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Predicting College Football's Next 10 National Champions

Happy Back To The Future Day!

Today, Oct. 21, 2015, is the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive to in their Delorean in Back To The Future Part II. 

The film isn't really sports based, but it does feature a scene in which Marty finds a Grays Sports Almanac, 1950-2000, giving the Nike MAGs-wearing teen some very valuable information. 

How sweet would it be to have a sports almanac that lists the upcoming national champions? Incredibly sweet. And profitable. 

We're going to attempt to be your sports almanac. Your college football almanac, anyway. 

Using logic and some very creatively imagined scenarios, we're predicting the next 10 college football national champions. 

Here they are. 

Start With 2015, Ohio State >>>

2015 - Ohio State 

The easiest title to predict. The Buckeyes, led by J.T. Barrett at quarterback, take home the national championship, giving Urban Meyer four titles as a head coach. 

Barrett, who took over as the starting QB against Rutgers, never gives Meyer a chance to go back on his decision, looking incredible in every game he's under center. 

Ohio State has a couple close calls in the regular season - home against Michigan State and on the road at Michigan - but finishes 12-0 and blows out the Big Ten West Division champion in the league championship game. 

In the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes fairly easily get past an undefeated, No. 4 Clemson squad, before beating Alabama for the second year in a row in the national championship game. 

Next: 2016, Clemson >>>

2016 - Clemson 

The Tigers get their second national championship in Year 9 of the Dabo Swinney era. 

After a 13-1 season in 2015 that ended with a loss to Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinal, Clemson starts the 2016 season with national title-or-bust hopes. The Tigers don't bust. 

Deshaun Watson, in his final season with the program, leads Swinney's squad to a 12-0 regular season followed by a victory in the ACC Championship Game. Watson, who's been the Heisman Trophy frontrunner since putting up a 400-yard, four-touchdown game in the season opener at Auburn, takes home the trophy - the program's first. 

After topping LSU in the College Football Playoff semifinal, Clemson gets its shot at revenge in the national championship game. The Tigers get it, defeating Ohio State in the national title game, preventing a Buckeye three-peat and giving Clemson its first national title since 1981. 

Next: 2017, Alabama >>>

2017 - Alabama

Nick Saban wins one more national championship.

Saban, at 66, wins his fifth national title - and his fourth at Alabama - in his 11th year leading the Crimson Tide's program. Alabama goes 15-0, throttling Florida in the SEC Championship Game, giving Tuscaloosa, Ala. its first undefeated season since 2009. 

It's his last national title, too. He'll retire two years later at age 68, ending one of - if not, the - most dominant stretches of coaching the sport has ever seen. 

Saban retires as the greatest coach in college football history, but Alabama won't be down for very long after he leaves. 

Next: 2018, Michigan >>>

2018 - Michigan 

Jim Harbaugh gets it done. 

In Year 4 leading the Wolverines' program, Harbaugh, with a team comprised of basically all players he has recruited, ends Ohio State's reign of dominance on the Big Ten. Michigan goes 13-1 - its lone loss coming on a dreary afternoon at Northwestern - with a win against Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game. The regular season ended with a surprisingly dominant, 35-17 win at Ohio State in Columbus. 

It's the only national championship Harbaugh wins in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

He heads back to the NFL two seasons after he wins the title. 

Next: 2019, Ohio State >>>

2019 - Ohio State

The Buckeyes win their last national championship under Meyer the year after Harbaugh gets it done at Michigan. 

Ohio State, fueled by its loss at home to the Wolverines the season prior, runs through the regular season - a regular season that includes a home win against a top-five TCU team - before beating an also undefeated Michigan team at The Big House in the biggest OSU-Michigan game the rivalry has seen since 2006. 

The College Football Playoff contests are won fairly easily by the Buckeyes, who fail to have a letdown after the big win against the Wolverines. 

Meyer, at age 55, now has five national championships, causing many to think that he - not Saban - is now the sport's greatest coach ever. 

Next: 2020, Florida >>>

2020 - Florida 

The Gators win their first national championship since Meyer held up the trophy for Florida after the 2009 season. 

Jim McElwain has consistently brought top-five recruiting classes to Gainesville, Fla. since taking over in 2015. 

The recruiting finally pays off with a championship. 

It comes with a perfect, unbeaten season - something Meyer was never able to do while leading the Sunshine State's premier program. 

Florida fans are now finally able to forgive Meyer for leaving, too. 

Next: 2021, Georgia >>>

2021 - Georgia 

The Bulldogs win their first national championship since 1980, though it doesn't come with Mark Richt on the sideline. 

Richt "resigned" a couple seasons prior after yet another disappointing season that started with high hopes. Georgia, long seen as a sleeping giant in the college football world, has now been led by Justin Fuente for multiple seasons. Fuente, viewed by some as the "next Urban Meyer" stuck around at Memphis for a little longer than expected, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Georgia is that perfect opportunity. 

Georgia, which starts the 2021 season ranked No. 1 in the country, loses an early September game, causing some Bulldog fans to question if it's the Richt era all over again. The Bulldogs rebound, though, winning out and defeating Ole Miss in the SEC Championship Game before beating Oregon in the College Football Playoff national title game. 

Next: 2022, Oregon >>>

2022 - Oregon 

The Ducks win their first national championship two seasons after Chip Kelly decided to come back to Eugene, Ore. 

Kelly, who was able to win the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, decided he'd had enough with the NFL in 2020 and Oregon, which never came close to a national title after Marcus Mariota's last season with the Ducks, welcomed Kelly back with open arms. 

The College Football Playoff national title game is touted as Nike vs. Under Armour (which has nearly closed the gap on The Swoosh in the athletic apparel market), as Maryland, led by Matt Campbell, has its first elite season with the former Toledo coach, whom the Terps hired after firing Randy Edsall in 2015. 

Nike is victorious, as Oregon wins its first ever national championship. 

Next: 2023, Notre Dame >>>

2023 - Notre Dame 

Urban Meyer wins his sixth national championship...with the Fighting Irish. 

Meyer, who won three national titles while at Ohio State, decided he wanted a new challenge after the 2020 season in Columbus. He decides to take the Notre Dame job, a job he's previously stated as his "dream job." The Fighting Irish, which have struggled since Brian Kelly left for the NFL in 2018, fired their current coach and backed up the Brinks truck for Meyer. 

At age 59, Meyer, in Year 3 at Notre Dame, wins the national championship like he did in his third year at Ohio State. The title gives Meyer six national titles before he turns 60, causing everyone to give him the title of "college football's greatest coach of all-time." 

Meyer won't be done winning national titles, either. 

Next: 2024, Texas >>>

2024 - Texas 

The Longhorns win their first national championship since Vince Young galloped into the Rose Bowl end zone against USC in 2006. 

Texas is now coached by Tom Herman, who in 2021 took over for Charlie Strong (who ended up having a successful stint in Austin before leaving for the NFL). Many thought Herman would take the Ohio State gig after Meyer left, but he opted for the Longhorns instead. A former graduate assistant at Texas and the head coach at Houston, Herman has significant Texas ties and brings in back-to-back-to-back No. 1 recruiting classes. 

The elite recruiting paves the way for a national championship in Herman's fourth year with the Longhorns, prompting many to believe that Texas in on the verge of something incredibly special in the second half of the 2020s. 

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