The Robinson Report- Making the case for every top CFB team as a National Champion
Alabama Crimson Tide:
It’s still good to be the king in Tuscaloosa, and one of the main takeaways from the early part of the season is, believe it or not, not a whole lot of people are talking about Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Most of the talk in the SEC has been about LSU and Florida, but Alabama is one of the quietest #1 teams in recent memory. They’ve beat every opponent by 25+ points so far this year, and this could be one of the best receiving corps they’ve had in years, led by Henry Ruggs, DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy. Tua Tagovailoa is still putting up impressive numbers, and while it has come against weak opponents, we’ve known for a while now that no one ever wants to play Alabama, so Nick Saban can’t choose his schedule. Yes they got manhandled last year in the Championship game, but this is a new season, and it’s safe to say Tua’s progression as the play-caller in his second full season as starter is going to be a reason why Alabama should play for a National Championship come January.
When it comes to early season rankings, only one thing matters: Did you win tough games? No one boasts bigger wins on their schedule this college football season more than the LSU Tigers. They went into a hostile environment in Texas and came away with a win, then picked apart the red-hot UF defense at home in a convincing victory. This early into the season, it’s two impressive wins that have put the college football world on notice. Led by QB and Heisman hopeful Joe Burrow, the LSU offense has looked so dynamic it makes the ‘05 Texas Longhorns sit up in their chair. They’ve abandoned the I-Formation, and Ed Orgeron’s Tiger team have allowed Burrow to flourish, putting up no less than 42 points a game, even hitting 65 and 66 in wins over Northwestern State and Vanderbilt. No team in college football has beaten two Top 10 opponents, and there is a lot of reason for excitement down in the Bayou. If they can manage to defend home turf against a pesky Auburn team, the road matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 9th is going to be one of the best games we’ve seen this decade.
As long as they keep winning, what’s the issue, right? That’s the main argument from Dabo Swinney and Co., as the defending champions have looked less than stellar. Yes, they are undefeated, but they also graduated a lot of players on defense and those who didn’t graduate declared for the NFL draft. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t looked as superb as last year, which would beg the question if defensive coordinators have figured him out. They play in an incredibly weak ACC, and they got off to a slow start at home against Texas A&M and almost lost on the road versus North Carolina. You can’t leave out the defending champion if they go undefeated and win the ACC no matter how they look. Unless they get upset in the final week of the season on the road against South Carolina, they should go undefeated. As of right now, they don’t pass the eye test as a Top 4 team. On paper as of Week 7, this team would definitely lose to Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma, and it would be close against Notre Dame, Penn State and Georgia. They still have time to figure it out, but Swinney has had better teams over in South Carolina.
Ohio State Buckeyes:
The 7-0 Ohio State Buckeyes have looked fantastic, and they haven’t skipped a beat since Ryan Day replaced Urban Meyer as Head Coach in Columbus. Justin Fields is the most dangerous dual-threat QB in the nation, and is still in the running for the Heisman. Chase Young on defense and JK Dobbins on offense bring energy and electricity to the team. They haven’t played anyone except a beat up Michigan State team, so the home battle against Wisconsin next week will be a good indication how solid this team is. If any Wisconsin team is capable of beating Ohio State its this one, and the Badgers may end up putting up a bigger fight against the Buckeyes than Michigan will at the end of the year. Ohio State is a solid and complete team, and is a dark horse to win the National Championship.
Jalen Hurts wants Alabama. You can see it in his eyes, his work ethic, his demeanor, and how he attacks every opponent. The Oklahoma Sooners QB is a man on a mission, and can become the third straight Heisman Trophy-winning QB in Norman. Lincoln Riley is making his case for one of the best coaches in College Football, and the Sooners looked solid against Texas in last weekend’s Red River Rivalry. The trio of Hurts, CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo is the second best QB-WR-WR trio behind Alabama. This Sooner team only has one more big test on the road against Baylor on November 16th and a potential trap game at the final game against Oklahoma State, but they shouldn’t have a problem getting into the Big 12 Championship game and the College Football Playoff undefeated. Because Hurts was the Alabama transfer who was benched in the 2018 National Championship, it’s safe to say there will be some fireworks in the CFP if Oklahoma and Alabama get in. Jalen Hurts only has one thing on his mind: Beating Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.