We will never steer you wrong at Tiebreaker.com. Last week, we presented our first college football Top 5 poll and each of our picks responded with huge opening-day victories.
So why change a good thing?
No. 1 Alabama (1-0)
If first impressions mean anything, the Crimson Tide are on their way to another national championship run. Despite 11 players making their debut as starters, they demolished a good Louisville team 51-14 in Orlando, headlining a week in which the SEC was 13-1. Alabama gained 529 yards on offense and held the Cardinals to 16 yards rushing. Coach Nick Saban is now 12-0 in season openers and has outscored those opponents by just under 30 points a game.
In terms of its quarterback controversy, Saban went with sophomore Tua Tagovailoa and he threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns. No ‘Bama QB since John Parker Wilson in 2008 had thrown for two TDs in a season opener under Saban. Junior Jalen Hurts, last year’s starting QB, was 5-of-9 for 70 yards.
On Saturday, Alabama hosts Arkansas State. Roll Tide!
No. 2 Georgia (1-0)
Listen, the Bulldogs fully understand they should have won last year’s National Championship game against Alabama and they took out their frustration on poor Austin Peay last Saturday with a 45-0 blowout. It was Georgia’s first opening-game shutout in 15 years. The Governors had only seven first downs and 152 yards.
So powerful was Georgia’s offense – the Bulldogs led 38-0 at the half – that Coach Kirby Smart used three quarterbacks who completed pass to 11 different receivers.
Now it’s on to South Carolina and Saturday’s SEC opener.
No. 3 Clemson (1-0)
Much like Alabama, the Tigers came into the season wondering who would win their starting quarterback job. And there really was no way to tell who was better, Kelly Bryant or Trevor Lawrence, during last week’s 48-17 crunching of Furman.
Each QB played only five series, but Lawrence led the team to 31 points and is still expected to be the guy soon. The Tigers gained 531 yards with Bryant completing 10-of-16 for 127 yards and one touchdown and Lawrence going 9-of-15 for 137 yards and two touchdowns in his first varsity game. Halfback Lyn-J Dixon gained 89 yards on just six carries in his debut. The defense allowed only 163 yards.
Clemson travels to Texas A&M on Saturday night.
No. 4 Wisconsin (1-0)
If you are looking for an early Heisman Trophy candidate, please consider Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. He gained 148 yards with two touchdowns to lead the Badgers to a 34-3 win over Western Kentucky last Friday.
Let’s compare: Byrce Love, Stanford’s Heisman candidate, gained only 29 yards on 18 carries last week against San Diego State.
Taylor, a sophomore, gained 1,977 yards last season which is an FBS record for a freshmen. Then again, Taylor could have taken the game off because non-conference teams never beat Wisconsin at home. They have won 40 straight, the fifth-longest streak by an FBS team since 1946.
Wisconsin’s defense introduced seven new starters but didn’t look fazed. The Badgers host New Mexico on Saturday.
No. 5 Ohio State (1-0)
A quick look at last week’s final score – Ohio State 77, Oregon State 31 – provides deep insight into how upset the Buckeyes are about the suspension of Coach Urban Meyer and how determined they are to take the frustration out on their opponents.
Dwayne Haskins Jr., threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns to get the Buckeyes rolling. He became the first Ohio State quarterback ever to throw for five TDS and at least 300 yards in his first career start. And if that wasn’t enough, Mike Weber Jr. gained a career-high 186 rushing yards for three scores and added a receiving touchdown. The Buckeyes gained 721 yards.
Ohio State is at home Saturday against Rutgers in their The Big Ten Conference opener.