Chip’s Picks

The five best players, the five best games and the four best teams. Like predictions? Here ya go:

Heisman watch

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Passed for 3,280 yards, 30 TDs with only four INTs as a true freshman.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Stats should be neck-and-neck with Lawrence.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Former Alabama starter follows two Heisman Trophy winners in wide-open offense.

Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

Junior QB should put up impressive stats while guiding the Bulldogs into playoff contention.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Faces long odds as a running back, but he could be in discussion.

Circle the calendar

Sept. 7: LSU at Texas

Challenging nonconference road test for LSU team that some predict as playoff contender.

Sept. 21: Notre Dame at Georgia

Love it when powerhouse programs challenge themselves out of conference.

Oct. 19: Oregon at Washington

Pac-12 showdown could have playoff implications.

Nov. 30: Alabama at Auburn

Iron Bowl. ‘Nuff said.

Nov. 30: Ohio State at Michigan

Is this the year Jim Harbaugh finally gets over the hump?

Playoff predictions

Semifinal No. 1: Clemson vs. Michigan

Assuming Michigan can solve the Ohio State mystery. Big IF.

Semifinal No. 2: Alabama vs. Oklahoma

We love rich story lines, and Jalen Hurts facing his former team would be fascinating.

National championship game: Clemson vs. Alabama

Yes, again. Sorry. Actually not sorry. Give us the two best teams every year.

Winner: Clemson.

Champs repeat behind Trevor Lawrence and high-scoring offense.