College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 6
September came to a close with an exciting week of college football that included a pair of top-10 matchups. A handful of games between ranked opponents and some near colossal upsets made the fifth week of the college football season an exciting one for everyone.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Nick Saban has his team atop the rankings, to no one’s surprise. When it comes to the top spot in the country, the Crimson Tide always seem to have an edge due to their sheer load of talent on both sides of the ball. Alabama doesn’t necessarily have the most impressive resume in the country, but there is little doubt on who the best team is.
Saban led his team to a 56-14 demolition of UL-Lafayette to improve to 5-0 on the season. The Crimson Tide were able to throw for 340 yards despite only throwing the ball 16 times using three different quarterbacks in the game. Alabama also compiled 268 yards on the ground in the contest to eclipse 600 yards of total offense.
The Crimson Tide started the year ranked as the top team in the country and they haven’t shown any reason to drop them. They have dismantled every opponent they’ve faced and they do it seemingly without trying. With games remaining against both LSU and Auburn, if Alabama runs the table they will be the unanimous number one team at the end of the year.
2. LSU Tigers
LSU has been the most disrespected team in the country this season. After starting the season ranked in at No. 25, many people were upset that they were ranked at all. However, the Tigers have silenced all the critics and have put together the best resume in college football so far. Ed Orgeron has led his team to a 5-0 start that includes two wins over top ten opponents in Miami and Auburn.
As the only team with multiple top-10 wins on the year, I don’t see how it would be possible to leave LSU out of the playoff if the season ended today. It will be near impossible to have SEC teams ranked as the top two teams due to the gauntlet of a schedule LSU faces. The Tigers still have to play both Alabama and Georgia in the regular season as well as whoever they would meet in the SEC Championship game should they manage to get there.
The Tigers' Achilles heel has been their quarterback play for the past few years and it seems they have found their guy. Joe Burrow, a former Ohio State Buckeye, has played extremely well this season and continued his strong start to the year by racking up 392 all-purpose yards and four total touchdowns against Ole Miss. LSU already has a pair of signature wins, including one on the road, and could add two more to the resume as its remaining toughest games are at home. The road won’t be easy, but Coach O and the LSU Tigers control their own fate.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State has overcome the adversity they were faced with at the beginning of the season by grabbing a pair of top-15 wins against both TCU and Penn State. The comeback win over Penn State in one of the most hostile environments in college football is what really solidifies the Buckeyes as one of the elite teams in the nation.
Despite being down by 12 halfway through the 4th quarter in their matchup against the Nittany Lions, Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State Buckeyes mounted a comeback that propels them undoubtedly into the nation’s top teams. Haskins is well in play to win the Heisman with just under 1,500 passing yards while boasting a 19-2 touchdown to interception ratio on the year.
Whatever doubters the Buckeyes may have had have been proven wrong as they have emerged as the top dog in one of the most talented conferences in the country. Ohio State should have a relatively easy time making it through the regular season undefeated, barring a clash against Michigan in the last week of the season, which should give Urban Meyer a chance to win another Big Ten title and earn his way into the College Football Playoff yet again.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame was a part of the other top-10 matchup of the week in a battle against Stanford. Notre Dame looked very impressive in a 38-17 victory, which brought its second top-15 win of the season, adding to their win over Michigan in week one.
The Fighting Irish had some questions about their offense with Brandon Wimbush under center for the first few weeks after failing to score 25 points and being in one-score games against Ball State and Vanderbilt, but after making the switch to Ian Book at quarterback, they seem to be in better hands. Book helped Notre Dame hang 56 on Wake Forest and 38 on a very respectable Stanford defense.
Brian Kelly may have finally gotten over the hump that Notre Dame fans have been waiting for. With two signature wins early in the season and a fairly easy remaining schedule, it seems very likely that Notre Dame could end up as a contender in the playoff. Not having a conference championship could come back to haunt the Fighting Irish, but there is no doubt that they have proven themselves as a legit team that can take down anyone on a given night.
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. Clemson Tigers
Camden Tofil is a sophomore majoring in advertising. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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