The 2019 college football season should be a good one. We have two teams led by Heisman Trophy contenders battling for the chance to play in the national championship game for the second straight season. New head coaches and players are looking to make names for themselves. Although everyone thinks it will be Alabama vs. Clemson for the title, we are going to pick the three teams that have the best chance of crashing the College Football Playoff party in 2019.
The SEC West is one of the toughest conferences to play in every season. The trio of Alabama, LSU, and Auburn make coming out of the division extremely valuable in the eyes of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
In years past we have seen Alabama enter the playoff with a loss while skipping the SEC Championship game. It’s safe to say that a one-loss SEC team should be able to get into the playoffs if they are going up against the Pac-12 and Big Ten have undefeated teams.
That is why we think Auburn has a good chance to enter the playoffs. We think they have the defense to beat LSU, who has shaky quarterback play. We also believe that facing Alabama at home will give them the slight edge after winning last year’s showdown.
The Tigers do have to replace quarterback Jarrett Stidham, but his season was average at best. Replacing him will be a top-10 quarterback after redshirting last season. If Auburn can beat LSU and Alabama, they will have a clear path to the playoffs.
Everyone has Oklahoma pegged to win the Big-12 after landing Jalen Hurts during the transfer period. Hurts is one of the best quarterbacks in college football and a former SEC Player of the Year. But this article isn’t about the Sooners, because Texas has a shot at making it to the College Football Playoff.
We have always viewed head coach Tom Herman as an excellent recruiter, and that was no different last season. The Longhorns ended up with the No. 4 recruiting class according to rivals.com, and we think the Red River Shootout will determine whether the Longhorns can make the playoffs.
Oklahoma’s defense is very weak in the secondary, and without Kyler Murray’s heroics last season we think the Sooners could have lost four or five games. That will play into the Longhorns favor, as we expect them to include a heavy dose of passing in their showdown.
If the two teams happen to meet up again in the Big-12 championship game, we expect both of them to be ranked in the top 10 with one loss each, which could be just enough to get the Longhorns into the College Football Playoff field.
Jacob Eason thought he was going to be the man at Georgia when he signed with Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs. The team then signed Jake Fromm the following season, and Eason lost his hold on the quarterback job. He transferred to Washington, and after sitting out last season, he is a big reason why the Pac-12 can crash the college football playoff party.
The Pac-12 has not made the playoffs in a couple of seasons and will look to end that streak this year. Their toughest games are a road trip to Stanford, and home games against Oregon and Washington State. If the Huskies can run the table, we could be looking at a playoff team.
Which other surprise teams could crash the College Football Playoff?
We expect one of these teams to have a good shot at making the College Football Playoff, but is there anyone missing from the list that you would include? Could the Big Ten make some noise? Or an ACC team besides Clemson. Or an SEC team outside of Alabama and Georgia? Only time will tell.