Four Team Expert Picks to Make the 2018 College Football Playoff

Posted by Eric Williams on Friday,August 4, 2017 4:49, EST in

With the 2017 college football season getting closer by the day, collegiate gridiron gaming enthusiasts like you need to know which four teams look like they’ll end up in this coming season’s four-team College Football Playoff.

Will it be one of the top favorites on the board like perennially-powerful Alabama at +300 or maybe USC and their Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback Sam Darnold at +600?

Maybe you like a team with slightly longer odds like Oklahoma at +800 or Michigan at +1200. Whatever the case may be for you, it’s time for me to identify my top four candidates to reach the four-team College Football Playoff in 2018. I genuinely believe that one of these four teams will make the 2018 national championship trophy.

Four Team Expert Picks to Make the 2018 College Football Playoff

Alabama +300

I know some of you want to laugh and say ‘Ooh, what a genius of a pick, duh!’ And I agree. By now, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Alabama will contend for a national championship every year whether you like it or not. However, I also admit that this year’s Alabama team could ‘potentially’ lose two games this coming season.

While Alabama is kowns for its powerful defense and rightfully so, the best thing the Tide have going for them this season is the best game-changing quarterback of the Nick Saban era.

Heisman Trophy-contending signal-caller Jalen Hurts (2,780 passing yds, 954 rushing yds, 23 passing TDs, 13 rushing Tds) played with a level of composure that you just don’t see in freshmen quarterbacks while making positive plays with both, his arm and legs.

What Can We Expect from the Crimson Tide This Season?

I fully expect the Tide will run the ball down their opponents throats with Bo Scarborough and Damien Harris and get an even better campaign out of Hurts than last year when he helped guide them to the national championship.

On defense, Saban will replace his former defensive line with more five-star talent that will likely produce another top five defense

Penn State +1200

Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t understand how Big Ten champion Penn State and their two Heisman Trophy contenders can be a lesser favorite to win the 2018 national championship than an Ohio State squad they beat last season and enters this year with only one Heisman candidate?

No matter, for me, I love the value that the Nittany Lions are offering as a stunningly value-packed +1200 pick to win it all. Penn State went 11-3 last season and 9-1 in conference play to win the Big Ten, but after getting short end of the stick in their quest for a berth in the four-team College Football Playoff.

Will They Start Off With the Right Foot?

I think they’re going to come out from the opening snap in game 1 with a focus that hasn’t been seen in happy valley since JoePa was competing for national titles every year.

Quarterback Trace McSorley (3,614 yds, 29 Tds) and running back Saquon Barkley (1,496 yds, 22 Tds) look like sure-fire NFL performers and I like the talent Penn State has on the defensive side of the ball after a string of excellent recruiting classes. For me, Penn State reaches college football’s new Final Four.

Washington +3000

While USC is a +600 favorite to win the national championship this coming season, for me, it is Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies that are the better choice to win the Pac-12 and reach the four-team CFP – for the second straight year I might add.

While the Trojans have the prohibitive Heisman favorite in strong-armed quarterback Sam Darnold, Washington has its own star signal-caller in Jake Browning (3,430 yds, 43 TDs) and another Heisman contender in running back Myles Gaskin (1,373 yds, 10 Tds). I also think the Huskies have the best head coach in the Pac-12 in Chris Petersen.

How Well Has Chris Petersen Done in His Career?

Maybe people forgot, but Petersen turned Boise State and their now famous blue field into a legitimate national title contender (for many). In eight years coaching the Broncos, Petersen went 92-12 while recording two unbeaten seasons and three, one-loss campaigns while recording a pair of Fiesta Bowl wins.

I love the fact that Washington finished (2016 ranked an identical eighth in scoring (41.8 ppg) and points allowed (17.7 ppg) and I believe the Huskies are going to make consecutive playoff appearances by winning the PAC-12.

Are the Huskies a safe bet to make the 2018 College Football Playoff?

Can The Clemson Tigers Repeat as Champions This Season?

Florida State +600

We’re going to find out right off the bat just how good both, Florida State and Alabama both are as they square off in one of the best matchups of the season in Week 1. No matter who loses though, I think can and will still reach the CFP.

For me, Florida State’s gifted sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois (3,350 yds, 20 Tds) looks like the kind of special player that former Clemson star Deshaun Watson was and we all know how that turned out for the Tigers

Will Dalvin Cook Be Missed?

The loss of gifted running back Dalvin Cook will hurt, but the Noles have as much talent on their defensive line as any team in the country not named Alabama and what I believe is the best defensive secondary in the country.

Florida State averaged a healthy 35.1 pints per game last season (31st) and limited the opposition to just 25.0 points per contest defensively (45th) and has a head coach in Jimbo Fisher that knows how to win a national championship after taking the 2013 title behind freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. The Noles are in my final four to make the College Football Playoff!