LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — And then there were 10 — unbeatens in college football.
You know the names of the important headliners.
This is a perfect opportunity to recognize that Scott Satterfield left 6-0 talent for his successor at Appalachian State and that P.J. Fleck has scheduled his way to row, row, row out of Minnesota (7-0) when the first seat at the Big Boy Table becomes available.
On to The Top 5/Bottom 5.
1. Ohio State (7-0) — You can pick Louisiana State on top. I won’t fuss. Or Alabama, of course. Or even Oklahoma. Heck, throw App State or Baylor in there, if you like.
But you’d better have a serious argument to overlook the Buckeyes who have won all seven of their games by at least 24 points and look like they’re not playing around this season.
2. Louisiana State (7-0) — The next two games — Auburn and at Alabama — will tell the world if the offensive juggernaut on the Bayou is legit.
3. Alabama (7-0) — The Crimson Tide deserve all the first-place votes you can give them — unless the long-term injury report on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is worse than the announced high ankle sprain. They’re holding their breath from Anniston to Dothan.
4. Oklahoma (7-0)— Everybody howls about Clemson’s easy path to the national playoff but it’s not like the Sooners have been asked to play the Patriots, Seahawks and Packers, folks.
5. Dabo Swinney (1-0) — First, I liked the way he gave freshman hot head Andrew Booth the immediate Tony LaRussa thumb after he saw the punch his Clemson player threw against Louisville at the conclusion of a punt return Saturday.
Then, I really liked the way Swinney called out his player in the post-game press conference.
But I loved the finishing touch. Swinney made his guy ride the bus home with the student managers. Hey, at least the leaves between Knoxville and Asheville are spectacular this time of year.
5. Clemson (7-0) — I know the Tigers beat Louisville by 35 points. I know they have not lost a game since everybody dialed-up AOL for e-mail. I know they have 20 or 30 or 70 guys who will play in the NFL.
If Trevor Lawrence keeps throwing the ball like every Chicago Bears quarterback of the last 50 years, Clemson won’t beat Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma or South Carolina.
4. Stanford (3-4) — First Andrew Luck retired early. Then John Elway forgot how to build a winner. Then the Tree loses to UCLA. When did Stanford vote to de-emphasize football?
3. On Wisconsin (6-1) — You had one job: Beat (2-4) Illinois Saturday and send yourself to a Game of the Millennium showdown with Ohio State in Columbus Saturday. The ESPN College Game Day set was on its way.
Then you fumbled and threw an interception and gave up a game-winning field goal to a team coached by Lovie Smith. The next thing you knew the Illinois public address announcer was taunting you by playing, “Jump Around,” and Game Day was off to South Dakota.
2. Jeremy Pruitt (2-5) — After four stone-age play calls, the Tennessee coach put his hand on the face mask of one of his players and gave a slight tug.
If he was around today, even Woody Hayes would tell Pruitt that’s a No-No.
What’s next, coach? Denying your guys water? Four-a-day practices? Dismissing concussions?
1. Willie Taggart (3-4) — A reasonable chunk of this Top 5/Bottom 5 is hyperbole, exaggeration and pulling on the face masks of these programs.
In other words, there have been times when I suggested that Taggart, the former Western Kentucky quarterback and coach, was on his way out at Florida State when we all knew he was only early in his second season.
But after watching FSU mostly surrender against Clemson and then totally mismanage the clock down the stretch of another loss to Wake Forest Saturday, I’m starting to lean toward Taggart being in legitimate trouble.
The Seminoles will never consider themselves a program seeking Bowl Eligibility but they’ve got to win three of their last five to make the post-season, and I only see one certain win (Alabama State) on the schedule.
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