As we approach the fourth week of the college football season, contenders have already separated themselves from the rest of the pack. While it is still early in the season, I would argue that four teams can already be identified as the best in college football.
1. Clemson: The Tigers have seemingly picked up right where they left off last season where they upended mighty Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide by a score of 44-16, securing their second national championship in three seasons. Second year quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks like a seasoned veteran running the offense, slashing every defense that comes in his path. With it looking like a relatively weak year for the ACC, coach Dabo Swinney and his team look poised to capture their fifth straight conference championship and appear in the College Football Playoff for a fifth straight year as well.
2. Alabama: After being dominated by Clemson in the national championship game last year, some feel that the Crimson Tide are playing with a chip on their shoulder coming into the season. With Jalen Hurts off to Norman, Oklahoma, this is now unquestionably Tua’s team. The prolific junior quarterback was banged up for the better part of the conclusion of last season, but he still put up eye-popping numbers. With what looks to be the best receiving core in the country at his disposal, the Tide are poised for what many have become accustomed to at this point: a date with the Eastern Division champ in Atlanta, followed by an eventual appearance in the College Football Playoff.
3. Georgia: Can Georgia conquer the inevitable? Can a former Nick Saban assistant finally take him down? The Bulldogs have come within seconds and yards each of the past two years of taking down the Crimson Tide. With third-year starter Jake Fromm and what many think to be the country’s best offensive line protecting him up front, this could be the year for Kirby Smart’s team. Defeating Notre Dame in Athens this weekend could set the tone for the remainder of the year.
4. Ohio State: The Buckeyes sport one of the most prolific offenses led by one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Sophomore Justin Fields took the reins after transferring in from Georgia. Ohio State can put up big numbers offensively, as they have plenty of targets. Additionally, a fairly easy schedule could help capture a playoff spot for the Buckeyes as well.
Collin is a sports writer for The Crimson. He is a senior finance major.