The college football season is scooting along and we find week seven upon us. I will take a closer look at the top five teams in the country and see if there will be any movement in the near future.
First things first, the defending national champions are the leadoff hitters.
With their defense averaging less than 13 points a game (4th in the country) it seems the lowly Kentucky Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks and Tennessee Volunteers don’t stand a chance. Alabama has only given up more than 14 points in one game and that was week two against Johnny Football and Texas A&M. Kentucky and Arkansas both average under 30 points per game and Tennessee is just a hair over 30. To think the defending national champs would lose to the bottom part of the SEC would be more than surprising. The Crimson Tide’s next big game is against rival LSU at home on Nov. 9. So if you were hoping for a Bama loss soon, don’t hold your breath.
Also to note, running backs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake are both averaging over six yards per carry making it easy for AJ McCarron to make throws and have a completion percentage over 70. Bama averages just less than 40 points per game, but that is not needed when the defense does the job.
Alabama is going nowhere anytime soon at the #1 spot.
Oregon does not know what a close football game feels like. Their smallest point differential came against Cal and it was 39 points…not really a scare in any way shape or form. This week against #16 Washington will really be their first test of their 2nd ranked points for (59.2), 2nd ranked points against (11.8) and 3rd ranked rush average (335.8). If you have a chance to watch this team, do so. This makes the Rams’ ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ look like pee-wee football.
After Oregon takes on Washington who has a pretty stingy run defense, they have an easy week against Washington State, but then quickly hit the heart of the PAC-12 with #11 UCLA at home, then #5 Stanford on the road.
The next couple of week should put the Ducks through the wringer. Washington put up a good fight against Stanford and will be welcoming Oregon into a hostile Husky Stadium. I don’t see Washington’s offense being able to keep pace with the Ducks even though they have some big play threats in Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams.
Oregon is safe until Nov. 7 when they travel to Stanford. I must say, these Ducks are dang good.
Clemson started the season off with a bang taking down a healthy Georgia at home and boy was that a game. The Tigers have not seen anywhere near that competition since. Taj Boyd is making NFL scouts jump out their seat with his play. He has lead Clemson to the 11st best passing attack in the country averaging over 345 yards per game. Boyd has completed 66 percent of his passes and has only thrown two interceptions to his 14 touchdowns. He is also averaging over 10 yards per pass.
Yes, Boyd has been phenomenal, but when you have Sammy Watkins (in my eyes the best WR in the country) reeling in passes for you, it makes life a bit easier. He is almost over the 500 yard mark for receiving yards and leads the team in receptions (29). Even if someone can cover Watkins, Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries are both having break out seasons.
Looking ahead, Clemson has to face Jameis Winston and the Seminoles on Oct. 19 at home in Death Valley. This will be a game for the ages. Mark this one on the calendar because it will be crazy.
Clemson is safe until Florida State comes to town. I think Clemson will come out on top but that game will be great. Clemson is safe a #3.
#4 Ohio State
This has been a very interesting team to watch. After having Northwestern take Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes to the ropes, everything is downhill until Michigan the last week of the season. Iowa, Penn St., Purdue, Illinois and Indiana combined for a 14-12 record and does not seem to be a threat to OSU’s win streak. They have a legitimate chance to have back to back perfect season.
Braxton Miller has been nothing special since returning from injury. I must say that OSU really rallies when needed. When the offense lets them down, the defense gets the stop needed. When the defense lets in a score, the offense goes and scores. It seems they play down to their competition (beat Buffalo by 10 and let Cal stick around for way to long).
OSU will only be moving up with a weak part of the BIG 10 schedule ahead. Michigan will have to be the team to save us all from another OSU perfect season. At least the Buckeyes have to play in the Big House.
The Cardinal has some deep roots at the moment but a storm is brewing ahead. After taking care of PAC-12 foe Washington in a close one, Stanford should have no problem handling Utah on the road. The following week they welcome in #11 UCLA to Stanford Stadium. This game has trouble written all over it.
Stanford averages less than 40 points per game and gives up a little over 20 a game. UCLA boasts one of the best offenses in the land and a solid defense behind that as well.
I smell an upset in this game with UCLA signal caller Brett Hundley leading the way. The sophomore has not put amazing numbers on the board, but has seven of his 12 touchdowns in the second half (five throwing and two rushing). Along with scoring more, his completion percentage, yard per attempt and passer rating are all higher after 30 minutes of play.
Stanford will have their hands full with UCLA and if their first loss does not come there, it will be against Oregon on Nov. 7.
Look for Stanford to be falling sooner or later.
Who is in deep trouble outside the top 5
The #7 Georgia Bulldogs are in a world of hurt. After being hit with injuries to running back Keith Marshall, wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley and wide receiver Michael Bennett, Aaron Murray looks to be a one man band. With Todd Gurley beat up as well, it looks that one of the best pass attacks in football is deflating. Scott-Wesley and Bennett accounted for about 30 percent of reception and yards through the air.
If it wasn’t for Aaron Murray being a veteran quarterback, this team would be really sunk. Luckily he is a veteran and will be able to limp through the rest of the SEC schedule. Expect one more loss for this team from Missouri, Florida or Auburn.
Who will be joining the top 5 soon.
As much as I hate to say this, the Louisville Cardinals will be in the top 5 soon. They are #1 in point against giving up less than seven points a game. I will make a note to that though. They have to be playing if not the easiest schedule in the country, the second easiest. When the top competition is Kentucky (won 27-13, most points allowed all season) and Temple (won 30-7) they better be undefeated. This week they play Rutgers that might present a challenge (but not really) and behind that the Houston Cougars and Cincinnati Bearcats are all that stand in the way of perfection.
I will say in now and later, I am not a believer in Teddy Bridgewater. Yes, he has a big arm and great athleticism, but Bridgewater has not faced a tough defense in back to back weeks ever. I would love to see how he fared against some better completion, then I would get on the wagon.
I look forward to the upcoming match ups. Until then, Love and Honor: Peace!