Take 5: Contenders for next season’s CFP crown

There have been 24 available slots in the College Football Playoff in the six seasons of its existence, with four programs accounting for 17 of those appearances.

Expect more of the same next season.

Joe Burrow
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The elite tier of college football remains a tiny club in which one Power 5 conference (the Pac-12) can barely earn an invite and two others (Big Ten, Big 12) rarely win, posting a combined 1-7 record.

As the books close on the 2019 season and we peek ahead to next season — even with the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft about a week away — the landscape looks so familiar.

The Pac-12 figures to get shut out of the semifinals for the fourth consecutive season, Clemson and Alabama will be back for their sixth time each, Oklahoma is still pounding on the door … but maybe there will be a couple of tweaks to the familiar formula.

Those four teams accounting for the 17 appearances? Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State have never battled it out in the same postseason. And a streak of five consecutive winners from the Southeastern Conference or the Atlantic Coast Conference, the latest coming with LSU’s 42-25 win over Clemson on Monday, will be snapped.

–By Anthony Gimino (@AGWildcatReport), Field Level Media