By Reid McEowen
Change is rife among the top ten of the AP Poll, after the Stanford Cardinals took a beating last Saturday against the Fighting Irish, while Notre Dame and LSU are starting to pressure the top four teams in the nation, patiently waiting for a team to slip up. After a big week of change in the top ten, the top four teams remain unchanged for the moment. Here’s my breakdown of my top-four teams in the nation.
No. 4- Clemson Tigers
Clemson went into last week ranked third nationally, but fourth in my rankings, and I still feel that’s the case this week. All it t took a huge scare from the Syracuse Orange for the AP Poll to agree with me. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence went down injured in the second quarter after a head-on collision with a Syracuse defender. The Tigers then struggles for the rest of the game, but were able to mount a late comeback to win the game thanks to third-string quarterback-last-week Austin Brice. Clemson continues to struggle in the secondary, giving up huge passing plays, and I believe if they were to play a more competent offense, such as the Buckeyes, or Notre Dame, they would struggle heavily to put up a resistance.
he Tigers quarterback play continues to be a talking point for me, as the Tigers have struggle to establish any rhythm. The Tigers have only had one quarterback throw for over 200 yards this season, and that is Kelly Bryant, who announced he will transfer from the school last week. Head coach Dabo Swinney’s offense seems to be panicking with the only calm presence coming from running back, running back Travis Etienne. I do not believe the Trevor Lawrence has the ability to win in late game situations, but he has another chance to prove me wrong this week as the Tigers travel to Wake Forest for their sixth game of the season.
No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs
The Bulldogs won their game last week against Tennessee, 38-12. Georgia continues to show its dominance, and I had a hard time moving them down a spot in this week’s rankings. They haven’t done anything to alarm me, but the Bulldogs also haven’t done anything to impress me. They are obviously a very talented team, and I believe that they have been relying heavily on their speed and strength to overpower opponents.
I have yet to see head coach Kirby Smart pull his team together and dominant opponents. We might have seen a glimpse of that when the Bulldogs beat South Carolina, but other than that, I have not been overly impressed with Georgia. I don’t think they’re bad team, and they still have several huge games to prove me wrong. Their tough SEC schedule has several big matchups left as the Bulldogs will have to travel to LSU and Kentucky. As of right now, I will put the Georgia Bulldogs at three, but expect that to change if they continue to go undefeated. The Bulldogs play Vanderbilt this Saturday; expect Georgia to absolutely trounce the Commodores.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes
After a huge last second win at then #9 Penn State, the Buckeyes are the first team in the top four to beat a top-ten opponent. And because of that, I have decided to move them into the number two spot. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins continues to show he’s built for prime time, with three touchdown passes this past week. The Buckeyes defense also showed resilience, holding the Nittany Lions to their lowest score line yet, at 26 points. The Buckeyes now travel back home this Saturday to play the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers are 4-1, with their only loss coming against #24 Michigan State in September.
I could see this being a trap-game for the Buckeyes because Ohio State might be a little beaten up after a physical game on the road. If Urban Meyer can’t rally his players and get them ready to play against the one loss Hoosiers, expect Indiana’s tricky offensive scheme to cause problems. However, I do expect the Buckeyes to win this game. It might be closer than expected and depending on how close will determine whether I keep them in the two slot or move them back to three.
No. 1- Alabama Crimson TideThis team is unbeatable. I predicted Tua Tagovailoa would only play one half last Saturday, but even that was an overestimate. The sophomore quarterback only played one quarter and was still able to throw for two touchdowns in that time. Although the Crimson Tide played Louisiana-Lafayette, they were still able to prove they are the most talented and best coached team in the nation.
Alabama won the game 56-14, and now has the largest scoring margin of any FBS team. The Crimson Tide play at Arkansas this week, and I don’t see the 1-4 Razorbacks putting up much of a fight. I think the Crimson Tide will win somewhere near 50-10. The question for the Crimson Tide is no longer how much they will win by, but how soon will they pull out their Heisman-favorite quarterback. Head coach Nick Saban has this team running on cylinders, and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org