Alabama has won five-straight games since her call to Paul Finebaum to set the record straight that the Tuscaloosa team are still a dominant powerhouse—
…and it’s hard to disagree that Bama may well be the best team in college football with an unguardable wide receiver in Amari Cooper.
The Crimson Tide held off a pesky Arkansas team that is better than their record suggests following the loss at Ole Miss, proceeded to destroy a Texas A&M team that stood no Hill in chance, rode Cooper’s 9/224/2 game past Rocky Top, beat a resurgent—now dormant, again—LSU team in Baton Rouge, and has most recently held on to beat a No. 1 Mississippi State with a Heisman candidate quarterback.
Nick Saban’s offence didn’t get any flashier under the direction of OC Lane Kiffin, although it didn’t need to. The Crimson Tide is 24th in yards per game with 472 per, averaging 274.2 through the air and 197.9 on the ground, which is good for 30th and 37th in the FBS, respectively. But they are 7th in offensive efficiency and 1st in overall team efficiency.
In fact, all seven SEC West teams rank within the top 25 of overall team efficiency.
Alabama’s famed defence held Miss St, a team that had been averaging 37.8 points per game, to just 20 total and only three first half points—a late field before halftime. The defence is ranked sixth nationally, allowing an average of 291 yards. That is the highest rank of any top 10 ten and better than any team currently in the playoff.
So is it possible for Alabama to leap frog from fifth to first in the College Football Playoff rankings after their latest win?
(Mississippi State will of course lose their top spot.)
Oregon were on an open week, but have consistently racked up points against their opposition. They average 46 points per game, which is only bested by Marshall and Baylor. Oregon’s bid to occupy the committee’s top ranking all depends on how they view an open week against Bama’s win over Miss St. Although, naturally, the Ducks spirit team already occupies the top spot week-to-week. Puddles the Duck is currently looking for love on Tinder. The Ducks face a 0-7 Colorado team next Saturday.
Florida State has become synonymous with “comeback” in recent weeks. Jameis Winston’s 12 interceptions are the most by a starting quarterback in the committee’s latest playoff bracket, whilst his 18 touchdowns are last out of the four. Yes, the Seminoles did overcome and 16-point deficit to beat in-state rival Miami, but are continually comebacks enough to stay ahead of Alabama? Florida State’s best chance to quiet the last of the naysayers will be against Georgia Tech in a potential ACC Championship game, as games against Boston College and Florida will do little to better their stock.
TCU narrowly escaped Lawrence, KA with a win. For almost an entire three quarters it was basketball season in Memorial Stadium, where the Jayhawks were coming off their first conference win of the season—a storm the field kind of win over Iowa State. A 21-point third quarter by the Horned Frogs propelled them to a 34-30 win. TCU fell short of their normal 542 yards per game, but still racked up a total of 463 yards. In the eyes of the CFP, the Horned Frogs win suggest stagnancy, leaving the door open for Alabama to potentially leap frog them when they committee releases their latest rankings on Tuesday.
Teams in the hunt (again): Baylor, Ohio State, UCLA, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech.
Teams likely out: Auburn, Arizona State, LSU, and Notre Dame.
My say: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, TCU.