Who can actually win the College Football Playoff?

Every team dreams of winning the national championship, but only 15 can realistically envision hoisting the trophy.

The Keanu Reeves CFB crossover spectacular (15:57)
Phil Steele's Week 1 picks against the spread (1:33)
Three Week 1 games could shape playoff race (1:44)
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4hESPN.com staff

Ten bold Pac-12 predictions for 2015

Some predictions, like the continued impact of #Pac12AfterDark, we're confident of. Others, like picking a new champion, we're less so.

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12hCFB Vegas Experts

Experts: Top 25 CFB team betting previews

ESPN Chalk's Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica give a betting preview of college football's top 25 teams.

Illustration by Nathan Arizona; Photo references clockwise from top left: Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire/AP Images; Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire/AP Images; Gregory Shamus/Getty Images; Brynn Anderson/AP Images
15hHunter Atkins, Anna Katherine Clemmons, Matt Ehalt, Dan Friedell, Jeffrey Martin and Max Tyler

Poll: Players pick Ohio State to repeat as champion

In ESPN The Magazine's New Orleans Issue, 99 college football players share their picks for Heisman winner, championship winner, and more.

Herbstreit defends Oklahoma, Arizona State CFB Playoff picks (1:01)
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6hTravis Haney

10 coordinators primed to become head coaches

Alabama DC Kirby Smart will always be mentioned for head coaching vacancies, but the best coordinator candidates in 2015 are on the defensive side.


College football: 10 bold predictions

With the new season nearly upon us, it's time to break out the predictions. ACC fans will not be happy with No. 1. ACC shut out, SEC beat up

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Make your picks with College Pick 'em

Alabama has a tough matchup with Big Ten power Wisconsin to open the 2015 season. How confident are you in the Crimson Tide this week? Play for free

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Cardale Jones rushed to hospital

The Ohio State QB was taken to the hospital Wednesday night with a severe headache, according to multiple media reports. Jones underwent tests in the ER but wasn't admitted to a hospital. Jones' mother Florence told the Toledo Blade "he's good." Cardale is supposed to split time with J.T. Barrett when Ohio State opens against Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. Monday on ESPN.

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott, actually able to bench press again after his wrist surgery, joked that he was 8 pounds heavy at the start of training camp thanks to his added muscle. "I'm definitely stronger," Elliott said. "But I'm in tip-top shape right now, the best shape I've ever been in."

Ted Miller ESPN Staff Writer 

Two of Oregon's three biggest questions were center and QB (other being secondary). And 1st year newcomers will man both spots. Yet both grad transfers not only are seniors with considerable starting experience, QB Vernon Adams and C Matt Hegarty have starting experience in the Pac-12. Adams put up huge numbers while going 1-1 vs. Oregon State and Washington and Hegarty had 4 starts at Notre Dame against PAC-12 teams. These guys are new but hardly green.

Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

Florida coach Jim McElwain said after Wednesday's practice that sophomore Treon Harris will start Saturday's season opener vs. New Mexico State. He reiterated what he said last week -- that both Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier will play in the game -- just that Harris will get the first opportunity. Harris started six games last season and is the more mobile of the two, while Grier, who can extend plays also, is more of a traditional dropback passer than Harris. It will be interesting to see how each fares Saturday.

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Week 1 game I'm looking forward to most: Arizona State-Texas A&M. Should learn a lot about both teams in Houston. Sun Devils staff very confident in QB Mike Bercovici, who has a diverse skill set. ASU should be less reliant on blitzing. Key matchup is veteran Sun Devils secondary against young and talented A&M receivers.

Who can actually win the CFP?

All 128 FBS teams dream of winning the College Football Playoff but here's how you can narrow it down to 15 contenders.

Man charged with theft of O.J. Simpson's Heisman

L.A. prosecutors have charged a man in connection with the theft of USC's copy of O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy more than 20 years ago. The trophy was stolen while Simpson awaited trial for murder, and was recovered last December.

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Ted Miller ESPN Staff Writer 

Has any preseason been more peculiar at quarterback? You have co-starters with the defending national champions and three other top-10 teams starting 1st year transfers (Oregon, Georgia and Florida State). The new FSU QB, Everett Golson, started for Notre Dame in the 2012 national title game. No. 3 Alabama has no starting QB (yet) and No. 13 UCLA is going with a true freshman in Josh Rosen. No. 19 Oklahoma benched returning starter Trevor Knight in favor of Baker Mayfield, an Austin native who started for Texas Tech in 2013 as a true freshman walk-on. And so on.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

My Week 1 Big Ten upset special is Illinois State over Iowa. Redbirds were FCS runner-up in '14 and have a good QB in former Indiana transfer Tre Roberson. Plus, Hawkeyes have some big questions at offensive tackle. May be overreaching here on the upset pick, but I expect a close game at Kinnick.

Matich: BYU can beat Nebraska

College football analyst Trevor Matich says BYU is poised to upset Nebraska in Week 1 on Saturday.


Oklahoma State staying in haunted hotel?

According to GoPokes.com, the Cowboys will stay at the Hotel Doherty the night before playing Central Michigan on Thursday. That hotel has a history as a former speakeasy, meeting place for the mafia and the site of a notorious murder. The official Michigan tourism site says there have been several accounts of haunting. A pregame scare?

Brandon Chatmon ESPN Staff Writer 

One guy to keep an eye on at Oklahoma State is Blake Jarwin. The junior lines up at "Cowboy back" a hybrid tight end/fullback position. At 6-5, 242, he could become a key target in the middle of the field for Mason Rudolph.

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warinner on the enviable position he's in helping decide between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett at QB: "We're not deciding between average and good. We're deciding between good and good. ... They've executed in big games at a high level, so that's the thing that makes it tough and makes it the most intriguing story going."

How to bet on college football this year

ESPN Chalk's Will Harris has Michigan State as the best value pick to win the college football playoff. Ultimate betting guide (Insider)

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Jones: Tennessee searching for identity

Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks about how the younger players are buying into the culture of a program that is still "building an identity."


Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Keep this in mind while watching the Big Ten debuts this week of Jim Harbaugh, Mike Riley and Paul Chryst: Twenty FBS coaches started with new programs last year. Eleven won their openers. Together, they posted a 43-50 record before Oct. 1.

Matt Fortuna ESPN Staff Writer 

Pat Narduzzi made some 1st impression on the ACC teleconference, sharing a story of his days with Scott Shafer at URI

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino returns to the Georgia Dome on Saturday, where he coached the Falcons in 2007. Petrino was asked on the ACC coaches call about the way he handled his resignation. "That was such a long time ago, I haven't even thought about it."

Michigan with toughest Week 1 test

"I've talked to a bunch of coaches. I can't find one who thinks they're going to win at Utah," ESPN's Adam Rittenberg told SportsCenter.


Experts make picks for national champ

College football is just a day away which means there's never a better time to make picks for this year's champion. And while 12 of our experts are picking an Ohio State repeat, even more are picking against the Buckeyes. See the picks

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Jared Shanker ESPN Staff Writer 

Virginia Tech Frank Beamer said Ohio State is the most talented team to come to Lane Stadium and Monday night's game is maybe the "first and second" most anticipated game in the stadium's history. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes traveled to Blacksburg on Dec. 1 in the regular-season finale. That 2001 Miami team is widely considered one of the most talented ever. Depending on how Ohio State's 2015 season goes, it'll be a topic worth picking Beamer's brain on at the end of his esteemed coaching career.

Tom VanHaaren ESPN Staff Writer 

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson on recruiting rankings. "It's not an exact science, nobody can measure how hard guys are going to work and I just think it's ludicrous to have somebody be the No. 51 guard in the country, I think it's a joke. I can't even tell you who the No. six guard in Atlanta is, much less in the country."

Matt Fortuna ESPN Staff Writer 

Thursday night won't be the last time North Carolina and South Carolina open the season against each other in Charlotte. The schools announced Wednesday that they will have two more season-opening games in Charlotte, in 2019 and 2023. (The dates are TBD.)