule in the country, the Washington Huskies will surprisingly contend their way to the playoffs.
Penn State Nittany Lions –
The Penn State Nittany Lions are surely a wild card of a team to put into the college football playoff picture. The Nittany Lions had a 10-2 record throughout the regular season, having a recognizable win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Winning the Big Ten Conference Championship is another accolade that looks good in their favor beating the University of Wisconsin Badgers 38-31. Adding that they had the fifth strongest schedule, Penn State deserves to contend for a spot.
Ohio State Buckeyes –
With an impressive 11-1 overall season record the Ohio State Buckeyes are no joke, but just seem to be missing the cherry on top, the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State had to watch one of their rivals Penn State, who they had lost to earlier in the year, hoist the Big Ten Trophy. Ohio State’s defense, which ranks second in the country along with their second overall toughest defense overall will not make its case in the playoffs, the verdict is that Ohio State will pretend.
Michigan Wolverines –
The Michigan Wolverines looked good in regular season play, despite being in the tough Big Ten conference. Michigan had its struggles, ranking third overall behind Penn State and Ohio State. With the ninth overall toughest schedule not as tough as the other schools named in consideration, Michigan will play its way to a bowl game and not to the playoffs. Pretender