Conference shifts, NIL deals, and big-time coaches changing jobs have dealt a seismic shift to the college football landscape, but one thing remains the same: The sport’s big bullies are still the sport’s big bullies.
In fact, Colin Cowherd believes that when you consider College Football Playoff contenders, you can sort teams into three categories. There are the legit contenders, or “Real Deal,” followed by “Close Contenders,” and “Still Waiting.”
Colin Cowherd reveals his college football contender tiers
Alabama head coach Nick Saban criticized NCAA’s NIL system, saying “megaconferences will create a caste system.” Colin Cowherd reacted by revealing his list of only 17 teams that were legitimate contenders.
Cowherd broke down his tiers in response to comments from Nick Saban, in which the Alabama coach said he is concerned about the sport turning into a caste system. According to Cowherd, college football has always been a caste system, and he backed up his comment by revealing that only 17 teams are legitimate contenders.
He broke them down on “The Herd.”
The ‘Real Deal’ Group: Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners.
Colin’s thoughts: “These are the best rosters in college football. They are out-recruit people, almost always have the right coach, the best facilities, the passion and the geography. … They’re almost always good. They may hire a bad coach, but they correct it very quickly. They also have four and five-star guys everywhere.”
The ‘Close’ Group: Baylor Bears, Michigan Wolverines, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Oregon Ducks, Penn State Nittany Lions.
Colin’s thoughts: “This group can beat the top tier teams. They don’t have the rosters, the passion or the depth, but they are close. … They need breaks, but they could win if they stayed healthy and teams in their division got banged.” up.”
The ‘Still Waiting’ Group: Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Miami Hurricanes, Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, USC Trojans
Colin’s thoughts: “This group has been dominant before, but we keep waiting for them. They’ve had moments. I’ve seen Florida be dominant. I’ve seen Florida State, Miami, Texas, USC and Texas A&M. A&M just beat’ Bama. These teams can also beat you when they’re rolling, the first group and the second group. … I feel like there’s either chaos, politics or dysfunction where they can’t get it going. USC have the right coach and a lot of recruiting momentum.”
Cowherd said that his list of 17 contenders is “generous.”
“Now, I like Wisconsin and Utah. I mean, there’s a lot of programs here that deserve respect, but those teams don’t have the rosters. You saw Ohio State play Utah in the Rose Bowl — you’re talking about a different ball game.”
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