Oct
20
2020

NCAA Football: Corn’s Cream Of The Crop After Week 7

Big-10 football is here! After controversially opting out of the Covid-19 college football season, the Big-10 decided to opt back in, as they will start their conference only schedule next weekend. For the first time this season, Big-10 teams will be included in my Cream of the Crop rankings, as I believe that an undefeated Big-10 champion deserves a shot at being in the college football playoffs.

  1. Clemson: (5-0) 73-7 W @ Georgia Tech: After a dominant win against Miami last week, Clemson followed that up with an even more dominant effort against a worse Georgia Tech football squad. Trevor Lawrence threw five touchdowns in the FIRST HALF, as he finished the game with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns. After a 6-72-2 performance against Virginia and a 7-62 performance against Miami, Amari Rodgers went crazy in this one, proving to be the team’s go-to guy, as he had six receptions, for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
  2. Alabama: (4-0) 41-24 W @ Home vs Georgia: Talking about dominant, Alabama just handled what was my third-ranked team heading into this matchup with ease, putting up 41 points on one of the best defenses in the country. Like Lawrence, Mac Jones had over 400 passing yards, with 417, and four touchdowns. Devonta Smith had 11 receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns, Jaylen Waddle had six receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown, and John Metchie III had a touchdown as well. Najee Harris had 152 yards and a touchdown on 31 rushing attempts, a somehow horrible performance, compared to his 206 yards, five TD performance against Ole Miss last week. He’s already at 11 touchdowns on the season.
  3. Notre Dame: (4-0) 12-7 W @ Home vs Louisville: This was a very uninspiring performance, but a wins a win, as this team was carried by runningback, Kyren Williams, who had 127 rushing yards on 25 carries, for a smooth 5.1 yards per tote. If the Fighting Irish wants to be a playoff team, they’re going to need more out of QB, Ian Book, who completed just 11 of 19 passing attempts for just 106 yards, as he saved his day with a rushing score and an additional 47 yards on the ground.
  4. Georgia: (3-1) 24-41 L @ Alabama: A week after shutting out Tennesee in the second half, Georgia got shut out in half number two against Alabama, after they came into halftime with a 24-20 lead. I suggested that if Georgia could continue to play great defense, and if Stetson Bennett could continue to play clean football (Zero interceptions heading into the game) that Georgia had a chance to win. Alabama’s offensive weapons were just too much for Georgia, and the Alabama defense, who hasn’t been what we expect from a Nick Saban-led team, made Bennett throw three interceptions in this one.
  5. Ohio State: Out with JK Dobbins, Chase Young, and Jeff Okudah, but the Buckeyes still have Heisman candidate Justin Fields throwing the football, and Oklahoma transfer, Trey Sermon will handle the bulk of this teams carries. Chris Olave, who led the team with 12 TD’s last season, will be the go-to receiver this season. After losing Okudah and Arnette to the NFL draft, Ohio State breathed a sigh of relief, when Shaun Wade, who originally decided to opt-out of the college football season, decided to return to the team. The key for this team will be who will step up and be the leading pass rusher that the Bosa brothers and Chase Young were in years past. Keep an eye on sophomore Zach Harrison.
  6. Oklahoma State: (3-0) Game against Baylor postponed.
  7. Cincinnatti: (3-0) Game against Tulsa postponed.
  8. Miami: (4-1) 31-19 W @ Home vs Pittsburgh: After a loss against the first ranked team in the nation, Miami took their anger out against one of the better defensive teams in the nation, as they beat them 31-19. D’Eriq King threw for 222 passing yards, along with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He paced the team with 32 rushing yards as well. The team will need Cam’Ron Harris, who’s struggled to get it going in back to back games, to run more like how he did earlier on in the season when he had 134 rushing yards in each of the teams first two games this season. He has just 70 total rushing yards in his previous three. He did, however, receive a 35-yard touchdown via the air from King, as Miami struggled on the ground overall as a team, but gashed the Pitt Panthers routinely with the big play in this one.
  9. Texas A&M: (3-1) 28-14 W @ Mississippi State: A week after beating what was my third-ranked team in the nation in Florida, A&M followed that up with a solid performance against Mississippi State. Kellen Mond and Isiah Spiller each had a pair of scores, as Mond had 139 passing yards, 2 TDs, and an interception. Spiller had 114 rushing yards and two scores on the ground on 18 carries.
  10. Florida: (2-1) Game against LSU postponed.
  11. Penn State: New offensive coordinator, Kirk Ciarrocca (Formerly of Minnesota) will have his work cut out for him, as outside of WR, Jahan Dotson, the Lions don’t have a single wideout with more than a dozen career catches. They will need to rely on the rushing attack, headlined by Journey Brown, who as a sophomore, surpassed 100 yards in four out of his last five games, including a 202-yard performance in the Cotton Bowl against Memphis. The defense, like the rushing attack, will be key for this Lions program, but they will be without star linebacker, Micah Parsons, as the potential top 5 pick, unlike Shaun Wade, decided to stay opted out and train for the draft.
  12. Iowa State: (3-1) Didn’t play.
  13. North Carolina: (3-1) 28-31 L @ Florida State: Look, the 21 straight points in the second half, the holding Florida State to zero 2nd half points was fun and impressive, and they would’ve potentially won the game if it wasn’t for dropped passes that didn’t allow them to kick the game-tying field goal to head into overtime, but this Florida State team is bad. So bad in fact, that the team struggled with Jacksonville State earlier on into the season. I had to stop their downfall from sixth in my rankings to thirteen, one spot ahead of Virginia Tech since they’ve beaten them earlier this season.
  14. Virginia Tech: (3-1) 40-14 W @ Home vs Boston College: Hendon Hooker and Khalil Herbert took over in this game, as Hooker completed 11/15 passing attempts for 111 passing yards and a touchdown via the air, but also produced three scores on the ground, as he had 164 yards on 18 carries. Khalil Herbert, the exciting Kansas transfer, had 143 yards on 18 carries and hauled in Hookers lone passing touchdown on a 29-yard strike. This Hooker and Herbert duo is fun to watch.
  15. Wisconsin: After a 10 win season last season, the Badgers are looking to build on top of that this season, even with losing its five best players. Wisconsin prides itself on player development outside of recruiting, and this season is the perfect opportunity to showcase just that. On offense, it’s all about running the football, as the Badgers have to replace Rimington award winner Tyler Biadasz, and star running back Jonathan Taylor. The Badgers pride themselves on being an offensive line factory and will lean on the offensive line to generate rushing production. To replace Taylor, look for Jalen Berger, Garrett Groshek, Nakia Watson, and Isaac Guerendo to form a committee like approach to replace his production. With linebackers Chris Orr and Zack Baun leaving, what was the strength of this team at linebacker, will now have to be on the defensive front of Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense, as they have good experience there.
  16. SMU: (5-0) 37-34 W @ Tulane: The SMU Mustangs held on in overtime to beat the Green Wave of Tulane, as Shane Buechele threw for 384 passing yards and two scores, spreading the ball around to Rashee Rice, who had seven receptions for 139 yards and a score, Danny Gray, who had five receptions for 133 yards and a score, and Tyler Page, as the slot receiver had 101 receiving yards. Ulysses Bentley IV had 25 carries for 94 yards and a score. This offense, led by Garrett Riley, the younger brother of Lincoln Riley, has been very balanced, but yet explosive this season. A fun team to watch.
  17. Kansas State: (3-1) Didn’t play.
  18. NC State: (4-1) 31-20 W @ Duke: The Wolfpack has strung together two straight wins after their win against the Pitt Panthers, Devin Leary had 190 passing yards and a touchdown and a pick each. His go-to guy, Emeka Emezie, who came up big in their game against Pitt, had four receptions for 87 yards. Devin Carter had 62 receiving yards, as Cary Angeline and Thayer Thomas had a touchdown apiece, as Thomas had an incredible helmet catch for his score, that was SportCenter top 10 worthy. Speaking of incredible, this defense was great in this one, only allowing 4.8 yards per pass, 3.1 yards per carry, and they also came up with three interceptions.
  19. Michigan: With the disappointments of Shea Patterson and Donovan Peoples-Jones (Both ranked 1st overall at their position in HS before Ann Arbor) departing from the team, this offense gets a new start. Coach Jim Harbaugh hasn’t officially named the teams starting QB, but the odds are that Joe Milton gets the job. Four of the teams five offensive linemen have departed, but there is an experience in the running back room, with Hassan Haskins, and Zach Charbonnet. The return of WR, Nico Collins was key for the Wolverines this offseason, but the rest of the WR core is young. With a lot of new on offense, there is a good portion of returning players on defense, led by defensive ends, Kwity Payne, and Aidan Hutchinson. It will be interesting to see how Michigan plays this season, with new faces on offense, and a solid returning core on D.
  20. Marshall: (4-0) 35-17 W @ Louisiana Tech: Led by Brendan Knox last week, Knox carried the team again this week, as he carried the ball 32 times, en route for 125 yards, and two scores. In game one of the season, he had 85 yards and a score on 18 carries, in game two, he had 28 carries for 138 yards and a score against App State, which led the Thundering Herd to make an appearance in my Cream of the Crop rankings. In game three, last week he had 107 yards and three scores on 15 carries. Keep your eye out for RB, Brendan Knox, as he’s showing us he’s one of the more slept on backs in ALL of college football.
  21. Oklahoma: (2-2) Didn’t play.
  22. Tulsa: (1-1) Game against Cincinnatti postponed.
  23. Coastal Carolina: (4-0) 30-27 W @ Louisiana: Coastal Carolina stays undefeated, as they beat the undefeated & my 12th ranked Louisiana. Grayson McCall had 202 yards passing and two scores, throwing to his go-to guy, Jaivon Heilgh, as he had eight receptions, for 108 yards and a score. McCall also had 11 carries, for an additional 45 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Speaking of the ground, running back CJ Marable had 17 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown.
  24. BYU: (5-0) 43-26 W @ Houston: Junior QB, Zach Wilson is fun to watch, as he had 400 passing yards and four touchdowns via the air, with another 40 yards on the ground. He connected with receiver Dax Milne nine times in this one, as Milne had 184 yards and three scores. Tyler Allgeier, this teams starting RB, had only 10 carries for 25 yards and a score but has posted lines such as 14-132-2, 10-50, 10-93-1, 19-116-1 in games prior. He saved his day with five receptions for 61 yards. Yes, BYU has looked great and is currently undefeated, but I’m going to keep repeating this. They haven’t played anyone, and shouldn’t be ranked 12th in the AP poll.
  25. Arkansas: (2-2) 33-21 W @ Home vs Ole Miss: I told you guys in last weeks article, that this game between Ole Miss and Arkansas would be the battle for the 25th ranking in my Cream of the Crop, as Arkansas is a blown call away from being 3-1, with their lone loss to my 4th ranked, Georgia. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral had been great this season, as he had only one interception heading into this game, and was fresh off of a 365-yard two-touchdown performance game against Alabama. This Arkansas defense picked him off SIX (SIX!!!) times Saturday. On offense, Florida transfer, Feleipe Franks threw for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Last Chance U star, Rakeem Boyd, who was battling an ankle injury, had 39 yards and a score. Trelon Smith had 54 yards rushing, but this team was carried all by Treylon Burks, who had 46 rushing yards, along with 11 receptions, for 137 receiving yards and a touchdown.