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Fourth & Long Presents: Weekly Top Tens

Before we get into Jacob and I’s Top Tens, let’s run through some news and notes in College Football already this week.

  • Vanderbilt versus Missouri is the first SEC game postponed by COVID. Last week Vanderbilt was down to just 56 scholarship players in their blowout loss to South Carolina last week. The game is tentatively re-scheduled for December 12th.
  • Tom Herman, Texas head coach, said Monday that his team continues to discuss participating in the singing of “The Eyes of Texas,” after games this year. The university continues to study the song’s meaning and history.
  • After Dan Mullen, Florida head coach, said on Saturday that he wants “The Swamp” to be packed with 90,000 people for this weeks game against LSU. On Monday he stood by that stance saying that he’s focused on LSU, but would still like to see Ben Hill Griffin Stadium packed on Saturday.

JB’s Top Ten:

  1. Clemson: Even though they play in an incredibly weak conference, they are still one of the best, if not the best team in the country. Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne absolutely put their names in the hat for the Heisman trophy. On Saturday night, Clemson dominated then 7th-rated Miami Hurricanes. Can anyone in the conference beat them? It looks like their toughest test might be Mack Brown’s North Carolina Tar Heels. This Weekend: at Georgia Tech
  2. Alabama: Alabama was finally able to put Ole Miss away and win the football game 63-48. The defense looks rusty, but as with every Nick Saban coached team, they will be ready when needed. Also running back Najee Harris threw his name in the hat for the Heisman, running for five touchdowns. This Weekend: Hosts (3) Georgia
  3. Ohio State: Ohio State doesn’t play until it hosts Nebraska on October 24th. On Halloween they face their toughest test when they travel to Happy Valley. This Weekend: Idle
  4. Georgia: The Bulldogs easily took down Tennessee last weekend. They walked out of the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium with a 44-21 victory. Kirby Smart’s team can beat you by scoring, or beat you by locking you down. This weekend won’t be an easy one. This Weekend: at (2) Alabama
  5. Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish squeeze into the top five this week. They took on a horrid Florida State team and won 42-26. After having to postpone one game early in the season, Brian Kelly’s team will take the field this week versus an up and down Louisville team. This Weekend: Hosts Louisville
  6. Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are the last unbeaten team in the Big 12. They are the conference’s only chance to make the playoffs. Even without stud quarterback Spencer Sanders, the Cowboys have rolled behind Chubba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace. This Weekend: Idle
  7. North Carolina: Mack Brown has to be dancing in the locker room early this season. The Heels have started out 3-0 and last weekend beat a tough Virginia Tech team 56-45. This Weekend: at Florida State
  8. Florida: Florida lost a heart breaker at Texas A&M on Saturday. The Kyle’s were still effective, but the defense was rough. The Gators lost 41-38. They are still alive in the SEC East, but there is little room for error. This Weekend: Hosts LSU
  9. Texas A&M: From the loser of one game to the winner. A&M stayed with Florida all afternoon and in the end were able to pull off the upset. Kellen Mond finally played well in a big game. This Weekend: at Mississippi State
  10. Cincinnati: The Bearcats are undefeated to start the season. With wins over Army, USF, and USF, this team is ready to bust onto the national scene. This Weekend: at Tulsa

Jacob’s Top Ten:

  1. Clemson
    1. Clemson Tigers handled business against a high powered Miami Hurricane offense.  Many believed that Miami could be the only team to challenge the Tigers in the ACC, but per usual the Tigers showed they are still the best team in the country.  Being carried by Travis Etienne, who has 409 total offensive yards in the last two games, while the consensus #1 pick in Trevor Lawrence remains well short of the numbers people thought he would pull this year.    
  2. Georgia 
    1. The Bulldogs’ defense has been dominate this season, ranking #2 in the country behind Houston.  Holding Auburn to 6 points and beating Tennessee by 23 this past week, the Dawgs have shown their defense can hold the best of them and this will be tested in this upcoming match-up against Alabama and Najee Harris.  
  3. Alabama 
    1. Alabama’s offense is firing on all cylinders.  Najee Harris rushed for 206 yards and 5 touchdowns in a shootout this past week against Ole Miss. He joins the likes of Shaun Alexander and Santonio Beard as the only Alabama running backs to rush for 5 TDs in a game.  Mac Jones has also surprised most people being the highest rated passer in the country through 3 weeks.  However, the most concerning part of this team is their defense.  Alabama’s defense just allowed 647 yards, which is the most in program history.  Hopefully going forward Bama’s offense can outscore any of their opposition.    
  4. Notre Dame
    1. Notre Dame’s looks to go undefeated the rest of the season due to a lack of real competition going forward until they face Clemson in early November. A concern is the Fighting Irish’s defense who allowed 26 points against a historically bad Florida State team.
  5. Ohio State  
    1. Though yet to play, Ohio State is one of the Big Ten teams everyone can’t wait to watch.  Ryan Day showed that despite the loss of Urban Meyer, Ohio State is still going to be a force in the Big Ten.  With heisman hopeful Justin Fields returning to the helm, Fields looks to help out this young receiving core who will be missing J.K. Dobbins’ production and the likes of Chase Young’s disruption on the opposite side of the ball.  
  6. Oklahoma State 
    1. OSU has shown they are the best team in the Big 12.  No team has come close.  OSU have beaten opponents an average of 21 pts.  With starting QB Spencer Sanders still out, the pressure falls on star running back Chuba Hubbard.  Hubbard needs to do well in order for the Cowboys to remain competitive during the rest of their season.  
  7. North Carolina 
    1. The Tar Heels are ranked this high due to the Big Ten and Pac-12 not playing.  Ranking only above my next two teams due to still being undefeated.  Their defense poses a big concern after narrowly escaping BC (who in my mind is a below average team) and allowing 45 points to a depleted Virginia Tech team.  The Tar Heels offense remains high powered with Sam Howell leading the way.
  8. Florida 
    1. Kyle Trask has 14 touchdown passes in 3 games, only trailing Sam Ehlinger for top in the country.  This is Florida’s best QB since Tim Tebow.  Most concerning,  and it seems to be a trend among teams this year, is Florida’s defense.  The Gators defense is giving up an average of 495 yards per game.  
  9. Miami
    1. The Hurricane’s came up against the best team in the country and greatly underperformed. They only had 210 offensive yards and D’Eriq King had all but 5 of those yards.  However, I feel this is no reason to panic.  The Hurricanes have to manage expectations when they are facing the best team in the country.  I feel they have a good chance to bounce back this week against a Pitt team who just lost to BC in OT.  
  10.  Cincinnati 
    1. Cincinnati is one of the only teams in the country with a good defense.  Their defense is allowing 12.3 points/game.  We will see what this team is really made of with SMU, Memphis, and Houston coming up.  Desmond Ridder needs to continue to improve and a true number one back needs to emerge.  Right now the backfield situation is between Jerome Ford, Gerrid Doaks and Charles Clelland.  Doaks emerged after last week’s performance with 102 yard and a touchdown.  However, Ford is making a strong argument to get more of the workload.  If the Bearcats can find a way to utilize both of these to their full potential alleviating some of the stress off of Ridder this team could go undefeated. 

Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE

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