5 college football coaches in line to win their first national title this year

Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /
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college football coaches first national title contenders
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Wisconsin Badgers. 4. 809. Scouting Report. Head Coach. Paul Chryst. player. Pick Analysis

Keep your eye on the Wisconsin Badgers this year. Though they saw one of the greatest running backs in school history in Jonathan Taylor go pro after his junior year, there is reason to believe Wisconsin could make it to the College Football Playoff for the first time this year. Paul Chryst has gotten this program back to great after the weird Gary Andersen years.

In the non-conference, the Badgers have two marquee games that will help their playoff bid. They’ll host the best team in the Sun Belt in the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Camp Randall, as well as a neutral-site affair with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Outside of that date with the Irish, Wisconsin could very well get back to Indianapolis this year.

The Badgers’ two toughest road dates are at the Michigan Wolverines in the Big House and the regular-season finale vs. the rival Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick. If Wisconsin drops one of those games and navigates the rest of Big Ten play well, the Badgers will play for a Big Ten championship. Though no Big Ten West team has won it before, Chryst’s team could be the first.

What aids Wisconsin this year is the Badgers don’t have to play the two best teams in the Big Ten East this year in the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Penn State Nittany Lions. Wisconsin could have as many as four or five top-25 wins this fall if teams like the Minnesota Golden Gophers hold their own. By not facing a juggernaut until Indianapolis, Wisconsin could be ready to run the gauntlet.