The college football season continues to outdo itself every Saturday. During a weekend featuring only one match up of Top 25 teams, some referred to the schedule as mundane. However, there was plenty of upheaval in Sunday’s release of ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s top four college football teams.
Earlier in the week, the Buckeyes coaching staff had enough of the Cardale Jones experiment, and replaced him with J.T. Barrett at starting quarterback. Barrett led the Buckeyes to their most complete game of the season. They defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 49-7, and resembled the team we saw during the inaugural College Football Playoff. However, the Buckeyes’ 21st straight victory was not the biggest story of the day.
A pair of undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the season. The Utah Utes got hit with a sledgehammer by the USC Trojans. As it stands now, the loss really hurts the PAC-12’s admission into the College Football Playoff. While many believe Stanford is the best team in the conference, they can’t afford another loss this season.
The Florida State Seminoles led Georgia Tech for the entire game until the final minute. Moments later, the Seminoles attempted a game-winning field goal at the buzzer. Well, a block, and a breathtaking 78-yard return by Lance Austin gave the Seminoles their first conference loss in 29 games.
Although the Utes and Seminoles weren’t in Herbstreit’s top four, they had huge chances to make moves in the next couple of weeks. Now they have to play the waiting game like every other one-loss team in college football. In addition, the defeats came to teams struggling this year.
There was also a major injury yesterday. Baylor was Herbstreit’s top team over the last few weeks, but quarterback Seth Russell fractured a bone in his neck. Currently, there isn’t a timetable for Russell’s return. This could be the biggest blow to the Bears chances of making the College Football Playoff.
Here is Kirk Herbstreit’s Top 4 playoff contenders. You can check last week’s breakdown of Herbstreit’s Top 4 teams.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes took awhile to get going, but 14 points late in the second quarter gave Ohio State a 21-0 halftime lead. Three more touchdowns pushed the lead to 42-0 before entering the fourth quarter. It was their best effort of the season. That’s the reason why they moved back to the top spot in Herbstreit’s ranking.
2. Baylor Bears: The Baylor Bears jumped out to a 35-0 lead in the first half. The heavy rainstorm couldn’t slow them down, but complacency and an injury to Seth Russell to the wind out of the Bears’ in the second half.
3. LSU Tigers: LSU took care of business against Western Kentucky. Now they get a break before facing Alabama in the biggest game of the season. Leonard Fournette should be ready to roll.
4. Clemson Tigers: Clemson dominated the Miami Hurricanes 58-0. Defensively, they have been great. Offensively, they did everything right against the Hurricanes. Their game against Florida State lost some luster, but an ACC title shot will still be on the line.
Next Best Teams:
The Alabama Crimson Tide dropped out of Herbstreit’s Top four this week. They needed a touchdown from Derrick Henry and a great defensive stop to hold off Tennessee in the final minutes.
The TCU Horned Frogs are also on the outside looking in. Are they now the favorites to win the Big 12 with Baylor’s Seth Russell injured? If their defense begins to play better, the Horned Frogs are capable of running the table.