We are going into the third year of the college football playoff system. Today Gridiron Fanatic will list six teams that will be contending for the National Title during the entire 2016 season. You should not be surprised by some of the teams that are on this list.
1. Clemson Tigers
I was impressed by the way Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers stood toe to toe with the Alabama Crimson Tide in last year’s National Title game. Their first test will come on the road at Jordan-Hare Stadium when they take on the Auburn Tigers. I believe that they will leave Jordan-Hare as the winners, however; their biggest hurdle will come on October 29th when they go down to Tallahassee, Florida to face the Florida State Seminoles.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
Last year, I was starting wonder if the Alabama Crimson Tide would still be in the conversation for the National Title after their early season loss to the Ole Miss Rebels. They proved me wrong after rallying to win their remaining games that allow them to be back in contention for the playoffs. They would go on to defeat the Clemson Tigers in the final round of the college football playoffs.
Similar to last year, they have not named a clear cut starter for the 2016 season, but I believe Nick Saban will galvanize the Crimson Tide to contend for their third consecutive playoff appearance. A game that you should pay close attention too is when they go down to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Vols.
3. Michigan Wolverines
After starting off the 2016 campaign on a losing note, the Michigan Wolverines would go on to win their next five ball games. They were beating their opponents by a margin of 160-14 during their five-game winning streak. Numerous college football analyst around the country were about to put the Wolverines back in the conversation for contending for a National Title until the unthinkable happen.
The Wolverines would blow an opportunity to separate themselves from an interstate rival, the Michigan State Spartans after losing to them during the final seconds of the ball game due to a blocked punt. Michigan would go on to finish the season with a 10-3 record under Jim Harbaugh. Everywhere Jim Harbaugh has been, he has turned perennial losers into championship contenders.
He did it for Stanford, the San Francisco 49ers, and now he will do it for the Michigan Wolverines. I believe that Michigan will be contenders for the National Title this season, but they have three major roadblocks in front of them. Crucial Big Ten matchups against Michigan State, Iowa and the finale against the Ohio State Buckeyes will determine if this team is playoff bound in 2016.
4. Oklahoma Sooners
Heisman Trophy hopeful, Baker Mayfield along with running back Samaje Perine leads the Oklahoma Sooners into the 2016 season. The Sooners have the personnel to compete for a National Title this season, but the road could be tough. They have a prime time showdown on September 17th against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Sooners must also win their ball games against teams in the Big 12 such as TCU, Texas, and Kansas State. The three teams that I mentioned have given the Sooner’s headaches in the past.
5. Iowa Hawkeyes
By far this team has the easiest road to contend for a National Title this season. Their only true challenge could come later in the season when they host the Michigan Wolverines.
6. Tennessee Vols
The Tennessee Vols nearly pull off the upset over the eventual National Champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide in last season’s thriller down in Tuscaloosa. That loss would have eliminated the Crimson Tide from making the playoffs last season. This year, the matchup will be in Knoxville, Tennessee. The winner of that matchup could represent the Southeastern Conference in the playoffs this season. Another important matchup for the Vols this season will be on October 1st against the Georgia Bulldogs.
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