Alabama now has blown out the second-best and third-best teams in the Southeastern Conference, beating Georgia by 17 and Texas A&M by 28. Clemson has laid waste to four Atlantic Coast Conference opponents by an average margin of 34.3 points.

That’s your landslide 1–2, in whatever order you prefer. After that, it gets interesting.

Georgia earns the third spot in the SI Top 10 as much out of default as anything else. The Bulldogs were good before going to Tuscaloosa, and were good for a half once they got there. In the current barren landscape—where we are not ranking anyone who hasn’t yet played—that’s enough.

North Carolina coughed up a giant hairball against Florida State and Notre Dame was unimpressive enough against Louisville that it seems fair to start a nationwide search for the fourth-best team. Why not BYU? The Cougars passed their biggest test of the season to date Friday night, roaring back to beat Houston.

The latter half of the Top 10 is similarly indistinguishable. A couple of one-loss SEC teams, a couple of undefeated Group of Five teams. And, wow, look what the cat dragged in: the only unbeaten Big 12 team, Oklahoma State, which hasn’t played since Oct. 3.

Long story short, the Big Ten’s arrival this week is perfectly timed. There are plenty of high rankings available.

1. Clemson (5–0)

Last game: Beat Georgia Tech, 73–7
Next game: Syracuse Saturday

The Tigers’ offense dropped 52 points on Georgia Tech in the first half, the most in a half in school history against an ACC opponent—and that’s despite committing two turnovers. Trevor Lawrence had five touchdown passes before intermission, though he did throw his first interception since Oct. 19, 2019. Most ridiculous stat from this ridiculous Clemson offensive onslaught: 17 Tigers caught passes, including both of Dabo Swinney’s sons. We are once again left wondering whether anyone in the ACC can even mildly stress Clemson. (Notre Dame or bust on Nov. 7?)





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