(Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics)
I love friendly banter between college football fans this time of year. Fans arguing who are the pretenders and contenders of this year's college football season helps bring fun and excitement to college football. There is a clear top 2 teams this season. (if you don't think so, I am not sure what else to say.) However, teams 3-10 still have a big question mark.
Who are the actual contenders?
(Photo Credit: Alabama Athletics)
Alabama Crimson Tide
Do I really need to explain this one? They did not rebuild, Alabama reloads.
The nation's #1 defense has dominated every opponent. This week against Arkansas was supposed to be a giant test. JT Daniels was hurt and an athletic Arkansas team was ready for an upset. The odds were not in Georgia's favor. They went out and totally dominated the Razorbacks. Stetson Bennett is proving to be a better option than JT Daniels. The Bulldogs were already clear contenders, but this win shows you the gap between the contenders and pretenders in the SEC.
** It does not matter who I put as the rest of the contenders because Alabama and Georgia are walking to the National Championship Game!**
Penn State Nittany Lions
Two top 25 wins for the Nittany Lions this season. The Penn State offense is electric. Sean Clifford and Jahan Dotson are the best QB/WR duo in all of college football. The offense can put up points, but the Penn State defense is what makes them true contenders. Held the #1 offense to 20 points, shut out Indiana, and held Wisconsin to 10 points. The next stretch of games is tough for Penn State, but it will just help prove they are a top 5 team.
I was not a fan of Iowa prior to this week. I was big on the Maryland Terps hype train. 5 interceptions and a total dominant win on the roadshows that the Hawkeyes are contenders. The defense and offense are on a roll for the Hawkeyes. A big showdown with Penn State is going to be an amazing game for both programs. Even if Iowa loses, they are still contenders.
If the G5 wants to ever have a representative then this Cincinnati team is the team to do it. Cincy has dominated every game they have played this season. The offense is rolling and the defense is lockdown. A big win against Notre Dame on the road was huge for the program. They showed they can compete with anyone and everyone. Desmond Ridder is making a case for QB1 in next April's draft.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Do not forget about the Buckeyes. Yes, an early-season loss to Oregon does not look good. However, since that game, the offense has gone off. CJ Stroud returned from injury and is starting to find his groove. Even if he does not play Kyle McCord is still a valuable option. They still have some big games ahead on the schedule. If they can go undefeated for the remainder of the year, they'll be playing in the college football playoff.
Who are the pretenders?
(Photo Credit: OU Daily)
This was supposed to be the team that got over the hump of the semi-finals of the college football playoff. The defense has not shown up at all. On top of that, that electric OU offense is missing. Spencer Rattler is not the QB we thought he would be. Oklahoma may finish the season undefeated, but this team is not competing for a championship.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
They are always pretenders. We saw this when they almost lost to Florida State. They have a lot of talent, but can never get over that hump. Hey Brian Kelly, is that seat getting hot?
A few weeks ago Florida almost upset Alabama. There was some hope for this team. However, an ugly loss to Kentucky has ruined any chance of this team making a playoff run. There is such a big gap between the top teams in the SEC and Florida, that they will not be able to close that gap enough.
What a disaster of a season for Clemson. That is all that needs to be said about them.
They will always be pretenders until Jim Harbaugh beats Ohio State. If they lose that game, they will not be making the playoffs this season.
Not sure yet?
There are some teams that I am just not quite sure about. It is too early to tell on these teams. I am not ready to say they are contenders, but they are definitely not pretenders.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Ole Miss Rebels
Who are contenders for the Heisman Trophy?
(Photo Credit: Sporting News)
Bryce Young, QB Alabama & Matt Corral, QB Ole Miss
Here are the top 2 players for the Heisman Trophy. Unless something crazy happens or someone gets hurt, these two players will be the leading vote-getters. Corral was easily the Heisman favorite prior to this week. A big win for Alabama over Ole Miss might have helped Bryce Young pull ahead of Corral. Watching these two battles for the remainder of the season.
Kenneth Walker, RB Michigan State
Typically there are 3 finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Walker does not stand a chance, but someone has to be that 3rd. No QB is going to even come close to Young or Corral. Walker is easily the best RB
** If someone still argues that Spencer Rattler, Sam Howell, or CJ Stroud should win the Heisman Trophy then they are lying when they say watch college football. These three were supposed to be the overwhelming best players in college football. Instead, they have been extremely disappointing!