It’s way too early to overreact, but after Week 1 provided a few upsets and plenty of storylines, College Football’s Top 25 looks pretty unsteady.
Defending their National Title won’t come easy this season, but Alabama kicked their season off with a cruisy win to remain on top of the rankings. You could easily make a case for Clemson as the No.1 school in the country, but with both set for big games this week, perhaps the College Football landscape will become a little clearer.
With plenty of games to choose from, College Football is worth a play in your multis. Here’s a look at the games that matter from the Top 25 schools, or more importantly, the ones you, the punter, needs to focus on!
(1) Alabama vs. Arkansas State
The Crimson Tide accomplished what they set out to do last week – annihilate Louisville. The win provided some clarity at quarterback with coach Nick Saban naming Tua Tagovailoa as the starter ahead of Week 2, and with another home game in hand, you simply can’t back against Alabama this week.
You might not know it by looking at last week’s 51-14 final scoreline, but Bama’s offense was far from its usual self against the Cardinals. Tagaovailoa did a great job of sharing the ball around between four different receivers, but it took until half time for the Tide to really kick into gear.
Alabama won’t lose this game, but they might only win by let’s say, 20-points. Arkansas State are a team that can give ranked schools a real scare, but more importantly, quarterback Justice Hansen threw for 423-yards and six touchdowns last week. The margin market looks like a nice play.
(3) Georgia vs. (24) South Carolina
It was an easy start to the season for last year’s National Championship runner-ups as the Bulldogs manhandled Austin Peay, piling on 45-unanswered points.
Life after running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel remains a question mark, but wide receiver Demetris Robertson looks like a future star. He adds another layer of versatility to the Georgia offense, running an end-around play for a 72-yard touchdown last week.
So will Georgia have any trouble with the Gamecocks?
The last time South Carolina beat a ranked opponent was last season in a seven-point thriller over NC State. The Gamecocks are much improved since then though, defeating Michigan in the Outback Bowl in their season finale.
Home field advantage is huge for South Carolina in this game, but if last year’s meeting is any indication, the Dogs will need their running game to be locked and loaded on the road.
(2) Clemson vs. Texas A&M
The Tigers defence is a class above this season, and we saw that last week as they held Furman Paladins to just 163-yards offensively.
Things will be a little tougher this week against A&M, especially on the road at Kyle Field. The crowd will be up and about for this game, and after the Aggies rushed for five touchdowns last week against Northwestern State, who could blame them?
No one will give A&M a chance in this one, but coach Jimbo Fisher appears to have his troops ready for battle early this season. Quarterback Kellen Mond looked strong in the pocket last week and showed patience with his throws, while the Aggies running game was vastly superior to last season, ducking and diving through holes led by Trayveon Williams.
Clemson’s quarterback situation has been a question mark in the lead up to the season, but it looks as though Kelly Bryant has won the job for another week.
Despite their dominance right up until the semi-final loss to Alabama last season, the Tigers did lose one game on the road to Syracuse last year. This could easily be the Aggies’ day.
(17) USC vs. (10) Stanford
This isn’t only the game of the week, it’s also a rematch of last seasons Pac-12 Championship game.
The Trojans won that one in nail-biting three-point fashion, but with quarterback Sam Darnold now gone, things could turn out a little differently away from home at Stanford Stadium.
Don’t let the scoreboard fool you, USC’s offense still has a few steps to take before we can fully deem the Trojan’s a championship threat. Quarterback J.T. Daniels eventually settled into the game, but a hostile environment might rattle him this week.
Fortunately for USC, the Cardinal defence is still a major guessing game. If the Trojans can somehow limit running back Bryce Love and quarterback K.J. Costello, who was particularly impressive last week, they are every chance of stealing this game on the road. Ultimately though, it’s going to come down to quarterback composure for both schools, which should favour Stanford.