Outkick’s Playoff Picks For 2015

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Jan 24, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye kisses the National Championship trophy during the National Championship celebration at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports Greg Bartram

Next week the college football season begins. 

So this week it’s time for Outkick to go ahead and kill the suspense and tell you the four teams that will make the playoff this fall. 

But first, how about looking at the top 12 teams in the AP poll and how many top 25 preseason teams they actually play. As you can see, college football schedules are fundamentally unequal. The SEC and the Pac 12 schools should get an automatic berth in the title game for running this scheduling gauntlet.

And please stop with your emails and Tweets saying, “Yes, but the rankings will change, this is just preseason.” Great point, so you think Ohio State is going to end up playing seven top 25 opponents and Bama will only play one? Sure, the rankings will vary quite a bit at the end of the season, but there’s a decent chance that Bama ends up playing 9 top 25 opponents this year. That’s unheard of. 

Anyway, let’s just take a look at the schedules based on preseason AP rankings.  

1. Ohio State

Top 25 opponent: 1

#5 Michigan State

This is seriously the easiest schedule that I can ever remember a top team playing in the modern history of college football. 

The Big Ten’s back!

Except it’s not, it totally blows. 

2. TCU

Top 25 opponents: 2

#4 Baylor and at #19 Oklahoma

There’s a decent chance Oklahoma isn’t ranked by the time TCU plays them, so there’s a pretty good shot that TCU will play one top 25 team all season too. 

3. Alabama

Alabama has the same number of top 25 opponents as the other four top five teams combined. The Tide even have the same number of top 25 Big Ten opponents as Ohio State, one.  

Top 25 opponents 7:

at #6 Auburn, at #9 Georgia, #14 LSU, #17 Ole Miss, #18 Arkansas, #20 Wisconsin, #25 Tennessee (Also at #26 Mississippi State and at #27 Texas A&M)

4. Baylor

The Big 12 is weak in 2015. 

Top 25 opponents: 2

at #2 TCU, and #19 Oklahoma

5. Michigan State

Top 25 opponents: 2

at #1 Ohio State, #7 Oregon

6. Auburn

Top 25 opponents: 5

#3 Alabama, #9 Georgia, at #14 LSU, #17 Ole Miss, at #18 Arkansas (Also #26 Mississippi State and at #27 Texas A&M) 

7. Oregon

Top 25 opponents: 4

at #5 Michigan State, #8 USC, at #15 Arizona State, at #21 Stanford

8. USC

Top 25 opponents: 6

at #7 Oregon, at #11 Notre Dame, #13 UCLA, at #15 Arizona State, #21 Stanford, #22 Arizona 

9. Georgia

Top 25 opponents: 5

#3 Alabama, at #6 Auburn, at #16 Georgia Tech, #24 Mizzou, at #25 Tennessee

10. Florida State

Top 25 opponents: 2

at #12 Clemson, at #16 Georgia Tech

11. Notre Dame

Top 25 opponents: 4

#8 USC, at #12 Clemson, #16 Georgia Tech, at #21 Stanford

12. Clemson

Top 25 opponents: 3

#10 Florida State, #11 Notre Dame, #16 Georgia Tech 

With these schedules in mind, here’s my four team playoff bracket:

1. Ohio State

2. TCU

3. Georgia

4. Clemson

I think Ohio State, TCU, and Clemson all finish undefeated, Georgia goes 12-1 and wins the SEC, every Pac 12 team ends up with at least 2 losses.  

Ohio State beats Clemson and Georgia beats TCU and the title game between Ohio State and Georgia ends with the Bulldogs fumbling on the one yard line about to score to take the lead with thirty seconds left. 

Ohio State repeats as champions and I eat a bag of dicks on live television.

It’s going to be a great season. 

(Note: what would happen if we actually got a Georgia-Clemson title game? I sort of feel like the world might end at halftime.)

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.