After another phenomenal weekend of college football, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit released his top four teams early Sunday morning. Three of Herbstreit’s top four teams are back for consecutive weeks, but there’s a new major player in the fold for a playoff spot.
The Clemson Tigers have long been a team mocked for losing games in unbelievable fashion. Although the Tigers have been close to a dominant program in recent years, they may have something special going on this season. Yesterday’s 43-24 victory over Georgia Tech was further proof that Clemson is a College Football Playoff contender.
After defeating Notre Dame in the final seconds last week, there were assumptions about Clemson’s ability to let down this weekend. Those questions were put to rest in the first quarter of the 19 point victory. The Tigers’ defense has been great, and they’ll have a few more chances to prove their worth this season.
A showdown with Florida State looms in November, but the Tigers have a home game against Boston College, and two road contests at Miami and North Carolina State before they can worry about earning a program defining win over the Seminoles.
As well as the Tigers have played, are they worthy of a top four spot in Herbstreit’s College Football Playoff poll? The TCU Horned Frogs went into Manhattan, KS and defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, 52-45. During the Horned Frogs three road games, they’ve won by an average of 5.3 points per game. The bottom line is TCU keeps winning.
The Horned Frogs erased an 18 point halftime deficit to win their 14th straight game. With 6:07 left in the game, quarterback Trevone Boykin broke loose for a 69 yard touchdown run to give the Horned Frogs their first lead since the first half.
The Utah Utes are also an undefeated team looking like a top four team in the country. They Utes forced six turnovers to defeat the Cal Bears 30-24 in the final seconds. They might have the best win in college football this season. In the season opener, Utah defeated the Michigan Wolverines.
Here is Kirk Herbstreit’s Top 4 College Football Playoff contenders.You can see last week’s top four comparison.
1. Baylor Bears: Baylor scores so many points, it’s hard to know what to think of this team. They clearly have taken the foot off the pedal in second halves of games, yet their lowest point total is 56 points this season. However, the schedule increases in difficulty starting next week.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes may have found their groove offensively, but they still haven’t crushed teams into submission this season. J.T. Barrett rushed for three touchdowns as the redzone quarterback for Ohio State. Meanwhile, Cardale Jones had his best game of the season.
3. LSU Tigers: The LSU Tigers had a road/home game due to the flooding in South Carolina. They tried their best to make the Gamecocks feel comfortable. Maybe that’s why Leonard Fournette only ran for 158 yards on 20 carries yesterday. Still, the Tigers scored a 45-24 victory over the reeling Gamecocks.
4. Clemson Tigers: The aforementioned Clemson Tigers did rise into the poll this weekend. They’ve been impressive enough to jump into Kirk Herbstreit’s top four. But will they be able to stay their next week?
Outside Looking In:
The TCU Horned Frogs and Utah Utes are on the outside looking in. The Florida Gators are also an undefeated team outside of the top six. However, the Gators face the LSU Tigers next weekend. Would a victory put the Gators in the elite category?
The Oklahoma Sooners bowed out of the top four after losing to Texas in the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners were huge favorites, but didn’t come prepared for a fight against the Longhorns.