In the three years of the College Football Playoff, there hasn't been a huge surprise among the last four teams standing at the end of the regular season. That just means we're due for a shock this season. Here are six teams that could turn some heads and make a run to the Playoff this season.
Georgia returns QB Jacob Eason, who could be ready for a big jump in his second year as a starter, and two dynamic running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Their defense also returns a lot of talent, and should improve in their second year in Kirby Smart's system.
Auburn returns a solid amount of experience on defense despite losing a couple key D-linemen, and they could see a huge upgrade at the quarterback position as Jarrett Stidham will likely take over for Sean White. Stidham unlocks parts of this offense that Auburn couldn't execute with White's limited skill set.
Lamar Jackson is almost being underrated heading into 2017 as the returning Heisman winner. They return some strong weapons along with Jackson on offense, but they're defense could be their most dominant unit with a ton of returning talent at all three levels.
All of the preseason talk in the Pac-12 has been about Washington and USC, but Stanford has built one of the nation's most consistent programs and will be a force to be reckoned with next season. They will be built around a strong running game and a solid defense.
2. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys may have the nation's most explosive offense next season as they return one of the nation's best QB's in Mason Rudolph, their top running back, four dynamic receivers, and most of their offensive line. If they can play some solid defense, they could sneak their way into the Playoff.
Wisconsin came extremely close to winning the B1G Championship last year in an exciting championship game against Penn State. They return their entire offensive line, many key pieces along the D-Line, and a ton of last year's outstanding linebacking corps. The Badgers also have a favorable schedule avoiding Ohio State and Penn State in the regular season.