The first full weekend of college football season is fast approaching. The staff at TideSports is looking ahead to the start of the action, and making our preseason predictions for the 2017 season.

Today, the staff is predicting the College Football Playoff teams and the national champion. If you missed any of our previous predictions, check them out here:

Heisman winner & Alabama’s toughest game
Alabama’s MVP and breakout star
SEC Championship

Semifinal: Alabama over Oklahoma State, Ohio State over Florida State
Finals: Alabama over Ohio State
Surely it’s time for some sort of new face in the playoffs so why not Mike Gundy? I don’t think Lincoln Riley can get there as a rookie and I think the PAC-12 eliminates itself. I will take Alabama in Saban-Meyer IV (V? VI?) but not with abundant confidence at this point. The Buckeyes look loaded.
-Cecil Hurt

Semifinals: Alabama over Clemson, Washington over Ohio State
Finals: Alabama over Washington
That’s right, a third straight meeting of Alabama-Clemson in the College Football Playoff. And considering the two teams were separated by just one point in the last two national championship games, who wouldn’t want to see a third playoff meeting? Washington to me, is a dangerous team. Chris Peterson is one of the best coaches in college football and his team gave Alabama’s offense fits in last year’s Peach Bow.
-Aaron Suttles

Semifinals: Alabama over Oklahoma, Southern Cal over Ohio State
Finals: Alabama over Southern Cal
Everyone expects the ACC champ to be in the mix – probably Florida State, maybe Clemson, Louisville if you’re looking for a sleeper – but I say they cancel each other out and Oklahoma slips in to give the Big 12 some playoff bragging rights. Alabama is still the gold standard, and I see the Trojans as a foil that can upset Ohio State in a Rose Bowl semi. In end end, too much Bama for the field to overcome.
-Tommy Deas

Semifinals: Alabama over Ohio State, Washington over Florida State
Finals: Alabama over Washington
Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State are the three teams in college football that can match one another for talent. Washington returns its quarterback, running back, two of its top three receivers, six starters on defense, and may not play a top 10 team until November. A playoff with these four would be loads of fun. Each program has proven it has elite offenses and playmaking defenses. But Alabama is still the team to beat.
-Ben Jones

Semifinals: Alabama over Penn State, Southern Cal over Oklahoma
Finals: Alabama over Southern Cal
Ohio State just isn’t going to make it. Penn State and Oklahoma (because of Baker Mayfield) are both going to pull off a victory. Sorry, Buckeyes. There’s little faith since Clemson shut them out. The Crimson Tide and the Trojans started last season together. This time, they’re going to end it the same way. The final result won’t change, but score will be much closer since USC has improved.
-Terrin Waack

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