This time next week, the Big Ten will have played its first slate of games in its 2020 season. Another couple of weeks after that, the Pac-12 and the rest of the FBS will have joined the party. It’s a reminder that there’s a lot of football that not only has to be played, but a lot of football that hasn’t even started.
And yet the biggest game of the year feels like it just took place. Alabama and Georgia faced off in prime time with both teams trying to prove they are one of the best teams in this year — if not the best team. It’s a weird juxtaposition. A little over half of the FBS is currently playing, but in some respects, the season is taking serious shape. With that comes new takeaways from Saturday’s action. Here are the big overreactions from the Week 7 slate.
Two playoff spots are already filled
I normally abstain from making College Football Playoff predictions [/checks calendar] nine weeks out, but wins by Alabama and Clemson struck a chord with me. Take Clemson’s 73-7 win over Georgia Tech. It’s eye-popping and a little startling, but it’s not surprising that the Tigers had their way with their opponent. Clemson hasn’t lost a conference game in three years, and have now won their last 10 by at least three scores. Coach Dabo Swinney has developed a killing machine. Can anyone in the ACC challenge them? Notre Dame? Virginia Tech? Sure, Clemson could have an “off” day, but that’s about the extent of my confidence in anyone taking down this team on a given Saturday.
Alabama looks a bit more shaky on the defensive side, but consider what their 41-24 win over Georgia means. The Bulldogs are the Tide’s most formidable SEC adversary. They get the type of blue-chip talent necessary to go hat-on-hat against Alabama. They’re well-coached. They have probably the best defense in the country. And Alabama put a 40-burger on ’em to the tune of 24 unanswered points and beat them by 17.
It’s a long season. I get that. Alabama and Clemson may not play great every week. They may even lose a game along the way. But in an awkward year when resumes will be nowhere near comparable, how do you look at either of these teams and say they’re not one of the four best in the country? I know, I know … what’s changed, right? Nothing, really, but after watching them play, we’re not moving towards a four-team playoff, we’re moving towards two open spots in a four-team playoff.
UCF shooting itself in the foot like no other
The Knights should probably be 4-0, but after dropping a thriller of a game to Memphis 50-49, they’re 2-2. This game was everything it was billed to be — the only thing missing were national rankings attached to each team.
The common theme for UCF early this season, though? Mistakes and blown leads. The Knights were literally the most