Outkick’s Top Ten For Week One

I know we haven’t finished the Monday game yet, but we’re far enough along now to go ahead and give our preliminary Outkick Top Ten. If Tennessee or Georgia Tech are sufficiently impressive on Monday night I will adjust the top ten and add them on Monday.

For those of you who are new to the Outkick Top Ten, I do something radical here, I only rank the teams based on their actual on field performance. And I primarily value games against Big Five conference opponents. So if your team absolutely dominated a non-big five team or an FCS team, I’m not going to value that win as much as I would a Big Five win, especially if that Big Five win happened in a road or neutral venue.

With that in mind, Outkick’s Top Ten is brought to you by Alumni Hall this year.

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Okay, here we go with the Outkick top ten.

1. Bama

The biggest game on the biggest stage and once more, as they have so many times in Nick Saban’s tenure, the Tide answered the challenge, exploding in the final twenty minutes of this game to turn a close contest into a rout.

Can Nick Saban become the only coach to have made all four of the playoffs? Bama certainly looks the part. Especially with Jalen Hurts now looking more comfortable throwing the ball down the field.

Nick Saban is now 11-0 against his former coaches, beating them by an average margin of 18 points. Oh, and Nick Saban is now 9-1 against the spread in season openers.

2. Michigan 

If you eliminate two pick sixes, Michigan delivered one of the most methodical beatings in the past 25 years against the Florida Gators. Jim McElwain’s team had no offensive answer for anything Michigan was doing and as they switched from one ineffective quarterback to another Gator fans had to be asking, why is McElwain unable to have a halfway decent offense when this is supposed to be his specialty?

Regardless, the Wolverines should be 6-0 when they go to Penn State on October 21st and Michigan looks like they’ve reloaded.

3. Ohio State

The Buckeyes were plodding in the first half before they exploded in the third quarter, ending any hope Indiana had of pulling off an upset.

I’m still not convinced J.T. Barrett is reliable enough at quarterback — or even progressing at all — to win a title but there weren’t many teams who won road games over conference foes in the opening weekend of college football so the Buckeyes find themselves near the top of our list.

4. Florida State

Look, I’m not going to punish a team for playing a neutral site game against the best squad in college football.

FSU gave Bama a great game until about five minutes were left in the third quarter when the Seminoles fell completely apart, having a punt blocked, a kickoff fumbled, and two passes intercepted on four straight possessions.

FSU’s national title dreams aren’t over, but they probably don’t have any more margin for error in the ACC.

5. Maryland

It may seem crazy to have Maryland ranked this high, but how many teams went on the road and won by double digit against a Big Five opponent in a road or neutral game?

Only the four teams I have ranked above Maryland.

6. South Carolina

Will Muschamp’s boys beat an N.C. State team that many believed might be a darkhorse contender in the ACC this year. In so doing so they looked much improved on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball.

And how good is Deebo?!

Wow.

7. LSU

BYU is a shadow Big Five team and LSU handled them in New Orleans tonight.

Right now that’s good enough for our top ten. (Note, the LSU game is not technically over, but there’s nothing so far that has suggested BYU has any chance to win this game. I’m headed down to the field for postgame of Bama-FSU so if this changes I’ll adjust it).

8. UCLA 

I know, I know.

I still can’t believe what I just saw.

Josh Rosen wasn’t human in the fourth quarter.

9. Virginia Tech

The Hokies outlasted West Virginia in an outstanding game that will be completely overshadowed by what happened in the Rose Bowl.

10. Washington

I know, I know, it was Rutgers.

But Washington did travel all the way across the country and play a Big Ten opponent. (This is assuming you count Rutgers as a Big Ten team.)

And they won by double digits.

So they’re here.

 

 

 

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.

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