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Alabama-LSU Marks First “Game Of The Year” In TieBreaker Poll

In case you are looking for something to watch on Saturday night around 8, HBO will be showing “Fifty Shades Freed” and “The Foreigner” with Jackie Chan will be about halfway done on Showtime.

If we may, Tiebreaker.com has a viewing suggestion. Turn to CBS, if you like college football and agree with our opinion that Alabama is the top team in the nation.

You won’t be disappointed. We promise.

Alabama football

Joe Robbins / Getty

Alabama (8-0)

We are ready for Saturday’s Game of the Year. No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 LSU (7-1) in Death Valley.

If Alabama wins, they will clinch the SEC West. Then again, that’s really not the end of Nick Saban’s yellow brick road, is it? If LSU wins, the nation will be re-racking its College Football Playoff ratings with a bunch of Tigers (LSU and Clemson) likely at the top.

Both teams are coming off bye weeks, so there has been a lot of time for rumination. So let’s join with our own contemplations.

Alabama is averaging 38.8 points – in the first half. No SEC team scores that much in an entire game. The Tide, which averages 54.1, unusually scores three touchdowns in the first quarter. There can be no dawdling.

The Tide is a 14-point favorite in one of the nation’s toughest arenas. And this is the case even though quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has a sore knee and his backup, Jalen Hurts, had ankle surgery last week to comfort a high ankle sprain.

In eight games, Tagovailoa has 2,066 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He leads in passer rating (238.85) and yards per attempt (13.6) and is the only player with at least 100 pass attempts with an INT. Of the 62 drives he’s been at the wheel, 41 have led to TDs. The Tide has averaged 9.55 yards a play when he is on the field.

If Tua has a tail, the Tigers better grab it.

Clemson (8-0)

Oh my goodness, how was Clemson ever going to deal with playing Florida State in Tallahassee last week?

Final score: Clemson 59, Florida State 10. The ‘Noles netted minus-21 rushing yards. It was the worst beating the Seminoles had ever taken in Doak Walker Stadium.

We have no words.

“I thought, when I signed up to Florida State, I would never lose like this in my life,” said FSU defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.

So let’s do some math about this week’s game against Louisville. Wake Forest beat Louisville 56-35 in Louisville. Clemson beat Wake Forest 63-3. The Tigers have defeated Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Florida State by a combined score of 163-20.

The point is, Clemson is looking more and more like the only team that might be able to deal with Alabama. They have four of the top defensive linemen. They have the best rushing offense. And they have the best QB (freshman division) in Trevor Lawrence.

We plead to the football gods to let Clemson-Alabama happen.

NCAA Football

Jonathan Bachman / Getty

LSU (7-1)

So let’s take a look at the Alabama game from the purple and yellow side of the fence.

Many people believe LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda might be the best in the country, which means he might be a head coach by Monday if he can figure out a way to stifle Tagovailoa.

The Tigers defense is holding people to 130 yard rushing a game, almost 90 less than the Tide usually racks up. The secondary is a bit more porous. And don’t think Saban hasn’t noticed.

But LSU’s defense has stopped 80 percent of the drives its faced this season. Only Oklahoma’s offense is more efficient than Alabama’s.

If you ask us, we think its all going to come down to how poised LSU’s senior QB Joe Burrow looks. If he plays like Bert Jones, we might be looking at an upset. If he plays like JaMarcus Russell, we might be looking at its last trip to Tiebreaker’s Top 5 this season.

Notre Dame (8-0)

When you talk about Notre Dame football, you need talk about its history. And here is a quick lesson as it heads to Northwestern on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the first weekly rankings for the college football playoffs were released and the Irish were No. 4. That means, they would be matched against Alabama in one of the semifinals if the season ended today.

Last season, the Irish were in even better shape, No. 3 after the first rankings. A few days later, Miami demolished them 41-8. And that was that.

Will history repeat itself?

This is just the third time in25 years the Irish have been 8-0. Many credit the arrival of junior QB Ian Book. He now leads the nation in completion percentage , which the leprechaun likes very much.

But Northwestern (5-1 in the Big Ten) has a pretty good defense and last week’s win over No. 20 Wisconsin did little to dampen its confidence.

Georgia (7-1)

If you think Georgia fans are pumped up about Saturday’s game, you haven’t been to Lexington, Ky., this week. They can open the doors to Rupp Arena with John Calipari handing out Halloween candy. And it wouldn’t matter one bit.

When you to think of Kentucky (7-1) football who comes to mind? Tim Couch, of course. He was selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1999. How about Jared Lorenzen, the “Hefty Lefty.” He played quarterback in the NFL with the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. He couldn’t play today because he weighs like 400 pounds.

But this Georgia-Kentucky game is bigger than Lorenzen. The Wildcats have a chance to assert themselves. nationally. It is already the first Kentucky team to beat Florida since 1986. It’s trying to become the first since 1977 to have a winning record in the SEC. And it’s the closest it’s been since 1992 to winning the SEC East.

Kentucky leads the nation in scoring defense, Georgia is second in the SEC (to Alabama, of course) in scoring (38.6). Not that Georgia really cares. The Bulldogs have their eye on a rematch with Alabama, this time in the SEC championship  game.

Georgia is coming off a its important 36-17 win over Florida. QB Jake Fromm was 17-of-24 for 240 yards and three TDs. The Bulldogs accumulated 429 yards of offense. They are rolling.

 

 

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