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Old 08-23-2019, 03:14 PM
Kelly Gruene Kelly Gruene is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth
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Originally Posted by tneun89 View Post
I think that there are 10-12 teams fighting for the #3 and #4 spots. Everyone knows Clemson and Alabama will be there. Even if they drop a game during the regular season, they will be given the benefit of the doubt and make the CFP.

The last two spots, IMO, come down to Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Penn State, Auburn.

Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State have to be considered the favorites for those two spots, but, while I think those three are clearly above the other teams mentioned, there are still plenty of question marks. Will Georgia be able to pass the ball effectively without their Top 5 receivers from 2018? Can their defense survive with a bunch of new starters in the front seven? Oklahoma and Ohio State both have questions marks at QB. Jalen Hurts was a good QB at Alabama, but he does not seem like the prototypical QB for Lincoln Riley's system. Justin Fields is a former 5-star recruit, but it doesn't seem like he has been that impressive since he transferred to OSU.

I have a hard time seeing Michigan making a serious run at the CFP. I think that they are better than most ND fans are willing to admit, but they have to replace a lot of talent on defense and they have beaten OSU once (2011) in the last 14 seasons. ONCE. I actually really like Penn State and can see them making a serious run - just a question of whether Sean Clifford at QB is the real deal.

Oregon, Washington, and Utah could all win the Pac-12, but it is clearly the weakest conference, and a one-loss Pac-12 champion probably gets left out.

LSU, Florida and Auburn have really tough schedules and are clearly behind Alabama and Georgia in terms of talent.

Texas lost a ton, but they beat a better OU team last year in the regular season. I don't really buy into the Ehlinger hype, but who knows.

I want to say that ND has a shot at the CFP, but getting the three toughest games on the road, plus all of the losses on defense makes me extremely skeptical. I personally would be happy with a 10/11 win season, as long as it ends in a NY6 Bowl win. ND needs to end that losing streak. Badly.
Texas is on the rise. Tons of talent. If the coaching lives up to what they think, Texas will be a force for many years to come. It is now getting back to a two team conference: OU and UT.
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