I procrastinated this year and had to scramble to complete all of my projections for the Power 5 conferences at the last minute. I'm just going to dump all of them here. I base these on my own power ratings and add in some small adjustments based on situational factors (e.g., back-to-back road games).
Championship: Clemson over Miami
*Since Notre Dame is a quasi member, I'll note here that I have the Fighting Irish finishing the year at 10-2.
*Schedule, schedule, schedule. I have Miami somewhere around No. 11 based on pure team strength nationally, but the slate sets up well for the Hurricanes to potentially play themselves into the College Football Playoff.
*I can't get there with national darling Boston College. The Eagles have 50/50-ish games versus Wake, North Carolina St. and Virginia Tech on the road. That's not good.
*I realize Va. Tech has been hammered by attrition, but I'm a buyer on the Hokies under Justin Fuente.
*Probably curtains for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech.
Championship: Ohio St. over Iowa
*Iowa wins the B1G West via a win at home over Wisconsin.
*Feel-good story of the year with Ohio St. (Blech.) I don't see the chaos around the program having a huge impact on this season. I suspect Urban Meyer isn't much longer for Columbus, however.
*Don't think you could ask much more of the Cornhuskers under Scott Frost in year one. That schedule is beastly.
*Scheduling roulette: Iowa misses Ohio St., Michigan and Michigan St. this year; Minnesota has the Buckeyes, but no Sparty, UM or Penn St.
*Lovie Smith is creeping onto thin ice.
Championship: Oklahoma over TCU
*I feel confident that OU is the best team in the conference, but second place is a free for all. I don't really love TCU's team and actually have Texas rated slightly better. I even think the Longhorns get a head-to-head W when they play in Austin.
I like how TCU's schedule sets up, though – Baylor and Kansas are two teams you want to play on the road this year.
*Get ready for another year of the punditry slagging off on the Big 12. I don't see non-conference games such as TCU-Ohio St. and Kansas St.-Mississippi St. turning out well for the league's members.
*Kliff Kingsbury will be in demand as an offensive coordinator this offseason if I'm right.
Championship: Washington over Utah
*Utah wins the South thanks to head-to-head win over USC.
*I feel surprisingly confident in the Trojans this year after losing a talented group of offensive triplets to the pros (Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones, Deontay Burnett). Lots to like otherwise – veteran offensive line, playmakers back on defense.
*Keep an eye on Arizona. Kevin Sumlin inheriting Khalil Tate sounds a lot like the situation in the coach's first year at Texas A&M.
*Cal could end up being a problem. The Golden Bears played hard in year one under Justin Wilcox.
Championship: Alabama over Georgia
*Alabama... moving on.
*Team that jumps out to me here is Tennessee. Consider me bearish on Jeremy Pruitt in the long run. That being said, Butch Jones recruited a boatload of talented players during his sad, whiny tenure in Knoxville. Enough to beat Florida in my estimation, which would help get the Volunteers on the road to a bowl.
*Sucks to be Auburn – loaded team that has to play both Alabama and Georgia on the road.
*I imagine the eternally zany Hog Nation would be happy with a bowl bid under Chad Morris in his first season, right?
College Football Playoff
Orange Bowl: No. 1 Alabama over No. 4 Oklahoma
Cotton Bowl: No. 3 Ohio St. over No. 2 Clemson
Championship: Alabama over Ohio St.
*That sounds terrible.