The Crimson Tide each year bring in more talent than anybody else by getting more five-star recruits than anybody. One of their lone weaknesses over the past decade has been a lack of consistency at quarterback. Now with Tua Tagovailoa at the helm (25 touchdowns, 0 Int) the tide has nothing to worry about. Their offensive line is veteran laded once again with 3 seniors and 2 juniors and their running back duo of Najee and Damien Harris provides serious speed running the football.
Receivers like DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy are former 5-star recruits who have emerged as true deep threats through the air. The defense is just as strong as normal with defensive end Raekwon Davis and safety Deionte Thompson leading the charge. And Nick Saban is the greatest motivator in sports, so you can count on Alabama being the favorite to take home the playoff trophy this season.
Clemson is slowly approaching Bama levels of consistent greatness. They have finished in the top 3 in recruiting each of the past five years and have found another superstar quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. The offensive line is filled with experienced linemen such as Mitch Hyatt. Travis Etienne has become a Heisman candidate at their running back position due to his absurd amount of touch downs (17).
Their trio at wide receiver in Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, and Hunter Renfrow are all likely to go pro after their eligibility runs out over the next two seasons. Another unbelievable aspect of Clemson has been their dominant front 7. Their defensive line consisting of Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkin, and Austin Bryant is the greatest in college football history as all these guys will be 1st round picks in the NFL draft this upcoming year. At linebacker, Kendall Joseph is another Tiger that makes plays all over the field.
Their one weakness may be their lack of playmakers on the backend of their defense. But outside of that Clemson is just as ready as Bama to take home a title.
Ever since Ian Book took over at QB, the Irish offense has become near unstoppable. Book leads the country in completion percentage at just over 75% per ESPN. The return of Dexter Williams has been a godsend for the Irish run game as his explosiveness leaves you guessing when his next big run will be. The offensive line did lose captain Alex Bars for the season due to a torn ACL, but center Sam Mustipher and left tackle Liam Eichenberg have enough talent to carry this offense to new heights such as a national championship.
Mile Boykin and Chase Claypool are both 6’4” receivers that excel in 50-50 jump ball scenarios. The slot receiver Chris Finke is one of the better route runners in all of college football as he beats opponents with his quickness. On defense, Khalid Kareem and Jerry Tillery headline a defensive line that has dominated all year long with over 30 combined sacks as a unit. Te’von Coney and converted safety Drue Tranquill bring speed and consistent tackling to the linebacking core too.
In the secondary, Julian Love and Troy Pride need to become a little more consistent in man to man coverage but the safeties Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott have helped shade a lot of those concerns by helping knock down or intercept long balls by the opposing team.
Shea Patterson was supposed to be the savior for the Wolverines and after a week 1 loss to Notre Dame every commentator across the country tore him up saying he was already a failure. But ever since that game Shea has been nearly flawless at the quarterback position. At running back Karan Higdon has been a godsend as a downhill runner between the tackles. Michigan is a little short on reliable wide receivers, but Donavan People-Jones and tight end Zach Gentry have become fine receiving options, due to their size, for Patterson.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive ends Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich bring elite pass rush and run stuffing abilities to the Michigan defensive line. Linebacker Devin Bush is one of the most athletic linebackers college has offered in a long time. In the secondary, junior cornerbacks David Long and Lavert Hill have risen to the occasion of backing up an elite front seven by intercepting more passes than anyone else in the country.