Following Alabama’s 10-0 win over LSU, I tossed around a couple of different ideas for the Crimson Power Rankings this week. My first thought was to rank the entire defense as #1, then populating the rest with the offense, but that would be giving the entire Tide offense too much credit.
I also thought about completely removing the offense, instead ranking only defensive players. As it is, that almost happened anyway. The entire starting defense, outside of Tony Brown, the newcomer, ended up making the list, while only a few spots were left over for the offense.
TL;DR- This Alabama defense is playing at a celestial level, transcending that of any normal college defense.
The Crimson Power Rankings
- DE-Jonathan Allen (1)
- WLB-Reuben Foster (2)
- JACK-Tim Williams (3)
- P-J.K. Scott (4)
- SLB-Ryan Anderson (7)
- FS/CB/STAR-Minkah Fitzpatrick (6)
- WR-Calvin Ridley (5)
- DT-Da’Ron Payne (11)
- CB-Marlon Humphrey (8)
- WR-ArDarius Stewart (9)
- CB-Anthony Averett (13)
- DE/DT-Dalvin Tomlinson (NR)
- LT-Cam Robinson (10)
- MLB-Shaun Hamilton (14)
- QB-Jalen Hurts (16)
- SS-Ronnie Harrison (NR)
The big three
As usual, Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, and Tim Williams lead the team. Every week, it seems like these four put more and more gap between themselves and the rest of the Tide players. All three are nearly locks to be first round picks in the upcoming draft. Allen likely top-5, and the other two have a chance to even make it into the top 10. This is a good defense.
I’ll lump the entire offense into one section here. I still think Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart are some of the best wide receivers in the nation. However, they just aren’t being given the opportunity to do much right now, and recency bias does affect my opinionated power poll.
Jalen Hurts is pretty much being rated as a running back, rather than a QB, at this point. Though he currently has about as much deep accuracy as a drunken tailgater playing corn hole, his running ability is about the only thing that’s working for this offense right now.
At the same time, the entire offensive line really struggled yesterday. Lester Cotton and Jonah Williams had a lot of trouble picking up blitzes around right end while the interior was constantly knocked backwards, causing the interior running game to mostly falter. And Cam Robinson is at least consistent with his false starts, if nothing else.
Somehow, I had let Dalvin Tomlinson drop off the list two weeks ago and nobody called me out on it. The senior had a great game against LSU and is back where he should be. Da’Ron Payne also might have just had the best game of his career so far. Based on a single game, Payne might have been the best player on the field Saturday, as he looked nearly unblockable for most of the night.
Ronnie Harrison finally has made it back into my good graces. His coverage was flawless all game, and he made a couple of game changing plays in the field goal block and breaking up LSU’s final 4th down pass.
How about Anthony Averett? I almost went ahead and ranked him ahead of Humphrey. The speedster from New Jersey has definitely outplayed Humphrey consistently since the Ole Miss game, and has put on a clinic for corners on how to turn to make a play on the ball in the air. He likely would have snagged one of the more impressive interceptions of the season had the LSU receiver not pulled him down by the arm (uncalled by the officials, of course) before the ball arrived.
Best of the rest
The entire defense is on the list, so only offensive players are left vying to make it onto the tail end. Ross Pierschbacher has a length track record of decent success, but has been flat out over-powered too often lately. On the same note, Jonah Williams, despite his impressive moments, is still struggling with some inconsistency.
O.J. Howard, despite his ridiculous talent, is still invisible (though I believe that to mostly be attributable to Hurts and Kiffin).
The running backs are still a revolving door. After his breakout early season performance, Joshua Jacobs has been largely invisible as of late. Damien Harris is fairly consistent, but hasn’t shown much of a wow factor either.
The big enigma to me is still Bo Scarbrough. I’d almost argue he’s nearly as good of a blocker as any of the linemen, and I feel like he hits holes faster and harder than any of the other running backs. In other words, I think he’s the best for the team going forward, but Lane Kiffin apparently disagrees with me.
So what do you think?
Should I have even included anyone from the offense? Am I punishing the receivers unfairly for something out of their control? Too critical on the offense line? Would you be willing to say that Anthony Averett has surpassed Marlon Humphrey in the secondary?