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College Football 2017 Conference, Playoff and National Championship Predictions

Deondre Francois, Florida State Seminoles Football

Deondre Francois, Florida State Seminoles Football

The start of the 2017 college football season is just a day away with five games slated for Saturday, Aug. 26. The official Week 1 slate is packed with intriguing matchups, starting with games on Thursday, Aug. 31 and continuing to Monday, Sept. 4 with Georgia Tech and Tennessee meeting in Atlanta on Labor Day night. With the season set to kick off, it's time to make the final predictions and projections for the upcoming year.

Alabama Crimson Tide QB Jalen Hurts

Athlon’s editors met before the preseason magazine was released to iron out the predictions for the upcoming year, but there wasn’t a consensus on the staff on every conference title race, playoff predictions or top 25 rankings. From the ACC to the Sun Belt, there was plenty of disagreement from the staff on conference winners or the predicted order of finish.

In addition to their predicted standings for all 10 conferences, Athlon’s editors also project the four teams to make the playoff and a national champion.   

Official '17 Playoff Predictions

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National Superlatives


Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Braden Gall

Mark Ross

  Heisman Winner

J.T. Barrett

Baker Mayfield

Saquon Barkley

J.T. Barrett

Coach of the Year

Jimbo Fisher

Tom Herman

Mike Gundy

Lincoln Riley

Coach on the Hot Seat

Kliff Kingsbury

Kliff Kingsbury

Jim Mora

Kevin Sumlin

Surprise Team

Notre Dame

NC State



Team that Will Disappoint



Florida State


Breakout Player

Rashan Gary

Bryce Love

Rashan Gary

Brandon Wimbush

Top Freshman

Cam Akers

Cam Akers

Cam Akers