The College Football Playoff committee will announce its first rankings of the season on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). How do Mel Kiper and Todd McShay see their top four after Week 9?
The Crimson Tide are the clear best team in college football. Their 33.3-point margin of victory per game is tops in FBS, they rank No. 2 in yards allowed per play (3.9), and they rank No. 3 in offensive points per game (42.1). This is a balanced juggernaut of a team with NFL talent all over the field. LSU at home next weekend will be fun to watch, but I don’t think the Tigers have the offense to keep up. Then there’s the final regular-season game at Auburn.
Bellinger lined a fastball to the opposite field over Marwin Gonzalez into the quirky corner next to the left-field scoreboard, chasing starter Charlie Morton. He came home on Forsythe’s two-out single off Will Harris.
Pay attention to where the committee ranks Oklahoma and Washington. It will tell us a lot about who’s really on the outside and how far they have to climb to get back in.
Todd Bowles, head coach, New York Jets. Coaching in the NFL cauldron is a difficult thing anyway. Doing it with a bad team in New York is exponentially more distracting. I’ve got tremendous respect for Bowles, for getting his team to 3-2 with a quarterback put on the street by the Cleveland Browns, a tattered offensive line, and a defense that gave up 45 points in Week 2 in Oakland. Bowles has proven against the odds that coaching, and a smart plan, matter.
Nick Folk, kicker, Tampa Bay. The difference in New England’s 19-14 win over Tampa on Thursday night? Simple: Stephen Gostkowski, 4-for-4 on field goals. Nick Folk, 0-for-3 on field goals.
Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh. For his five interceptions, and for a 21-point loss to the Jaguars at home. Both stunners.