The 2018 college football regular season is rapidly coming to an end. Then it’s conference championship time and the fun really begins. Who’s in the playoffs? Six teams for four spots. Someone’s going to be left out. That’s the nature of the beast. Here’s the new Top Ten:
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) defeated The Citadel Bulldogs 50-17
The Crimson Tide needed the first half to figure out the Bulldogs’ triple option offense but righted the ship and routed them in the second half. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was outstanding, going 18-22 for 340 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Henry Riggs III had 114 receiving yards. The defense struggled early against The Citadel’s rushing attack but made the necessary adjustments st halftime and shut it down in the second half.
Next game- Auburn Tigers
2) Clemson Tigers (11-0) defeated Duke Blue Devils 35-6
The Tigers got off to a slow start but used a strong second and third quarter to blow out the Blue Devils. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence got the job done, going 21-38 for 251 yards and two touchdowns. The rushing attack gained over 200 yards to keep the offense balanced. The defense was it’s usual dominating self, allowing just two field goals to Duke’s offense.
Next game- South Carolina Gamecocks
3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0) defeated Syracuse Orange 36-3
The Fighting Irish made easy work of an overmatched Orange team. Quarterback Ian Book looked good, going 23-37 for 292 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The running game churned out 171 yards. The defense was stout, completely shutting down Syracuse’s offense.
Next game- at USC Trojans
4) Michigan Wolverines (10-1) defeated Indiana Hoosiers 31-20
The Wolverines got by a uncooperative Hoosier team. Quarterback Shea Patterson was serviceable, going 16-28 for 250 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Running back Karan Higdon had over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. It wasn’t a normal vintage effort from their top ranked defense but good enough to help get the win.
Next game- at #8 Ohio State Buckeyes
5) Georgia Bulldogs (10-1) defeated UMass Minutemen 66-27
The Bulldogs easily crushed the Minutemen. All three quarterbacks played and combined to go 14-17 for 275 yards with three touchdowns. The running game was the story, producing 426 yards and six touchdowns, led by freshman quarterback Justin Fields’ 100 yards. The defense wasn’t pushed by UMass, they were superior and controlled the line of scrimmage.
Next game- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
6) Oklahoma Sooners (10-1) defeated Kansas Jayhawks 55-40
The Sooners had their hands full with an average Jayhawk team. Quarterback Kyler Murray accounted for 361 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Kennedy Brooks had 171 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Instead of the starters having the fourth quarter off in a blowout, the offense had to keep scoring to secure the win. The defense is a mess and gives up too many big plays and points. The offense bailed them out again.
Next game- at #15 West Virginia Mountaineers
7) UCF Knights (10-0) defeated #11 Cincinnati Bearcats 38-13
The Knights took advantage of a nationally televised game against a ranked opponent to make a case that they belong in the playoff conversation. Quarterback McKenzie Milton was in control, going 13-25 for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The defense bent but didn’t break against a tough Cincinnati offense.
Next game- at USF Bulls
8) Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) defeated Maryland Terrapins 52-51 OT
The Buckeyes came back against a turmoil filled Terrapins team. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was electrifying, going 28-38 for 405 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Running back JK Dobbins was a workhorse, gaining 203 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin had 118 receiving yards and a touchdown. The defense struggled with Maryland’s rushing attack all game but got the game winning stop on a two point conversion in overtime.
Next game- #4 Michigan Wolverines
9) Washington State Cougars (9-1) defeated Arizona Wildcats 69-28
The Cougars jumped all over the Wildcats and the game was over at halftime. Quarterback Gardner Minshew was outstanding, going 43-55 for 473 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Davontavean Martin had over 120 receiving yards and a touchdown. The defense held up against Arizona’s offense. Another strong performance.
Next game- Washington Huskies
10) Utah State Aggies (10-1) defeated Colorado State Rams 29-24
Utah State has crashed the Top Ten. The Aggies survived a controversial victory over the Rams. Quarterback Jordan Love was efficient, going 15-24 for 169 yards and a touchdown. The defense barely held on against an average Colorado State offense. They were outgained and outplayed but found a way to get the win. A sign of a good team.
Next game- at #12 Boise State Broncos