How many college football programs can really win the national title? 247Sports is seeking to answer that question before the season even starts.
Last week, the site unveiled the 2020 Blue Chip Ratio. For basically the entire modern era of recruiting rankings, only teams with rosters comprised of 50-percent or more blue chip players—those who are four and five-star recruits—can win a national title. That rule has held firm for a while now.
Per 247, that means 15 teams “qualify” in 2020, based on the ratio. Even then, we know that not all of those programs are created equal. Alabama and Texas are both among the top teams in terms of blue-chip players. One wouldn’t surprise anyone, while one is pretty far off of the national championship conversation.
Harkening back to last year where “tiers” were a fun internet trend, 247 has now sorted these 15 schools, and a few others, into six different tiers of national title contender. Only five schools have been included in those top three. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State—three schools that are major recruiting powers and recent national champions, are the only “Tier 1” programs here.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 18, 2020
247Sports couldn’t quite commit on where to place Georgia, so the Bulldogs got their own “1.5” tier.
Georgia is a weird team to place. The Bulldogs’ talent stacks up player-to-player with Alabama and Ohio State. Its history, three straight seasons with at least 11 wins, does too. But there are a few big-picture reservations with Georgia that the programs above it lack.
The first is experience. Elite rosters will always turn over. But Georgia is introducing a new quarterback (grad transfer Jamie Newman), a new-look offensive line (the team’s top three tackles all departed) and is dealing with an inexperienced wide receiver group. The second reservation, continuity, works hand-and-hand with the former note. Bringing in Todd Monken as offensive coordinator is a boon in the long run. But given that this offseason is constricted, Georgia needs to get a lot of pieces moving in the same direction quickly to have a shot at contention.
Tier 2 only has one school as well: the Oklahoma Sooners.
OU has been a regular in the College Football Playoff, riding Lincoln Riley’s elite offense to Big 12 title after Big 12 title. The defense has been a major issue, and prevents them from really competing against the teams above them on this list.
Of course, entering last year, LSU probably wouldn’t be much higher than the third or fourth tier. You can’t really rule out any of these teams, even if the Alabamas and Clemsons of the world are in the mix more often than not.
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