College Football Teams Most Likely to Make First College Football Playoff Appearance in 2019

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 06: Shea Patterson #2 of the Michigan Wolverines calls out to his teammates while playing the Maryland Terrapins on October 6, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Maryland v Michigan | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Each season's final College Football Playoff selection continues to prove both one of the most controversial and exciting events in collegiate sports. However, with many of the same schools making it year after year, 2019's stage could be set to debut some new names in the final, four-team bracket.

Here's a look at the three most likely teams to make their first CFP appearance in program history this season.

3. Texas Longhorns

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01:  Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 28-21 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Georgia | Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Longhorns' offense has a chance to be one of the best in the Big 12, after averaging 31.1 points per game (PPG) last season and returning Heisman hopeful Sam Ehlinger at QB. The also feature the electric backfield of Keontay Graham and Daniel Young. The biggest worry down in Austin is, perhaps, would be the defense, which lost eight starters from last season. But we won't have to wait long to see what kind of contender Texas really is when they take on LSU in Week 2 on Sept. 7.

2. LSU Tigers

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers runs past defensive back Antwan Collier #3 of the UCF Knights during the third quarter of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between LSU and Central Florida at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - LSU v Central Florida | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Speaking of LSU, the Tigers could also be staring at a clear path to their first CFP appearance in program history, and it likely all starts with that Week 2 matchup against Texas on the road in Austin. We also know the Tigers should be returning another terrific defense, and the offense is expected to take another step forward after its first full season under QB Joe Burrow. LSU almost always has the recruits and talent to run with the best, but the Tigers' biggest obstacle has consistently proven to be Alabama. However, the CFP implications from this annual matchup have to potential to go both ways, and if the Tigers can beat the Crimson Tide for the first time since 2011, a win of that caliber could help propel them all the way through to the final selection.

1. Michigan Wolverines

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 29:  Shea Patterson #2 and head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrate the first quarter touchdown against the Florida Gators during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl | Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michigan has been undeniably improved under head coach Jim Harbaugh, but the Wolverines have still failed to get over the Big Ten championship hump, let alone the CFP mountain in each of the last four seasons. However, this may be the year that we see finally Michigan hurdle these obstacles. The Wolverines get to play Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame at home this season, with their toughest road game coming against Penn State. They also return quarterback Shea Patterson to what is expected to be an improved offense, which should complement the already stout Wolverines' defense.

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