Michigan's football program had a pretty good Thursday. The Wolverines got a commitment from the No. 1 running back in the country, Kareem Walker. The commitment was a big one for Jim Harbaugh's program, as it propelled UM to No. 2 in the team rankings for 2016 by 247 Sports.
Shortly after the commitment, USA TODAY's Dan Wolken, a national college football writer, took to Twitter to express some thoughts on the current state of Michigan's program. He thinks that state is very, very promising. Wolken thinks its almost "inevitable" that the Wolverines win a national title during the next five years. "It's only a matter of time," he says.
">December 17, 2015
His reasoning is solid - Harbaugh's an elite coach and talent developer; the Wolverines have been recruiting extremely well; Michigan's clearly a place where you can win a championship.
I don't really disagree with him, either. If Michigan wins a national championship in the next five years, I won't be surprised. I just don't think it feels "inevitable." I also think there are at least five teams whose national title chances feel more "inevitable" over the next five years (not including this season).
Here they are.
The Sooners might win one this year, but we're not counting this season. Still, I really like Oklahoma's chances of winning a national championship between 2016-20.
Baker Mayfield should be back for at least one more season in Norman, Okla. If you have an elite quarterback surrounded by talent, you can win a national championship. And Bob Stoops' program certainly has some talent.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football)
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 17, 2015
">December 17, 2015
Oklahoma had the No. 14 class for 2014 and the No. 15 class for 2015. The 2016 unit is off to a slow start but could become another really good one by mid-February. The 2017 class is really solid, too, ranked No. 8 in the country.
The Big 12 is there for the taking, too. Neither TCU nor Baylor have proven yet that they can win a national championship and Texas is in a state of disarray. Oklahoma should be the favorite to win the league and make the College Football Playoff more seasons than not over the next five years.
This season is not an anomaly for the Tigers. Dabo Swinney has built one of college football's most elite programs at Clemson and the Tigers are here to stay.
">@ClemsonMBB game - “We wouldn’t be where we are at 13-0 without unbelievable support from our fans." pic.twitter.com/eRqhPHq3Fj
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB)
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) December 14, 2015
">December 14, 2015
With Deshaun Watson back for at least one more season, Clemson should be one of the national title favorites in 2016 and again in 2017 if he returns for his senior season.
The team won't be falling off once he leaves, either. Clemson had the No. 8 class for 2015, the No. 18 class for 2016 and the No. 10 class for 2017.
The ACC should also be easier to get through than the Big Ten.
3. Florida State
Everything that was said about the Tigers can be said about the Seminoles.
Florida State's just been better at stockpiling talent and Jimbo Fisher's already proven he can win a national championship. He can - and probably will - do it again, too. Probably in the next five years.
Just look at the Seminoles' last two recruiting classes - 2015 (No. 3) and 2016 (No. 5). In a state as talent-rich as Florida, it's fair to expect top-five classes to continue to be brought to Tallahassee, Fla.
And, like we said about Clemson, Florida State is in a league that should be easier to win than the Big Ten and the SEC. The Seminoles will be the favorite to win the conference more seasons than they're not.
Expect another national title won by Florida State very, very soon.
We can't leave the Crimson Tide out.
Nick Saban's time in Tuscaloosa, Ala. is probably going to come to an end at some point soon, but it's reasonable to expect him to stick around for at least another two-to-three seasons. He's proven, year after year, that he's pretty much always going to have a national title contender at Alabama.
The Crimson Tide are the only team to make the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons, after all. They're also the class of the SEC and should remain there.
Few, if any, teams have been recruiting better than Alabama, too. Saban had the No. 1 class in 2015, the No. 4 class in 2016 and the No. 2 class so far in 2017.
Championships will continue to be contended for at Alabama over the next five years.
1. Ohio State
The biggest reason why I'm unsure about Michigan's "inevitable" chances of winning a national title is that there's a team in its own division whose chances feel more "inevitable."
Everything Michigan's been doing well under Harbaugh has just been done better at Ohio State with Urban Meyer.
You think Michigan's been recruiting well? Ohio State's been recruiting better. The Buckeyes have the No. 1 class in the country right now for 2016 and the No. 1 class in the country so far in 2017.
And, unlike Harbaugh, Meyer's proven (three times) that he's capable of coaching a team to a national championship. Harbaugh almost certainly is capable of doing the same, but you have to favor Meyer over Harbaugh at the moment.
Who do you have winning a national championship over the next five years?