There is little argument when it comes to the top four teams in college football projections after Week 10. And ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit feels the same way most do when it comes to the best. Fresh off his broadcast of Michigan’s 42-7 clobbering of Penn State at the Big House, Herbstreit revealed his updated top four teams in college football. It comes as no surprise to see Michigan represented after what the Wolverines showed against Penn State on the “revenge tour.” Of course, there is no argument about No. 1.
“As much as we talk about Tua (Tagovailoa) and the Alabama football offense (and deservedly so), need to recognize this defense is getting better each week,” Herbstreit wrote Sunday morning. “Last night, LSU offense (had) 12 yards rushing, 13 first downs in the game. First-year defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi is doing a great job with this crew. Group getting better each week.”
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0): Alabama smothered the No. 3 team in college football on the road. For every “who have they played” argument out there, Alabama’s defense made a big play against LSU in a 29-0 victory.
“No, I did not,” Nick Saban said when asked if he expected that performance by his defense. “They moved the ball and ran the ball against everybody they played against. I mean, Georgia’s got a good defense, Mississippi State’s got a good defense. They had a good plan against against us at the beginning of the game. We made some adjustments, and our players did a good job of adapting to it.”
2. Clemson Tigers (9-0, 6-0): Add Clemson to the list of teams that averages more than 50 points per game. Putting up 77 points in an utter destruction of Louisville, the Tigers are undefeated and average 53.4 points per game since the full-time move to true freshman sensation Trevor Lawrence.
“I love the focus of our team,” said coach Dabo Swinney. “I challenged our defense at halftime, and Louisville converted only two third downs in the second half. Our defense played cleaner in the second half. Offensively, we scored nearly every time we had ball in the second half.”
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0): Notre Dame just keeps winning, and Northwestern is far from an easy road environment. They may not be overly impressive statements like we see every week from Alabama and Clemson, but the Fighting Irish are undefeated and have a top-five win via Michigan. Ian Book threw for more than 300 yards again and was responsible for three touchdowns in a 31-21 win.
4. Michigan Wolverines (8-1, 6-0): Has any team shown a better ability to swallow a bitter pill and grind forward? Michigan’s end to the 2017 season was just as frustrating as a loss at Notre Dame during the first week of the season. What has happened since then? Michigan has serious momentum, a scary defense, and a team that is clearly bought in. By beating Penn State 42-7 and Michigan State 21-7, the Wolverines showed how dangerous a wounded animal can be. Gaining more confidence every week, Michigan will likely be the favorite at Ohio State with a potential CFB bid on the line.
“To me, the way our guys are practicing and just where they’re at, they’re very focused,” said coach Jim Harbaugh. “The team is very confident in themselves and in their teammates, too. They’re loose too, the right amount of loose and focus. Practicing really hard and good. I like where our team is at.”
The next two up?
Georgia (8-1, 6-1)ranks fifth fresh off its victory over Kentucky to lock up a spot in the SEC Championship Game and the highly-anticipated rematch against Alabama. As Oklahoma survives a scare against Texas Tech, the Sooners hold the sixth spot. With wins for Oklahoma and West Virginia Saturday, that is your most-likely Big 12 title game.