Western Courier

Breaking Down the AP Top 10

David Koier, Courier Staff

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College football is back! And if you are anything like me, you know that for the next couple months you are going to be glued to your couch every Saturday watching big guys in pads try to kill one another for 60 minutes. I myself enjoy watching college football every week, and was very excited this past Monday when the Associated Press released their first Top 25 ranking of the season. In case you missed them, here is how the college football scene is looking.

Alabama Crimson Tide, the reigning National Champions, are back on top to start off the 2018 season. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are looking for their fifth consecutive College Football Playoff and third Playoff Championship. The only problem is who is the starting quarterback? Junior Jalen Hurts or sophomore Tua Tagovailoa? We will find out in week one.

Clemson Tigers with a surprising loss to the Syracuse Orange rose to the top, during the first half of the 2017 season. Many people didn’t believe that the Tigers had a chance to make the playoffs. They also dominated the second half of the season, with a 38-3 massacre of Miami (FL), and some lucky losses from Alabama and Wisconsin, the Tigers claimed the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, only to face off against the national champs Alabama, which ended in a losing fight. Head coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers are out for redemption this 2018 season.

The Georgia Bulldogs ended their 2017 campaign with a bittersweet taste in their mouths. With 3:49 left in the College Football Championship, the Alabama Crimson Tide scored on a touchdown pass by Tua Tagovailoa, to tie the game and send it into overtime. After scoring a field goal, all the Bulldogs had to do was stop the Crimson Tide from scoring and they would have won the championship. After a 16-yard sack, it seemed almost all too real that they would either win or hold the Crimson Tide to a field goal. One blown coverage later and the Tide scored a 42-yard TD. The Bulldogs went home with their tails between their legs. I don’t have to tell you how ready they are to be back in contention this season.

Last year was a big year for the Wisconsin Badgers. They posted their first ever 12-0 record in program history and made it to the top four, which landed them towards the conference championship week. A win over Ohio State and they secured a spot in the playoffs. Rough games for the otherwise stellar Badger defense saw the team’s playoff hopes drift away, as Ohio State beat Wisconsin 27-21.

The Badgers didn’t let this bother them, as they beat the Miami Hurricanes 34-24 in the Orange Bowl. Losing seven of their defensive starters and only two of their offensive starters, the Badgers are looking to be just as dominant this year as they were last year.

As stated before, the Ohio State University Buckeyes were the Big Ten Champions of 2017. However, to many people’s surprise, instead of having Big Ten representation in the playoff, the playoff committee decided that Alabama deserved the No. 4 spot, which led to Ohio State facing and beating the USC Trojans in the Cotton Bowl. Looking to dominate the Big Ten again, the Buckeyes are looking for their chance in the playoff once again.

Washington Huskies ended their season with a tough 35-28 loss in the Fiesta Bowl to the Penn State Nittany Lions; the Huskies ended the season No. 16. With a tough home opener against No. 9 Auburn, the Huskies look to get themselves back into the playoffs.

Many people thought the University of Oklahoma had a serious chance of winning a national championship. Led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Sooners lost the Rose Bowl Semi-Final to the Georgia Bulldogs. As many of you know Mayfield was the No.1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. With a new face at QB, can the Sooners dominate once again?

The Miami Hurricanes led by their “Turnover Chain” wearing defense, the Hurricanes climbed their way into the Top 4 teams such as Syracuse and Notre Dame. Going into the last game of the season, people wanted to see if Miami could prove if they were more than the hype. A devastating loss to Pittsburgh led to Miami being motivated to prove themselves again in the ACC Championship. We all know how that went. An embarrassing loss to Clemson followed by a rough loss to Wisconsin saw Miami fall further and further down in the rankings. The “Turnover Chain” is back, and the Hurricanes are looking to wreck anyone and anything in their path.

The Auburn Tigers had a big win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl, which helped Auburn skyrocket to the top four, and earn a spot in the SEC championship. A 28-7 loss to Georgia saw Auburn fall out of the playoffs and straight to the Peach Bowl, where they lost to Central Florida.

Penn State Nittany Lions had back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Michigan State. It wasn’t long before the Nittany Lions saw their Big Ten championship opportunity spot fade away. Although they didn’t make the conference championship or the playoffs, Penn State still defeated Washington in the Fiesta Bowl, and has set their sights on raising the bar high this season.

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Breaking Down the AP Top 10