Rejoice, college football has returned.
And while I know there are still two big games to be played before week one is complete -- Miami-LSU and Virginia Tech at Florida State -- I wanted to go ahead and post our weekly top ten based on the games we've seen so far on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I'll update the top ten once those final two games are complete.
The only thing better than college football returning? The Outkick gambling picks, which went 10-2 including two blood bank guarantees cashing. If you sign up for Outkick VIP you get the gambling picks several days early -- meaning you typically get to lock in better lines -- you get an autographed copy of my new book, "Republicans Buy Sneakers Too," you get a VIP direct line for radio calls, access to our VIP events, access to our VIP message board, and more details to come.
Okay, here we go with the Outkick Top Ten. (By the way, if you want your business to sponsor the Outkick Top Ten, email me. I've been so busy with the new book and the new TV show this fall, I haven't been able to keep up with advertising inquiries. So click the link above on the site. Not surprisingly the Outkick Top Ten gets a massive readership.)
For those who are not familiar I only rank teams based on what we've actually seen on the field. (That is, I don't do a preseason top ten.) As a result, I reward teams who beat other FBS teams, preferably big five conference wins and constantly reassess my rankings as the season progresses.
With that in mind, here we go:
Tua is a cheat code.
I'm going to write more on this in my weekly column which will go up later today or tomorrow depending on if my flight back from the beach has wifi, but for now all you need to know is Tua, combined with the Alabama defense, is going to make this, I believe, the best team Nick Saban has ever had at Alabama.
If Tua stays healthy, it's going to take an incredible effort for anyone to beat them this year.
The stat that jumps out to me the most? Louisville ran the ball 26 times for 16 yards against the Tide defense.
LSU opened a cajun sized can of whoop ass on Miami and this game was never close.
The Tiger schedule is brutal, but my prediction that Coach Orgeron would find himself on the hot seat before the season was over looks highly questionable right now.
What a beat down.
3. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish dominated Michigan for the first 3.5 quarters last night and then held on late to secure the massive win.
The result, Notre Dame got the biggest win of opening weekend in college football, vaulting them all the way to number two in my Outkick top ten.
I picked Auburn to make the playoff despite their brutal schedule because I believed the Tigers would find a way to win this game.
And they did.
So the Tigers here. Now can Auburn split road games with Georgia and Alabama? I think they can beat Georgia on the road. If so, 11-1 Auburn will likely be in the playoff.
5. West Virginia
Will Grier was phenomenal in the second half against Tennessee, dominating the Vols in week one. The Vols may not be very good -- I pegged them at 6-6 before the season started -- but the West Virginia defense was stout and it's possible the Mountaineers are better on both sides of the ball than we thought.
Regardless, when you win a neutral site game against a big five conference opponent in week one by a large margin, you get rewarded.
So congrats to the Mountaineers.
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes scored a ton of points against Oregon State, but I'd be a little bit nervous for this reason -- Oregon State racked up almost 400 yards of offense, including rushing for 196 yards on 39 carries -- an average of five yards a carry.
I always like to look at teams that can stop the run and teams that can run the football because eventually you have to be able to physically dominate the line of scrimmage to win titles.
This is a bit ominous for Ohio State.
The Sooners were splendid, crushing Lane Kiffin's upset bid early in the afternoon and thoroughly dominating in all facets of the game.
How good is Oklahoma?
We don't know for sure, but based on this performance it appears Oklahoma could be very, very good and not miss a beat with Kyler Murray replacing Baker Mayfield at quarterback. (Note: I'm awarding Oklahoma more credit for this win even though they weren't playing a big five conference opponent because I believe FAU is better than many other big five opponents.)
One of the things that frustrates me about pollsters is their tendency to drastically overpunish a team for a loss to another good team. Washington was virtually even with Auburn all game long and ended up losing, as I thought they would, a close, low scoring game in front of a big pro-Auburn crowd in Atlanta.
So why would I punish Washington when what I expected to happen, happened?
Look, do I think Maryland is one of the ten best teams in college football? Nope. But does Maryland have one of the ten best wins in college football so far this season? Yep.
So here are the Terrapins.
10. Ole Miss
We've got a Hawaiian revolution in the SEC at quarterback and Ole Miss dominated Texas Tech from the opening snap on Saturday.
Jordan Ta'amu was fantastic and the Ole Miss offense was fun to watch.
How good are the Rebels/Black Bears/Landsharks? I have no idea, but they got a neutral site win over a big five conference opponent so they're in our top ten this week.
Hotty Toddy, kids. (I had Central Florida in here at number nine the first time I published, but then as I was writing the Starting 11 I realized I was an idiot and had forgotten about Ole Miss's win. So consider this fixed).
As stated above, I will update the top ten based on what we see on the remaining games this week between Miami and LSU and Florida State and Virginia Tech.
Now go sign up for Outkick VIP and let's have some fun gambling and hanging out this fall Plus, I promise, the new book is really good.
Rejoice, college football has returned.