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College Football Playoff picks after Week 1

It may be Week 1 of the 2021 college football season but familiar faces once again fill up our writers’ playoff picks.

Much like last year, top-ranked and defending champion Alabama lands in the No.1 spot on each of our writers’ lists but one following a 44-13 win over Miami Saturday. New quarterback Bryce Young wasted no time showing he’s ready for the Crimson Tide limelight as he threw for 344 yards and four scores in his first start for Nick Saban. Alabama’s defense also lived up to the preseason hype, holding Miami to just three first half points.

Not to be outdone, the Georgia defense sacked Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei seven times to secure a 10-3 victory over the Tigers in Week 1’s biggest matchup. The Bulldogs offense may need improvement, but the defense is in midseason form already and that means they’re a unanimous choice to make the CFP this week.

Unlike Georgia and Alabama, Oklahoma struggled out of the gates but held on to beat Tulane 40-35 in the season opener. Due to the close call, the Sooners only land in five of 12 lists.

The Ohio State Buckeyes kicked off the season on Thursday with a 45-31 win at Minnesota and the 14-point win puts the defending Big Ten champions in each of our writers’ picks but one. CJ Stroud is replacing Justin Fields under center in Columbus this season and his stat line against the Golden Gophers resembled that of his predecessor. He finished the day with 294 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Buckeyes will host Oregon next Saturday in one of the most anticipated nonconference games of the season.

Other teams on the fringes and receiving votes are Texas A&M, Cincinnati and, yes, the 2-0 UCLA Bruins. One-loss Clemson is still hanging around in one of the rankings as well.


Andrea Adelson: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Texas A&M
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Oklahoma
Bill Connelly: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Cincinnati, 4. UCLA
Heather Dinich: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia, 4. Cincinnati
David M. Hale: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Clemson
Chris Low: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Texas A&M
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia, 4. Oklahoma
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia, 4. Cincinnati
Alex Scarborough: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia, 4. Oklahoma
Mark Schlabach: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Texas A&M
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Oklahoma
Dave Wilson: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Ohio State, 4. Oklahoma

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