The college football season is barely underway but that hasn’t stopped the bold predictions from flowing. Much of the opening weekend came with big favorites holding service and, as a result, most of the top of the rankings haven’t been altered just yet. With that said, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated came away with a rather aggressive “final four” prediction for the College Football Playoff.
Alabama and Ohio State were included and, well, neither of those programs constitutes a surprise. However, Staples went with Oklahoma State as one member of his quartet and said the following:
That was no cupcake the Cowboys blasted on Thursday. Tulsa won 10 games last year and brought back a decent amount of starters, and Oklahoma State still shredded the Golden Hurricane to the tune of 11.8 yards per pass attempt and 10.2 yards per play in a 59–24 win.
Sports Illustrated was famously high on the Cowboys heading into the 2017 season and this certainly backs up that optimism, even after an admittedly impressive win over Tulsa. Not to be outdone, the defending champs made an appearance with Clemson landing in the top four.
Kelly Bryant looked like a seamless replacement for Deshaun Watson against Kent State, but he’ll get a much better test Saturday when Auburn visits. Auburn’s defense allowed only 78 yards in a 41–7 win against Georgia Southern, so we should have a much better idea of how good Clemson’s offense is this time next week.
Clemson was (quite) impressive in the opener and the Tigers certainly have fans of their own as well. Still, the combination of Oklahoma State and Clemson isn’t one you will likely see often right now when it comes to ultimate CFP predictions and this constitutes a limb.