The Weekend: Louisville & Ohio State dominate; Bama Escapes; New Rankings
Another weekend is in the books, which means another weekend closer to the first set of College Football Playoff rankings. One thing that has been great this season is the early top-ten matchups. Week one and week three had a long list of big time game to watch, and those game didn′t disappoint. While these games are early in the season, they still will have an affect on the college playoffs. These games will be reviewed by the committee when it is time to pick 4 teams to play for the National Championship. Four teams that were ranked top-ten in the preseason polls, already have a loss (Notre Dame and Oklahoma has two losses). By time the first set of rankings are released, every team in the country might have a loss.
1. Louisville (3-0) LW 17, W 63-20 #3 Florida State
2. Alabama (3-0) LW 1, W 48-43 @ #12 Ole Miss
3. Ohio State (3-0) LW 5, W 45-24 @ #9 Oklahoma
4. Clemson (3-0) LW 2, W 59-0 South Carolina State
5. Michigan (3-0) LW 4, W 45-28 Colorado
6. Houston (3-0) LW 6, W 40-16 @ Cincinnati
7. Stanford (2-0) LW 7, W 27-10 USC
8. Michigan State (2-0) LW 10, W 36-28 @ #18 Notre Dame
9. Tennessee (3-0) LW 8, W 28-19 Ohio
10. Washington (3-0) LW 14, W 41-3 Portland State
11. LSU (2-1) LW 13, W 23-20 Mississippi State
12. Georgia (3-0) LW 15, W 28-27 @ Missouri
13. Wisconsin (3-0) LW 24, 23-17 Georgia State
14. Nebraska (3-0) LW NR, W 35-32 #21 Oregon
15. Florida State (2-1) LW 3, L 20-63 @ #17 Louisville
16. Baylor (3-0) LW 20, W 38-10 @ Rice
17. Florida (3-0) LW 22, W 32-0 North Texas
18. Texas A&M (3-0) LW 25, W 29-19 @ Auburn
19. Oklahoma (1-2) LW 9, L 24-45 #5 Ohio State
20. Central Michigan (3-0) LW NR, W 44-21 UNLV
21. Ole Miss (1-2) LW 12, L 43-48 #1 Alabama
22. Miami (3-0) LW NR, W 45-10 @ Appalachian State
23. Arkansas (3-0) LW NR, W 42-3 Texas State
24. Notre Dame (1-2) LW 18, L 28-36 #10 Michigan State
25. Oklahoma State (2-1) LW NR, W 45-38 PITT
- Louisville made the biggest jump to #1 in Fan-I 25 history. Their beat down on Florida State was more than impressive, it was a statement. The Cardinals were clicking on all sides of the ball. Lamar Jackson scored 5 Tds, the defense held Dalvin Cook to 54 yards, and Jaire almost finished with 2 punt returns. While Jackson was the star of the show, this was a complete team effort. Other than Ohio State – who could also be ranked #1 – no other team in the country has had a better performance than Louisville against Florida State. The target is now on their back though.
- Alabama didn′t lose but their win against Ole Miss wasn′t as convincing as Louisville′s, reason why they fell a spot. Bama went through a roller coaster ride, coming back from a 24-3 deficit in the second quarter. Saban didn′t seem to be as mad as he was after the team′s win against Western Kentucky a week ago, but I′m sure he doesn′t like the roller coaster ride of emotion.
- Ohio State went into Norman, Oklahoma to make their claim as the best team in the country, now 19-0 on the road under Urban Meyer. The defense stepped up forcing two big turnovers that were drive killers and momentum shifters. J.T. Barrett had an efficient night with only six incompletions and four touchdowns. Buckeyes are leading a three-horse race in the Big East, which will get more interesting as the season progresses.
- It is a tight race throughout the rankings. From #13 to #5, Each team is interchangeable. Houston, Stanford, and Michigan State are true sleepers but they will need to stay perfect in order to crack that top 4. Washington is an intriguing team to look out for but they haven′t had a signature win yet. In two weeks they will host Stanford, Friday Night under lights.
Player of the Weekend
Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville – 346 total yards 5 total Tds
Lamar Jackson took a huge lead in the Heisman race this past weekend. His performance against Florida State was legendary, and this is coming from a Florida State fan. It was no surprise to see him running past FSU defenders, being a Florida native himself. It′s a shame a player like Jackson was able to get out of Florida.
- Donnel Pumphrey, RB San Diego State – 23 carries 220 yards 3 Tds vs. NIU
- James Washington, WR Oklahoma State – 9 receptions 296 yards 2 Tds vs Pitt
- Davis Webb, QB Cal – 27/40 396 yards 4 TDS vs Texas
Power 5 Rankings
2. Big Ten
4. Pac 12
5. Big 12
With two teams in our Top 4 and two teams in the AP top 5, the ACC is still king of the Power 5 conferences. The Big Ten is not far behind with Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan all in the top ten of both rankings. Alabama is saving the SEC right now, the conference is not looking as dominant as they once did in previous years. When you look at the top half of each conference, the SEC does not have the same star power. Stanford and Washington are holding it down for the Pac-12 in the top ten, also CAL's big win against Texas helped the Pac-12 jump to the fourth spot. The Big 12 took a hit with Oklahoma and Texas suffering tough out-of-conference losses, now with zero teams in the top ten of both rankings.
Both of Ole Miss losses are due to blown leads. Against Florida State, they blew a 28-7 lead and was up 24-3 against Alabama, both leads were in the 2nd quarter. Ole Miss is proving that they can jump on a team early but finishing is their biggest problem so far in the young season. They're chances of making the playoffs are essentially dead, but they still have big games against Georgia, Arkansas, and LSU in the 30 days.
Game to watch this Weekend:
#12 Georgia @ #21 Ole Miss – Georgia has won the last 10-matchups, Ole Miss last victory came in 1996 in Athens. Georgia has an opportunity to make step into the top ten but Ole Miss is reeling from two painful losses. A lot will be on the line.
#13 Wisconsin @ #8 Michigan State – Wisconsin season-opener win against LSU moved them from unranked to a spot in the AP Polls. They will have to prove their worth going against a tough Sparty unit that is coming off of an impressive victory against Notre Dame.
#17 Florida @ #8 Tennessee – Tennessee and Florida are both looking for signature wins to propel them closer to the top four. Last year′s game between these two came down to a last-second field goal by Tennessee that sailed wide, Florida winning 28-27.
#23 Arkansas @ #18 Texas A&M – The last two matchups between these two were decided by one possession. Both schools are undefeated and a win could help them move up in the rankings.
#10 Washington @ Arizona – This is a trap game for Washington. They will be going into a hostile environment as a top-ten, something Washington hasn′t done since 1997, when they traveled to BYU ranked #4. They also haven′t won in Arizona since 2006. The Huskies will have to prove that they′re the real deal or fall victim to the trap.