Outkick’s National Top Ten For Week 5

ATHENS, GA – OCTOBER 1: Members of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Scott Cunningham Getty Images North America

Amazingly, we’re nearly halfway through the college football season and it’s only October 1st. 

And what a season it has already been. 

So let’s dive into the Outkick top ten:

1. Alabama

The Crimson Tide delivered a pedestrian beating of Kentucky, but now the schedule steps up in difficulty with at Arkansas, at Tennessee, Texas A&M and at LSU in the next four weeks.

That’s three pretty tough top 25 road games in next four for the Tide.  

Can you imagine what Nick Saban against Ed Orgeron is going to look like?

And, incredibly, has anyone realized that if Ed Orgeron wins out with LSU, the Bayou Bengals would win the SEC West?

2. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have won every game by 21 or more, but other than their blow out victory at Oklahoma they’ve been kind of under the radar this season.

That will change in a couple of weeks when OSU gets their first real Big Ten test, traveling to Madison to take on Wisconsin. 

3. Clemson

I watched the entire Louisville at Clemson game and I’m still convinced Louisville is the better team. 

But games have consequences, and I’m not willing to rank a team above one it just lost to. 

So for now Clemson is our number three team. 

And given the fact that they have the tie break over Louisville in the Atlantic Division — and only play at Florida State as the only truly challenging game left on the schedule — it’s hard to imagine Clemson not winning this division.  

4. Louisville

Let’s start the debate now — would 11-1 Louisville have a decent case for making the playoff?

The Cardinals were just about as close as a team can be to winning on the road at Clemson. If only their wide receiver had gone for the first down instead of running out of bounds. Now Louisville will be at least two touchdown favorites in every game except a road game at Houston, which might be a default playoff game for both teams. 

Given that the Big 12 is probably not putting a team in the playoff and that the Pac 12’s playoff chances now boil down to Washington, is it possible that 11-1 Louisville could sneak in as a second team from the ACC?

It sure is.

But it’s also possible that second teams from the SEC and the Big Ten could make a case for playoff inclusion.  

5. Michigan

While the score looked close for those who didn’t watch, Michigan dominated Wisconsin in just about every statistical category, holding the Badgers to 159 total yards, while running up 349 themselves. 

With Michigan State’s loss to Indiana, the Wolverines don’t have a single top 25 team left on the schedule until they travel to Ohio State. 

6. Texas A&M

The Aggies gutted out a road win at South Carolina and now head back to College Station for the biggest home game since Alabama came to town in 2013. 

Now the real tests begin — A&M plays Tennessee, at Alabama, Ole Miss, and LSU. 

Does this team have the toughness to validate a 5-0 start or will it flame out like the last two Aggie teams have? We’ll find out soon.  

7. Washington

The Huskies thoroughly dominated Stanford. Now Washington is the Pac 12’s only team with a playoff chance. 

Washington doesn’t have a single top 25 opponent left on the schedule right now.

At 13-0 they’re in the playoff. 

But would 12-1 get them in over Louisville? Or 11-1 Texas A&M or 11-1 Alabama or 11-1 Ohio State or 11-1 Michigan or 12-1 Tennessee?

I have my doubts. 

8. Tennessee

The Vols got a miracle touchdown they shouldn’t have needed after giving up a miracle touchdown to Georgia with ten seconds left.

This is the kind of win that can make a team believe it’s a team of destiny. In fact, the Vols are starting to look a bit like Auburn in 2013. Can they get healthy and keep improving down the stretch?

If so, look out.  

Tennessee has now come back from double digit deficits in four of its five games this season. 

I find it hard to believe that any college football game has ever ended with two forty plus yard touchdown passes in the final 19 seconds. It was simply remarkable to see. I’m still in shock.   

The Vols are now 5-0 for the first time since 1998, the year the 13-0 Vols won their last national championship. 

With at Texas A&M and at home against Alabama in the next two weeks, if Tennessee gets a split in these games the Vols will be 11-1 in Atlanta, playing for a chance to advance to the playoff.

Win both and Tennessee would likely be 12-0 and, arguably, in the playoff whether they won or lost to a top SEC West team they’d already beaten once in the regular season. 

9. Houston

I keep dropping the Cougars not because of what they’re failing to do, but because of what other teams around them are doing.

Houston needs to be undefeated and then beat Louisville in the next to last week of the regular season.

That win against Oklahoma isn’t as potent as it was — the Sooners winning out would be huge for Houston — and Louisville losing to Clemson definitely hurt their chances to make a statement against the potential number one team in the country.  

10. Miami 

On the day Georgia lost its second straight SEC game, Mark Richt’s Miami team quietly moved to 4-0.

Given that Florida State just lost at home to North Carolina, it’s possible the Hurricanes may advance throughout the entire regular season without playing a top 25 opponent. 

Miami has won every game by 14 or more points and I’m not sure who else you can argue is more deserving of being ranked in the Outkick top ten right now. 

So congrats to Mark Richt. 

Can you imagine how Georgia fans would react if he took Miami to the playoff in his first season with the Hurricanes?

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.