The Other Top Title Contenders:
Alabama was rightfully named the pre-season number one in college football, though I find ranking teams before October to be stupid, but if they don't win the title, which teams are the most likely to lift up the crystal ball instead? Here's a quick look, a power ranking if you will, of teams besides Alabama that have the best chance to win the National Championship.
1. Ohio State
They'll be the favorite in every game they play at this point. Their conference is just good enough not to hurt them in the voters minds but just bad enough to where they shouldn't be seriously challenged. I think they'd likely get blown out by a strong SEC team like Alabama or Georgia, but any loss before the title game would be a surprise at this point.
Toughest games: at Michigan, Wisconsin, at Northwestern
I only see one potential loss on their schedule, that being their November 7th game at Stanford. They don't play USC this year and their other two ranked conference opponents besides Stanford (UCLA and Oregon State) have to come to Eugene. I don't expect their offense to drop off at all even after Chip Kelly's departure; they'll win 11 games at least.
Toughest games: at Stanford, UCLA, Oregon State
They're a better team than Oregon or Ohio State in my opinion but have a much tougher schedule. That killer schedule starts off with a non-conference game at number 8 Clemson in week one. If they get past Clemson their conference schedule includes seventh ranked South Carolina, tenth ranked Florida, and thirteenth ranked LSU. Brutal. Well, at least they won't have to face Alabama; in the regular season. If they're able to finish the regular season undefeated, I'd make them the number one team even over Alabama. I hope we get a rematch of last year's SEC title game classic.
Toughest Games: at Clemson, LSU, Florida
They're not on this list because they're one of the top five most talented teams in the nation. They're on this list because they're already ranked inside the top 10 of the pre-season coach's poll and I challenge you to find a loss on their schedule. Could they have a down day and get upset, of course, it happens, but they should be favored in every game they play. Really, look at their schedule thanks to the joke that is the American Football Conference. They'll play Temple, Rutgers, UCF, South Florida, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, and Cincinnati; where's the loss on that list? Their problem will obviously be that voters will hold their schedule against them. Even if they go undefeated, I'd still put a one loss Ohio State, Oregon, and Georgia in the title game over the Cardinals.
Toughest games: Let me know if you find one
They have three very tough games, but two of them are at home (Georgia and Florida State). Outside of Florida State, the rest of their conference schedule is pretty soft. Most years the ACC schedule would hold a team like Clemson back in the minds of voters, but if they go undefeated with two wins over top 10 SEC teams (Georgia and South Carolina), it'd be impossible to keep them out of the title game.
Toughest games: Georgia, Florida State, at South Carolina