Fourteen. That’s all, just 14. We’re 5 weeks into the season and we are already down to just a small handful of teams that have yet to lose a game. Some of these we expected, others……….not so much. The season has already been a wild rollercoaster ride in some aspects. Last night we saw an epic Big Ten battle between 2 undefeated teams. That game put on display everything we love about the game. So let’s look at the 14.
To the surprise of no one at all, 6 of these teams have an unblemished record. Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Clemson were all mentioned in preseason talks concerning the playoffs. Clemson had a scare yesterday when Murphy applied his law just days after Kelly Bryant left the program. They were left with 3rd string QB Chase Brice to lead them downfield and an outstanding performance by RB Travis Etienne to pull out the win. Bama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame rolled their respective opponents. And then most of us saw the Ohio State game. I’ll say this; Penn State is easily the best 1-loss team in the country.
We have 3 teams that are slight surprises at this point. We all knew they would be good, but maybe they’re a little better than we thought. LSU, West Virginia, and UCF are still without a loss as well. LSU has done it with dominating defense. West Virginia is simply outscoring everyone while playing pretty good defense. UCF is doing what they did last year. They’re winning the games they should win, albeit against fairly weak opponents. The self proclaimed National Champions still need to take their game to the next level to earn respect though. LSU and WVU will be fun to watch as they head deeper into conference play.
File these under ‘holy crap, they’re undefeated?’. Kentucky, North Carolina State, and USF are still riding the undefeated train. USF has benefited from a weaker schedule than most of the other 13 in this group. NC State had a game against WVU canceled due to a hurricane. That’s a game I’d love to see, but it will remain a mystery for now. It will be interesting though if both of those teams finish 11-0. Kentucky is the nation’s darling right now. Going by Vegas spreads, they should be 2-3. They’re 5-0, with 2 wins against ranked teams, including 1 on the road. Mark Stoops has this team firing on all cylinders.
And then we have Colorado and Cincinnati. These are solid teams, but let’s hope their fan bases don’t get too carried away. They have 2 of the weaker schedules in the country. Cincinnati’s opponents are a combined 6-17 while Colorado’s opponents boast a stellar 1-16 record. At least they’re beating the teams they should beat. But I seriously doubt anyone has them in their playoff conversations at this point.
As the weeks roll by, the number of undefeated teams will lessen. The playoff picture will slowly take shape, and when it does, we can all complain about the committee not knowing what they’re doing. That’s how it goes, right?