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We’re halfway through the college football season and I’ll be damned if there aren’t seven teams that look really outstanding right now.
I can’t wait to see how they’re all going to shake out.
But after that?
The pickings get slim in a hurry.
Here’s Outkick’s Top Ten.
(As always, we only rate our top ten teams based on actual games played on the field.)
The Tide dominated Arkansas and then, in perfect Nick Saban fashion, the pint-size dictator of the Capstone State lost his mind over a defensive lapse on the final play of a game that Alabama won by 19.
That’s just too perfect.
Now the Tide’s true test begins at Tennessee, Texas A&M, and at LSU. Win those three and Alabama will be 12-0 in Atlanta.
The Huskies scored 70 at Oregon. Let me repeat that, the Huskies went on the road at Oregon, a place that has been a carnival of misery for them over the past decade, and put up 70 on Oregon, probably ending Mark Helfrich’s head coaching career for the Ducks.
Given what we’ve seen Washington do the past two weeks to Stanford and Oregon, I now have the Huskies as my number two team in the country.
3. Ohio State
The Buckeyes were workmanlike in taking care of Indiana.
Now they finally get a Big Ten test, of sorts, on the road at Wisconsin.
Am I correct that Michigan and Ohio State are infinitely better than everyone else in conference? We’re about to find out.
I don’t care who you are, when you beat a conference opponent 78-0 and you out gain them 600 to 39 in total yardage and only allow two first downs the entire game, you have a real argument that you’re underrated at fourth in the country.
The Tigers crushed Boston College and their offense looks to be finally gelling.
Win at Florida State on 10/29 and Clemson should be 12-0 in the ACC title game and poised to return to the playoff.
Hell, even if Clemson loses they have the tiebreak over Louisville so it’s hard to see how a 12-1 Clemson that wins the ACC title also wouldn’t be in the playoff.
6. Texas A&M
Yes, the Aggies won, but they also gave up more yards than any Aggie defense in the history of the game so I can’t move them up much higher than this right now.
Now A&M has two weeks to get ready for Alabama, and judging by how the Tide have looked combined with this defensive performance A&M just posted, they’re going to need it.
In the meantime, here’s an interesting question, could an 11-1 Aggie team that loses to Alabama in a competitive game and then finishes strong against a good schedule find itself in the playoff mix if other teams keep losing?
I dropped the Cardinals this week because there were so many incredible performances by the top teams that were playing this weekend that Louisville got dialed back down in my rankings.
Lamar Jackson and Bobby Petrino will still get an opportunity to make their playoff case going forward, but their playof chances took a big hit when Houston lost to Navy. Now that game against Houston won’t be the signature event that both teams were hoping for.
Okay, I think just about everyone would have the top seven teams that I do, granted your order could be different than mine, but the final three top ten teams are really difficult to figure out.
YOU HOMER, YOU SUCK.
But, let’s be honest, who has a better resume at the halfway point of the season.
Sure, the Vols lost in double overtime at A&M, but who else do you put in the top ten at this point? Miami and Houston, both top ten teams last week, both lost to non-top ten teams. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech, who Tennessee hammered at Bristol, put the beat down on North Carolina and seems likely to climb into the top 15.
Tennessee lost in double overtime after posting 685 yards of offense on the road against an undefeated Texas A&M team. The Vols committed a fluky seven turnovers, SEVEN!, and still had a very good chance to win this game in overtime. (Five of those were fumbles. Remarkably, Tennessee didn’t recover a single one of their own fumbles, A&M got them all.)
Put it this way, how many times do you beat a top ten team on the road and lose the turnover battle by four?
I bet that almost never happens and Tennessee almost managed to do it.
That’s why this game kind of reminds me of the one Alabama lost to Ole Miss last year.
Of course the big question is this, is there any way possible that Tennessee can beat Alabama this coming weekend? And the second biggest question is this: is there any way possible that anyone can beat Alabama?
Yes, the Badgers had a week off to get ready for Ohio State, but how many teams have a better resume than Wisconsin? Hell, the win over LSU is better than anything anyone else in the running for a top ten spot has.
Plus, if anything, after what we saw Michigan do to Rutgers, that 14-7 loss in Ann Arbor looks really damn good.
10. Ole Miss
I know the Rebels have lost twice — blowing huge leads in both games — but assuming Chad Kelly can avoid getting in fights at high school games, who would you take on a neutral field right now Ole Miss or Baylor, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Florida or Boise State?
Because those are the other teams I have to consider right now for my top ten and I’d take Ole Miss to beat all those teams.
The Rebels two losses both come when they led by 21 or more points.
Hell, I almost put Florida State in here, but when you lose to someone 63-20 I feel like it should count as two losses.