We are heading into the third week of the college football season and it seems like the same old story – the story that the same old schools are at the top of the heap.
It does not bode well for excitement of college football fans across the country. College football is all about the haves and have-nots every year with very little change.
Going into Week 3, the top 10 teams are those old, familiar faces. Clemson, the defending national champion, is No. 1, followed by Alabama, the national runner-up from last year. That is the way it should remain until someone beats them and drops them out of the top two spots.
But don’t be surprised. Even if one of those two teams loses a game, they would still be an odds-on favorite to make the NCAA playoff format by mere reputation. Clemson and Alabama both only have one or two good teams on this year’s schedule before they advance to their respective conference championship games.
The other schools in the Top 10 poll are, in order, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas and Auburn. Georgia has the best chance to get into the college playoff. Oklahoma is still the most entertaining offensive team to follow. Head coach Lincoln Riley is an innovative offensive coach, but he has failed to learn that you have to play defense half the game.
Ohio State, with a new head coach, may be the team that reaches the top of the chart. LSU always has 10 players who get drafted by the NFL every season, but the Tigers seem to step on their own tail at least twice a year in big games.
Is this the year that Michigan and head Coach Jim Harbaugh break through and beat rival Ohio State and win the Big Ten championship? Notre Dame is once again in the Top 10 but they may be the most overrated team in the country. Think of the beatings the Irish have taken in their last two appearances in NCAA playoffs.
Texas is better and well-coached but for a program that spends more money than any other program in the country, they fall way short on results, like against LSU last week.
Auburn had a big win against one of the better teams in the very weak Pac-12 in its opening game. The Pac-12 has become the low man among the top five power conferences. Do not look for anyone in the Pac-12 to be in the playoff talk.
The rest of the teams in the Top 25 are teams on the rise and hoping to get a look into the playoff picture. The three teams that have a shot to make some playoff noise are Texas A&M, Florida and possibly Penn State. Teams that may end up as surprises are Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Teams that have no shot but are still very good football teams are UCF and Boise State. This year’s Boise State team could make a much better representative in the playoffs than Notre Dame did last year, but it lacks big money donors that can rival the fighting Irish.
You could probably close your eyes and pick at least 15 of the same teams to be in the Top 25 after the first two weeks of the season. The only drawback in college football is only the big-name and big-money schools have a real shot to be in the NCAA four-team format. At the end of the year there will be about five to six schools in the running to make it into the playoffs and they are in the Top 10 right now.
College football programs better have tremendous, updated facilities and a huge donor base or be resigned to lackluster bowl games.
My top four playoff team choices this year are Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State; all schools that you have heard of in the past. Georgia, LSU and Michigan are trying to get over the hump. Enjoy the 2019 college football season.
• The quote of the week come from American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald: “I never blame failure – there are too many complicated situations in life – but I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.