In professional sports, it’s fair to say that on some level, every year, there is hope that your favorite team will put together an incredible season and bring home a championship. In college football, it’s different. At the beginning of every season, there are usually just a dozen or so teams that are considered favorites to compete for a national title. And while there are certainly anomalies (Auburn last year), for the most part, we’ve seen many of the same themes over and over.
We all know that Buffalo is not going to compete for a national championship. Alabama, on the other hand, has become an annual contender. There are definitely a few programs that have risen and fallen over the past few seasons, buy by and large, college football is top-heavy, talent-wise.
We’ve put together a list of the 12 teams that actually have a shot at winning the inaugural College Football Playoff this year. They are listed by conference, not by ranking. We have not included any independent teams in our dozen – the only real candidate would be Notre Dame, and looking at the program’s schedule, which includes Florida State, Stanford, Michigan, Arizona State, Louisville and USC, we have a hard time believing that it’ll run the table.