2016 NCAA Football Preview

Alabama-ChampsNCAA football is officially in a new era of the sport as they enter their third year in the College Football Playoff.

This new era began after a demand to institute a playoff system into the NCAA to try to make the national championship much fairer.

In the BCS era, it was a computer equation that determined the final rankings and the top two of those rankings were brought to the National Championship game.

For many, it wasn’t necessarily the best way to determine a champion as neither of those teams had to fight their way into the national championship they were simply given a spot in the biggest game.

A lot of the complaints came when the SEC began to rule the national championship as the conference produced an overwhelming majority of the champions.

They even produced a number of SEC vs. SEC matchups for the national championship solidifying themselves as the best conference in the sport.

Their dominance didn’t help the BCS though as many wondered how good they could be if they had to play their way into the game and play two top teams rather than just playing and preparing for one.

It was a major reason for the demand for a new playoff system as it seemed like the equation was slated in favour of the SEC So the NCAA instated a new system two years ago in the hopes that the games would be better, and in some ways to see if they could get more parity.

Whether it was the new system or just the usual ebb and flow of college football the parity has come around, in a way.

The first year of the playoff saw the Ohio State Buckeyes take home the title with no SEC team in the final game.

That changed in the second year though as the Alabama Crimson Tide took home the second college football playoff title putting the SEC on the top.

Although the SEC remains on top, for the time being, there has been a shift in the league from a one-conference organization to a five conference organization.

The SEC was always on top in the BCS with a few challengers from other conferences but rarely much of a challenge for those SEC teams.

Now it is different as the playoff is enjoying a time where other conferences are beginning to take their time on top.

It is not necessarily a product of the playoff, although it does give more teams more of a chance, but more a result of other conferences starting to come back into relevance.

The first playoff was won by the Buckeyes who represented the Big Ten, a conference that was once unstoppable but became easily beatable with many wondering if it could come back.

The Buckeyes led the charge and continue to do so as they are one of two teams to make both years of the playoff.football-sidebar

This year they hope to do it three times but they have a big challenge from a long-time rival in Michigan who showed promise in their first year under Jim Harbaugh and who hope to take it to another level this year.

The Big Ten seems to be back and it could be one of the better battles with a playoff spot on the line.

The ACC has also come back in a big way as Clemson and Florida State have both taken their time in the playoff over the last two years.

Now the fight for a playoff spot and a conference title as Clemson could be even better than last year’s great team while Florida State seems to be poised to give them a big run.

Both have superstars in the league in Deshaun Watson and Dalvin Cook and they will both try to lead their team back to the playoff to get the ACC a title.

The final spot might be the most interesting as the first three seem to be guaranteed to the SEC, Big Ten, and ACC but the final spot has been taken by the Pac-12 and Big 12 over the last two years.

In year-one, it was Oregon who took the playoff spot and came within a game of a championship.

Now they will try to get back to winning while Stanford looks to take their first playoff spot behind the efforts of Heisman favourite Christian McCaffrey.

In the Big 12, the Oklahoma Sooners remain the big program but can they get past the likes of a healthy Baylor team to get the spot.

If Baylor can win the debate will be whether or not they deserve a spot above a program like Stanford.

All of these teams will look to get their time in the playoffs while the SEC looks to begin taking over the playoff like they did the SEC.

Alabama is back again, as usual, looking for another title, one that will put Nick Saban ahead of legendary coach Bear Bryant.

They will need to get by the usual cast of good teams in Ole Miss, LSU, and a newer arrival in Tennessee who have been receiving a lot of hype this year.

The playoff is doing its job in the third year as more teams and more conferences are involved making it slightly less predictable.

Any team can win in any game and adding the semi-finals increases the chances of a top team being eliminated.

Only one team can come out on top and the pursuit of that title begins on Labour Day weekend when top teams look to make good on potential and unknown teams look to shock the world.

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