Wisconsin’s loss last week has slightly shaken up Tiebreaker.com’s Top 5:
1. Alabama (3-0)
The Tide has been strong, particularly on offense. In last week’s 62-7 win over Ole Miss, they became the first team in SEC history to score at least 50 points in its first three games. And this is after Ole Miss somehow scored a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s first play. Here’s a reason why: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has run 20 drives this season and 14 have produced touchdowns.
Alabama is a 23 1/2 point favorite against No. 22 Texas A&M (2-1) on Saturday. The Tide has played 41 Top 25 teams in the last six seasons and has never been favored to win by more. That’s somewhat surprising considering how tough the Aggies played Clemson earlier this season. They also have a decent QB in Kellen Mond and one of the SEC’s top halfbacks, Trayveon Williams (133 yards per game).
2. Georgia (3-0)
Georgia’s sophomore QB Jake Fromm is off to a sensational start: He leads the nation in completion percentage (37-of-46, 80.0) with six touchdowns and only one interception. If this continues, he could set a new NCAA record in that category. But here’s why: STATS LLC reports that only 11 percent of Georgia’s pass attempts have been to receivers more than 15 yards downfield, the bottom of the barrel among Power 5 teams.
But Missouri, which plays the No. 2 Bulldogs in Columbia on Saturday, has its own top quarterback in senior Drew Lock. He is sixth in SEC history with 82 touchdown passes and is considered a Top 10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He threw four TDs in last year’s 53-28 loss to the Bulldogs. This will be one of those classic matchups between Georgia’s defense (8.0 per game) and the Tigers offense (589.0). But remember, Missouri gave up 614 yards against Purdue last week. Fromm will have a party.
3. Clemson (3-0)
Like Alabama and Georgia, Clemson is rolling offensively. It gained 595 yards in week’s 38-7 win over Georgia Southern, paced by halfback Travis Etienne (162 yards, two TDs) and freshman QB Trevor Lawrence (194 yards, one TD). As the Tigers prepare for Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech, the conversation has been who will start at QB. And it’s not because incumbent Kelly Bryant has been playing poorly. Bryant suffered a chest injury – he fell on the football after a carry – in the second half against Georgia Southern and has been limited in practice this week. Bryant says he is ready to go. Coach Dabo Sweeney has been coy about it.
4. Ohio State (3-0)
You might have heard Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer missed the first three games of the season because we was suspended. Well, it cost him $570,507.68, according to documents Ohio State had to cough up after a Freedom of Information request. But he is back on Saturday when the Buckeyes host Tulane. To be honest, Meyer’s absence cost his team nothing. It is averaging 56.3 points and 608.7 yards. Its QB, redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins, has thrown for almost 900 yards with 11 TDs and just one interception, completing 72.0 percent. Congratulations to Ryan Day, who took over for Meyer and has kept the train chugging along, even though the defense allowed TCU 511 yards last week.
5. Oklahoma (3-0)
We welcome the Sooners into the Top 5 this week. They have replaced Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield with a pretty good QB in Kyler Murray, a redshirt junior. Murray was sharp (21-of-28, 348 yards, three TDs) in their 37-27 win at Iowa State. He even gained 77 yards rushing. Murray was named the Maxwell Award player of the week and the hype machine is already purring.
The Oklahoma media is happy to point out that only four programs, Yale (1936-37), Army (1945-46), Ohio State (1974-75) and USC (2004-05) have had consecutive Heisman winners. That’s nice, but what really bears watching now, with Army coming up Saturday, is their defense, which played 16 freshmen and sophomores last week. Iowa State played a backup QB Zeb Noland who threw for 360 yards and two TDs. And Oklahoma could muster only one sack.