The Duel

Urban Meyer Makes Bold College Football Playoff Prediction That Calls for Historic 2020 Field

By David Hayes
Utah v USC
Utah v USC / Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
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If there's one college football analyst that truly understands just how the College Football Playoff system works, it's probably three-time national champion head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer did win the inaugural CFP in 2014, after all.

That's why whenever Meyer opens his mouth about potential CFP contenders, most people listen, even when the former Ohio State Buckeyes' head coach makes an unprecedented prediction about which four college football teams he believes will make this year's playoff.

Only the SEC has managed to produce multiple CFP teams in the same year with Georgia and Alabama in 2017, but no conference has ever sent two teams from the same division though. However, Meyer thinks that history is going to change this season, predicting both No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 LSU to make the 2020 CFP.

While this prediction is certainly a bold one, it's far from impossible, especially with the way both programs have looked through Week 4. Although, Meyer's prediction will likely require a rather specific set of outcomes for everything to fall in line this December.

Considering Alabama has never missed a CFP appearance since the playoff format's inception in 2014, including a 2017 season that saw the Crimson Tide lose the SEC West to Auburn, Meyer will likely need LSU to go on the road and beat the Tide on November 9 in Week 10 on the way to undefeated regular season.

Next up on that docket, the Tigers would then likely have to beat a one-loss, top-10 Georgia or Florida team in the 2019 SEC Championship game. That result could give a one-loss Alabama team precedence in consideration over either a two-loss Georgia or one-loss Florida out of the SEC East, or vice versa.

Meyer's prediction would also need some serious help beyond the SEC. Georgia already did him some favors by handing Notre Dame a loss in Week 4, eliminating the potential for another 12-0 Fighting Irish team to make the CFP. However, it would also likely require more mediocrity from both the Big 12 and Pac-12 champions.

Starting in the Big 12, the Crimson Tide's ideal outcome would likely include a Texas team losing to Oklahoma in the regular season and then coming back with a win over the Sooners in the Big 12 title game, likely eliminating Oklahoma from CFP contention. Considering the Tigers went on the road in Week 2 and handled the Longhorns, 45-38, in Austin, the College Football Playoff Committee could boil that decision down to the eye test comparing Alabama's Week 10 performance against LSU to Texas' Week 2 loss to the Tigers.

As for the Pac-12, given that Auburn already defeated Oregon in Week 1, Utah was upset by a one-loss USC team in Week 4, and Washington lost to then-unranked Cal at home in Seattle in Week 2, the Golden Bears are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Conference of Champions. However, Cal still has to go on the road against No. 13 Oregon and No. 19 Utah before battling No. 21 USC at home in Week 12.

The oddsmakers aren't far behind Meyer either though, giving Alabama (+300) the second-best odds to win the 2020 CFP and LSU (+1100) the fifth-best odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Unsurprisingly, Meyer also projected his former Buckeyes to make this year's cut, along with the defending national champion Clemson Tigers.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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