10 Programs We Expect to Dominate Early in the College Football Playoff Era

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IMay 1, 2013

10 Programs We Expect to Dominate Early in the College Football Playoff Era

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    The BCS era is drawing to a close after this season. The hope is that the new College Football Playoff system will bring more competitive balance to the national title race. Too many teams were left out before, a defect the new system is supposed to fix.

    What some may not see is that certain programs will continue to dominate in the new era. The major conferences will still control the title hunt, as there is a good chance that more than one playoff bid will come from a single conference.  These 10 schools figures to continue to be the leaders of the pack as the winds of change hit college football.

Notre Dame

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    Brian Kelly is a championship-level coach. Last year proved it. He is guiding a remarkable resurgence in South Bend, and his Irish program will soon be one of the country’s best.

    Last year, Notre Dame was outmanned in the national title game by Alabama.

    This fall, the Fighting Irish return a team that has had one more year in the Kelly system and is full of players who are built to play his style of football.

    Reaching an agreement to play five ACC teams annually while maintaining its status as a football independent was huge for this program. Add in a rivalry with USC, and this team will be recognized if it wins.

    With the talent on roster, that shouldn’t be an issue. 

Ohio State

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    Urban Meyer was hired by the Buckeyes for a reason.

    The 12-0 finish in his first season has set up the program to be a national title contender in 2013. With the recruiting efforts of this staff and the on-field development, winning will not be an issue.

    Guys want to play for Meyer. They know that he will put them in position to win titles and play in the NFL. As the program develops over the next few years, this team consistently will lead the playoff race. 


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    In Lane Kiffin, the Trojans may not have the most popular coach in the country, but the program has talent and a rich history.

    Recruits want to play in L.A., and the school eventually will find the right mix of coaches. This team will always be a winner in the Pac-12l.

    With the level of talent the Trojans landed in this past recruiting cycle there is no excuse for them not to hit the playoff bracket at least once in the next four years.

    USC is always relevant, and hitting the playoffs when the new system begins will secure this program's future.


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    When you look at how far Michigan has progressed the past few seasons, you have to respect the efforts of Brady Hoke. A team that was on the verge of a major fall in the Big Ten is returning to its roots and becoming one of the conference's elite once again.

    The Wolverines have put together a solid offense and have a conference-leading defense. Nothing should stop this program's continued climb in the national rankings.

    Last year, starting in the top 10 was a stretch for a Michigan program that was still rebuilding. But the near future will bring results that will garner that type of attention. 


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    It seems as if LSU has battled Alabama for the top spot in the SEC West every year for the past decade.

    This program seals off the state of Louisiana and plucks players from Texas, Florida and Alabama on occasion. In the process, Les Miles has created a powerhouse program that attracts top talent every recruiting cycle.

    Nothing is slowing down this program's quest for another national title, and the creation of a playoff system only helps this team land in the discussion every year.

    Alabama and LSU have already played for one national title in 2012. With this setup, that may soon happen again.


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    The Bulldogs have been a powerhouse in the SEC East every year, but they have struggled to be a factor in the national championship race.

    They tend to lose at least one game that they shouldn’t, eliminating them from title contention. Look for the Bulldogs to continue to rise in the SEC East and to become a major player in the playoff era. 

Florida State

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    Florida State has been consistent at gathering top talent, but inconsistent at producing winning results.

    This group has a lot of potential. Under Jimbo Fisher, this program has grown, but there is still a lack of consistency that needs to be fixed before the Seminoles make it to championship levels. 


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    The Wisconsin Badgers have owned the Big Ten over the past few seasons, and there appears to be no end in sight for that dominance.

    This is a powerful offensive attack that is based on strong runners and a stout defense. Despite a recent coaching change, the goals will be the same. The way to win in the Big Ten is to pound the ground and play defense.

    There will be a constant battle for survival against Michigan, Ohio State and others, but Wisconsin has laid its claim and is here to stay as the championship format shifts in 2014.

Clemson Tigers

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    Like him or not, Dabo Swinney has surrounded himself with the best assistant coaches in the country and they are helping him win a lot of football games.

    Smart coaches hire smarter assistants, and Swinney has followed that mantra to success.

    The ACC is made up of a few power programs, and Clemson has become one of them. As the stock in South Carolina continues to rise for the Tigers, they will consistently battle for a position in the playoff run. 


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    The two-time defending national champion is heading into the final season of the BCS looking to close out the era with another title.

    This team is building a dynasty under Nick Saban, and there is no other program in the country that can match its efficiency. The Tide program is a direct path to the NFL and the most talented players in the country have taken notice.

    Watching the rise has been a treat for Alabama fans, who have thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Saban's methods are being copied by coaches across the country, who have yet to enjoy similar succcess. 


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