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Tiebreaker College Poll: Tigers Staying On ‘Bama’s Tail

We like to think of ourselves at as a forgiving bunch. We let it slide when Georgia lost to LSU and kept the Bulldogs in our Top 5 college football poll. We are not heartless.

But Ohio State left us no choice. They lost to Purdue 49-20 last week. We thought after last season’s 55-24 loss to Iowa that the Buckeyes had worked this upset-by-rout nonsense out of their system. We were wrong.

Streeter Lecka / Getty

Last week they lost Nick Bosa and then they lost to the Boilermakers. Now they have lost our support.

Alabama (8-0)

The Crimson Tide are enjoying their bye week before next Saturday night’s game at LSU, which should be reason enough not to make any plans for the evening.

If it seems like all we do is talk about QB Tua Tagovailoa, you might be right. You won’t be sorry when he wins the Heisman Trophy. And it’s not like he hasn’t done anything lately. Last week, he reeled in his third game with 300-plus yards passing and four touchdowns this season as the Tide trounced Tennessee 58-21.

Tua completed 19-of-29 for 306 yards and was selected the SEC’s offensive player of the week. He leads the nation in pass efficiency (238.8) and yards per completion (19.31).

But that’s not the coolest thing about him. Last Sunday, a thoroughbred ran a race at the Keeneland Race Track in Kentucky named Tuaandtwentysix.

That’s 26 as in 26-23 over Georgia in the CFP Championship Game, won when Tua hit DeVonta Smith for the 41-yard TD in overtime.

Now, that’s how you know you’ve made it big.

Clemson (7-0)

The Tigers have their mojo back after some close-call victories. Trevor Lawrence has been everything Dabo Sweeney hoped for at QB. And Travis Etienne is having a fabulous year at halfback behind perhaps the nation’s most talented offensive line. Nobody gets to Lawrence and the holes for the Tiger backs are cavernous. It’s a very good look.

Last week, people were jacked up about their game against North Carolina State, which was 5-0. And all Clemson did was win by 34 (41-7), thanks to Etienne (and his line) who ran for three TDs for the third straight week, a program first.

The Tigers play at Florida State on Saturday.

Notre Dame (7-0)

One of the great traditions in college football renews Saturday when the Irish play Navy in San Diego. Why San Diego? Why not? This is Notre Dame.

The Irish have the frequent flier miles to go wherever the alumni wants them to go. That’s why they will be in Evanston, Ill., for the first time since 1976 to play Northwestern and at Yankee Stadium to play Syracuse.

But this rivalry with Navy stretches back 91 years – and ND has won 75 times. They will win again. The Midshipmen (2-5) are in the midst of a rare down season and ND quarterback Ian Book is first among all FBS players with a completion rate of 75.2 in his five games as the starter.

Wow, are we looking at a possible Notre Dame-Alabama showdown?

LSU (7-1)

For those or you who don’t follow the Tigers, the program has Ohio State to thank for much of their success.

QB Joe Burrow transferred to the Baton Rouge this spring after it became clear that Urban Meyer wanted freshman Dwayne Haskins to run the show. And despite what happened against Purdue last week, it was a good decision.

Like Alabama, LSU is off this week preparing for their SEC showdown, one which could pave the Tigers path to the Final Four.

And just in case the game is tight, the Tigers have a great weapon in kicker Cole Tracy, a transfer from Assumption College, of all places. Tracy kicked four field goals in the 19-6 win over Mississippi State and has made 12 straight. He leads the nation with 21 field goals and hasn’t missed inside the 50.

Georgia (6-1)

Did you know running back Elijah Holyfield is the son of the former heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield? Now you do.

Elijah will be in the middle of things on Saturday when the Bulldogs play their must-win SEC game against Florida (6-1). Georgia knows it likely has to beat Florida, Kentucky and Auburn if it wants to win the East division.

It’s not going to be easy. LSU absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage in its win over the Bulldogs, giving up 275 yards rushing. The Gators are averaging 34 points and have won five straight.

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