Power Ranking The Top 10 Teams Likely To Make First College Football Playoff

Power Ranking The Top 10 Teams Likely To Make First College Football Playoff

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College football's new playoff system is finally offering us the excitement we've been longing for with two semifinal games and a national championship game to top it all off. So which teams are going to land in the inaugural playoff? These are your top 10 candidates.

10. Auburn Tigers

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10. Auburn Tigers

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John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn was a 12-2 football team in 2013 and they return 14 starters this season, including quarterback Nick Marshall and wide receiver Sammie Coates. But the Tigers face a very difficult 2014 schedule with road games at Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. The defense will also need to improve from a season ago if Auburn wants to be competing in one of the semifinal contests.

9. Georgia Bulldogs

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9. Georgia Bulldogs

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia is one of those teams you're tempted to look past because of a lack of all the glitz and glamor, but the Bulldogs do possess the necessary pieces to make a run in the SEC and land in the playoff. Of course it starts with running back Todd Gurley, who will likely be forced to take on a bigger role this season to assist new quarterback Hutson Mason. Georgia's schedule doesn't look too daunting either.

8. Baylor Bears

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

8. Baylor Bears

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor's veteran quarterback Bryce Petty is going to lead the way for an offense that should be scoring points at the same rate it did last season. The defense has some talent to replace with only four starters returning, but one of those guys sticking around is linebacker Bryce Hager. Baylor's schedule doesn't look incredibly difficult right now, but the Big 12 seems to always be full of trap games.

7. UCLA Bruins

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

7. UCLA Bruins

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA is going to be an exciting team to watch this season. Led by quarterback Brett Hundley, the Bruins are going to work with 17 returning starters from a year ago to get the train rolling in the right direction after a disappointing run in 2013.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

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6. Ohio State Buckeyes

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Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Though I'm reluctant to completely buy into what the Buckeyes have working right now under Urban Meyer, you can't deny the success of the last two seasons, and the man who sparks it all will be taking the snaps again in 2014. The Buckeyes will hit a rough patch Penn State and Michigan State on the road in the span of three weeks, but every game outside of that looks manageable.

5. Michigan State Spartans

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Michigan State Spartans

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State has every puzzle piece necessary to compete the same way as last season. You can talk about the individual stars departed from a season ago on that defense, but the unit as a whole is still going to be extremely tough this season. To go along with that on the other side of the ball, quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford are going to offer a good punch through the air and on the ground.

4. Oregon Ducks

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4. Oregon Ducks

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon has a few hurdles to clear in 2014 before beginning to think about playoff chances, including a game on the road against UCLA and getting over the recent Stanford curse. Luckily for the Ducks, they'll have nine days to prep for UCLA and Stanford has to travel to Eugene.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

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3. Alabama Crimson Tide

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

You can expect the usual from Alabama on defense, but the offense is going to have a little different look this year without A.J. McCarron. Granted, McCarron was more of a manager of the game than anything else and Florida State transfer Jacob Coker should be okay, but big results will be needed from the Crimson Tide's running backs.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

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2. Oklahoma Sooners

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Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma likely has the easiest schedule of any team seriously competing for a spot in the playoff. The Sooners have five road games this season, but only one of those opponents walked away with a winning record in 2013. Quarterback Trevor Knight and emerging running back Keith Ford shouldn't have a hard time scoring points this season.

1. Florida State Seminoles

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1. Florida State Seminoles

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State has the best and most talented roster in all of college football, and with Jameis Winston playing anywhere near the level at which he did last season, the Seminoles shouldn't have any troubles walking out of the ACC unbeaten and ready to play two more games for the title.

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