The 2020 college football season is upon us and a new season promises hope. I hope that the team that finished strongly the previous season will even go on to greater height. I hope that the new season will see a turnaround in results for teams that had a bad year last time out.
Last season college football playoff winner LSU was seen as some sort of surprise win but the signs were there from the beginning. This is often the case of many playoff winners.
The last true surprise when it comes to playoff winner would be the 2010 win of Auburn. The team started at number 22 in the preseason but they also had Cam Newton as the quarterback.
So based on the current rosters and performance from the previous season, here are our top ten teams that will likely win the 2020 college football playoff.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Nick Saban has proved that a powerhouse team should be able to switch up. Playing to the strengths of your player has typified the personality of each era of Alabama Football throughout the Nick Saban years.
The college football program started from being a strong team built on an elite defense and elite running backs. This helped them grind out wins and became the foundation of their early playoff wins with Nick Saban has head coach.
The team then became one known for outscoring teams during the Tua Tagovailoa era and they just swept through all they met on their way. The 2020 Alabama team looks like a balance of both worlds and that might just prove to do the trick in winning another playoff title.
DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Mac Jones, Bryce Young, Dylan Moses (back from injury) and Joshua McMillon are all elite players out to prove a point during the 2020 season.
You will have to look as far back as 1980 to find a time when the Georgia Bulldogs pulled off a college football playoff win. That is a really long time ago and rival teams are always there to remind the team with chants of ‘1980’ anytime the Georgia Bulldogs fail to win the title.
However, in Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs have one of the best (and smartest) coaches in the whole of top-tier college football. Wake Forest has since replaced Jake Fromm – a move that many believe might be the catalyst to a playoff triumph – and the addition of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator will bring a dose of freshness to that area of the team.
Georgia Bulldogs have some fine young men on their roster who will go on to achieve many things at collegiate and professional levels. They include Nolan Smith, Zamir White, Darnell Washington, Kelee Ringo, and George Pickens.
If you ask ten people which team is the early favorite for the national title, seven out of them will point to the Clemson Tigers. They were prevented from winning back-to-back national titles by the LSU tigers but they will be out for blood in the 2020 season. They know what they have to do. They know how it is done. It would take a firm believer to bet against the Clemson Tigers running out as 2020 college football playoff winners.
Simply put, the Clemson Tigers will outplay every team in the ACC in a player-for-player comparison. The return of Travis Etienne has further increased their chances of winning the division, conference and national title outright.
A team containing the likes of Nyles Pinckney, Justin Foster, Myles Murphy, Bryan Bresee, Xavier Thomas, and Domonte Capehart can be easily described as the best defensive line in college football and that will be the foundation to another likely title run.
Coach Ed Orgeron and the Tigers of LSU pulled off the biggest surprise playoff title win since the run of Auburn in 2010. They were among the early top ten favorites to win in 2019 but only a few LSU supporters would have backed the 2019 LSU team to emerge as playoff winners. And they did.
However, what would look like the beginning of a beautiful story has since gone bleak and the odds of 2020 team repeating that title success is even lower than that of 2019. The mass exodus that has followed star Joe Burrow (who has moved to the NFL) has left Coach Orgegron bare.
He lost passing game coordinator Joe Brady and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda (the latter replaced Matt Rhule as Baylor’s head coach while the former joined Matt Rhule’s staff at Carolina Panthers). Clyde Edwards-Helarie, Justin Jefferson, Jacob Phillips, and Grant Delpit have all left too. Add Kristian Fulton, Saahdiq Charles, and Lloyd Cushenberry III to the list and it is looking like the biggest exodus since Moses and the Israelites.
However, the team retains plenty of talent that might be enough for another title run.
A 2020 season playoff would be the perfect culmination of the immense growth and development of the Florida Gators in recent years.
Florida and Georgia are heated rivals in the SEC East – this is due to the history they share and also due to the fact that they are the two best teams in the SEC East division. However, the rate of growth in the first two years of Da Mullen as head coach points at Florida pipping Georgia to the division title in 2020.
If and when that happens, Florida Gator would move to the next one – and the big one. Kyle Trask as the star quarterback of the team and the team’s chances of winning the playoff title will depend on how he performs. Trask will be accompanied by other star players such as Justin Shorter, Jordan Pouncey and Lorenzo Lingard (if he is eligible to play for the Gators)
However, even if the team fails in their quest for playoff victory this season, it is inevitable that the team will win in the nearest future.
You need a strong quarterback play and a star quarterback to win a national title – it is as simple as that! And that might just be the biggest undoing of the Oregon Ducks quest for a national title. The Ducks are set to lose Justin Herbert and whoever replaces him in the team will definitely play a huge part in their playoff run.
Tyler Shough and Jay Butterfield are the two main names to replace Herbert in the team and both players look like the real deal. Other star players that will be crucial to the Ducks’ playoff run are CJ Verdell, Travis Dye, Penei Sewell, Noah Sewell, Justin Flowe, Brady Breeze, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Mase Funa.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State Nittany Lions have a team to rival Buckeyes as the best in the Big Ten Conference – and that says a lot about the potential of the Nittany Lions considering Buckeyes are among the very best in the country
A huge 53-39 win over Memphis in the Cotton Bowl was the perfect way to end the season and that excitement should follow into 2020 season. They have some of the best players in the country and would give any team a run for their money.
Expect names like Noah Cain, Devyn Ford, Micah Parsons, Journey Brown, and Curtis Jacobs to shine during the 2020 season. A national title is unlikely for Coach James Franklin but this is definitely one of the best rosters in college football.
Oklahoma Sooners is one of those teams you can really explain how they get into the playoffs almost every year. They have a great coach in Lincoln Riley to thank for that. However, their playoff record is rather embarrassing. This was highlighted by the empathic loss to eventual winners LSU – a game that ended 63-28.
For the first time in recent years, Sooners will not have a transfer saviour quarterback, which makes a national title even further unlikely. Add the fact that Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb have left the team and you have easily the worst odd of all the teams on this list.
However, the Sooners have a lot of talents in Charleston Rambo, Trejan Bridges, Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood, Kennedy Brooks, Trey Sermon, and Creed Humphrey.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes will slug it out as number two favorite to win the 2020 national title and Ohio State might just edge out Crimson Tide for that position – and the eventual title.
Justin Field has all it takes to be the winner of the Heisman Trophy for the 2020 season and a national title will definitely seal that.
The Buckeyes have lost some fantastic players like Chase Young and J.K. Dobbins but they have lots of talent to fill those huge gaps left behind. Zach Harrison looks like the best replacement for Young and Master Teague III will be leading the running backs. Other elite players in the team include Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson (who could form one of the best duos ever), Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr., Julian Fleming, and Paris Johnson Jr.
Clemson Tigers beat the Buckeyes during the last playoff run and they will be looking to have their revenge this time around.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish is easily the most underrated college football team among the elite teams. In fact, some would question describing The Irish as an elite team. Well, underrate the Fighting Irish at your own peril.
The team had an impressive 11-2 season, though many remember the 2019 season that saw them lose to the two best teams they faced – Georgia and Michigan. Coach Brian Kelly and his team will be looking to correct that impression with a solid run in the playoff. Watch out for Braden Lenzy, Kevin Austin Jr., Chris Tyree, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kyle Hamilton and the return of star quarterback, Ian Book. The return of Book makes Notre Dame a solid contender for the national title.