Why should anyone doubt the power of the Crimson Tide? Opponents are mere shells ready to be washed ashore by its fury. The Tiebreaker.com poll bows to its superiority once again.
If there’s any doubt about the continuity of Crimson Tide football, it was quelled again during last weekend’s 56-14 romp over Louisiana, the 22nd straight home win for the program and its longest in 44 years.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Mac Jones tossed a 94-yard touchdown pass to freshman Jaylen Waddle. That was the second-longest scoring pass in program history.
So when Jalen Hurts graduates, do not worry if something happens to Tua Tagovailoa. Nick Saban has it covered already.
Here are two other reasons Alabama seems destined to defend its national championship: Its defense has scored 59 points on nine of the 10 giveaways its received. That includes a trio of pick-sixes. The offense gained 608 yards against Louisiana and has gained at least 500 in every game this season. No surprise that the Tide has outscored opponents 197-20.
Get ready for a buzz saw, Arkansas.
2. Clemson (5-0)
This has been a rough week for the Tigers. Coach Dabo Sweeney’s decision to promote freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence over senior Kelly Bryant, which convinced Bryant to transfer, bit Sweeney in the butt when Lawrence was knocked out of the game on a run in the second quarter of their 27-23 win over undefeated Syracuse.
That left it up to Chase Brice to rally the Tigers from a 10-point deficit. Of course, Brice did exactly that, first by completing a fourth-down pass to Tee Higgins for 20 yards and then by gaining 17 on the next play.
The point was (and is) that Sweeney’s rush to anoint Lawrence left the Tigers unnecessarily vulnerable at quarterback, something which may eventually cost them.
And it might of against Syracuse had Travis Etienne not rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He has gained 594 yards (8.14 per carry) this season with eight TDs.
The saga continues Saturday at Wake Forest.
3. Ohio State (5-0)
During one of his press conferences this week, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer was asked to reminisce about what happened last season the week after the Penn State game. Meyer wasn’t in the mood.
There is a very good reason: Ohio State was crushed 55-24 at Iowa, a defeat so thorough the Buckeyes couldn’t possibly have made to the College Football Playoffs.
Despite one of the top offenses in the nation, with lowly Indiana next up, Meyer seems concerned about a defense which has yielded the two longest plays in the history of Ohio State football, TCU’s 93-yard run and a 93-yard pass completion by Penn State.
But who is he kidding? Dwayne Haskins is setting off fireworks. There’s no way the Buckeyes rally in the fourth quarter for a 27-26 win at Penn State if not for the 270 yards and three TDs he produced. Down by a dozen, Haskins was 7-of-10 for 138 yards in the fourth, engineering TD drives of 75 and 96 in the last eight minutes.
Haskins has 1,464 yards passing for 19 TDs and only two interceptions. Remember, Hoosiers was a basketball movie. It ain’t happening with Meyer around.
4. Georgia (5-0)
The pundits seem a little skeptical about the Bulldogs and apparently so was Jadon Haselwood, the five-star wideout who backed off his commitment to the program a year after he first said yes.
Georgia’s play is now measured with a different ruler. And its 38-12 win over Tennessee left many yawning, especially in comparison to Alabama, who licked the Bulldogs in last year’s championship game.
Frankly, its hard to understand. Georgia’s offense is on record pass having scored 24 TDs and at least 40 points four times. The Bulldogs are averaging 43.2 points, well ahead of the program record (37.8) set in 2012.
And sophomore QB Jake Fromm, who is 17-2 as a starter, has completed 72.5 percent, currently ahead of the SEC record set by Kentucky’s Tim Couch (remember him, Cleveland Browns?) in 1998. Fromm’s 166.28 passing rating is also the best in the nation.
Vanderbilt comes to Athens on Saturday. Be kind to Bulldogs. They bite
5. LSU (5-0)
We welcome LSU to the Tiebreaker.com poll for the first time. Saturday’s 45-16 win over Ole Miss made their promotion over Oklahoma necessary.
What’s most impressive is the play of QB Joe Burrow, a junior graduate transfer. In a conference (SEC) of gifted players, he is already a two-time offensive player of the week coming into Saturday’s game at No. 22 Florida.
He runs an offense which has improved incrementally each week, beginning with the 276 yards it needed to beat Miami in its opener.
Ole Miss did nothing to slow him down as he set career-highs for rushing yards (96), passing yards (292) and total offense (388). He had a hand in four TDs as the offense rolled to 573 yards. Burrow’s 388 yards ranks fourth-best total in school history.
But its defense is pretty staunch, as well. Safety Grant Delpit might be an All-American candidate. He has three sacks and two interceptions and 6 ½ tackles for a loss.