BOZICH | Top 20 (Alabama, UK, Ron Cooper); Bottom 5 (ACC Coastal, style points)
The new college football Top 20 and Bottom Five features winners (Alabama, Kentucky, Ron Cooper, Willie Taggart) and losers (ACC Coastal, Lane Kiffin bashers, style points).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — It was a great weekend for the unyielding Nick Saban, the ACC Atlantic and the University of Kentucky’s outlook for the remainder of the season.
It was a terrible weekend for style points, the ACC Coastal and Lane Kiffin bashers.
Alabama separated itself from the pack by beating a (soon-to-be former) Top 10 team on the road by 39.
Don’t scoff and blame it on Tennessee coach Butch Jones, whose defense could not stop Kiffin’s offense. Give credit to Bama and Kiffin, the Crimson Tide play caller. Meanwhile, Top 10 teams Ohio State (road), Clemson (home) and Louisville (home) were favored to win by a combined 63 1/2 points this weekend.
The Buckeyes, Tigers and Cardinals made it through unblemished (with two overtimes) by a combined 24.
I believe we can table the style points discussion until a later date and proceed with what matters:
My weekly Top 20 and Bottom Five.
1. Alabama (7-0) — Is there really anything to discuss? If so, make your case to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s good, I’ll share it. I don’t like your chances.
2. Vacant (unbeaten)— Just to make sure you understand there is Alabama and there is the rest of college football this season.
3. Ohio State (6-0) — An overtime win on the road against a ranked team tops an overtime win at home against an unranked team.
4. Clemson (7-0) — See above.
5A. Michigan (6-0) — I wonder what Jim Harbaugh did on his Saturday off — or if anybody has a picture of him watching the Ohio State-Wisconsin finish. Please forward.
5B. Washington (6-0) — The Huskies’ trip to Utah Oct. 29 will be appointment TV because they’re still a bit of a mystery.
7. Louisville (5-1) — The Duke win was the Cardinals’ lowest scoring game in their last 11.
8. Texas A&M (6-0)— Now the real season begins for the Aggies who head to Tuscaloosa to see Nick Saban and College GameDay Saturday. Enjoy.
9. Nebraska (6-0) — The real season does not begin for two weeks for the Huskers who get Purdue before they take back-to-back trips to Wisconsin and Ohio State. Yes, 10-2 is in sight.
10. Western Michigan (7-0) — The Broncos’ coach (P.J. Fleck) is enjoying his farewell tour through the Mid-American Conference.
11. Baylor (6-0) — Maybe the Bears will hire Fleck.
12. West Virginia (5-0) — Yes, the Mountaineers are 5-0. Yes, they have not played a ranked team. Yes, they will not play one until Nov. 19.
13. Boise State (6-0) — The Broncos let Colorado State lead 3-0 for a quarter — and then didn’t let them score again until it was 28-3.
14. Ed Orgeron (2-0) — Not only did his LSU team squash Southern Mississippi, the Tigers won their stare-down with Florida. The Gators blinked and agreed to reschedule their postponed game in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19. Advantage, Orgeron.
15. Off Week (unbeaten) -- Michigan, Washington, A&M and Kentucky all enjoyed some without the shoulder pads. The third weekend in October is the perfect time to let your squad heal.
16. Houston (6-1) — A 38-31 home win over Tulsa? Apparently that loss to Navy was no fluke. Not good for Louisville's strength of schedule.
17. Willie Taggart (6-1) — In case you didn’t believe me last week, Taggart has put himself in line to get a nice job at a Power Five school — if he’s ready to leave South Florida.
18. Kentucky (3-3) — The Wildcats had a weekend off to celebrate. Kentucky’s next four opponents all lost this weekend. That’s four solid whacks (plus Austin Peay) to get the three wins required for a bowl trip. Smile, Mark Stoops.
19. Ron Cooper (3-0) — Guess who’s won three times as many games as he did in his final season at Louisville? Few predicted Cooper would have a chance to become FIU’s permanent coach after he was named to replace Ron Turner when the Panthers started 0-4. Stay tuned.
20. Rutgers (2-5) — After getting outscored 136-0 by Ohio State and Michigan the previous two weekends, the Scarlet Knights rolled to a real touchdown while losing to hapless Illinois 24-7. Go crazy, Scarlet Knights. Go Crazy.
5. ACC Coastal Division — Virginia Tech lost to Syracuse by two touchdowns. Duke lost to Louisville. Miami is stumbling and fumbling. Any chance the league will let the top two teams in the Atlantic Division play for the title? Look for no Top 25 Coastal teams when the AP poll is released today.
4. Michigan State (2-4) — I’m reserving a permanent spot in the Bottom Five for the Spartans who are trying to do the impossible — slide from the national playoffs to missing a bowl. One of the Spartans’ wins was against Notre Dame. That doesn’t count.
3. Notre Dame (2-5) — No second half points in a 17-10 come-from-ahead loss to Stanford. The Irish remain a step (read: loss) ahead of the Spartans — and with Miami, Navy, Virginia and USC on the schedule home for the holidays works for them, too.
2. Georgia (4-3) — Vanderbilt? Vanderbilt? When does baseball season begin in Athens? Vanderbilt?
1. Tennessee (5-2) — When Alabama beats the Vols 49-10 in Neyland Stadium and Lane Kiffin winks on his way off the field, that 5-2 record feels like 2-5.
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