Another week, another tier list.
People that know me, know I love video games and spent a long time playing video games competitively. One of the games I enjoy playing is Super Smash Bros. The most popular version of the game is the second game called Super Smash Bros. Melee. Within that game, there are what are called the “Five Gods” – five players who are the highest ranking and most skilled players on the planet. These players aren’t ranked 1-5, they are all just looked at as easily the best of the best. The winner of every tournament isn’t one of the Five Gods, and plenty of players have shown the ability to beat them, but those five players have always held their place on this elite list with their incredible skill and consistency. There are debates about whether or not new players should be given “God Status” and if a current God can have his status revoked.
I kind of feel like college football is starting to go in this direction. There are five “Gods” right now within college football in my opinion:
Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma
These are the five teams that are continually above the rest. Is the playoff always made up of these five teams? Of course not, but Alabama has been in all of them, Clemson in all but one, and Ohio State/Oklahoma have been in multiple. Georgia is the newest team to this list, but they have gotten to this status by Kirby Smart bringing a lot of that Nick Saban success to Athens.
Historically, there are plenty of other teams you could consider, but this is just for the playoff era. The five teams also represent four of the five conferences. The Pac-12 is clearly behind the rest of the conferences and no team from the Pac-12 can compete with those five teams. The only question mark of the five teams I chose would be Oklahoma, but Bob Stoops set them up to be successful for a while and they have made the playoff multiple times.
Of the five teams that have only made the playoff once, Georgia is clearly the best right now and seem best setup for the future over Oregon, Florida State, Michigan State and Washington. Washington is the only other one to even remotely consider right now.
With that, here is my current tier list. The only other team that is somewhat close to those five is LSU because they have maybe the best resume right now. Teams like Auburn, Stanford, Washington, Penn State have gotten close.
Alabama – Big win against Texas A&M in their first ranked match-up. The run game struggled a bit, but it doesn’t matter when Tua is lighting it up like he did.
Clemson – A little bit of a struggle until Trevor Lawrence came in, and now Lawrence is the starter. We’ll see how it goes with him as the main guy moving forward.
Georgia – Missouri was able to put up some points on this defense, but Georgia still handled business.
Ohio State – No surprise with a giant win over a Tulane team that fell to UAB the week before. This week will tell us a lot as they face #9 Penn State.
LSU – Is LSU really a top five team? I’m not ready to admit that yet. We’ll see if Ole Miss can do anything this weekend and Florida the next, but then it gets real as they face Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama (although they are all at home).
Oklahoma – I won’t drop Oklahoma right now because they almost lost to Army. A win’s a win, but I do have questions as they get ready to face a better Baylor team (that almost beat them last year) and then a much improved Texas team.
Auburn – Same goes for Auburn that goes for Oklahoma. It was a win, even though it wasn’t pretty.
Stanford – Big win over Oregon, even though they were getting whooped for most of the game. Their game against Notre Dame will probably eliminate one of them from my tier list forever.
UCF – People thought FAU vs. UCF could be a battle of the top Group of 5 teams. UCF is on another level compared to FAU. They will have a good game against Pitt this weekend.
Washington – Washington was able to take down Arizona State who is better than expected. Still my favorite to win the Pac-12.
West Virginia – Big first conference win over Kansas State, Texas Tech is now ranked, so we’ll see how they look against the Mountaineers.
Wisconsin – Big rebound win over Iowa. That shows me that Wisconsin hasn’t fallen too far compared to what we thought after the BYU game.
These teams are still good teams, but need to show me something against a legitimate opponent before I put them higher than this. In other words – go beat a team in a tier higher than this or beat multiple teams in this tier.
Dropped out: Oklahoma State (-1), Southern Cal (-1), TCU (-1), Virginia Tech (-2)
My playoff as of now, same as last week:
(1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State
(2) Clemson vs. (3) Georgia