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Crimson Power Rankings: Week 8

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Jonathan Allen for Heisman

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

As the Tide yet again dismantled a top-10 team without breaking so much as a bead of sweat, it gets more and more difficult for me to fit every elite player into the top 16 of this list. As legendary as this defense has been, I want to put every defensive starter into the rankings, and that leaves very little room for an offense that has been quite impressive in its own right.

I have made the decision not to include safety Eddie Jackson in the rankings anymore. Had he not broken his leg and will be out for the rest of the season, he would have sat at #4 this week. However, I will remove him from the rankings now, as he is no longer playing with the team (plus that gives me an excuse to include one more player).

The Crimson Power Rankings

  1. DE-Jonathan Allen (2)
  2. WLB- Reuben Foster (1)
  3. JACK- Tim Williams (3)
  4. P- J.K. Scott (5)
  5. WR- Calvin Ridley (4)
  6. CB/STAR- Minkah Fitzpatrick (7)
  7. SLB- Ryan Anderson (12)
  8. CB- Marlon Humphrey (10)
  9. WR- Ardarius Stewart (11)
  10. LT- Cam Robinson (14)
  11. DT- Da’Ron Payne (9)
  12. RB-Damien Harris (NR)
  13. CB-Anthony Averett (15)
  14. MLB- Shaun Hamilton (8)
  15. LG- Ross Pierschbacher (13)
  16. QB- Jalen Hurts (16)

Jonathan Allen: A.K.A. the 300-pound flying squirrel

Jonathan Allen resumes his spot at the top of the hill. Enough said.

Rising to the occasion

I’ve slowly been letting Ryan Anderson fall down the list at no fault of his own. He’s been consistent and impressive, but with seemingly less impact than those ahead of him. He responded this week with an exceptional performance, and I’ve realized my mistake. Anderson has jumped 5 spots to 7th on the team.

The same could be said of Damien Harris, who has been nothing short of amazing. If he has played this well the last couple of weeks with nagging ankle injuries, then he might be nigh unstoppable once healthy (and maybe he can actually break away for a long TD for once).

After what was probably his worst game of the season against Tennessee, Cam Robinson might have put together the best of his career against Myles Garrett, potentially the first overall pick in the next draft. Robinson all but totally neutralized Garret, and didn’t have any penalties on himself to boot.

Falling falling falling

Shaun Hamilton was the biggest drop this week. Though he’s been exceptional all season while on the field, it is difficult to consider a player near the top of the team when he’s one of the first to leave the field against a more open spread offense. Hamilton all but totally disappeared against A&M.

To a lesser extent, Da’Ron Payne has faced the same issue. Despite his talent, he is usually one of the first to be subbed out against a stronger passing team. Next year, however, don’t be surprised if he become the most consistent defensive lineman on the team.

Almost!

Damien Harris seems to have left Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough behind, but the two runners are still extremely talented and lethal weapons for the offense. O.J. Howard finally made an impact in the passing game this week, but made up for it with a few more missed blocks than normal, keeping him just shy of making the rankings.

On the offensive line, Lester Cotton and Jonah Williams each had very solid games as well. If the two continue their trajectory, it will be very difficult to keep them out (and I’ll have to find someone else to drop from the list).

The curious case of Jalen Hurts

As I said last week, Jalen has been tough to rank. On one hand, he’s been quite awful as a passer overall as of late, missing more throws than he completes on anything more than a yard or two past the line of scrimmage. At the same time, though, he’s been tremendous in the running game and has been just as effective as Damien Harris in that regard. As such, I am keeping him hanging on by a hair at 16th.

How did I do this week?

Let me know in the comments where you agree or disagree. Should I start giving more credit to Jonah Williams and Lester Cotton? Less to some of the defense?