In this post, I release a list of six teams that will be in the race for the National Title throughout the entire 2015-2016. However, six will contend for the title, but only four will get in.
1. Ohio State
They shocked the college football world when they pulled off the upset against the Alabama Crimson Tide, in last year’s semifinals of the playoffs. This year they will be the hunted after winning the National Title in 2014. Potential hiccups are against Penn State, Michigan State, and a possible upset alert in the first game against Virginia Tech.
After being denied an opportunity to participate in the playoffs, the Horned Frogs went out and destroyed the Ole Miss Rebels 42-3 in the Peach Bowl. The Horned Frogs head into 2015 with one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country Trevone Boykin. They should dominate the Big 12 easily. However, there’s always a sleeper lurking within the conference. On October 10, the Horned Frogs take a trip Manhattan to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. The game against K-State will be the first big test for the Horned Frogs before they face Baylor in the last game of the season.
Out of all the teams that are capable of contending for a National Title, the Crimson Tide may have the hardest road to get there. Alabama belongs to the highly competitive SEC West, that could have five teams that could contend for a national championship. Another stumbling block for the Crimson Tide is that they do not have a definite starter at the quarterback position. By the time the season starts, I believe head coach Nick Saban will resolve those issues, and the Tide will be ready to make another run at their 16th National Title.
The Oregon Ducks took apart the Florida State Seminoles 59-20 in the Rose Bowl but lost to eventual National Champion, the Ohio State Buckeyes in the championship round of the college football playoffs. The Ducks will be without 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota to lead their offense. But I believe they have a viable replacement with transfer Vernon Adams out of the Eastern Washington University. The Ducks first big test will be on the road against another potential National Title contender the Michigan State Spartans. That game is at the start of the season, but I believe it will tell us a lot about this year’s Oregon Ducks ball club. If they survive the on the road contest in East Lansing, they still will have another huge test at home against USC. The game against the Trojans could decide who goes to the playoffs.
The Auburn Tigers were one of the frontrunners to make it to the playoffs until they lost against some of the best teams in the SEC West at the time. Those losses were contributed to the Tigers inability to stop big plays on defense. To mitigate those issues on defense, the Tigers hired former Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp as their defensive coordinator. Muschamp will bring discipline to a Tigers defense that ranked 65th overall in total defense. Going into 2015 the Tigers biggest games are against LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas.
I honestly believe that this is the year that the USC Trojans will finally live up to expectations. Quarterback Cody Kessler will have the abundance of weapons at his disposals such as wide receiver Juju Smith and dual threat Adoree Jackson. On top of that, be on the lookout for their outstanding 2015 recruiting class that includes cornerback, Iman Marshall. The Trojans have two huge back to back ballgames when they face Oregon and inner state rival the UCLA Bruins.