The power rankings are here. We see some rises and drops in the ranks this week with Ohio State’s upset, though four teams had byes this week. We’re getting closer to that first week of the Playoff Selection to see who is where. But it feels like three of them are solidified for one week.
(1) ALABAMA (Last week: 1-no change): The game was really over midway through the first quarter for Alabama. Again, some questions still linger if the Tide’s defense can step up especially against the pass, but nobody has come close. They get the bye to rest up Tua and then it is off to LSU.
(2) CLEMSON (Last week: 4-up 2): Clemson has dominated opponents in the last two weeks like Alabama has all year. In fact, Clemson has dominated opponents worse than Alabama has in the past two weeks. And one of them was a ranked team that was undefeated (NC State). So much like the last few years Clemson took a month and a half to get things figured out and are rolling like the national championship contenders they are.
(3) NOTRE DAME (Last week: 2-down 1): Notre Dame was on a bye so they did nothing wrong. It is what Clemson did right in throttling NC State. The Irish will need to be a little more polished after their near mess against Pittsburgh and stop playing to the opponents levels.
(4) MICHIGAN (Last week: 7-up 3): I nearly flipped the Wolverines with LSU here, but that was a grinding game with your rival and though they had chances to really blow them out, it was only a 21-7 win. They failed to capitalize on key plays in the red zone. However, that defense is legit and may be the best defense overall in the Nation.
(5) LSU (Last week: 5-no change): The one massive question will be if LSU can stand toe to toe with Alabama’s offense? They did great against Georgia but even then had difficulty putting touchdowns in the red zone and they repeated that performance with Mississippi State. You can’t expect to put up field goals to beat Alabama. This isn’t 2011.
(6) GEORGIA (Last week: 6-no change): Georgia had a bye and probably needed one on a mental level after what LSU did to them last week. The issue to me was more of a poorly coached and poorly planned game by Kirby Smart & Co. that really could have taken LSU down to the wire and beat the Tigers. A game like that to Florida and many will really wonder if Kirby is truly the guy.
(7) UCF (Last week: 8-up 1): UCF will remain stuck in the actual polls since “they don’t play anybody.” But we do need to start looking at them as an option (we as in the pollsters) as right now outside of Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame, nobody really WANTS it.
(8) TEXAS (Last week: 9-up 1): Also like Georgia and Notre Dame, they were on a bye last week. Honestly, it was the perfect time for the Longhorns to go on that bye. Get re-charged for a Big 12 and possible a Playoff push.
(9) FLORIDA (Last week: 10-up 1): Part of the good-“bye” gang this week as they prepare for Georgia. While the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is always big, this has the highest implications for both the Bulldogs and Gators. And not just really to see who controls their destiny in the SEC East, but really to see which program is on the fastest track to get back to dominance. If Florida wins, they will really have that mojo going and really deflate the Bulldogs faithful of “here we go again.”
(10) OKLAHOMA (Last week: unranked): They smashed TCU pretty good, but still have to worry on the defense now as they are giving up points a lot. If there is a concern, the Big 12 is evolving as teams are really emphasizing defense now though Oklahoma is really pushing to keep it as the status quo. They may get through this season, but with teams on the rise, the Sooners recipe may not work much longer.
NEXT 5: Ohio State, Kentucky, Iowa, Washington State, Texas A&M
That’s all for this week! See ya in one week!
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat