College football playoff predictions

Titus Perez, Staff Writer

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For football fans, Saturdays won’t be filled with lawn work and extended sleeping times anymore. That’s right college football is back!

Monday marked the end of a fantastic first full weekend of football. Nothing earth shattering happened during the first weekend, but it was still good to get the first glimpse of what’s to come over the next three months.

College football has been more exciting the last four years because of the addition of the playoff to determine the national champion, so like many other sports writers I try to predict who will be in the playoffs based off the first weekend of football.

Guessing the final four in college football is far easier then guessing the participants in college basketball, however guessing these four teams are tough because upsets happen every weekend in college football.

There were four games this past weekend that will directly impact the playoffs. The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Florida State Seminoles by 21 points Monday. While VT is likely to still be ranked in the teens when the rankings are revealed this week, beating FSU set them up in good position to make a push for the playoffs if they can continue to win.

The Louisiana State University Tigers will shoot up in this weeks ranking, after proving to be a great team with a blowout win over the eighth ranked University of Miami Hurricanes.

The University of Norte Dame Fighting Irish got a huge win over the University of Michigan Wolverines. The Irish has a tough schedule ahead but if they win out they will be one of the four teams in the playoffs.

They biggest match-up of the weekend was the sixth ranked University of Washington Huskies against the ninth ranked Auburn University Tigers. The Tigers pulled out a big win and gashed the hopes of Washington making their second trip to the playoffs. Many experts believed that if the Huskies won the game they would have a straight away to the playoffs, now they are back at the drawing board.

These four games pitted ranked teams playing against each other and while the winners are in good shape, I think only one of the four will make the playoffs. Here are my four favorites to make the playoffs after watching week one.

University of Alabama Crimson Tide: The one thing Nick Saban has never had during his run with Alabama is a top tier quarterback; I think he has just that with sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. They also have one of the best backfields in the country lead by senior Damien Harris and sophomore Najee Harris, and as long as Saban is in town he will put together a great defense. They looked exceptional against University of Louisville Cardinals outscoring them 51-14 to pick up their first win of the season. Expect another playoff appearance for the Crimson Tide, the only university that has been a part of every playoff thus far.

Ohio State University Buckeyes: The Buckeyes missed the playoffs last year because they couldn’t throw the ball downfield. J.T Barrett is the most accomplished QB in program history, but his inability to stretch the field the last two years was well documented. No worries this year, insert redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins who won the QB completion this summer in camp and followed that by throwing for over 300 yards and five touchdowns in his debut start against Oregon State University Beavers.

Haskins has a great group of receivers to go along with sophomore J.K Dobbins and redshirt junior Mike Weber in the backfield, both have 1,000 yard rushing seasons on their resumes. With an offense that good all the defense has to do is hold up. They did just that in their 77-31 win over the Beavers last Saturday. Head coach Urban Meyer is set to return from suspension in a few weeks which means OSU will only get better, expect them to reappear in this year’s playoff.

University of Norte Dame Fighting Irish: I wasn’t big on the Irish until they beat Michigan this past Saturday. This was a huge statement and I believe it was their toughest game on their schedule. Hence, I also think they can go undefeated and if they do they should end up as a playoff participant this year.

They are going to have to establish a better running game and senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush is going to have to continue to play well, but if the can beat Michigan they can beat everyone else they play in the coming weeks. The defense looked strong in their 31-24 week one win, now they have to keep it up for an entire season.

The Stanford University Cardinals will be their biggest remaining test, VT could also give them a scare. However, coach Brian Kelly and company should put it all together this year and make a run at their first playoff appearance.

Oklahoma University Sooners: The Sooners will go undefeated. Nobody in the Big 12 can handle them regardless of the loss of last year Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, and their biggest non-conference game is against a rebuilding University of California at Los Angeles Bruins team.

Junior quarterback Kyler Murray might be a more naturally talented player then Mayfield. He was a five star recruit coming out of high school compared to Mayfield having to walk on for OU and Texas Tech University Red Raiders. This is likely Murray’s last season at OU, as he was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Oakland Athletics.

Like Mayfield though Murray is also a transfer, he started his career playing for the Texas A&M University Aggies where he was labeled the next Johnny Manziel. That didn’t work out but it looks like this situation will. He completed nine of his 11 passes in the opening game for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The Sooners’ offense was powerful winning 63-14, they will make it look easy on their way to appearing in the playoffs for the second straight year.

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