Can They Crash the Party? College Football's Second-Tier Title Contenders

Can They Crash the Party? College Football’s Second-Tier Title Contenders

This is going to be a season of change in college football for a number of different reasons.

First of all, we have a whole slew of teams moving to new conferences, which is sure to have an impact on how things play out.


My College Football Nation’s Second-Tier Title Contenders Analysis

Teams that may have been top tier in their previous conferences may now have to undergo a period of adjustment in their new homes. That said, the move to a 12-team playoff might make things a little more forgiving. Even with the expanded playoff setup for the coming season, there are still a number of teams that are considered top tier. These include the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, and Oregon. The second-tier teams are those that would likely not make a 4-team playoff but who are in with a shot with the new format. Let’s take a look at a few of those teams.


Ole Miss Rebels

With Nick Saban deciding to retire this offseason, there is, for the first time in quite a while, the belief that someone other than Alabama can win the SEC West. Yes, the Crimson Tide should still be strong, but there may be a transition period under a new head coach. You could make a case for the Texas A&M Aggies, but I am going with Ole Miss to potentially fill the top spot. They have a potential Heisman winner at the QB slot, as well as a slew of returning players, not to mention some great pickups in the portal. Even if the Rebels don’t win the West, I like their chances of a playoff spot.


Penn State Nittany Lions

Over the last few years, the fate of the Big Ten has tended to come down to the meeting of the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes in the final week of the season. With Michigan winning a championship and coach Jim Harbaugh moving on, there is some debate as to whether the Wolverines will be as strong this season. That could potentially open the door for the Penn State Nittany Lions. They will have Drew Allar returning as their staring QB, but their fate will still depend on whether they can win the big games against their conference rivals.


Oklahoma State Cowboys

As we mentioned at the top of this piece, the Conferences are undergoing some drastic changes this season. The Big 12 saw Texas and Oklahoma bolt to the SEC, which could well prove to be good news for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are coming off a 10-win season, and while they have some tough games coming their way this season, most notably against Kansas State and Baylor, another 10-win season looks possible, which could be enough to get them into the playoffs.


Florida State Seminoles

One team that wishes there was a 12-team playoff last season is surely the Florida State Seminoles. They went unbeaten in the regular season in 2023 but seemingly didn’t do enough to convince the Playoff Committee that they were deserving of a spot in the postseason. They are sure to have a chip on their shoulder heading into the new season and look a good bet to win the ACC and secure a playoff spot this time around. Whether that translates to a National Championship run remains to be seen.


NCAAF Game Lines
Odds to Win Conference
National Championship Odds

NCAA Football Kick Off Schedule

Week Zero: Saturday, Aug. 24
• Florida State vs. Georgia Tech (in Dublin, Ireland)
• Norfolk State vs. Florida A&M
• SMU at Nevada
• Montana State at New Mexico
• Delaware State at Hawaii
Week 1: Thursday, Aug. 29 to Sunday, Sept. 1
• North Carolina at Minnesota
• Clemson vs. Georgia
• Miami (FL) at Florida
• Notre Dame at Texas A&M
• Penn State at West Virginia
• Georgia State at Georgia Tech
• North Dakota State at Colorado
• South Dakota State at Oklahoma State
• LSU vs. Southern California
• North Carolina Central vs. Alabama State


NCAA Football Betting Center

Updated College Football Betting Odds | Online Sports Betting