Why can’t there be a college football playoff this season?
The only thing we can ever say for sure about sports is this: anything can happen. However, right now the rich are getting richer, and it really looks like we could have five undefeated teams from five different conferences by the end of the season. That’s what this week’s takeaways are about: five elite teams impressing, while question marks remain for the rest.
So the real question is this: Are there any teams out there that can stir things up, or are we coincidentally going to see the biggest BCS controversy ever in its last season of existence?
1. Alabama No. 1 because Alabama is Alabama is Alabama
Tennessee had been playing teams tough coming into its matchup with Alabama, taking Georgia to overtime and beating South Carolina. The spread for the game was Alabama -27.5, and I thought, "Interesting..." But don't ever even consider betting against the Crimson Tide. On its first drive of the game, Alabama threw a swing pass out to Amari Cooper, who simply ran up the sideline, racing past Tennessee's secondary as if it wasn't even there. This single play was a microcosm of how easy Alabama constantly makes things look. The Tide are bigger, stronger, faster...you get it.
Can Alabama lose?
Probably not. When I made my audacious predictions, I said Auburn would beat the Tide in the Iron Bowl. But that's why I called them audacious predictions. The fact is, no team consistently executes in every facet of the game like Alabama. And when you combine that focus with the best talent in the nation, well, you get Alabama.
2. Oregon is now No. 2 because we thought, "UCLA is going to give them a game!" but that didn't happen
Well, for one half it seemed like the Bruins could play with Oregon. But that's the biggest issue when playing the Ducks: keeping up with that offense for four quarters. Eventually, it's going to find a way to hurt you. In UCLA's case, the players just ran out of gas as a result of chasing the Ducks all around the field, and the Bruins are hardly the first group that's had that happen to them.
People like to say things like, "Oregon always has that one game where it comes up short, though." Okay, but I don't think Oregon has ever had a quarterback like Marcus Mariota. The Ducks' defense is playing pretty darn good too. You may point out that it gave up 38 to Washington State, but it shut down a good UCLA offense when it had to.
Can Oregon lose?
Two weeks from now, we're going to see a slate of games that includes LSU-'Bama, Oklahoma-Baylor, and Oregon-Stanford. That's about as good as a Saturday can get. The Ducks do have to go to Stanford, and the Cardinal shut down the Oregon offense last season. That being said, I don't see Oregon falling to Stanford two years in a row.
3. Florida State falls a spot in the polls despite scoring 35 first-quarter points
I'm not too sure I'd get my hopes up for the Miami-Florida State game next week. Jameis Winston has the Seminoles rolling offensively, and it was almost criminal how he abused NC State on Saturday. Still, despite the amazing fast start, Florida State was out-scored in the second half. But I guess it's tough to keep your focus after virtually wrapping up the game in the first quarter of the game.
Can Florida State lose?
If I had to pick a top-four team to lose, I'd pick Florida State, but I'm not actually confident about that. At all. The Seminoles' offense is dynamic and Jameis Winston doesn't appear ready to have a letdown any time soon. If they lose, it would likely be in the last game of the season when the Seminoles have to go into The Swamp. But don't count on it.
4. Ohio State stays at No. 4 after still not playing anyone
Let's remember that Penn State lost to UCF and was dealt a 20-point defeat at the hands of Indiana. However, the Buckeyes' offense does seem to be clicking. Ohio State is throwing more on first-down and attacking defenses in multiple ways. It's easy to say the defense looked better against a freshman quarterback on the road, but, hey, Ohio State's defense looked better. The Buckeyes possess arguably the third-best offense in that nation, behind Oregon and Baylor. But could their defense stop any of these high-powered teams?
Can Ohio State lose?
No, considering what's left on its schedule. Like I said, the offense is in sync right now, and the Buckeyes' coaching staff is too intense to allow a letdown against Purdue, Illinois, or Indiana. Michigan doesn't seem to have it this year. What about Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship? Probably not. Everyone knows Ohio State needs help in order to get to the BCS National Championship Game, but do Buckeye fans really want to play Alabama?
5. Missouri is No. 5 no longer
Oh man. Wow. I feel for Missouri fans. Giving up that lead and then missing that field goal. I don't need to say anything more.
Can Missouri still make some noise?
Yes. This can still be an awesome year for the Tigers. They're still in the driver's seat to making it to the SEC Championship Game, and have a chance to accomplish some fantastic goals. What a devastating loss though.
6. Baylor is impressive
Over 60 points per game? Baylor is another team that seems to be playing at an extremely high level. The Bears will have to answer the same question as Ohio State, though: can its defense stop some of these other great offenses?
Can Baylor Lose?
Yes. The Bears will play the biggest game in school history in two weeks against Oklahoma. I like Baylor in that game, but it's difficult to stay near the top when you haven't been there before.
7. Miami doesn't look like No. 7
The Hurricanes' offense looks stagnant at times, and Miami as a whole did not look like a top-10 team on Saturday, needing a last minute score against Wake Forest to pull out a victory.
Can Miami lose?
The 'Canes likely will against Florida State, in a game which they opened as three touchdown underdogs. I don't see the Hurricanes keeping up with the Seminoles.
8. Stanford still hanging around
Stanford had a terrible loss to Utah, but is still right in the mix. The Cardinal survived an ugly game Saturday night against Oregon State, stopping the Beavers on 4th-and-goal to end the game.
Can Stanford still make some noise?
It's all about the Oregon game. If the Cardinal can produce the same kind of defensive effort it did last season against the Ducks, things could get interesting. However, I'm not sure this year's Stanford team has it in them.