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Sadly, we are now a fourth of the way through the 2017 college football season.
I know, it’s unbelievable how long the offseason for college football is and then how quickly it vanishes once the season is here.
It’s also pretty unbelievable how difficult it has already become to even find ten teams deserving of being ranked in the Outkick Top Ten. Just about everyone has already lost and we’re not even through September yet.
With that in mind, here we go with the Outkick Top Ten.
But first, remember —
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A part of me thinks someone told Nick Saban I took Vanderbilt +19 and the under and Saban laughed and said, “Well, I’m going to crush that asshole then.”
Because Vanderbilt looked like a high school team playing against Alabama yesterday.
I mean, that may have been the most physically dominant win I have seen Alabama put on an SEC opponent in Saban’s entire tenure with the Tide.
That beating was so bad it even had me questioning whether I was too complimentary of Derek Mason. It shouldn’t be possible to lose 59-0 to anyone at home in your conference.
With this game, the Tide surged back to number one in the Outkick rankings.
The Tigers weren’t great on the road against Boston College, but with Florida State’s loss to N.C. State, that game against FSU doesn’t loom as large as we thought it might.
Suddenly Tiger road games at Virginia Tech and at N.C. State look like the games likely to determine who wins the ACC Coastal and, potentially, the conference.
Buckle up, kids, because the ACC race may be much more interesting than we anticipated.
Welcome to the Top Ten, TCU!
The Horned Frogs have beaten Arkansas by 21 on the road and just beat Oklahoma State by double digits on the road as well, in what probably classifies as the most shocking result so far in the 2017 college football season.
Talk about a brutal road schedule in the Big 12: TCU has to go to Oklahoma State, to Oklahoma, and to Kansas State.
But split games against Oklahoma and Kansas State now and TCU should be in the Big 12 title game. (Remember the Big 12 will just take the top two finishers for the title game this year. Knowing the Big 12 this probably means there will be a five way tie for first.)
I don’t know what happened to the Sooners on the road against Baylor, but it definitely qualifies as an alarming performance.
But not alarming enough to drop the Sooners outside the top ten.
How good is Georgia?
After a dominant performance over Mississippi State the Bulldogs travel to Knoxville for Butch Jones’s last stand. Is there anything more Georgia than finding a way to lose to Butch Jones for the third straight season?
But if Georgia doesn’t stumble, maybe the SEC East finally has a good team again.
The Wolverines are back as the top team in the Big Ten thanks to potentially finding a quarterback.
Just when you thought Purdue might be able to pull off the upset the Michigan defense stifled the Boilermaker attack and the offense got rolling.
Next big challenge — on the road in Happy Valley, until then 6-0 beckons.
7. Penn State
Welp, Penn State survived and advanced.
That’s the most you can say for the play by Trace McSorley to win the game at Iowa.
But the Nittany Lions are going to have to play infinitely better than this to win on the road at Ohio State.
8. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are rolling in year two under Justin Fuente.
What’s their celing?
No one really knows, but 4-0 sure does look nice.
You know what would look even nicer though? 5-0 with a win over the defending national champs. Can’t wait for this game.
The Huskies just keep winning without anyone noticing them.
So far Chris Petersen’s crew has won all four games by 16 or more points and last night’s big win over Colorado on the road served notice the Apple Cup will probably be for the Pac 12 North title once more.
But, again, so many of these games are ending late at night that most people will have already started paying attention to the NFL by the time they realize how impressive Washington’s win last night was.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before — USC was erratic and enigmatic yet found a way to win.
But, still, Cal had SIX turnovers and outgained USC in total yardage.
I think USC takes its first loss of the season on Friday in Pullman.
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