College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 3
As we enter week three of the college football season, not much has changed in the top ten. All of the top teams have dominated their early competition, but now some teams begin conference schedules so we will begin to see teams separate themselves from others.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Coach Nick Saban’s No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide made easy work of Arkansas State with a 57-7 blowout. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was outstanding again and has continued his hot start to the beginning of his career. He threw 228 yards and four touchdowns and was out of the game by the middle of the second quarter.
Junior Jalen Hurts came in and played well too, as he threw for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Alabama’s running game was dominant as they ran for 278 yards as a team led by senior Damien Harris and sophomore Najee Harris.
The Crimson Tide could face a tougher test this week as they make the trip to Oxford to battle Ole Miss. While Saban’s team is clearly the more talented team, the Rebels have a history of knocking off a top-ranked Alabama team.
2. Clemson Tigers
The No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers escaped College Station this past week with a tough 28-26 win over Texas A&M. Coach Dabo Swinney’s team was a two-point conversion away from going into overtime. While this certainly was built up as a tougher game for the Tigers, this should have been a larger win for Clemson than it actually was.
The bright spot for the Tigers was the play of their quarterbacks, senior Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence. The two combined to throw for 298 yards and two touchdowns, while Bryant added another 54 yards and a score on the ground. The vaunted Clemson defense struggled though, as Aggies sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 430 yards and three scores in only his second career start.
Clemson gets a cupcake this week with Georgia Southern coming into play at Memorial Stadium. This is the last game for the Tigers before ACC play starts.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
The most impressive team this past week may have been the No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Coach Kirby Smart’s team went into Columbia and dominated the No. 24 South Carolina Gamecocks. Many people, including myself, thought this could have upset written on it, but the Bulldogs were clearly the better team in route to 41-17 win.
Georgia really controlled the game from the start as they went for 473 total yards and dominated possession (35:43 of ball control). The Bulldogs' defense forced two turnovers including a pick-six in the opening drive by senior Deandre Baker.
The Bulldogs also get an easy game this week by facing Middle Tennessee State in Athens. Starting next Georgia begins SEC play with a matchup at Missouri.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
The No. 4 ranked Buckeyes continued their dominant start to the season despite the absence of coach Urban Meyer. Ohio State cruised to a 52-3 win over Rutgers to open Big Ten play 1-0. Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was phenomenal again versus Rutgers as threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns. He is making Buckeyes fans quickly forget about J.T. Barrett.
In the last game of Meyer’s suspension, the Buckeyes have a huge test ahead of them with a matchup with No. 15 TCU in Austin. This is one of the games of the week and will tell us a lot about this Buckeyes team.
If the Buckeyes can get past this huge test against TCU, that would be a huge resume builder for Ohio State when playoff conservation begins at the end of October. Plus, a massive matchup looms for the Buckeyes at No. 11 Penn State in two weeks that will surely have big playoff implications.
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Auburn Tigers
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