Different Week, Same Story
In a week where the ranks 6-25 had a lot of movement, the top teams in the nation all showed they were up for the challenge as the went into their third games and all came away with win. The LSU Tigers continue to shock the NCAA as they have gone from a barely ranked team, at #25, to now having two wins over top 10 opponents and have their remaining big games on their home turf. I’m still having trouble putting the Tigers in my top four, but if one of the teams in front of them slips up, I will have no choice but to. As of right now, my top four from last week have stayed the same, but this week will be very telling for the true talent level of some teams.
#4- Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State came off a rather conflicting game where they traveled to AT&T Stadium to play the TCU Horn Frogs. A game that was rather back and fourth found the Ohio State Buckeyes up by twelve and walking out of Dallas with a win against a top 25 team. Although the Buckeyes were able to pick up a win against a top 25 team, they didn’t do it in a very convincing fashion. The twelve-point lead they carried out of the game doesn’t tell the full story. The TCU Horn Frogs gave the Ohio State defense fits. However, the Buckeyes were able to get two defensive touchdowns which had pulled them ahead late. The Buckeye offense, as I expected, played amazingly. Dwayne Haskins continues to show that no moment is too big for him, with 344 yards passing, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. As of right now, I will keep the Buckeyes at #4, but I do fully expect that to change if they are able to beat the Toledo Rockets this Saturday, and then go to #10 Penn State and grab a win in Happy Valley. It is also important to note that their controversial head coach, Urban Meyer, will also be making a return after serving his three-game suspension.
#3- Clemson Tigers
As of right now, I think it’s a bit of a toss up between the Clemson Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes, and it seems like the AP Poll agrees. After three consecutive weeks of not having very convincing wins, the Tigers dropped a spot in the rankings. This was caused by a shaky win against Georgia Southern, 38-7. Although the Tigers were able to win by 31 points, their quarterback play was abysmal. In a game where they should’ve had at least over 300 yards passing, Freshman Trevor Lawrence struggled with only 194 yards passing, 1 interception and one touchdown. Their apparent backup, Senior Kelly Bryant 68 yards of his own with an interception as well. The Tigers defense seems to be their saving grace as they can punish opposing offenses and have the possibility of losing their entire starting Defensive line to the NFL draft. Clemson has an easy schedule for the rest of the way, and I can see that hurting the Tigers and if they don’t start to win games more convincingly, I will have a tough time keeping them ahead of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
As much as I want to put the Bulldogs at the #1 spot, I just can’t quite yet. However, this week will be very telling for them as the Bulldogs have to go to Mizzou and play Barry Odom’s undefeated Tigers. Sophomore Jake Fromm will be going up against one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NCAA, Senior Drew Lock. Lock is suspected to go early in the first round of the NFL draft and has a talented group of receivers around him. The Tigers have proved that they have an explosive offense and haven’t scored under 40 points this year, but then again neither have the Bulldogs. As much as Mizzou would love to ruin Georgia’s season and knock them out of the top four, I just don’t see that happening. I expect the Tigers to hang with Georgia in the first half, but as the Bulldogs defense continues to get shots on the Drew Lock, I see Georgia winning this one comfortably. I don’t the Tigers defense will have an answer for the Bulldog’s run-game and Mizzou’s unorganized secondary will have a hard time picking off Jake Fromm. I fully expect Georgia to retain their #2 spot in my rankings.
#1- Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama continues to show that they are the most dominate team in the SEC as they went on the road this past Saturday to play Ole Miss and destroyed them out of the gates with a 62-7 win against the Rebels. The Crimson Tide have their toughest game yet, as the #22 Texas A&M Aggies come to Tuscaloosa. This game will be a good measure to see if the Crimson Tides talent is real. The Aggies have already played the #3 Clemson Tigers and were able to keep it close but lost late. This will be the first time we can see the skill gap between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers. If the Aggies can keep it close and make this one interesting late, then it will legitimize the Clemson Tigers as a solid team, but if the Crimson Tide have a similar score line like they did last week against the rebels, then we’ll know just how much better Alabama is than the rest of the NCAA.