– Reid McEowen
Although it may be entirely too early to start stipulating over the top four teams in the land, I can’t help
but to begin anticipating the heart-breaking decisions the CFB playoff committee will make in early
December. Tons of undefeated remain, but the top 4 right now looks very similar to year’s past.
#4- Ohio State (2-0)
A team shrouded in controversy has continued to show that they are by far one of the best teams in the nation. Although the Buckeyes have played only Oregon State University and Rutgers University, they have shown no problem trouncing them. After coming off a 48-point win over the Beavers, Ohio State played Scarlet Knights in the horseshoe. It wasn’t a test from the start and the Buckeyes won the game by 49. Ohio State goes into Texas with the largest scoring margin in the FBS and looks to continue its dominance against a notoriously poor BIG 12 defense in #15 TCU. I don’t expect Dwayne Haskins, JKDobbins or Mike Weber to struggle, but their defense will face their first true test as they go into Ft.Worth. The Horn Frogs potent BIG 12 offense will either legitimize the OSU defense or find a chink in the armor of the Buckeyes as TCU looks to ruin the Buckeye’s season early. If the Buckeye’s defense doesn’t step up and put this game away early and with a good performance from Kyler Murry’s Sooners, I could see Ohio State being knocked out of the top four by Oklahoma.
#3- Clemson (2-0)
This is where my top four differs from the AP Poll. I haven’t completely bought into the Tigers quite yet
after a slow start. The Tigers came out poorly in their first game of the season as Furman University kept
it close in the first half. In a week where all top teams seemingly blew out their opponents from the
starting block, the Tigers seemed to stumble. Clemson’s second game at Texas A&M made me doubt
them even more. After racing out to a 20-0 lead in the first half, Clemson’s defense allowed the Aggies
to storm back and gave the Tigers a scare late in the fourth quarter. Although the Tigers held on late to
win 28-26, the Clemson defense allowed Texas A&M to rack up over 500 yards of total offense. I also have doubts about the switching of quarterbacks for the Tigers. True-Freshman Trevor Lawrence and Senior Kelly Bryant both have the talent to get the starting job, but Dabo Swinney needs to choose a
starter soon to allow their offense to start to get into a rhythm. I expect Clemson to stay in my top four for the rest of the season because they do not have a test for the rest of their season and, in my opinion,
are the second most talented team in college football. However, their lack of schedule strength could come back to bite them come selection time, as they currently aren’t scheduled to play a top 25 team.
#2- Georgia (2-0)
The Bulldogs really surprised me this past week with a 41-17 win at #24 South Carolina. In a game where I thought the Gamecocks would put up a fight, Georgia’s defense put the game away by the first drive.
With a defensive touchdown on South Carolina’s first offensive drive and the Bulldogs kept their foot on
the gas pedal as they outscored South Carolina 21-7 in the second half. Sophomore Jake Fromm
continues to show his poise as he seems prepare for anything the SEC throws at him. The Bulldogs
running attack also seems to be dominant as the dynamic duo of Junior Elijah Holyfield and Sophomore
D’Andre Swift continue to keep the defenses honest. The reason I disagree with the AP Polls rankings of Clemson and Georgia has to do with the consistency of both teams. My confidence in Clemson is shaken as their offense seems to rely solely on big plays to score, while the combination of Georgia’s methodical run game and Jake Fromm’s decision-making extends drives and tires out defenses. Georgia’s defense also has shown their ability to go on the road and get stops late game while Texas A&M outscored the Tigers 23-14 in the second half. As of right now, the Bulldogs seem to be the better team.
#1- Alabama (2-0)
Of course, the Crimson Tide continue to show that they are the most talented team in the nation.
Although they haven’t really played anyone, Nick Saban once again proves he’s head and shoulders
above every other coach in the NCAA. His ability to, not only get defensive talent, but then prepare
them for week one, is astonishing. Alabama just doesn’t make mistakes, and they are by far the most
talented team in the nation. Although I believe the speed and strength of the Crimson Tide’s defense
could, alone, win them the national championship, they also have one of the most explosive
quarterbacks in the nation in Sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. He has an arm and the ability to scramble
much like Russel Wilson, and the front runner in Heisman race also doesn’t have a blemish to his record
with six total touchdowns and zero interceptions. Alabama will face their first test of the season with agame on the road at Ole Miss, but I don’t think they will struggle all too much as the Crimson Tide’soffense will have a field day against a poor Rebel defense. I also fully expect Nick Saban’s stout defense to shut down Ole Miss’s Senior quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu. As much as it pains me to say it, I don’t seem much getting in the way of Alabama hoisting their third CFP Trophy on Jan. 8.