Our first list of ‘Contenders’ was ten names. This updated list is also ten teams but there have been changes. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Florida Gators dropped out.
New to the list are the BYU Cougars and Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M Aggies.
- Alabama Crimson Tide – After the big Alabama football win over Georgia, Nick Saban’s team is tracking for another SEC Championship game. If the Tide does not get upset before then, a loss in the SEC Championship game might not keep them out of the CFB Playoff. Alabama football fans are so confident in Steve Sarkisian’s offense, worries over the below-average Crimson Tide defense have subsided.
- Clemson Tigers – Dabo’s team continues to march toward the post-season with several ‘practice’ games (like Georgia Tech) ahead. Notre Dame is the only challenge and to us, the Irish are again, habitually overrated. Are the Tigers better than Saban’s Alabama football team? It is too soon to know.
- Georgia Bulldogs – The Dawgs loss to the Tide will not matter if they make it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.
- Oklahoma State – A Big 12 Champion has a chance for the CFB Playoff with no more than one loss. The Cowboys have the best chance to reach that goal.
- Texas A&M Aggies – Jimbo’s team is better than most of us had realized. Having lost head-to-head to the Crimson Tide, it will need some help from other SEC teams. But the Aggies have a very favorable schedule the rest of the season and could finish with just one loss. Could a one-loss, not Power Five Champion make the CFB Playoff field? It is possible but in that case, the Aggies need the Tide to go undefeated.
- BYU Cougars – If a non-Power Five can make the Playoff field this season, the Cougs have the best chance.
- Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Oregon have not played, Preseason predictions make them ‘Contenders’ still.
That leaves the teams we are willing to designate as ‘Done’ in terms of having any chance of contending for a Power Five Championship or CFB Playoff berth.
Those seven teams are Tennesse, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Boston College, Mississippi State and UCF. Many more teams could also be considered ‘Done’, but we are only recognizing those from our original 40-team list.
Some college football fans may ask if four undefeated, competing teams should be included. They are Marshall (4-0), Liberty 5-0, Coastal Carolina (4-0) and Air Force (1-0). We think not.