Each week John Chancey and Marty Coleman list their top 5. Their rankings after week 10 are below.
Chancey's Top 5
Georgia – Thank you to Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs for making at least one choice in the Top 5 easy this week. Georgia continues to look the part of a #1 ranked team. I am starting to think of the rest of the Top 5 from the perspective of who will have the best chance to defeat Georgia, which is why some of these teams are shaking up a bit.
Ohio State – Let’s be honest. Outside of Georgia, none of the top teams from the CFP Top 10 looked particularly good this past weekend. If I were ranking these teams based on resume to this point alone, Ohio State would likely be struggling to make the Top 4. When you add in the eye test, the Buckeyes have one of the better offensive lines amongst the contenders, and they have the wide receivers. To beat the Bulldogs, a team needs an offensive line to slow down the Georgia front four, and the passing game to take advantage of the Georgia back seven. Right now, the Buckeyes have the best mix of resume and eye test to occupy this spot, though their chances would be better against Georgia if their defense wasn’t so inconsistent. The Buckeye defense needs to start peaking against competition like Michigan State and Michigan if they want to have a chance to win a championship.
Oklahoma – The Sooners had the weekend off, so they probably had the best weekend of anyone other than Georgia. Again, strictly on resume, Oklahoma is ranked appropriately in the CFP rankings right now. Based on eye test, they have an offense that stands a chance of putting a few points up against Georgia if they play to the best of their ability. Inconsistency has plagued the Sooners on both sides of the ball. Oklahoma’s chance for a spot in the playoffs plays out over the next three weekends: at Baylor, vs Iowa State & at Oklahoma State. It’s an opportunity to peak at the right time. Will they take advantage of it? Talented freshmen quarterbacks are hard to predict.
Alabama – This squad does not compare to the Tide teams of the recent past, but until this weekend I thought they had a chance to beat Georgia in the SEC championship game. Alabama’s down games have been due to their defense having a bad day. If the Bama defense played to the best their abilities, I think they could slow down Georgia’s offense. Prior to this weekend, the Tide offense had only scored under 40 points once (against Florida, 31 points). What I learned this past weekend (that I didn’t realize before) is that Alabama has challenges on their offensive line. Now I’m thinking the Bulldog D-line would eat the Bama O-line alive, and Young would have very little time to operate and find open receivers. This has lowered my optimism about Alabama’s chances against the Bulldogs.
Oregon – This was a tough choice between the Ducks and the Bearcats. My perception of the Ducks was that their play had significantly decreased after their starting running back was lost for the season. Reality is that Oregon is rushing for more yards in the last three games than their season average and are still Top 10 in rushing yards per game. Cincinnati has good size on their offensive line, but their ground game is ranked far below Oregon. If you think Cincy compensates for that with a better passing game with QB Desmond Ritter, you might be surprised to know both teams rank outside the Top 60 in passing yards per game. In total yards per game, Oregon ranks #27 and Cincinnati ranks #51. Statistically, it’s the Bearcats defense which is winning games for them, but they aren’t exactly playing the highest powered offenses. Best offense Cincinnati has played? Tulsa, #33 in the nation in yards per game. Oregon gets the nod here from me by a hair, but neither team has the passing offense to have any kind of re
Coleman's Top 5
Georgia – Ho-hum a 43-6 smashing of Missouri is just what the Bulldogs have done all season. Missouri finished with 273 yards and two field goals, which may be a moral victory given the UGA defense. This team is beatable, but you’re going to have to play a near spotless game, due to that defense. FYI: JT Daniels saw the field and a trip to Knoxville is up next.
Alabama – There was a big debate over Alabama at 2 last week and it’s going to be bigger after that performance. My question is who you would replace them with as everyone seemingly struggled Saturday. No, you can’t leave it blank. Alabama looks like a flawed team, but so is everyone else. Is Bama getting by on reputation? Probably, but they also have good players and the best coach in the game. They’re a casualty of their own success as everyone expects them to win by 50 every week, yet says very little when Oregon edges out a middling PAC-12 team or Ohio State struggles against Nebraska.
Ohio State – The Buckeyes are another flawed team and they struggled to run the ball against Nebraska and did their best to lose. On the other hand C.J. Stroud threw for 400+, so there’s that. The Buckeyes finish the season with giant killer Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan, so they’ll earn it or be an also ran by seasons end.
Oklahoma – I resisted the urge to move them up on their off week as the others (outside of Georgia) struggled. Just can’t do it till I see it on the field. At Baylor, Iowa State and at Oklahoma State remain. Baylor crashed to earth Saturday and Iowa State has to go to Norman. The fact is Caleb Williams is a game and maybe season changer for the Sooners. Rumors abound that their defense is getting some guys back this weekend and will be much improved. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Cincinnati – Another close win against another subpar team has me debating whether the Bearcats belong. Right now they’re here by default, but there are several teams on their heels and likely to pass them in the coming weeks. You can talk about undefeated all you want, but the truth is not all schedules are the same and not all wins are the same. The Bearcats needed to impress every week and they just haven’t done that.