Ding dong, the BCS is dead…and that means that the first season in the College Football Playoff era is upon us.
Well, in about 200 days it is.
Though there are many intriguing angles to the new scheme, what’s most interesting is predicting which teams will fill the first-ever mini-bracket.
Teams which can earn “first-ever” status will have to come into the season with a serious resume: Recent success, a boat load of talent, a throng of returning starters, a winnable conference and a cooperative schedule.
These stringent requirements whittle the list of potential national champions down considerably, from the 128 FBS teams in 2014 to only eight. That’s only six percent of the field.
The programs that fit the bill are ranked—for your convenience—in order of probability.
Statistics courtesy of College Football Statistics and Sports Reference College Football. Returning starter data courtesy of Phil Steele. Recruiting rankings courtesy of Rivals. Schedule information courtesy of FB Schedules.