There’s no doubt that two teams need to be ranked at the top of the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Instead, there is an ongoing debate about which of these pairings deserves first place.
No more impressive than the suggested score. 12 Are you still undefeated and mighty Alabama after a 42-21 win against Mississippi?
Or not. Is it a mighty Georgia that has destroyed 11 Arkansas 37-0 and has the best defense in the country in almost all major categories?
After a week in October, these two teams are undoubtedly at the forefront of the Football Bowl subdivision pack, miles ahead of the other major candidates for the college football playoffs.
Whether in preseason or in the weeks ahead, some of the teams flirting with No. 1 ideas have lost or missed out on some of the best teams in college football.
Ohio State University wrestled with Minnesota and lost to Oregon, but Bucky fared better over the past three weeks. The Ducks, who previously ranked third in the coach’s poll, fall down the rankings as they lose to Stanford overtime. Oklahoma remains undefeated, but not yet on the same level as the team that reached the playoffs in three of the past four seasons.
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Alabama has been number one since the first Top 25, and usually struggles with a mighty running game for much of September, and even though the Crimson Tide barely escapes with a 31–29 victory, that doesn’t necessarily mean that. Take it off your perch. I’m not doing anything for it. Florida.
The Tide, who had lost a lot in last year’s attack, relied on quarterback Bryce Young, who threw 17 touchdowns against two interceptors.
Georgia, who finished fifth in the preseason polls, moved to second place after a suffocating performance in the opening round against Clemson and a series of outbursts in SEC play. The Bulldogs beat Arkansas, Vanderbilt and South Carolina with a score of 143-13.
What makes Georgia so dangerous is the defense. The group dropped field goals in eight quarters, with only 23 points from five matches against the ranking competition.
In a nutshell, these are discussions to put each team in first place.
- Alabama has won three times against teams in Miami, Florida and the Olemis. With Clemson declining, the victory over the Gators is more impressive than any of the Bulldogs’ five victories. It could also be argued that defeating the Oremis is more remarkable than breaking through to Arkansas, but that would overlook the Razorbucks’ victories over Texas and Texas A&M.
- Georgia has four victories in the Power Five contest against three in Alabama. So did the Bulldogs without the healthy JT Daniels. He missed two games due to an injury and is still limited in the lineup. Best of all, Georgia has one of the most intimidating units in the country, leading the FBS in terms of yards per game, yards per game, and points per game. Even the perceived difference in attacks between the Bulldog and the Tidal has not taken root. Alabama averages 6.8 yards per game and Georgia 6.6 yards.
The only thing that’s certain? Everyone else is chasing the bulldog and the crimson tide. It may not be possible to decide which team will be number one until competing in the SEC Championship Game on the first Saturday of December.
Follow college reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg