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Column: Four teams rose to the top of college football during Week 1

Following this week’s slate of insane matchups, I think it’s only fair to make the decision of “Who’s in” now, right?

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

We have officially made it through Week 1 of college football (besides Ole Miss/Louisville tonight). Therefore, it is only right that we decide which teams are making the playoffs! If the season ended today, these are my top four choices— and obviously Ohio State is in there.


No. 1: Alabama

NCAA Football: Alabama at Miami Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ugh, I hate to write their name next to No.1 as much as you do, but after watching them demolish Miami on Saturday, I can’t deny that they seem to be the best team in the country. Bryce Young had the best QB debut in school history, and their linebackers gave Miami QB D’Eriq King absolutely zero chance to succeed. The Crimson Tide literally lost EVERYONE to the draft— yet they are still the best.

Young is my Heisman favorite right now after his performance: he went 27 for 38 for 344 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Oh, and he’s a sophomore. Granted, Miami turned out to be not very good, even with a veteran defense, but still. Young was extremely impressive. Alabama’s schedule actually isn’t full of easy wins— Florida, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Auburn are all potential threats.

I’m curious to see how the rest of the season plays out for Bama, and if Young can lead the way to an undefeated season, because right now, it sure does look like it.


No. 2: Ohio State

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Is this a homer pick? Maybe just a tiny bit. I was really struggling to determine if I wanted to put OSU or Georgia in this spot. However, I had to give the edge to the Buckeyes because of their offensive firepower. OSU’s receiving core is the best in the nation — that fact was solidified after Thursday night, especially with Olave’s 118 yards and two touchdowns. Once Stroud settled down in the second half, he showcased his arm and finished with four TDs and 295 yards on the night.

I also need to highlight the Buckeyes’ young running backs. TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams both broke free for LONG breakaway touchdown runs. Ohio State’s offense has a TON of talent — but the defense needs to step it up. We have to remember that the D had seven new starters, including three defensive backs.; they also went up against the best running back in the Big Ten in Mo Ibrahim (who unfortunately will be out for the rest of the season).

So, all things considered, it really wasn’t terrible. A major highlight was Haskell Garrett’s TD after Zach Harrison knocked the ball loose. The defense made some rookie mistakes, but I’m extremely confident in Kerry Coombs’ ability to clean it up. After reading everything I just wrote, I realized how many excuses I just made for the Bucks, but I also feel like they are valid points.

The offense looked great, and our defense has extreme potential — give us Bishop Sycamore!


No. 3: Georgia

NCAA Football: Georgia at Clemson Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

On the flip side, Georgia’s D totally shut down D.J. Uiagalelei and Clemson’s offense. The Bulldogs limited Clemson to 180 yards of total offense and sacked Uiagalelei SEVEN times. They also had a pick six, which proved to be the game winning points. Downright scary.

While QB J.T. Daniels did not have a stellar night (135 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT), his defense saved him against supposedly one of the best offenses in the country (looks like you got some work to do, DABO!). This was a huge win for Georgia, and will definitely be taken into consideration when playoff talks actually begin.

Their offense is slightly concerning, which is why I chose them to be below OSU. I know Ohio State has the defensive talent, they just need to execute (not like Brian Kelly said, though). We will have to stay tuned to see if Georgia can produce on offense as well as they can on defense.


No. 4: Cincinnati

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Nope, I am not going with Oklahoma on this one— their defense absolutely crumbled against Tulane. However, the Bearcats destroyed fellow Ohio rival Miami, 49-14 behind QB Des Ridder’s huge day. 45 seconds into the game, Ridder made his mark with an 81-yard touchdown. He went on to go 20 of 25 with 295 yards, and 4 TDs.

Another big key on offense is former Alabama RB Jerome Ford, who had 121 yards on 12 carries with a TD. Obviously, they’re shining on offense, but recently the Bearcats have been known for their defense. Saturday’s game actually ended their 20 game streak with a forced turnover.

While they failed to extend their streak into this season, I’m sure Coach Fickell will get the defense back into shape for the rest of the season. Cincinnati has truly entered the playoff conversation this year and I am here for another Ohio team being one of the best in the country! Honorable mentions for this spot include UCLA (I have high hopes for them), Oklahoma (only because they did manage to win), and Clemson (they are still Clemson, even with a two game losing streak).

Poll

Who do you think should be No. 4 after this week?

  • 49%
    Cincinnati
    (92 votes)
  • 17%
    Oklahoma
    (32 votes)
  • 14%
    UCLA
    (27 votes)
  • 5%
    Clemson
    (11 votes)
  • 12%
    Other
    (23 votes)
185 votes total Vote Now