The not-too-early top college football teams in 2020
The National Championship has been over for more than 24 hours, so it is not too early to start looking ahead toward the 2020 college football campaign. Can LSU reload and repeat? Will Clemson get back to title game and regain the title? Is Alabama going to return to its status as the cream of the crop in the best conference? And what about Ohio State’s Justin Fields and his former team, Georgia?
Clemson is the opening favorite to win the 2020 College Football Playoff for two main reasons. One, among the perennial top teams in the nation the Tigers always enjoy the easiest path to the playoff as members of the ACC. Two, Trevor Lawrence is not yet eligible for the NFL Draft. He’s back, baby! Clemson has been to the CFP five straight times, has reached the championship game in four out of those five appearances, and has won it twice.
Unlike their familiar foe from the ACC, the Crimson Tide are losing their star quarterback. As expected, Tua Tagovailoa declared for the NFL Draft. Still, Alabama will once again boast one of the best rosters in college football. When Tagovailoa was sidelined this season, rising junior Mac Jones completed 68.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,503 yards, 14 touchdowns, and only three interceptions.
Alabama knows how it will replace Tagovailoa. How will LSU recover from Joe Burrow’s departure after the Heisman Trophy winner led his team to one of the most dominant seasons ever—culminating in a 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff final on Monday night? Passing game coordinator Joe Brady is also heading to the NFL. Still, head coach Ed Orgeron will welcome back plenty of impact players in addition to a top-five recruiting class.
Ohio State (+700)
For a while it looked like the national championship would pit LSU against Ohio State. But just as the ACC champs could not maintain a double-digit lead in the title tilt, the Buckeyes blew a 16-0 advantage in the Fiesta Bowl. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields finished runner-up in the Heisman voting in his first year in Columbus and should only get better. That will help Ohio State overcome an inevitable mass exodus to the pros.
Jake Fromm was one junior quarterback whom many people thought would return to school. Instead, he is also taking his talents to the next level (speaking of the NFL, check out our free expert picks for the championship games). Enter graduate transfer Jamie Newman, who is coming off a stellar season at Wake Forest. Newman may make Dawgs fans forget about Fromm and forget about what they could have had in Fields. D’Andre Swift is also leaving and Florida appears to be on the way up, so simply winning the SEC East could be tough.