Next week, the College Football Playoff Committee will release their first rankings of the season, and already players, coaches, and fan bases are making their case for inclusion in the top four. Here are our picks for the most likely teams to reach the second annual playoff.

 

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes

The reigning national champions have struggled at times this season, but they remain unblemished. Coach Urban Meyer seems to have found the answer to the unstable quarterback situation, as J.T. Barrett was dominant last Saturday against Rutgers piling up 324 total yards and five touchdowns. Ohio State’s starting lineup is packed full of big time playmakers, and they have the flexibility to either spread opponents out and pick them apart with Barrett or pound them with the running game featuring star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Difficult tests against Michigan State and Michigan remain, but Ohio State is still the favorite to repeat both as Big Ten champions and as national champions.

 

  1. TCU Horned Frogs

If the winner of the TCU vs Baylor matchup ends the season undefeated, they will undoubtedly earn a playoff spot. Until this past Saturday, Baylor seemed like the better bet to run the table, but the season ending neck injury to the Bears’ starting quarterback, Seth Russell, changes the situation. TCU has had luck on its side in squeaking out a few close wins against Texas Tech and Kansas State, but the Horned Frogs are still a very talented and dangerous football team. Quarterback Trevone Boykin is talented enough to lead TCU to victory over any team in the nation. Russell’s injury propels the Horned Frogs into the pole position in the Big 12.

 

  1. LSU Tigers

Louisiana State’s formula for victory is not very complicated: hand the ball off to superstar running back, Leonard Fournette, and watch him go. Fournette is putting together one of the most dominant performances in the history of college football. He has almost single handedly turned an otherwise toothless Tigers’ offense into a dangerous force. LSU is currently in the driver’s seat in the SEC East division, and a victory in their November 7 matchup with Alabama would almost assure them a spot in the conference championship game.

 

 

  1. Clemson Tigers

Clemson is riding high after handing conference rival Miami their worst loss in the history of University of Miami football. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has not lived up to the preseason hype, but he is still very dangerous; the supporting cast is also highly talented from top to bottom on both sides of the ball. The Tigers have survived close games against Louisville and Notre Dame, and the last real test left in the regular season is a November 7 visit from Florida State. Clemson should be favored in the rest of their games, making the Atlantic Coast Conference crown theirs to lose.

 

Is Ohio State talented enough to repeat as national champions? Is LSU’s offense too one-dimensional to continue winning football games? Feel free to leave a comment or find me on Twitter @Andrew_Morse4