Each week Times staff writers Matt Baker and Joey Knight will handicap what the field might look like for the national championship game on Jan. 9. Don't like their picks? Give us yours.
1. Alabama. Tide's Nov. 5 date at LSU could be tricky. Of course, we said that about Texas A&M. And Tennessee.
2. Clemson. Tigers will minimize mistakes (for a change) and end 10-year victory drought at Doak Campbell Stadium.
3. Michigan. After last season's debacle against Michigan State (see punt, blocked), think Harbaugh & Co. will be a little geeked Saturday in East Lansing?
4. Washington. Huskies have nation's best turnover margin (plus-2.0). That's how you win titles, kids.
1. Alabama. Is it time to start considering defensive end Jonathan Allen for the Heisman?
2. Clemson. If — and it's a big if — the Tigers can knock off Florida State in Tallahassee, it's all downhill the rest of the way.
3. Michigan. Ohio State is still alive in the Big Ten, but the Buckeyes showed too many weaknesses, which the Wolverines will be happy to exploit next month.
4. Washington. The Huskies don't get the attention they deserve, given their loaded defense and top-tier quarterback.