Savvy favored Alabama from preseason to postseason and there were times when the distance between the Tide and all others was remarkably big.
Even so, Georgia entered the season with all of its returning defense plus Nikk Chubb, so the championship game was certain to be a close one.
Savvy called it 33-32 for Alabama based primarily on stronger trench play. The final was an exciting 26-23 Tide win.
|FINAL Top – 25|
|Final Regular Season||Jan|
|594||1||Alabama||13||1||#1 for all but one week of the season. Savvy’s preseason analyses had Alabama as the BIG favorite to win it all.|
|588||2||Georgia||13||2||Georgia’s entire defensive starting group returned. But, Savvy had a pretty solid “nod” to Alabama.|
|581||3||Penn St.||11||2||Any team with Saquan Barkley should be top-5.|
|580||4||Wisconsin||13||1||I know—only one loss, but even after alliterations, Badgers played 2nd weakest top-25 schedule.|
|579||5||Clemson||12||2||Only Iowa St. played as tough a sched but the Tigers played it much better.|
|578||6||Ohio St.||11||3||One of the highest-performing disciplines but just could not win down the stretch.|
|578||7||Oklahoma||12||2||Oklahoma is a strong contender for the title next season.|
|575||8||USC||11||2||I believe this is a top-10 team but, as much as I like Darnold, he didn’t play like a top-10 qb. OL was as disappointing as expected. Gotta fix senseless penalties.|
|574||9||Auburn||10||4||Started 5-1, beat both Georgia and Alabama (average 33-16), but ended with two straight losses. Tigers are close but not “there” yet.
|573||10||Notre Dame||10||3||Give Kelly a hand—and a raise. He somehow managed to assemble a good offense from questionable pieces and finished two games better than predicted by Savvy.|
|571||11||Miami Fl||10||3||Hurricanes still have to find an offense because relying mostly on the nation’s 5th leading turnover-margin is not the way to the top.|
|570||12||UCF||13||0||I love UCF and I love Scott Frost but NO—in no way did this team belong in the playoff. I wish it would have, but this team was nowhere near playing a competitive schedule.|
|570||13||Oklahoma St.||10||3||Savvy said Cowboys would win 10 games and finish 12th in the nation. Looks like it didn’t miss by much.|
|570||14||Washington||10||3||Savvy figured the Huskies for 10 wins—and would somebody give Jake Browning some recognition? He’s been amazing.
|568||15||LSU||9||4||Ogeron should be able to keep this moving upward. Has 10th leading recruiting class of 2018. Savvy predicted 9 wins in 2017.|
|566||16||Northwestern||10||3||I wonder about NW preseason training. ‘Cats always start slow. Savvy said nine wins and a 19th ranking. Not far off.|
|566||17||Michigan St.||10||3||Pretty tough schedule; played quite well. Nice rebound from disastrous 2016.|
|565||18||Va Tech||9||4||Hokies have to become better than average in passing to take the next step.|
|564||19||Stanford||9||4||This would have been a 10-win team and 16th-ranked except for the weirdness of holding back Bryce Love in 2nd half of the bowl game.|
|563||20||Mississippi St.||9||4||Had the chance to play three top-10 teams and lost all three—average of -23 points. Top-10 defense; top-11 rushing but just could not pass (112th) to keep up with the big boys. Also, MUST fix turnover issues.
|562||21||N Carolina St.||9||4||NCState won 2.5 more games than expected but opponents weren’t as strong as expected either.|
|562||22||TCU||11||3||Just when you think Patterson will become fossil dust, he breathes genius into his team. Savvy has always liked his results; time for me to personally follow suit.|
|561||23||S Carolina||9||4||Keep an eye on SCarolina because Will Muschamp is coming on. Not only did USC finish higher than expected, but Will has another top-20 recruiting class.|
|560||24||Iowa||8||5||Savvy figured Iowa for a final 25th ranking and here the ‘Eyes are at 24th. Team just never jelled. Schedule was pretty tough.|
|560||25||Iowa St.||8||5||Remember 2014 when ISU was 2-and-dreadful? Even if they break the bank in Ames, Matt Campbell won’t be here long.