College Football Playoff rankings after Week 3: SEC gets 3 teams in
With three weeks of the college football season gone by, who are the four teams in the playoff as of now?
College football is nearly at its quarter point in the season. Through three weeks, most top teams have a marquee matchup under their belt and are beginning to build a case for the College Football Playoff committee.
The quarter point in the season is always a great time to review how teams are doing and to adjust expectations. While some teams are living up to that billing, other teams are falling flat. There were plenty of statements made during this third week of action, and while there’s plenty of time until December, let’s take a look at what teams would be in at this point in the season.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
There was talk about the Crimson Tide’s trip to Mississippi as one that would challenge the Tide defense. Mississippi boasts a very good receiving core and Alabama’s secondary is very young. However, Alabama came to play in a big way on the road.
The Crimson Tide scored a touchdown on five of their first seven drives, with Tua Tagovailoa looking very good once again, going 11-of-15 for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns as well. Sophomore receiver Jerry Jeudy caught three balls for 136 yards and scored twice. After giving up a long touchdown early to D.K. Metcalf, the Alabama defense shut down Mississippi’s vaunted receiving core and made life tough on Rebels quarterback Jordan Ta’amu who finished 7-of-22 and threw two picks. Bama rolled to a big win 62-7 as Nick Saban has the best offense he’s ever had.
2. Georgia Bulldogs
The Georgia Bulldogs had a cupcake this week in Middle Tennessee, but they took care of business once again and are now 3-0 on the season. Jake Fromm came in and got some light work in, going 10 of 12 with a trio of touchdown passes. The running game featured Elijah Holyfield, and he looked good, notching 100 yards on just eight carries.
The defense still packs a punch despite losing starters to the draft in April. Cornerback Deandre Baker had an interception and a tackle for loss, and J.R. Reed continued to look like one of the top safeties in the conference. The Bulldogs are securing their spot based on last week’s dominating performance against South Carolina on the road. Georgia begins SEC play next week, and they’re looking to keep on rolling to hold on to their spot.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes make their debut in the top four this week for good reason. After dominating Oregon State and Rutgers in their first two games, the Buckeyes faced a big test against the TCU Horned Frogs in Arlington. Ohio State had a handful early with TCU, and trailed at halftime by a point. The Horned Frogs had control of the game in the middle of the third quarter, but Ohio State flipped the momentum in a matter of minutes.
First, Dwayne Haskins found receiver Parris Campbell for six on a screen pass. It was followed by a pick-six courtesy of Dre’Mont Jones. Then, the Buckeyes blocked a punt and scored two plays later. Just like that, Ohio State was up 33-21. The Buckeyes didn’t look back and got the win 40-28. Dwayne Haskins fought hard in this game, and he continues to improve as the season goes on. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined for 185 yards on the ground. The defense stepped up after Nick Bosa went down with an injury, and came up with key turnovers in the second half. This big win in what feels like a road game propels the Buckeyes into the top four.
4. LSU Tigers
A new team joins the party of four this week, and deservedly so. The LSU Tigers have taken care of business in the first three weeks of the season, and that business wasn’t easy. LSU dominated Miami on the opening weekend 33-17.
This week, they headed into hostile territory as underdogs against Auburn in the Tiger Bowl. They took an early lead 10-0, with seven points coming off a big interception of Jarrett Stidham. Auburn stormed back and held a 21-10 lead in the second half, but LSU would not go away. Joe Burrow found Derrick Dillon for a 71-yard touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter to trim the lead to just two. They finished the deal with a 14-play drive and Cole Tracy kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Quarterback Joe Burrow didn’t have a great game, but he made big throws when LSU needed it. The defense got the stops they needed and forced Stidham into two interceptions on the day. With wins over two top-10 teams in Miami and Auburn, LSU has a fantastic resume that would gain them entry over teams who will undoubtedly be ranked higher in the AP Top 25.
Just Missed: Clemson, Oklahoma
The Clemson Tigers are the first team out, and they just don’t have that signature win yet to put themselves in the conversation. The good news is they are undefeated and have an easy road through the ACC. The same goes for the Oklahoma Sooners who moved to 3-0 behind a big game from Kyler Murray to avoid the upset against the Iowa State Cyclones.