Here’s the rundown: ESPN has chosen the 16 best teams in the country. That list eventually went down to 8, then 4, and finally to 2 top teams.
ESPN predicts that it will be the National Championship team from 2013, the Florida State Seminoles who will take the cake.
But, let’s take a look at contenders who have a shot at making it to the top two.
The Crimson Tide won 60 of their 67 games and they boast three national championships in five seasons, alone. Pretty impressive. The reason for the hype surrounding the team is their defense.
It’s hard to find an adjectives to describe Alabama’s defense. Ten starters are no longer with the team since they have moved on to the NFL, but Nick Saban is still keeping things moving.
‘The reason for their downfall last season had a lot to do with injuries and early departures. However, they come into 2014 with middle linebacker Trey DePriest, Brandon Ivory, strong safety Landon Collins and DB Jarrick Williams.
The Tigers will be without veteran Dee Ford in 2014 who led the team in tackles last season. It will be hard for them to get over this loss but they have some fresh talent coming in to revive the defense.
Senior DT Gabe Wright will get a lot of playing time this season and he will have to step it up to fill Ford’s void.
Auburn will be bringing back key leadership and plenty of starters to help them get to where they want to be.
The Bears are pretty excited to utilize redshirt sophomore running back Devin Chafin this season. Another spring standout, according to ESPN, is cornerback Xavien Howard. Coach Art Briles refers to both players as necessary threats.
Briles has the necessary weapons to be serious contenders this year. Can they pull it off?
Coach Dabo Swinney is a hard man to argue with. Last year the Tigers didn’t exactly live up to what Swinney said they would and now they will be without Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.
Luckily, they return a very experienced defensive line. They have Vic Beasley and Corey Crawford, who, Swinney said, nobody knew about.
Up front, Clemson returns six seniors who help keep them at the top of the poll this season.
The Buckeyes are struggling to see just what Braxton Miller can do. Miller participated in drills with a camera on his helmet to see how he reads defense and calls out the ball. He’s been assigned homework and he’s studying hard to be what Coach Urban Meyer envisions for him.
Meyer told ESPN that he thinks he gets it now. Miller has been the Big Ten player of the year twice already and Meyer says he’s had a great spring.
The Ducks were so close last year and after many different transitions over the years, 2014 should be the year of the comeback.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota sprained his MCL in 2013 but now he’s healthy and stronger than ever. He had an excellent spring and others can see that he’s ready to lead the team this year.
I know what you’re thinking. No Jadeveon Clowney means no success for the Gamecocks. But, think again.
The defense may have to re-evaluate some things without Clowney, but that will not be an issue. With the linebackers that they have, it will be tough for opponents to be successful in the run game.
Keep your eyes and ears on the Bruins this year. They have suffered from medocrity in the past but they have since moved on.
Injuries made it difficult for freshman to try and carry the team last year but now, the team has a strong offensive front to protect QB Brett Hundley.