clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Someone, please beat Alabama

The Top Whatever is Spencer Hall's weekly ranking of the teams that must be ranked. It's also now a plea for the Tide to be stopped.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

1. Clemson. Beat Florida State 23-13 in a grind-y, frustrating, but rewarding victory. What no one will get from this is how Florida State played one of the best defensive games of its year, got outstanding production from Dalvin Cook despite injury and put together a superb game plan for quarterback Sean Maguire in just his third start at QB. FSU still lost, football is deeply unfair and almost all of your best efforts in life are sucked into the cold erasure of existence. GO NOLES.

P.S. Clemson remains really, really good.

2. Alabama. Crushed LSU 30-16. Les Miles would challenge a rhino to a head-butting contest. If you want anyone to write anything new and exciting about Alabama, you are looking in the wrong place. The only hope for humanity and a world without a 27-3 Playoff final in which Alabama gets a 21-0 lead over, like, Baylor is that Mississippi State, Auburn or Florida plays the game of its life against the Crimson Tide and saves us all the miserable asphyxiation of Nick Saban football. None can do this.

We're all going to have to watch more Alabama football than we want to, though there is one positive side effect: watching Lane Kiffin actually use a running back.

3. Ohio State. This is a pattern this week: an excellent team plays an opponent bound and determined to sludge up the game, eat clock, play good defense and collapse at the end while leaving the superior team with a less-than-beautiful mark on its resume (28-14 over Minnesota).

4. Oklahoma State. Okay, the Cowboys are going to lose this week.

Destroys TCU 49-29 and helps to force Trevone Boykin into four INTs.

But they played a close game; you know, that one!

Several, actually! They won them all.

Yeah okay, but their schedule!

You are going to object to this and include Baylor or Ohio State in your top 10? Okay, you do that.

But I don't want to rank them because I haven't watched them and know nothing about them!

This is honest. Stupid, but definitely honest, hypothetical reader.


Get one roundup of college football stories, rumors, game breakdowns, and Jim Harbaugh oddity in your inbox every morning.

5. Notre Dame. 42-30 victors over Surprisingly Decent Pitt. Hey, let's look at that only loss. Why, it's to the team up at No. 1! This must be a very good team, even if it gets shut out of the Playoff through no fault of its own. Will this be something Notre Dame fans complain about to Brian Kelly, even though the Irish have suffered a plague of injuries and are still in the running with a former third-string quarterback playing a good chunk of the season? Oh, you bet.

6. Stanford. 42-10 winners over Colorado. That lone loss to Northwestern looks slightly less bizarre now that the Wildcats are 7-2, and no, no, you are not allowed to go look how they got to 7-2. Just don't. It ruins this whole argument.

7. Baylor. Won 31-24 at Kansas State despite a.) freshman QB Jarrett Stidham making his first start on the road in the Big 12's most difficult environment, and b.) Bill Snyder doing that thing where he turns a game into a sprint through a tub of cold molasses. Like Clemson's eventual cracking of Florida State, the actual circumstances of this game will be lost to the slim margin of the score, so just tell everyone, "Snyder did this brilliant thing with nothing, but still lost to a team with a deeper roster."

8. Oklahoma. Dusted Iowa State 52-14. If not for a loss to Texas, would be the Big 12's easiest pick for inclusion in the top four teams in the nation. Fun to watch, interesting and talented. LOST TO TEXAS WHYYYY OKLAHOMA. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO US AND A NATION THAT DOES NOT WANT TO WATCH ANY MORE ALABAMA FOOTBALL.

9. Iowa. Winners of a 35-27 #teamchaos special over Indiana. Help us, Iowa. Win everything and save us from the inevitability of an Alabama national championship. This is what 2015 has reduced me to: pulling for Kirk Ferentz as the more compelling choice.

10. Houston. Victorious in a 33-30 tussle with Cincinnati. Really only ranking the Cougars in solidarity with our downed brethren in Memphis.


  • Memphis, which suffered its first loss, 45-20, to Navy.
  • TCU, losers to Oklahoma State.
  • Michigan State, screwed royally by a late call in a 39-38 loss to Nebraska.
  • LSU, which challenged Alabama to a wrestling match and lost badly in a letdown of an entire nation.


  • Florida, which got into a baseball game with Vanderbilt and won 9-6.
  • Temple, which turned into a basketball team in winning a 60-40 game over SMU.
  • Utah, still sitting there with one loss after a 34-23 win over Washington.
  • Navy, now at 7-1 after defeating Memphis.
  • Toledo, which fell for its favorite running joke of losing to NIU by taking a 32-27 loss.