What a wacky season of college football it has been. There hasn’t been that one team that has stood out over the rest, there are numerous teams who have made their case to be the top team in the nation. Week 5 didn’t help that dilemma, let’s review what happened.
Ohio State and Michigan State both posted another underwhelming performances and just nearly avoided upsets. Baylor and TCU continue to dominate on offense. Florida slaughtered Ole Miss at home and is one of three remaining undefeated SEC teams. Alabama rebounded in conference and blew out Georgia. Clemson beat Notre Dame in the most intense game of the weekend.
Three new teams find themselves in my top 25 heading into week 6, take a look below:
1.) Ohio State Buckeyes (+/- 0)
As much as I want to take the Buckeyes out of the #1 spot, no other team has emerged as worthy enough. Ohio State has an enigma at the QB position and just narrowly avoided an upset against Indiana in their conference opener thanks to Ezekiel Elliot’s career day.
2.) Baylor Bears (+1)
Led by Art Briles, the Bears field the most explosive, fast-paced offense in all of college football. With Seth Russell engineering scoring drive after scoring drive, he is tied for the FBS lead with 19 TD passes after 5 weeks. The Bears have averaged nearly 64 points per game and are coming off a big win against a respectable Texas Tech team.
3.) TCU Horned Frogs (+1)
After beating the Longhorns by 30 points only twice prior to last season, the Horned Frogs have now done so in consecutive seasons. Heisman hopeful, Trevone Boykin, is tied with Russell for most TD passes in the FBS. In week 6 they travel on the road to face Kansas State, a team who almost beat a ranked Oklahoma State team this past week. TCU narrowly edged Texas Tech in week 5, perhaps they are on upset alert yet again.
4.) Michigan State Spartans (-2)
The Spartans slip two slots after barely surviving Purdue, beating them by just a field goal. At the moment, they are still clinging to that week 1 victory against Oregon, who has been unranked for the past 2 weeks. Connor Cook needs to step it up after an abysmal performance in week 5.
5.) Clemson Tigers (+8)
Their intense win against Notre Dame launches Clemson into the top 5. Th offense started hot, and the defense finished the winning effort with two late forced turnovers. Dabo Swinney proved why he is among the best coaches in college football. The Tigers should continue to roll the next few weeks with a weak conference schedule.
6.) LSU Tigers (+3)
The Tigers started off slow against Eastern Michigan, but they were able to put it together and complete a blowout win. Despite inconsistent QB play, the offense has been rolling behind the legs of Heisman favorite, Leonard Fournette. LSU looks to improve to 3-0 in conference play against South Carolina next week.
7.) Alabama Crimson Tide (+5)
The first team with a loss to appear in the top 25 is none other than the Crimson Tide. After losing to Ole Miss two weeks ago, Alabama came back in a big way to crush a highly touted Georgia team in ‘Bama’s first game as an underdog since 2009. It looks as if Nick Saban’s squad may still be the team to beat in the SEC.
8.) Oklahoma Sooners (+7)
With a victory in their Big 12 opener against a ranked West Virginia team, the Sooners climb up 7 spots and look to be heavy competition for #3 TCU. Baker Mayfield has emerged as one of the best QBs in college football and a dark horse Heisman contender. Next week they host Texas in the Red River Rivalry; it should be an easy win for Oklahoma.
9.) Texas A&M Aggies (+5)
I’m really high on this Texas A&M team. Kyle Allen has been playing great football under center and they have a stud on defense in Myles Garrettt; he even showed up in ESPN’s Heisman Watch for this past week. They have a week off before they host Alabama in week 7 in what could be the biggest SEC game of the regular season.
10.) Utah Utes (+1)
While not as high on Utah as most, I have them rounding out my top 10. After a week off following their destruction of Oregon, they inch up one spot with UCLA, Notre Dame and Georgia falling out. They face a tough test in conference play next week against an unbeaten California team.
11.) Florida State Seminoles (-1)
With a bye week, the Seminoles flip-flop with Utah. The Seminoles still don’t have any wins of note on their record, and they don’t have anything big coming up either. That will hurt their status as a CFB Playoff team. A win against Miami could squeeze them up a spot or two.
12.) Florida Gators (+12)
The biggest win of week 5 was without a doubt the Florida Gators as they demolished a top 5 Ole Miss team. The Gators have started 5-0 and seem to finally have an identity under Jim McElwain. Will Grier has emerged as a great starting QB while the defense has come to play every week. Who would’ve thought the Gators would be one of 1 of the last 3 undefeated teams in the SEC?
13.) Ole Miss Rebels (-8)
Despite a gigantic loss to Florida, Ole Miss remains in the top 15 because of their big win against Alabama a couple of weeks ago. The Rebels still have among the most talented teams in all of college football and will remain a contender in the SEC throughout the rest of the season.
14.) Northwestern Wildcats (+3)
The surprise team of college football thus far has been the Northwestern Wildcats. They have emerged as a legitimate contender in the Big Ten and are a sleeper to appear in the CFB Playoff. Next week they face an up and coming Michigan team for the biggest conference game of the year thus far. Pat Fitzgerald vs. Jim Harbaugh is tremendous coaching matchup.
15.) Georgia Bulldogs (-7)
The Bulldogs were in prime position to solidify their case as a CFB Playoff team with a win over Alabama this past week. It didn’t go as planned as Georgia got trampled at home. Still, Mark Richt’s team remains a contender in an open SEC conference.
16.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-10)
The Fighting Irish started off slow against Clemson, but finished strong. After scoring a late touchdown, they failed a 2 point conversion to tie the game and force overtime. Two 4th quarter turnovers killed their comeback effort. Notre Dame still has among the best defenses in college football and have a chip on their shoulder after their week 5 loss.
17.) Stanford Cardinal (+2)
With a win over Arizona, the Cardinal improved to 3-0 in Pac-12 play. With a highlight win over USC in week 3, they have steadily been climbing up my top 25 rankings. Following their bye week, they face UCLA in a Thursday night showdown which has major conference implications.
18.) UCLA Bruins (-11)
Dropping 11 spots are the UCLA Bruins following a shocking upset to Arizona State after a previous big win against Arizona. Josh Rosen has emerged as a top QB as a freshman which means the Bruins have many successful years ahead of them. UCLA looks to bounce back next Thursday night in a big conference game against Stanford.
19.) USC Trojans (-3)
After losing to Stanford in week 3, it seems as if USC has been an afterthought when discussing the top Pac-12 teams. That was put to rest when they dismantled Arizona State last week. The Trojans are led by the most efficient QB in college football, Cody Kessler. USC has a tough road ahead of them with a conference game against Washington this Thursday night followed by a visit to South Bend.
20.) Michigan Wolverines (+5)
When the Wolverines lost to Utah in week 1, may were quick to write off Jim Harbaugh and his new team. Since then, Michigan has went 4-0 and have outscored opponents 122-14 which includes consecutive shutouts. Their defense has emerged as one of the best in the nation. Next week they host Northwestern in the biggest Big Ten matchup of the year thus far.
21.) Iowa Hawkeyes (NR)
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 after a sloppy win against a ranked Wisconsin team. Led by Kirk Ferentz, Iowa is always a threat in the Big Ten. This is the first time Iowa has been ranked in nearly 5 years.
22.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (-1)
Oklahoma State is hanging on by a thread in this week’s rankings. For the 2nd straight week they won on a late field goal, Ben Grogan has turned into the team’s MVP. A win next week against West Virginia in Morgantown would solidify their case as a top 25 team.
23.) California Golden Bears (+/- 0)
It hasn’t been pretty for California, but the Golden Bears are now 5-0 with their last 3 wins coming by 6 points or less. Jared Goff is a top draft prospect and has carried the team on his back thus far. Cal is atop the Pac-12 North division, but faces a tough test in #10 Utah next week.
24.) Boise State Broncos (NR)
After their week 2 loss against BYU, Boise State has outscored opponents 163-14 which includes two shutouts. Backup QB Brett Rypien has filled in nicely with 6 TDs and 0 INTs in two starts and has brought great energy to the team and offense. Boise State is always going to be a non-power 5 team that competes.
25.) Toledo Rockets (NR)
It was hard to put a team in this slot, but ultimately I felt it belonged to the small Toledo school. Their big win came against a ranked Arkansas team, the program’s first victory against an SEC team. Toledo very well could finish the season undefeated in a poor MAC conference. Matt Campbell is in for a big job upgrade this upcoming offseason.