Who’s the No. 1 team in college football right now? As we approach the midpoint of the season, with the initial College Football Playoff rankings less than a month away, there are nearly a dozen teams with an argument for the top spot.

Here are nine top undefeated Power 5 teams (sorry, Wake Forest, Boise State and others) that can make a claim on No. 1. Teams are listed in order of AP rankings.

Alabama
The case for No. 1: Have you seen that offense? With Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback and three NFL-caliber receivers in Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith, the Tide can put up points in a hurry. Although the was slow to get started, it has come together nicely in recent weeks. What’s more, the schedule remains very favorable. Nick Saban’s squad has avoided playing a single ranked opponent to improve to 5-0, and the rest of the way is manageable compared to others’ schedules, starting with a trip to No. 25 Texas A&M on Saturday. The defense is a question, but at least the injuries came early enough that the unit’s four young starters can get comfortable in their new roles before the home stretch.

The case against: We have to talk about the defense. When senior inside linebacker Joshua McMillon went down in the preseason, it was a red flag. Then last year’s Butkus Award finalist, inside linebacker Dylan Moses, was lost for the season, setting off alarm bells. Then defensive lineman LaBryan Ray went out with an injury as well, leading to a whopping four true freshmen starting on defense. And, well, that’s not ideal. Tagovailoa and the offense are good enough to win games on their own, of course, but an off night from them could spell trouble. (See: last year’s national title game against Clemson.) — Alex Scarborough

Clemson
The case for No. 1: This isn’t a hard sell. The Tigers won last season’s national championship and have Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins and Travis Etienne to lead their way back. They’ve made the playoff each of the past four years. They have a schedule that assures an astonishingly simple path the rest of the way. But perhaps the biggest bit of good news for Clemson is that the defense — the one area where there was at least a tinge of concern after so many stars departed for the NFL — has been exceptional thus far. Through five games, this year’s unit has allowed fewer points per drive and forced a higher rate of three-and-outs than last year’s D. And with young talent such as Xavier Thomas, Tyler Davis and Derion Kendrick just getting their feet wet, there’s reason to think the Tigers’ defense will be even better by the time the playoff arrives.

The case against: Two weeks ago, Mack Brown rolled the dice on a potential game-winning two-point try in the final seconds in Chapel Hill. The play failed, but North Carolina’s near upset of Clemson proved just how thin the Tigers’ margin of error can be. Lawrence has been off his game to start the season, and Etienne has been quiet after a monster opener. That’s hardly reason to panic, even if the explanations feel a bit thin. Perhaps Clemson is bored. The schedule is awfully easy. Or maybe it was a typical Dabo Swinney September, when he tinkers with the personnel and the playbook just to get a feel for what his team can do down the stretch. Or maybe it’s a little bad luck here and there. It can happen to anyone. The point, however, is that any of those things could be Clemson’s undoing in any given week, and with such a weak schedule — there’s a real possibility that Clemson will finish the regular season with no wins against Top 25 teams — it’s easy to wonder if a one-loss Tigers team would be left out of the playoff. — David M. Hale

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