Let me give you a fair warning here, I am from New Orleans, Louisiana; I live outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Outside of Oregon, the LSU Tigers are my favorite college team. I give you that qualifying statement so you’ll understand when I say that I believe the SEC is the strongest conference, top down, in college football. Part of the reason I started watching Oregon in the first place was out of respect for a team who wasn’t in the SEC who could consistently hang with the big boys. Despite how much everyone is ready to bury the SEC because they haven’t won the last two Championships, and weren’t even in this one, I’m hear to tell you to not sleep on the SEC.
Right now, if I were picking my four teams for the playoff next year, I’d be picking our beloved Oregon Ducks (naturally), Ohio State (again obviously), and then the other two teams would be the Crimson Tide of Alabama and the LSU Fighting Tigers. I say these four teams because, Oregon will be in the top four; they are just too talented and well coached to not succeed. Ohio State has three brilliant QBs on the roster as well as a stout defense and a killer running game led by Ezekiel Elliott. Alabama is Alabama, while I could justify this one with stats, it’s Nick Saban‘s team and a Nick Saban team can not, miss the playoff. As for LSU, they are a lot like Oregon in that they are a very young and talented team; I think with an extra year of experience they will be able to solidify a playoff spot, especially with Jameis Winston leaving FSU probably dropping the Noles back down to being just another average team.
As for a very early seeding prediction, I see Ohio State as the number 1 seed with Alabama probably being given the second seed over our Ducks because of the SEC bias. For much the same reason I see LSU being given the number 4 seed over any other close, non SEC teams. At the same time the Auburn Tigers cannot be counted out because of the coaching of Gus Malzahn more than anything. And yes, while teams like TCU or Baylor could be in the mix, the fact remains the, more often then not, a SEC team with the same record as a TCU or Baylor will get the nod over them.
As both a Oregon and LSU fan I am really looking forward to next year, as I think it will be a great year for both teams, with another Oregon player , Royce Freeman or (possibly) Vernon Adams Jr., potentially being in the running for the Heisman.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline