As we head down the home stretch of the college football season, the playoff rankings make their debut.
— Don Miller Jr. (@dmillerjr) November 1, 2016
The Alabama Crimson Tide lead all of the polls in first place, Michigan Wolverines are slightly behind the Tide in second and the Clemson Tigers in the third, with a surprising Texas A&M coming in at number four.
Some of these teams will face off against other top-ten teams this month, which will no doubt shake up the playoff picture.
Lets take a look at a couple of marquee match ups for this upcoming weekend in college football.
Alabama Crimson Tide (1) vs. LSU Tigers (15)
This match up has been one of the best match ups in all of college football for the last five seasons. Both LSU and Alabama have contended for the SEC West Championship and the games have been nothing more than exciting.
The Crimson Tide have been on roll this season, as they have one of the strongest showings on defense, ranking second in the SEC in total defense behind the Florida Gators. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts is having an amazing freshman season, as he’s led the Crimson Tide offense all season and hasn’t skipped a beat. Head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin have utilized Hurts efficiently, and in order for the Tide to pull out a win in one of the toughest venues in college football, Hurts will have to maintain possession of the football and can’t afford to turn it over to LSU’s talented secondary.
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) November 3, 2016
Since LSU fired Les Miles, the Tigers improved the quarterback position and look borderline dominant on offense. Running back Leonard Fournette will have to have his best game against the Crimson Tide in order for LSU to pull off the upset on the nation’s best team.
Alabama is a 7.5 point road favorite vs. LSU. #SEC
— SEC Country (@SECcountry) November 2, 2016
Alabama 27 – LSU 20
This game will be a lot closer than expected. Alabama is just too good on the offensive line. The Tigers will need to play a near-perfect game and I don’t think they will. Don’t count the Tigers out though, because of the home field advantage at Tiger Stadium.
Florida Gators (11) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
The Gators have improved along the offensive line, only giving up nine sacks in seven games. Quarterback Luke Del Rio has struggled in the passing game, but he has a couple of running backs to rely on in Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine. Both Scarlett and Perine have to fight for extra yardage against a very physical, but underachieving, Arkansas defense.
One unit the Gators rely is their defense, which ranks first in the SEC in almost every category and second in the nation. If you watch the Gators play, you know their defense has been outstanding in every aspect, making teams struggle from the pressure put on the quarterback.
LDR hasn’t been up to par clearly, but Gators are 1st in the SEC on 3rd down offensively and defensively. Couldn’t buy a 3rd down in 2015.
— Tanner (@TannerDennie) November 1, 2016
The Razorbacks have been plagued with injuries, but after coming off of a bye week, they will get some of those bodies back, which should give them a boost.
Quarterback Austin Allen has been very good for the Hogs, but after suffering a knee injury late in the season, the offense hasn’t been as productive as the beginning of the season. Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema says Allen is 100 percent going into the game against the Gators, but unfortunately for Allen, the Hogs offensive line have given up a plethora of sacks all season long. If the offensive line can protect Allen and give him time in the pocket, the Hogs could have success against a talented Florida secondary.
#Gators vs the Hogs:
9-0 in SEC play(including SEC Championship games)
3-0 in Fayetteville
— Florida Stats & Info (@FLGatorFacts) November 3, 2016
Florida 23- Arkansas 13
Ultimately, the Gators have been outstanding on defense and the defensive line will cause havoc on Arkansas’ poor-performing offensive line. Defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga has come on strong for the Gators and he will make a strong impact for the Gators by putting pressure on the quarterback, along with defensive lineman Caleb Brantley and linebackers Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis.
If Florida wins this game, they will be one conference win away from making their second straight appearance in the SEC Championship game under head coach Jim McElwain.