The NCAA Weekly Top 3-October 17th
College football during the COVID-19 period has been a strange time. We have schools being unable to go due to positive tests (Baylor, Virginia Tech, Florida, etc.) so this week was a little light especially during a time when we often feel like there is a strong presence of college football happening. At least next week the Big Ten resumes to play, in theory. Of course the big game that went down last night was #2 Alabama vs. #3 Georgia with the Crimson Tide running away with the game in the second half 41-24 and having Georgia fans question (outside of their salty tears of one bad pass interference call thus making all other calls "bad" on them-yawn) if Kirby Smart is any better than Mark Richt. So let's dive in.
TOP 3 WINNERS:
#1-ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide had to fend off their porous play last week in Ole Miss (giving up 48 points in a 63-48 victory) against a Georgia team that is probably the best defensive team in the nation. They also had the issue to deal with that Nick Saban tested positive for Covid which sounds like it was a false positive. After struggling in the second quarter, Alabama's offense went into action and shredded Georgia's vaunted defense while getting a couple of big turnovers in a game that by the 4th felt like Alabama was a far better squad than Georgia and also gives Saban a 22-0 record against his former assistant coaches. This game is the kind of jolt Bama needs and with LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, and Mississippi State all looking worse as the season has progressed, Alabama can punch their ticket to Atlanta early for the SEC Championship. Will they play Georgia again?
#2-CLEMSON: Nobody really gave Georgia Tech a fighting chance in this game but many thought it would be remotely competitive, at least for a half. Nope. 73-7 in a game that was just flat-out dominated by the #1 ranked team in the country. More impressive is that they dominated on both sides. Granted, Tech isn't a power and is really in a midst of a program rebuilding, but 73-7? The win really solidifies Clemson at another level than anyone else, and yes I'm still including Alabama.
#3-KENTUCKY: Wildcats aren't ranked but after a slow start to the season (losses to Auburn and Ole Miss) Kentucky has really jumped up with their defense. The Wildcats have given up only one touchdown in two weeks to Mississippi State and Tennessee and some may wonder if it is Kentucky and not Georgia that has the best defense in the SEC. And, the Wildcats still have to be considered a sleeper in the SEC East if either Georgia or Florida trips up (and of course if UK beats both).
TOP 3 LOSERS
#1-NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels were ranked #5 heading into their game with Florida State last night and collapsed. UNC got off to a very slow start which ultimately costed them the win, losing 30-28 to the hapless Noles. It goes to show that the Tar Heels are still not yet there in the college football world and maybe they were just too high of a rank.
#2-TENNESSEE: Losing to Georgia the way they did showed they were not on the level as the Bulldogs. But getting destroyed by Kentucky, different story. Either the loss to Georgia just knocked morale down or Jarrett Guarantano is just not a viable answer for Jeremy Pruitt and the Volunteers. Worse, Alabama heads to Knoxville next week.
#3-AUBURN: The Tigers have issues. And to be honest, this team should be 1-3 (should have lost to Arkansas as well). Bo Nix has regressed so far in his college career and it just looks like this team is lost on offense. With things are the way they are, its possible they can lose out with what they have and how the struggles of Nix and the offense continue. And that hot seat for Gus is scorching on the Plains.
TOP 3 QUESTIONS:
#1-WHY ISN'T GEORGIA ONE OF THE TOP 3 LOSERS? Well, if I often do top 5, they would be on there sitting at #4. So I will explain on both sides why they aren't top 3 but also would have been there if it was a top 5. First off of why they aren't taking the top spot is that UGA is still probably considered one of the most talented programs in college football and can still win out and have that rematch. Secondly, they lost to Alabama. No shame there. But where UGA needs to concern themselves is the fact that the QB play has once again let them down to this point in Stetson Bennett, who played horrible and has given Georgia fans riled of having Justin Fields transferring to Ohio State and keeping a touted transfer in JT Daniels on the sideline (and after Kirby's presser, makes you think he will remain there for now). And also you wonder the psyche of Georgia if they trip up against Kentucky and/or Florida that they may not have recovered, which *may* have Kirby Smart's seat temp a few degrees warmer.
#2-SHOULD THERE BE GREAT CONCERN THAT WE WILL HAVE WAY MORE GAMES BEING POSTPONED/CANCELLED DOWN THE ROAD DUE TO COVID? Yes. Sadly. Numbers are spiking upward again and some teams already have their games that have been postponed rescheduled through bye weeks, making things more difficult if new games get postponed. I dont have an idea for a solution but this isn't ideal. We just have to hope for the best at this point and that as many games can be played right now.
#3-YOU MENTIONED CLEMSON WAS A CUT ABOVE EVERYONE ELSE, INCLUDING ALABAMA. WHY IS THAT SO? The Tigers dominate on both sides of the ball. Alabama's offense is a well-oiled machine but the defense, even yesterday and the improvements in the second half, they still have some questions to answer. Georgia ran up the gut on Alabama with great success. Why the Bulldogs got away from that is beyond me. But if Clemson played Bama for the title, I could see the Tigers repeating their 2018 game against the Tide where they crushed Alabama. And until I see something different, Clemson is still the best in the nation.
MY CURRENT 4 PLAYOFF TEAMS