Winston Shines In FSU Rout


A week after upsets dominated the world of college football, the top teams in the country did all the dominating.

Favorites were put on upset alert, but only two — No. 5 Missouri and No. 10 Texas Tech — from the top 10 fell, as the top four teams in the country rolled, throttled and steamrolled their way to impressive wins. You know, there’s a reason Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State are the best of the best. They all dismantled their competition, outscoring opponents 199-55.

Alabama waxed Tennessee 45-10. Florida State erased last season’s upsetting loss to NC State by thrashing the Wolfpack 49-17, while Ohio State cruised to a 63-14 win over Penn State.

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Ironically, Oregon scored the least amount of points of the four with its 42-14 win over No. 12 UCLA. But don’t knock the Ducks for a slower offensive start (only 14 points at halftime). They easily had the most impressive win of the day. They were the only squad of the four to take on another Top 25 team, and they had their way with the Bruins in the second half.

So let the debate rage: Who really is No. 1 now? Is Alabama, which has had one of the softest October schedules on record, still No. 1? The Crimson Tide led 35-0 at halftime Saturday in a game that was over before the second quarter even began. Since their thrilling 49-42 win at Texas AM on Sept. 14, however, five of the Crimson Tide’s six opponents have lacked winning records. Alabama has given up just 26 points in the last six games.

Still, Alabama is averaging 41 points per game since the AM shootout and gave up 300 yards for the first time since that game on Saturday. The Tide were dealt this weak hand and they are doing exactly what they need to do to stay undefeated.

Meanwhile Oregon and Florida State are chugging right along, earning more and more respect. Fresh off that 51-14 beating of then-No. 3 Clemson, the Seminoles piled on 35 points behind that amazing arm of Famous Jameis Winston before the second quarter started. Hours later, Oregon made UCLA’s No. 12 ranking look laughable with its performance in Eugene, Ore.

Neither Florida State nor Oregon has fallen below 41 points in a game this year.

Right now, no one would blame anyone for having an interchangeable top 3, but don’t be surprised if people start leaning more toward the Noles and Ducks for that No. 1 spot after Saturday. After all, they did combine for 1,121 yards of offense.

Then there’s Ohio State. The team that has now won a nation-leading 20 straight games is getting overlooked more and more. Maybe that’s why Urban Meyer felt it was necessary to almost hit two-thirds of the century mark against the Nittany Lions. With the current state of the BCS standings, the Buckeyes needed style points and they’re still getting them after that offensive performance.

It’s still very early, and we’ve seen plenty of crazy things happen with the top team in the country in the past, but for now, the top four look exactly like they should. They are dominating and are making the thought of a playoff look better with every win and every touchdown they score.

Edward Aschoff | email

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