Ten undefeated teams remain and there’s no question who should be ranked #1. Alabama is unequivocally the best team in the country and there’s not an argument anyone can make to disprove that statement. If you want to argue Ohio State or Michigan you’d be wrong. ‘Bama aren’t just beating the opposition they are embarrassing them. They’ve yet to score below 34 points in a game and have already defeated four ranked teams in USC, Ole Miss, Arkansas and now Tennessee.
The Tide trounced #9 Tennessee 49-10 in a one sided affair, the most lopsided victory in this rivalry since a 51-0 beat down Alabama handed out back in 1906. Tennessee who have been battling back from double digit deficits all season long had no chance in this one. Alabama jumped out to a 14-0 and they didn’t slow down. Alabama’s offense was led by QB Jalen Hurts with 172 yards, TD through the air and 132 yards and 3 TD on the ground. In total Alabama outgained the Vols 594 to 163. The Tide’s defense and special teams both scored with a 58 yard interception return and a 79 yard punt return respectively. Lane Kiffin has now defeated both of his former teams (USC, UT) this season, all that’s left is for Alabama to somehow beat the Oakland Raiders.
Ohio State faced their first major struggle of the year and found a way to survive in overtime against #8 Wisconsin on the road. The Buckeyes kept their undefeated season alive with a 30-23 victory on Saturday. If Ohio State would’ve blown out Wisconsin I would’ve entertained the notion they were on the same level as Alabama but after this lack luster performance there’s no shot. Ohio State blowing out Oklahoma as their lone decisive victory isn’t enough to convince me they would beat the Tide on a neutral field. QB J.T. Barrett connected on a 7 yard touchdown pass in OT and the Ohio State defense held the fort with a sack on a 4th and goal from the 4 yard line to preserve the victory. In hindsight we’re probably going to look back and call this a great win for Ohio State over the #8 team in the nation but let’s not forget Wisconsin outgained the Buckeyes with 450 yards of offense and ran through their defense for 236 rushing yards.
Another top four team nearly fell this weekend with Clemson edging out North Carolina State in overtime 24-17. The Wolfpack had a chance to win the game but a 33 yard field goal as time expired sailed wide right pushing the game into overtime. The kicker missed two additional field goals in the game which could’ve snapped Clemson’s 20 game home winning streak. Clemson has won 21 straight regular season games dating back to 2014; they’re 7-0 for the third time since 2011 and second time in back to back seasons. The Tigers are essentially a lock for the College Football Playoff, they have one more difficult game on the schedule against Florida State and then the ACC Championship game which has traditionally been weak.
Elite Player of the Week
Jalen Hurts (QB) – Alabama: 16-26, 143 yards; 12 carries, 132 yards, 3 TD. Win over Tennessee
Legendary Performance of the Week
Carlos Henderson (WR) – Louisiana Tech: 12 rec., 326 yards, 5 TD. Win over UMASS