Another exciting week of college football has come and gone. Believe it or not, we are halfway through the college football regular season. Here’s the breakdown of my latest Top 25 rankings.
Alabama won a close game in College Station, Texas, versus Texas A&M – 27-19. The Crimson Tide led 24-3 all the way up until two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Alabama played well other than the fourth quarter, which had Nick Saban unhappy in the postgame presser. “My biggest disappointment is we’re ahead 24-3 in the game and we didn’t finish the game,” Saban said. Alabama running back Damien Harris was quite impressive, rushing for 124 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Isaiah Buggs had a standout game with 10 tackles. Alabama looks to remain undefeated this week as they welcome Arkansas to town for a 6:15 CT kickoff on ESPN.
Clemson, similar to Alabama, dominated Wake Forest early on, rushing out to a 28-0 lead before giving two late touchdowns up to the Demon Deacons, making a final score of 28-14. The big story out of this game was the injury of Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant. Bryant suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter, which hopefully isn’t too bad. The Tigers were extra cautious with their starting quarterback and pulled him from the game immediately. He hopes to get treatment all week before returning for the next game. The other storyline was Clemson’s mishaps, as they had 9 penalties for 79 yards and two turnovers in a sloppy win. Clemson looks to regain momentum this week as they play on Friday night versus Syracuse on ESPN at 6:00 CT.
Penn State cruised to a 31-7 victory over Northwestern, keeping them at the number three spot. Quarterback Trace McSorley went 25-34 for 245 yards and one touchdown. Heisman front runner Saquon Barkley struggled a lot of the day versus the gritty Wildcat rush defense, as he had 75 yards on 16 carries for 2 touchdowns. I say “struggled” because one carry was 53 yards, making his other 15 carries only 22 yards total. The Nittany Lions defense was tough, only allowing 7 points and 265 yards. Penn State is off this upcoming weekend.
The newcomer into the final playoff spot is the Georgia Bulldogs, as they defeated Vanderbilt 45-14 in Nashville. The Bulldogs tend to heavily rely on their run game, as they have two backs that could start and star anywhere in the country. Sony Michel had 12 rushes for 150 yards and one touchdown, while Nick Chubb had 16 carries for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm went 7-11 for 102 yards. Georgia looks to hold their playoff position this week versus Missouri at 6:30 CT on the SEC Network.
Oklahoma dropped out of the top 4 after a stunning upset to Iowa State. Oklahoma came into the game favored by 31 by the Vegas odds. The final score in Norman was 38-31 after a late Cyclone touchdown.
Auburn defeated Ole Miss 44-23 in a game that was never close. Auburn opened in dominating fashion, leading the Rebels/Black Bears/Land Sharks/Hotty Toddys/”Who Knows What They Are” by a score of 35-3 at halftime. Ole Miss looked better in the second half as they outscored the Tigers 20-9. Kerryon Johnson officially entered the Heisman race in many Tiger fans’ minds, rushing for 204 yards on 28 carries for 3 touchdowns. Auburn is arguably the best one-loss team in the country currently, as their only loss comes on the road to the number 2 team in a one-score ballgame. Auburn hopes to continue the winning ways as they travel to Baton Rouge this weekend to take on LSU in the 2:30 CT CBS game.
There are no games this weekend between two top 25 ranked teams, making lopsided victories likely. But we all know the shocking upset is waiting in the shadows. Notable games include Washington State at California at 9:30 CT on ESPN Friday night; TCU at Kansas State at 11:00 CT on FS1; and Georgia Tech at Miami at 2:30 CT on ABC. The Red River Rivalry is also this week as Oklahoma takes on Texas at 2:30 CT on ESPN. For the late night crowd, the most impressive game on paper is Washington versus Arizona State at 9:45 CT on ESPN.
It should be yet another exciting week of college football and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. I’m putting TCU on upset watch this week as they have an early morning game versus Bill Snyder’s Kansas State team in Manhattan.
War Eagle Forever and Always,