Phil Steele is known for his popular and in-depth college football preseason magazine, the publication of which marks a major milestone in the offseason calendar.
As the football season approaches, Steele is making his predictions public, and that includes his prediction for the four-team college football playoffs.
“Ohio State will make the playoffs, Alabama will make the playoffs, Georgia will make the playoffs, and Clemson will make the playoffs,” Steele said on 92.9 FM.
“I think if you look at their rosters overall, because of what we just talked about, the recruiting courses they’ve put in place over the last five years have really brought them the most talented teams.”
Steele’s top four teams line up with most predictions projecting the top two SEC teams to make the last four, in addition to the likely champions of the Big Ten and ACC.
Alabama. No real debate here as the Crimson Tide once again go into the season with the best roster in the nation, led by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and quarterback and linebacker Will Anderson, arguably the sport’s greatest singles player.
Georgia. The reigning national champion, the overwhelming favorite in the SEC East, still has some work to do to replace his historic defense, but aside from the Week 1 opener against Oregon, he has a very profitable schedule ahead of him.
State of Ohio. That offense was No. 1 in college football a year ago and is returning to its core, but watch the Buckeyes’ defense, the team’s Achilles’ heel last season, improve under new coordinator Jim Knowles.
Clemson. For the first time in six years, the Tigers neither won the ACC nor made the college football playoffs, finishing 10-3. And they’ll be up against the likes of Wake, NC State, Miami and a trip to Notre Dame.
recruitment of dominance
Steele is also right about these teams outperforming the competition on the recruiting path.
Alabama led the 2021 college football recruiting cycle, coloring the No. 1 class, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Clemson.
Georgia led the 2020 recruiting rankings, followed by Alabama and Clemson, with Ohio State taking fifth place behind LSU.
Alabama and Georgia led in 2019, as did Georgia and Ohio State in 2018. Alabama took first place in 2017, with Ohio State and Georgia coming in second and third, respectively.
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