Roundtable: Ranking College Football’s Top 5 Teams After First Month

    In this College Football Roundtable the Campus Insiders team ranks the top five teams after the 2016 season's first month.

    September 28, 2016

    In this College Football Roundtable the Campus Insiders team ranks the top five teams after the 2016 season’s first month.

    Through the season’s first month, the top five teams in the AP Top 25 are: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Louisville, 4. Michigan, 5. Clemson.

    But are these the top five teams in college football, and in this order? Preseason rankings often dictate the early order, even if the top team heading into the season doesn’t necessarily play up to snuff once kickoffs commence.

    Throwing out the preseason rankings, we take a look at what the five best teams in the country are and how they should be slotted this week.

    Brian Stultz

    1. Alabama – Sure, Ohio State has the dominating win at Norman, but I still think the Crimson Tide’s victory against Ole Miss in Oxford is better.

    2. Ohio State – The next two games against Rutgers and Indiana should be pushovers. That October 15th meeting in Madison against Wisconsin has certainly became a lot more interesting.

    3. Louisville – Drake has suddenly taken an interest in the Cardinals football program and will most likely be seen on their sidelines pretty soon stating, “I’ve always been a fan.”

    4. Clemson – The Tigers are coming into their own right in the nick of time for the showdown against Louisville this weekend.

    5. Stanford – Give the Cardinal and Pac-12 some love. I wonder what Stanford alum Tiger Woods is up to these days?

    Jonathan Bass

    1. Ohio State – The Buckeyes’ commanding victory in Norman was the biggest win of the season to date. J.T. Barrett is the best quarterback not named Lamar Jackson

    2. Alabama – Aside from the Ole Miss game, Jeremy Pruitt’s defense has been astounding. The injuries to Damien Harris and ArDarius Stewart might catch up to the Tide, but at least they have another bye week (see: Kentucky) before taking on a more formidable Arkansas club.

    3. Louisville – If they beat the hell out of Clemson like they did FSU, then meet your new No. 1 team. Todd Grantham’s defense might be the most under-covered story of the year, based solely on how astounding Lamar Jackson and the offense have been.

    4. Michigan – Jim Harbaugh pretty much stuffed James Franklin’s shopping cart and rolled him to the unemployment line. The Wolverines win over Colorado looks even more impressive following the Buffs’ takedown of Oregon – especially considering Michigan is the only team to hold them under 40.

    5. Wisconsin – The Badgers beat LSU in a game they were supposed to lose. After ineffective quarterback play, Wisconsin started redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook against Michigan State and beat Sparty, 30-6. We’ll know a lot more about this team following this week’s matchup against Michigan.

    Dave Miller

    1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide delivered head coach Nick Saban a shutout win over Kent State, which is his alma mater. After a game against Kentucky this week, business picks up as Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M loom.

    2. Ohio State – The Buckeyes were off last week, but they are likely still riding high from their big victory over Oklahoma in Norman. Urban Meyer’s squad is preparing to battle former coordinator Chris Ash and Rutgers this weekend.

    3. Louisville – Just another ho-hum game from Lamar Jackson last week against Marshall, as the dual-threat signal-caller recorded seven total touchdowns. Can the Cardinals pass yet another big test when they go on the road to battle ACC Atlantic division foe Clemson?

    4. Michigan – The Wolverines mauled Penn State and are preparing to face a Wisconsin squad that easily handled Michigan State last week. It will be Jim Harbaugh’s team’s first real test of the year.

    5. Clemson – Dabo Swinney’s Tigers look like they are rounding into form offensively, and it comes just at the right time with high-powered Louisville on deck.

    Jeff Bartl

    1 Alabama – There’s no reason to put the Crimson Tide anywhere below this spot until they lose, and I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. The schedule obviously will get much tougher, but they showed they can handle adversity in the comeback win at Ole Miss.

    2. Ohio State – The Buckeyes have put to rest any questions about how their inexperienced squad would handle the pressure of replacing last year’s stars. J.T. Barrett might be the best quarterback in the nation – yes, even better than Lamar Jackson – and redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber has been impressive. It would be of little surprise if Ohio State is undefeated heading into the Michigan game that ends the regular season.

    3. Michigan – Jim Harbaugh’s machine is running perfectly with Jabrill Peppers as the jack of all trades. Wilton Speight is an underrated quarterback with good vision and smart decision-making, and everything seems to be clicking defensively. The Wolverines get their toughest test to date with Wisconsin visiting Ann Arbor this week, but they’ll survive it and earn this spot.

    4. Louisville – Lamar Jackson deservedly is the Heisman front-runner with an absolutely incredible 25 total touchdowns during the Cardinals’ 4-0 start. Louisville has won every game easily – including that rout of Florida State – but it’ll need to beat Clemson on the road to prove it is legitimately the best team in the country.

    5. Houston – Yes, I believe the Cougars are this good. I love Tom Herman and believe Greg Ward Jr. is as solid as they come at the quarterback spot when healthy. Freshman Ed Oliver is a star in the making defensively. Houston’s only major hurdle remaining to reach the College Football Playoff is a Nov. 17 showdown with Louisville – and the Cougars get that game at home.

    MORE: No. 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5


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