Phil Steele makes his pick for 2020 national champion
College football expert Phil Steele is making his rounds for radio, television, podcast and other interview opportunities after the latest edition of his preseason magazine has been released.
Steele’s magazine is a must-read for college football fans, filled with statistics, rosters, schedules, projections and just about anything else you want in a preview magazine. And after putting all the effort into his latest publication, Steele is ready to make a national championship prediction.
Recently, Steele joined 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello as part of the website’s Social Distance series. Marcello put the question to Steele, asking for his national championship pick.
“I’m going with Ohio State this year,” Steele said. “I was very impressed with what Ryan Day did. I thought Ohio State last year was two touchdowns better than the previous year’s Ohio State team. The 2018 squad allowed over 400 yards per game, had close calls on a weekly basis. Last year, Ohio State just stepped on everybody’s throat from start to finish, dominated every game. Probably should’ve beaten Clemson in the playoff last year.
“They’ve got a veteran quarterback in (Justin Fields), they’ve got three guys that turned down the NFL on the offensive line. The defense will be good as always, and I’ve got a lot of faith in Ryan Day, so I think they pull it out this year.”
Ohio State has been one of the favorites to claim the title since the end of last year.
The Buckeyes were 13-1 last season, claiming a third-straight B1G title and reaching the College Football Playoff. A late interception due to a miscommunication between Fields and receiver Chris Olave cost the team a shot at LSU in the National Championship Game.
Getting to the national championship will look a little different this year, due to the pandemic. Already, the B1G has decided to eliminate all nonconference games and push forward with a league-only schedule. It could be interesting to see the Playoff committee evaluates each team this year.