Every year in college football, there are only a handful of teams that enter the season with legitimate national championship aspirations. The number is much smaller than many people think.
How many teams can win it all in 2018? Eight, according to Sporting News’ Bill Bender.
Bender revealed his list of title contenders this morning. While each Power-5 conference has multiple teams that can reach the College Football Playoff–independent Notre Dame and Group of Five UCF have a chance as well, per Bender–only eight programs have an actual shot to win it all.
They are as follows:
- Ohio State
The two most surprising names on that list, at least to us? Michigan, which has plenty of talent but hasn’t finished higher than third in the Big Ten East under Jim Harbaugh and Wisconsin, which is a national force but has not won the Big Ten since 2012 and seems to always be a slight step below the title contending tier.
Five teams (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma) seem like fairly obvious choices. Washington made the playoff two years ago, and while we wouldn’t bet on them winning it this year, they probably have the best chance out of all the Pac-12 programs.
What do you think of Bender’s picks? Would you add or take anyone out?
You can read his full analysis here.