Alabama is really good. That much, we can agree on. (OK, we know, they ain't played no one... but let's be reasonable.) But who comes in second after the Tide? That's a little trickier question, particularly after a Saturday of chaos around the top 25, with Georgia losing, Texas and Notre Dame squeaking by unranked foes, and LSU and Michigan looking resurgent.
The AP and coaches have had their say. Both have Ohio State at No. 2, though by relatively slim margins.
ESPN's Football Power Index has a different take, with Clemson in the second spot behind Bama. The Tigers wisely took Week 7 off and avoided all the hysteria, but they'll be tested Saturday when they welcome 5-0 NC State to Death Valley. This game is especially impactful because, while Clemson's remaining schedule affords the Tigers a terrific shot to make the playoff -- FPI says Clemson has a 48 percent shot to win out, the best mark of any team -- that soft slate also means there won't be any makeup opportunities should they drop a game.
Ohio State has a couple of solid wins so far, against TCU and Penn State. Of course, TCU lost two of its next three after Ohio State, and Penn State just lost to Michigan State, so some of the luster has come off those victories. Still, FPI says the Buckeyes have about a 29 percent chance to win out, with a massive matchup against Michigan likely proving the decisive game.
Or what about Notre Dame? The Irish have already beaten Michigan, Stanford and Virginia Tech, and FPI suggests they have a one-in-three chance to win out. But while the voters think Notre Dame is a top-four team, FPI has the Irish at No. 9 -- in line with other advanced metrics (Sagarin has the Irish at 11, S&P+ at 10).
Of course, if we're simply comparing résumés, it's hard to argue with LSU. Sure, the Tigers have a loss, but there's little shame in a close defeat to a solid Florida team. Look at the wins, though: Miami, Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia. They're the only team in the country with four victories over FPI top-50 programs. Of course, LSU still needs to get past Alabama, so even if the Tigers are No. 2 today, it'll be tough to stay there.
Who do you think should be in the second spot behind the Crimson Tide?
After UGA's loss, who's your pick for No. 2?— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 15, 2018
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