College Football Playoff picks after Week 1


It’s just Week 1, but it’s never too early to start predicting who we’ll see in the College Football Playoff.

No team made a bigger statement in Week 1 than the Florida State Seminoles, who turned a halftime deficit against No. 5 LSU into a laugher. Quarterback Jordan Travis became the first FSU player to throw for four touchdowns and run for another since Jameis Winston in 2013. Travis’ three scoring connections with transfer wide receiver Keon Coleman have the eighth-ranked Seminoles looking like a serious playoff contender in the eyes of the ESPN voters.

Georgia started its run at the first college football three-peat since the 1930s by cruising past UT Martin 48-7. It was the Bulldogs’ 13th win by at least 30 points since the start of the 2021 season, the most in the FBS.

Michigan’s run-heavy offense has earned it two consecutive wins over Ohio State, two straight Big Ten titles and two straight trips to the CFP. The Wolverines opened the season throwing against East Carolina, however. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy passed for 280 yards and finished with an 86.7% completion rate, the highest in Michigan history (minimum 25 pass attempts).

Alabama is looking to return to the playoff after a rare absence last year, and the Crimson Tide got off to the right start. Jalen Milroe became the first quarterback in school history to throw for three touchdowns and rush for two more in a single game.

Ohio State’s offense got off to a bumpy start in the post-C.J. Stroud era. The Buckeyes, favored by 30 points at Indiana, managed just 23 total points, and quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Devin Brown did not throw a touchdown pass. The defense did not have any such problems, allowing only a second quarter field goal.

Here’s who ESPN’s college football writers would vote in if the four-team playoff were held today.

Andrea Adelson: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
Blake Baumgartner: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
Kyle Bonagura: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
Bill Connelly: Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma
Heather Dinich: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
David Hale: Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan
Chris Low: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
Harry Lyles Jr.: Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama
Ryan McGee: Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Washington
Adam Rittenberg: Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Alabama
Alex Scarborough: Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Alabama
Mark Schlabach: Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, USC
Paolo Uggetti: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, USC
Tom VanHaaren: Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Alabama
Dave Wilson: Georgia, Michigan, USC, Florida State


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