2016 preseason Crystal Ball: Picks for the playoff, Heisman, hot seat, more

Who will win the national championship and the Heisman? Which team will flop? Which player will be a breakout star? SI's college football writers answer these questions and more.
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The start of the 2016 college football season is finally upon us (and not just an early tease in Australia). It's been a long seven months of speculating and analyzing without actual games, but that all changes this weekend. Soon, Alabama will get a chance to prove whether it can replace starting quarterbacks again and win another national championship. Stanford's Christian McCaffrey will get his shot to show he deserved last year's Heisman Trophy and claim this year's award. And of course the bumpy road to the College Football Playoff will unfold once again.

With games set to kick off, it's time for SI's college football experts to make their final preseason predictions. Here are their picks for the playoff, the Heisman and other burning questions whose answers will define the season.

writer

Peach Bowl Semifinal

Fiesta Bowl Semifinal

National champ. game

NATIONAL champion

Andy Staples

Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Alabama vs. Clemson

Florida State vs. Alabama

Florida State

Pete Thamel

Clemson vs. TCU

Stanford vs. Ohio State

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Clemson

Lindsay Schnell

Clemson vs. TCU

Michigan vs. Stanford

Clemson vs. Michigan

Clemson

Brian Hamilton

Florida State vs. Alabama

Oklahoma vs. Clemson

Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Florida State

Joan Niesen

Clemson vs. Alabama

LSU vs. TCU

Clemson vs. LSU

Clemson

Colin Becht

Alabama vs. Notre Dame

Ohio State vs. Florida State

Alabama vs. Florida State

Alabama

Gabriel Baumgaertner

Ohio State vs. Oklahoma State

Alabama vs. Florida State

Ohio State vs. Florida State

Ohio State

Chris Johnson

Alabama vs. Michigan State

Florida State vs. LSU

Alabama vs. Florida State

Florida State

• Conference primers: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | Group of Five

writer

Orange Bowl

Cotton Bowl

Rose bowl

Sugar Bowl

Andy Staples

Louisville vs. Michigan

Houston vs. Texas A&M

Ohio State vs. Stanford

Oklahoma State vs. Georgia

Pete Thamel

Florida State vs. LSU

Houston vs. Georgia

Michigan vs. Oregon

Oklahoma vs. Alabama

Lindsay Schnell

Florida State vs. Notre Dame

Houston vs. Alabama

Michigan State vs. Washington State

Oklahoma vs. LSU

Brian Hamilton

Louisville vs. Tennessee

Houston vs. Michigan

Ohio State vs. Stanford

Oklahoma State vs. LSU

Joan Niesen

Florida State vs. Ohio State

Houston vs. Michigan State

Michigan vs. Stanford

Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss

Colin Becht

Clemson vs. Tennessee

Boise State vs. TCU

Michigan vs. Stanford

Oklahoma vs. LSU

Gabriel Baumgaertner

Clemson vs. Michigan State

Houston vs. Georgia

Michigan vs. Stanford

TCU vs. LSU

Chris Johnson

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Boise State vs. Oklahoma

Michigan vs. Stanford

TCU vs. Tennessee