By: Denery Noone
Denery attacks the college football landscape with a ranking of his own.
Here are Denery’s top College Football Playoff teams through seven games. These rankings differ from those of the AP Poll.
Although Alabama is ranked number eight in the AP Poll, it is pretty obvious that they are the number one team in the country right now. Since their loss to Chad Kelly and Ole Miss, a game in which Nick Saban started Cooper Bateman instead of Jake Coker, the Tide are 4-0 with notable wins against Georgia, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. They have been by far the most impressive team in the country, and they dominated both Georgia and A&M on the road, when both teams were undefeated. Jake Coker has proved that he is the man for the job, throwing for 1,376 yards and 11 touchdowns at a 62% completion percentage. These numbers are not breathtaking, but they are simply good enough. Coker is a game manager, just like AJ McCarron and Greg McElroy. Derrick Henry is going to carry this team to the promise land. His combination of size, speed, and vision is elite, and makes him nearly unstoppable. Alabama is my number one team right now.
2. Ohio St. Buckeyes (7-0) AP Ranking: 1
The Buckeyes have not been dominant to say the least, but they are doing just enough to stay in the top four. Had they not won the national championship a year ago, I could imagine that a lot of people would argue that they should not be in the top four, but they are right where they belong. Cardale Jones was just benched for J.T. Barrett after throwing for 1,245 yards and only 7 touchdowns to go along with 5 interceptions. That is not nearly as good as he needs to be, especially after many thought he could have left college after only three games last year and be the potential number one overall pick. However, I think that this move is coming at the right time for the Buckeyes. Remember, Barrett did show how great he was over a long period of time last year, he had nearly 3,000 yards passing last year and had 34 passing touchdowns to go along with 11 rushing touchdowns. He was even a Heisman candidate, not a bad option for your backup quarterback. However, I have not even mentioned their best player, Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is the reason they are undefeated right now, and he will be the main the reason they stay undefeated until at least the Michigan game. This team is going to live and die by that offense, by Barrett, Elliott, and Braxton Miller. Look for this team to go a lot more read option going forward.
3. TCU Horn Frogs (7-0) AP Ranking: 4
Look, I know that their defense has been very shaky at times, but Trevone Boykin is the best quarterback in college football right now. He is so dynamic. There is no one way you can defend him. If you stack the box, he will beat you with his arm, and if you play too much coverage, he will burn you with his legs. He has the ability to beat man coverage, especially with Josh Doctson. Docston already has over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns through seven games. Also, running back Aaron Green is no slouch with 632 yards and eight touchdowns through seven games, which is surprising considering how much the ball is in Boykin's hands. This team lives and dies off of the arm and legs of Boykin, and he is proving that he can lead this team. I think that TCU should have been in the playoffs last year, and I think they will be this year. Yes they gave up 45 to Kansas St. and 52 to Texas Tech, but this offense is too good to lose this year. The one team they have to worry about this year is Baylor, but I truly think this is the year that TCU beats Baylor. Gary Patterson has historically been a great defensive coach, and I think he will have something up his sleeve for that game.
4. LSU Tigers (6-0) AP Ranking: 5
This is the Leonard Fournette show. My consensus Heisman through seven weeks. I don’t know if Fournette can break Barry Sanders’ rushing record of 2,628 yards considering he is at 1,202 with only 5 games left to play, but he can come close. Fournette is averaging 200 rushing yards per game, which is an absurd stat. Even if teams stack the box, Fournette is big enough to break tackles and too fast for people to catch him. He might be the best running back of the last decade. This team can go pretty much anywhere it wants to if Brandon Harris can play at least decent, because that rushing attack is too lethal. The one thing I worry about is the fact that they have to play Alabama in Tuscaloosa, but even if they lose that they will only have one loss and I think that this year, that will be good enough to get them into the playoff.
On the Outside Looking In:
5. Baylor (6-0)
AP Ranking: 2
Upcoming Games: Iowa State, at Kansas State, Oklahoma
6. Clemson (6-0)
AP Ranking: 6
Upcoming Games: at Miami, at NC State, FSU
7. Utah (6-0)
AP Ranking: 3
Upcoming Games: at USC, Oregon State, Washington
8. Florida St. (6-0)
AP Ranking: 9
Upcoming Games: at Georgia Tech, Syracuse, at Clemson