College Football Preview: Playoff

Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders

Ezekiel Elliot will look to lead Ohio State's powerful running attack to another national championship.

Ezekiel Elliot will look to lead Ohio State’s powerful running attack to another national championship.

With all of our conference previews wrapped up, it’s prediction time for the second annual college football playoff. Ohio State is the defending national champions and are a heavy favorite to return to the playoff again. Of course, the SEC will be in hot pursuit to get back to their dominant ways and retain the title. The playoff has added a lot of intrigue to the conclusion of the season as fans now know, we will have a fair way to determine the champion of the college football world. Without further hold up, here are the picks:

1. Ohio State

The Buckeyes come back loaded again and are maybe the only team in the country who do not fear an injury to their starting quarterback. They also have maybe the country’s best running back in Ezekiel Elliot. Throw in Urban Meyer and a conference that isn’t exactly loaded and the Buckeyes have very realistic expectations to repeat as champions.

2. Auburn

The Tigers struggled last season to defend, especially in the passing game. This year, with Will Muschamp taking over the defense and a more talented unit, I expect Auburn to take a giant leap on the defensive side. On offense, despite losing Nick Marshall and Sammy Coates, Auburn will put up points in bunches this season. In the Gus Malzahn system the rushing yards are always going to pile up and with new quarterback Jeremy Johnson at the helm, I expect Auburn to be an offensive juggernaut.

3. Arizona State

The Sun Devils are the popular sleeper to win the Pac-12. Put me down on the bandwagon. They lose their starting quarterback and number one receiver from last season. However, new quarterback Mike Bercovici has a better arm than last years quarterback Taylor Kelly which will allow the offense to be more explosive. The Pac-12 will be a difficult task for Arizona State to tame but I believe this is a program ready to build off of last year and contend on a national level.

4. Boise State

With as much parody as there is in a lot of the big time conference’s, I think there will be enough losses in order for Boise State to sneak into the playoff. Last season was supposed to be a rebuilding year and they proceeded to go 12-2. The offense is loaded with talent and will be able to support whichever quarterback they decide to start. Boise State has always had a good defense in their run of success over the past decade and this one will be no different. Boise State may not be a top 5 team, but they have the chance to run the table and get a birth in the playoff.

National Championship: Ohio State over Auburn

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