The college football season is still months away, but that doesn't mean the excitement around the season isn't there. The goal for the top teams is once again to make it to the College Football Playoff. And Vegas has now revealed which teams it thinks are in the best position to make it to the playoff.
The teams are based on the over/under win totals for several college football teams in 2017 as compiled by CG Technology, a Vegas Sportsbook. The cut-off for the top teams was eight, as six teams (including Michigan, LSU and Clemson). Just for fun, I've also included a brief write-up. The teams are based on reverse alphabetical order if they are tied. With that in mind, here are the eight teams Vegas projects to have the most wins in 2017.
8. Wisconsin Badgers (9.5 wins)
The out-of-conference schedule isn't too tough for Wisconsin, with only a road game to BYU standing out as a potential upset. And with no Ohio State on the schedule, the toughest Big Ten games are a road trip to Nebraska and home games against Michigan and Iowa. It's easy to see why Vegas as the Badgers approaching 10 wins. I like the over here, with Wisconsin a real threat to win 11 games this year.
7. Washington Huskies (9.5 wins)
It's another cupcake out-of-conference schedule for Washington, since Rutgers is still Rutgers. A road game against Colorado opens Pac-12 play and that could be tough. Outside of a road trip to Stanford in November, Washington gets its most notable Pac-12 opponents at home: UCLA, Utah and Washington State. The Huskies went undefeated in the regular season last year and reaching double-digit wins should be in the cards once again.
6. USC Trojans (9.5 wins)
Unlike the first two teams on this list, USC plays a few notable out-of-conference teams. They open with the P.J. Fleck-less Western Michigan Broncos, host Texas in Week 3 and visit Notre Dame in October. They play host to Stanford in Week 2, Utah before Notre Dame and UCLA to end the year. Road games against Colorado and Washington State could be tricky. USC closed last year as well as anyone, but there are quite a few potential slip ups on the schedule if they don't start the year well.
5. Penn State Nittany Lions (9.5 wins)
Pittsburgh is the lone notable out-of-conference game for PSU. Road games against Iowa, Ohio State and even Michigan State could be tricky. The toughest home games are Michigan and maybe Nebraska. Getting to the 10 wins for PSU assumes they fall against OSU and Michigan and avoid (or at least balance out) any potential upsets.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (9.5 wins)
A road trip in Week 2 to Ohio State is one of the tougher out-of-conference games on this list. But even with a loss, the Sooners can reach 10 wins by taking care of business in the Big 12. They have room for one conference loss, with a visit to Oklahoma State the most likely potential loss. Other notable conference games are at Kansas State, vs. Texas and a season-ending home game against West Virginia.
3. Florida State Seminoles (9.5 wins)
The best non-conference game of the year is FSU vs. Alabama to open the season. The Noles also visit Florida to end the year and have to travel to Clemson. Those are three tricky games, although FSU should be one of the best teams in the country this year. Home games against Louisville and Miami (FL) also won't be easy. Still, if FSU can keep QB Deondre Francois off his back, they'll be tough to beat.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (10 wins)
The Oklahoma game will be tough for both sides, as previously mentioned. Three conference road games against Nebraska, Iowa and Michigan won't be easy, although the first two really should be wins. OSU also gets Penn State at home. The Buckeyes are again flush with talent and a win over OU would put them in perfect position not just to get to 10 wins but to get back to the College Football Playoff.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (10.5 wins)
Surprise, surprise, Alabama is at the top. The FSU game is must-watch, but even a loss wouldn't kill Alabama's CFP hopes. An early October road game against Texas A&M could be tricky and there's a chance the season finale against Auburn (a road game) is for the SEC West crown. But Alabama gets LSU and Tennessee at home to make things slightly easier. Plus, the last time Alabama failed to reach 11 regular season wins was in 2010.