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[author image=”https://www.the3pointconversion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image1-3-e1464196614536.jpg” ]Allen Fields, Bronx, NY [/author]
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0): def Kentucky 34-6
The Crimson Tide had no trouble beating Kentucky. Although the offense is not clicking on all cylinders, they do enough to get it done. Alabama fans should be excited about star wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s big day, his first of the year, with 11 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Also, freshman running back Joshua Jacobs had his first 100 yard rushing game. The defense was their normal stingy unit, giving up less than 200 total yards. They seem to be gelling and getting better which is bad news for the rest of the SEC and country. Alabama is on cruise control. All is well in Tuscaloosa.
2) Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0): def Rutgers 58-0
Ohio State made quick work of a bad Rutgers team. The offense had little resistance, rushing for more than 400 yards. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was efficient again and should gain some Heisman hype. The defense was not challenged and dismantled an anemic Scarlett Knight offense. They are beginning to make a believer out of me even if their schedule has not been the toughest. A couple of big games are coming up to help strengthen their case. The defense has not been tested yet and not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
3) Clemson Tigers (5-0): def Louisville 42-36
In a thriller, the Tigers outlasted a very good Cardinals team. They showed me something with this win. This is the kind of win that could propel Clemson through the rest of their season. Quarterback Deshuan Watson was great, leading them to victory. Nothing seemed to phase him, not even three interceptions. The defense had it’s hands full but came up big when necessary. I’ll admit the defense is better than I thought. I was impressed enough to move them up two spots.
4) Michigan Wolverines (5-0): def Wisconsin 14-7
Michigan found a way to win an ugly, defensive game. I know the Badgers are a good team but thought the Wolverines hurt themselves with sloppy play. Although they won, their lackluster play dropped them in my poll. The defense was awesome and better than I originally thought. The offense produced one big play. They need to play better.
5) Louisville Cardinals (4-1): lost to Clemson 42-36
They lost a tough one to Clemson in Death Valley. But this team is for real. The Cardinals showed heart and determination after being down 28-10 at the half. Most teams fold being down that much at the half in a tough environment. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was spectacular in defeat and is still my Heisman front runner which he accounted for three more touchdowns. It took the defense the first half to realize they can play with anyone. They just couldn’t get that one stop to seal the potential win. Sometimes you learn more about yourself in a loss. They showed enough in a loss to only drop one spot.
6) Houston Cougars (5-0): def Connecticut 42-14
They won but not impressive enough to move them up. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr was simply awesome. throwing for almost 400 yards and accounting for five touchdowns. The defense was able to contain an average Huskies offense with four sacks. Not sure their conference games will give them enough cache to move up in my poll. They do have one more opportunity to state their case against Louisville at the end of the year. They better make it count.
7) Washington Huskies (5-0): def Stanford 44-6
The biggest statement of the weekend was made by Washington. They absolutely dominated Stanford in every aspect of the game. The offense controlled the ball, punishing the Cardinal defense with over 200 rushing yards. The defense made life miserable for Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey. Giving him no room to operate. Then they added eight sacks to finish off a great performance. They are the class of the Pac 12.
8) Texas A&M Aggies (5-0): def South Carolina 24-13
Anytime you go on the road in the SEC and win, you’ve earned it. The Aggies just toughed this one out. Another game to help shed the finesse label they unfairly have. It was not pretty but Texas A&M stays undefeated. The Aggies have to play better if they want to challenge for the SEC West title. They benefit from teams ahead of them losing to move up a spot in my poll.
9) Tennessee Volunteers (5-0): def Georgia 34-31
Last week-Not ranked
Easily the game of the year with this unreal finish. The Volunteers gave up the go ahead touchdown to Georgia with 10 seconds to go. Game over right? First break was when a Bulldog player takes his helmet off and gets an unsportsmanlike penalty costing them 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff. Second break was when Georgia tries a pooch kick. After a runback, the Volunteers was able to set up at the Bulldogs’ 49 yard line. Then the Hail Mary happens. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. They need to sure up their defense if they want to win the SEC title.
10) Miami Hurricanes (5-0): def Georgia Tech 35-21
Last week-Not ranked
The Hurricanes have methodically made their way into my poll. They gutted out a tough win against the Yellow Jackets. The numbers were not great but productive. The defense was opportunistic scoring two touchdowns. The talent is there but they haven’t put it together against better competition. The non conference schedule has been weak but have some real tests coming up in the ACC. They have a shot at the ACC title.