College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 5
A month into the season, conference play is finally picking up and teams are being tested week in and week out. Then-No. 6 Oklahoma State fell last week while several other top 10 teams escaped on the road. Our analysts give their current top four, including a couple of surprises.
The Crimson Tide came into the season ranked No. 1 overall and have not slipped out of that spot since.
They opened up with then-No. 3 Florida State and won 24-7 in convincing fashion. They rolled through their next three games a similar fashion, topping Fresno State 41-10, Colorado State 41-23 and Vanderbilt 59-0.
The latter may have been the most impressive win of them all. While Vanderbilt has not been a contender in the SEC for a very long time, they started out the season 3-0 and many thought this would be a tough game for the Crimson Tide.
The defending champion Tigers have exceeded all expectations they had entering this season.
The may even have the best resume at this point in the season, considering they have beaten two ranked opponents in No. 13 Auburn and No. 17 Louisville, the latter coming on the road.
Kelly Bryant has filled the shoes of Deshaun Watson perfectly. The junior quarterback has racked up 873 total passing yards while adding a team-leading 346 rushing yards.
Georgia is quietly putting together one of the best seasons in college football thus far.
They have had two very impressive wins over No. 22 Notre Dame and No. 24 Mississippi State.
The only close game they had was on the road against Notre Dame. The most impressive win, on the other hand, was the win over Mississippi State, who blew out No. 25 LSU the week prior.
The Horned Frogs entered this season unranked. Now, they have worked their way all the way up to No. 9.
This last weekend’s game was the most impressive of all when they took down No. 15 Oklahoma State 44-31 at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The score does not truly embody how this game unfolded. The Horned Frogs dominated for the duration.
With one of the best defenses in the country, TCU will be a very dangerous team going forward.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Thus far the Tide have done what they should against inferior opponents and will not move down unless that changes.
2. Clemson Tigers
The Tigers have already beaten two ranked teams in Louisville and Auburn early on. If they manage to escape Blacksburg with a win over No.12 Virginia Tech they could be in contention for the No.1 ranking.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have two ranked wins over Notre Dame and last week against upstart Mississippi State. They won both games without star quarterback Jacob Eason who will likely be back from injury this week, though it is unknown if he will get his job back from Jake Fromm.
4. TCU Horned Frogs
I think the Horned Frogs deserve this slot more than Penn State and Oklahoma at this point in time. TCU’s defense looks like the best of the Big 12 and their offense is explosive as ever. They managed a comprehensive win in Stillwater against then No.6 Oklahoma State while Oklahoma struggled with the lowly Baylor Bears and Penn State scored a touchdown to beat Iowa as time expired. TCU may not be better than these two teams but they can make a better playoff case at this point in time.
Cooper Deck is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick Murphy is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact him, email email@example.com.