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Kaboom! Magazine.com 2018 College Football Preview: College Football Playoff Favorites

Kaboom! Magazine.com 2018 College Football Preview: College Football Playoff Favorites

After a summer full of World Cup craziness, Thanos’ snap, Golden State Warriors being….well Golden State, Lebron moving to L.A., and let’s not leave out Ant-Man, we finally have some excitement coming that we can all tailgate about. The start of the 2018 college football season is right around the corner. Last season we saw a backup QB when a national championship, a Sooner win the heisman, the return of Da U, Alabama and Georgia gave us another national championship classic, and all the chaotic college football moments you’ve learned to love in between. In year 5 of the college football playoff system, expect more teams in 2018 to have national championship goals only adding even more chaos to the already chaotic format. Can Alabama repeat? Is it Penn State’s ? Can USC bring the national championship back to the west coast? Is Washington ready to go to another level? Is Miami the safe choice? Who will be No. 1 when all the smoke clears? there are so many questions that need to be answered. We will answer these questions and many more in our 2018 Kaboom! Magazine College Football Preview. Lace up your cleats and let’s see if your team has what it takes to make all of your dreams come true. Today we focus on the teams that everyone feels are the favorites to reach the college football playoffs in 2018. If 2018 is anything like 2017, than buckle your safety belts because you’re in for a very wild ride.

2018 College Football Playoff Favorites:
Even though they lost many stars from last year’s championship team…Bama is still BAMA! Clemson are expecting more national championships to come, but they have to get through a few other super teams as well. If they thought getting to the national championship game in 2017 was tough…..2018 is gonna be a THANOS ALL IT’S OWN!


Meet college football version of Thanos, the Crimson Tide. Under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide keep proving themselves worthy of every benefit of every doubt. Love them or hate them, going seven years in a row with just six regular season losses – one per season except for 2016 – is as impressive as any run in the history of college football. Even more amazing, despite always having the target on their back and playing in the SEC West, they’ve lost no more than once in 11 of the last 12 regular seasons, and 13 of the last 15. Bama has already made the first four of these CFP things, won two, and came within a defensive stop/pick play of probably making it three. And now, if this team plays up to its talent level, it’s a slam dunk to go five-for-five at getting into the final four. A ton of key new parts have to rise up on defense, and a few young players have to be amazing on offense, but almost everyone else would kill to have the problems the 2018 Crimson Tide have to deal with.


Mark Richt did a magnificent job with the program, and he recruited as well as anyone. But Smart ramped things up just a wee bit more, he’s getting a few more of the elite of the elite guys, and as he proved last season, he can coach a little, too. And now Georgia fans, welcome to the life. Be careful for what you wished for, because you just got it. Your team is at that level now, which means college football is zero fun, sir, unless this year’s team comes home from Santa Clara in early January with a neat new trophy. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia. That’s it. At the immediate moment, everyone else is shooting for the national title, but the Dawgs are in the high-rent district of being among those with the pieces in place to actually do it.


Ohio State:
Over the first four seasons of the College Football Playoff era, Ohio State has been one of the four best teams at the end of the regular season in at least three of them. And had there been a College Football Playoff and no bowl ban in the undefeated 2012 season – and, arguably, in 2013, despite the Big Ten Championship loss to Michigan State, too – it would’ve been in the tournament. Urban Meyer has revived the monster program that should’ve been in the CFP last year, but lost to Baker Mayfield and a great Oklahoma team – no shame there – and had a really, really, really bad day against Iowa. The Ohio State offense should be unstoppable. The running backs and receivers are deep and amazing, the line should be fine despite a few NFL losses, and Dwayne Haskins has all the tools to be the Next Buckeye Star Quarterback Up in the system. The defense loses a ton and will go baby-young at times, but the corners are unfairly good – even ifs they need some seasoning – and Nick Bosa and the pass rush should once again be a catalyst for another huge season from the front seven. Ohio State knows exactly what it has to do. Win at least 11 regular season games, win the Big Ten Championship, go to the College Football Playoff, hold up the trophy with confetti flying all over the place in Santa Clara on January 7th, 2019.


Oklahoma has owned the Big 12 over the last three seasons – and has the talent to do it again – with the distinction of being the only one to get to the CFP twice without winning or playing in the national championship. But the key is to keep getting there. At some point, it’s going to work, the right playoff breaks will kick in, and the Sooners will be on the national championship stage. Oklahoma is the epitome of the horrible have-to-be-in-it-to-win-it cliché. What has to change to get over the hump? What’s missing, and what does the program have to do differently to go from being in the club to into the VIP lounge? And the answer to that this year is……nothing. If the Sooners play up to their capabilities, they can and should get to the Big 12 Championship again with just one loss – there’s nothing on the schedule that’s a problem if OU is really that good.


Dawg fans can’t ask for much more from Chris Peterson than 22-5 over the last two seasons with a Pac-12 Championship with appearances in the College Football Playoff and Fiesta Bowl. UW caught a break over the last few seasons with Oregon losing its mojo and the Pac-12 being a big bag of whatever, but when it had a chance to prove this was all for real two years ago against USC, it got shut down. You are what your record is, and if Washington can go 12-1 with a Pac-12 title this year, no matter who it plays and how it happens, it’s going to the College Football Playoff. For a head coach who feasted off winning massive games at Boise State, Petersen now has the team, the breaks, and the schedule to make it two CFP appearances in three years and win a second Pac-12 title along the way.


The 2018 Clemson Tigers could and should win the national championship. Or, at least get into the College Football Playoff for a fourth straight season while taking another ACC title along the way. From the defensive line that’s all back full after shockingly not losing any of the key parts to the NFL – that’s a pro D line the ACC will have to deal with on a weekly basis – to landing another great recruiting class to keep it all going, there’s a great mix of elite of the elite talents that around 125 other programs can only dream about getting. Dabo Swinney has created a machine at Clemson, and this doesn’t appear to be the culmination of anything, even if it finishes with another national title. And that’s the best part of it all. If this turns into one of those amazing teams that doesn’t quite get it done, go ahead and ramp up the expectations again next year.