The Top Fan's Top 25 - Week Four
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Alabama remains the top team in the land following the games of week four, but it is loud and clear nationwide that Oregon is right on their heels! Unless things change (and we all know they will because this is college football), the Ducks and the Tide are on course to meet for the national title...But before we pencil those two in to play for the crystal football, let's not forget that Ohio State, Clemson, Stanford, LSU, Florida State and several others will have something to say about who is number one!
1. Alabama (3-0) - The Tide won by just 25 points at home over Colorado State. Many nationwide are saying Oregon should be number one at this point, and the discussion is certainly there to be had. But for me, the formula is simple: the defending champs are number one until someone beats them. This is underscored when Nick Saban and AJ McCarron are leading the cause. Alabama welcomes a young, unpredictable Ole Miss team to Tuscaloosa in six days.
2. Oregon (3-0) - With a bye week, and Tennessee's admirable performance at Florida, paired along with Alabama's ho-hum win over Colorado State, Oregon is now in the thick of the talks about who is number one. For Duck fans, it doesn't matter about being the top-ranked team in the country. As long as they are the clear-cut number two team they will play for a national title. At this point, it seems like Alabama and Oregon are on a crash course to meet in January. But there is a ton of college football to go.
3. Ohio State (4-0) - The Buckeyes rolled Florida A&M 76-0 in a real barn-burner in Columbus. QB Kenny Guiton continues to love the spotlight of being the starter as he added six TDs to his season total (13) filling in for injured Braxton Miller. There is still no clear word on Miller's return time. A Wisconsin team - screwed by the officials in Tempe - with a serious chip on its shoulder will enter the Horseshoe this coming Saturday in a critcial Big Ten game. A trip to Northwestern follows before a needed midseason open date.
4. Clemson (3-0) - I was tempted to drop the Tigers a spot or two after a ten-point road win at NC State Thursday night. But the Pack played an inspired game with a new, first-year coach (Dave Doerren) and Clemson was still able to open up a 26-7 lead midway through the third quarter. A couple of more TDs would have made the win look better, but it is what it is, and the Tigers are unbeaten. Clemson remains the only team nationwide to have defeated a top five opponent.
5. Stanford (3-0) - The Cardinal went up 39-7 on Arizona State in the third quarter and appeared to be on the way to a statement win for the pollsters. But suddenly ASU reeled off 21-straight points and trailed by just eleven with six minutes to play. Things got dicey indeed, but Stanford added a FG and then held on for the double digit win. Still, a mental lapse such as that keeps things in perspective. Stanford is darned good, but they have to play a full 60 minutes.
6. LSU (4-0) - I predicted that Auburn would play LSU close, and it didn't really work out that way. LSU took a 21-0 lead into halftime, then swapped a couple of TDs with the visitors after the break, taking a 35-21 win in SEC West play. New OC Cam Cameron continues to impress for LSU as his team scored five TDs (and had a perfect balance of 229 rushing yards and 227 passing yards) against a defense that has some good players. The Tigers now enter a stretch where they play three SEC road games in four weeks, with the home game being Florida. We will know more soon.
7. Florida State (4-0) - Everyone is big so far on FSU and freshman QB Jameis Winston, but I still have my reservations. Yea, they have looked good against Pitt, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman, but we are talking about Pitt, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman for crying out loud. Next week they travel to Boston College, so we still won't know too much. An October fifth home date against Maryland and a trip to Clemson two weeks after that will tell us more. For now, just watch the Winston highlights and wonder...
8. Louisville (3-0) - A 72-0 win over Florida International does a lot for Teddy Bridgewater's stats, but doesn't really tell us a whole lot about the Cardinals. Bridgewater went for 212 yards, no INTs and four TDs before being taken out late in the first half. Rutgers and Central Florida offer a couple of midseason tests at home for Lousville, but the bowl game - which will be a high-profile game - will tell us the truth about how strong this team is.
9. Texas A&M (3-1) - The Aggies scored 42 points again this week, though this time it was in a win. The defense gave up just 13 points as TAMU stays in the top ten of my weekly poll. QB Johnny Manziel had a pretty good game to stay in the Heisman race as he threw for one TD (along with one INT), and added 244 passing yards to his season total. He also rushed for another 102 yards and two scores. He has 1,453 total yards and 15 total TDs so far in 2013.
10. Georgia (3-1) - I dropped UGA from ninth to tenth this week after being tied with North Texas in the third quarter, 21-21. The Dawgs scored 24-straight points to close out the game, so the depth came out. But a scare like that isn't what Coach Mark Richt needs amongst a fan base eager to remain in the national picture. Georgia welcomes in LSU this coming weekend for a game that will tell us a ton about both teams.
11. Oklahoma State (3-0)
12. South Carolina (2-1)
13. UCLA (3-0)
14. Michigan (4-0)
15. Miami (3-0)
16. Oklahoma (3-0)
17. Northwestern (4-0)
18. Mississippi (3-0)
19. Washington (3-0)
20. Baylor (3-0)
21. Texas Tech (4-0)
22. Florida (2-1)
23. Maryland (4-0)
24. Notre Dame (3-1)
25. Georgia Tech (3-0)
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