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For some reason, it really feels like the competition this year will be more lackluster than normal.
The top four teams in the country (according to the Coaches Poll) are the most likely to make it to New Orleans in January: Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon and LSU.
With deductive reasoning, we can already get rid of either Oregon or LSU due to the fact that they play each other in what will be a heated match-up in the first week of the season.
Granted, one team could in fact lose this game and still go on to play in the National Championship, but I'm just assuming that one or more teams will run the table this year.
Teams with an outside shot at running the table and making a case for themselves are Boise State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and TCU.
Let's go ahead and eliminate Oregon just for argument's sake. That leaves Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Boise State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and TCU.
Now, let's eliminate TCU because they play Boise State in Week 10. Let's also eliminate Nebraska because they will play at Wisconsin in week five.
That leaves Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Boise State and Wisconsin. Can we eliminate one more? We sure can! LSU plays at Alabama in Week 9, which means we can eliminate LSU (again, for argument's sake).
Oklahoma, Alabama, Boise State and Wisconsin are the only four left that hypothetically have a chance at running the table. Boise State will have to get by a young and athletic Georgia team in week one, but if they do, their only other tough game will be against TCU (which I've already decided they're going to win).
So, let's say Boise State goes undefeated. Obviously, I'm going to argue that Oklahoma will also be undefeated, but what about Alabama and Wisconsin?
I'm going to go ahead and count out Wisconsin. While I think they're going to be a surprisingly good team, the Big Ten is just too even this year. They have the big game at home against Nebraska, and they also have to travel to Illinois and Ohio State. They're capable of winning all these games, but I think they'll lose one.
Alabama always has a tough schedule because they play in the toughest conference, and even though they travel to Florida and Mississippi State, their toughest game should be at home against LSU. I think that Alabama is also going to lose one game this year, which would be a good record for a tough schedule.
That leaves Oklahoma and Boise State as the only two undefeated teams in the country. Will they play each other? Or will a one-loss team such as Alabama, LSU or Wisconsin get the upper-hand?
Whatever the case, OU won't have to matter. They'd be guaranteed a spot.