Anyone who tells you they know how a college football season will turn out is not being truthful. In fact, as we enter the 11th week of the 2017 season, not even the so-called experts can be trusted. College football is and has been chaos for decades. Upsets happen routinely and when the human element gets added to the mix as far as the playoff committee and the writers’ and coaches’ polls, predicting what will happen in college football is like trying to predict the next tweet from the President’s Twitter account. (Good luck.)
So after another weekend where some of the proclaimed “giants” fell to defeat, let’s look and see where the top 10 stands today:
1. Alabama (9-0)
It makes no difference to me whether you have the Tide at 1 or Georgia at 1. If all plays out how we think (and that’s dangerous proposition in this sport), then the two will settle it on the field in the SEC Championship Game in December. Until then, Alabama’s dominance is just too impressive for me to place them in any other spot.
2. Georgia (9-0)
Jake Fromm very impressive at what yea coach Kirby Smart asks him to do. It will be a lot of fun to see how he matches up with an Alabama defense. Before then though, Georgia has to deal with Auburn, who has their sights on an SEC title.
3. Notre Dame (8-1)
Every checkpoint that the Irish come to is passed with flying colors. However, this Miami game has a different feel to it — it’s later in the season, new expectations have been established, fan bases and alumni are starting to think about “what could be”. It should be a classic matchup of two teams that know what they want to do, know what they’re good at, and know what the opponent is going to try and do. ND can run the football as well as any team in the country — 5th in the nation; Miami’s defense has shut down opponents’ passing attacks all season. Can they slow Josh Adams enough to make quarterback Brandon Wimbush beat them?
4. Clemson (8-1)
When Clemson is executing, they can play with anyone and beat anyone. So putting them at 4 is only due to their little slip-up they had at Syracuse. It’s hard to envision the Tigers out of a game because their defense is tenacious. A battle against the Hurricanes is looming with the CC title on the line.
5. Miami (8-0)
A week ago I said step one for Miami was beating Virginia Tech. Check. Now, a tougher task remains — beat Notre Dame. A very good Miami defense versus the pass will be tested against an Irish offense that is fourth in efficiency inside the 20. If Miami can’t stop the run, this might be over as quickly as Notre Dame’s previous wins over USC and NC St.
6. Wisconsin (9-0)
The Badgers host Michigan in 2 weeks and that will be the only kinda sorta test that Wisconsin faces until Indy. Hard to get really excited about this team because I’m not sure any of us know what the Badgers really are.
7. TCU (8-1)
Let me get this out of the way: I don’t respect the Big 12 and I couldn’t care less if they get left out of the College Football Playoff again. That said, I do like TCU quite a bit. Here’s a team that does value defense: number 1 in the country versus the rush (69.7 yards per game) and 6th in scoring (less than 14 points per game). This Saturday night’s showdown in Norman could mean the season for TCU — a win and they should be safely in the Big 12 title game with a shot at a playoff berth.
8. Oklahoma (8-1)
The experts who put together the playoff ranking each week sure do love OU. Not me. The conference plays no defense (aside from TCU) so I have a hard time putting all this offense I see from Oklahoma in perspective. I mean, it took the Sooners 62 points to beat Oklahoma State. That doesn’t scream playoff team to me.
9. Auburn (7-2)
This Tiger team is a dangerous one. They’re lurking just under the radar, but they control their own destiny. It’s simple: beat Georgia, beat ‘Bama (and everyone else left on the schedule) and Auburn will be in the conference championship game with possible playoff implications on the line.
10. Penn State (7-2)
I know, two straight losses and the Nittany Lions are still in the top 10? The loss at Ohio State was a choke job, but they played well for nearly 3 and a half quarters. And the loss in East Lansing after a 3-hour plus weather delay isn’t the worst loss that a team could have. Yes, Washington could easily have this spot, but I’m not ready to give Penn State the boot quite yet. But make no mistake, the playoffs are not happening for James Franklin’s team this year.
Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.