Week 5 (also known as Tailgating Week) delivered a number of inevitable upsets that once again shook up the rankings as well as the entire college football landscape.
Let’s grill up Week 6’s college football power rankings heading into the second week in October. Please note the following rankings are not based on the AP, USA Today or BCS that is soon to enter the equation. Rather, they’re established weekly by your’s truly.
My Predictions Results: 21-2 in Week 1, 18-2 in Week 2, 20-3 in Week 3, 17-3 in Week 4 and come off a 14-3 performance in Week 5 (90-13 Overall)
My five worst picks were Virginia Tech over Clemson 29-22 (23-3, CLEM), TCU to top SMU 42-28 (40-33, SMU in OT), Baylor to beat Kansas State 43-34 (36-35, KSU), Boise State over Nevada 56-17 (30-10, BSU) and Michigan State over Ohio State 27-20 (MSU 10, OSU 7).
My five best picks were Alabama over Florida 37-16 (38-10, ALA), LSU over Kentucky 34-3 (35-7, LSU), Stanford to knock off UCLA 51-21 (45-19, STAN), Arizona State to beat Oregon State 30-13 (35-20, ASU) and the Longhorns to take the Cyclones for a spin 33-17 (37-14, TEX).
No. 25 Georgia (Prev. Just Missed Cut): The Bulldogs (3-2) are recovering well after falling to South Carolina and Boise State. Mark Richt’s hot seat is still very toasty warm, but it’s no longer on fire anymore. Aaron Murray needs to get his act together, however. This Week: at Tennessee (3-1)
No. 24 Illinois (Prev. NR): The Fighting Illini (5-0) certainly possess a ton of fight, winning the last three games all by three points with a high-powered offense led by QB Nathan Scheelhasse, who’s also taken the program to its first 5-0 start in sixty years. This Week: at Indiana (1-4)
No. 23 Georgia Tech (Prev. Just Missed Cut): The Yellow Jackets have a decent defense and a boisterously buzzing offense that’s assembled 51.6 points a game. I’m excited to see what this team can do in conference play. This Week: at Maryland (2-2)
No. 22 Texas (Prev. 25): The Longhorns have a long ways to go to get into the big picture. After facing the likes of Rice, BYU, UCLA and Iowa State, the next two tests will be a change of pace in Oklahoma and OK-State. At least they’re both at home. This Week: vs. No. 3 Oklahoma (4-0)
21. Florida (Prev. 20): Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps accumulated nine total rushing yards against Alabama. Maybe they’ll have better production in the Bayou, but I wouldn’t bet on a significant increase by any means, especially if John Brantley sits out. This Week: at No. 2 LSU (5-0)
No. 20 Notre Dame (Prev. 24): The Fighting Irish (3-2) gave up 35 points to Michigan on Sept. 10. In the last three tests against Purdue, Pittsburgh and Michigan State, Brian Kelly’s poised program has allowed just 35 points. Each game is just another day at the office. This Week: vs. Air Force (3-1)
No. 19 Virginia Tech (Prev. 11): I knew the Hokies (4-1) had the makings of a tough pretender, but I had no idea Clemson would pounce on them like that in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech has to bounce back on Saturday to stay in the race in the ACC. This Week: vs. Miami (FL) (3-2)
No. 18 South Carolina (Prev. 12): If VT fans are feeling blue, they don’t worry because they’re in good company. The Gamecocks (4-1) are a pretty clear-cut competitive pretender, too. Nonetheless, Saturday’s upcoming test looks to be fairly easy. This Week: vs. Kentucky (2-3)
No. 17 Auburn (Prev. 23): Don’t crank out too much confetti this early, War Eagle nation. Not to take anything away from Week 5’s inevitable and impressive upset over South Carolina, but the Tigers (4-1) haven’t exactly posted a stellar résumé through the first five games and will have their paws full in the next three tests—two of which are on the road against legitimate Top 10 opponents. This Week: at No. 9 Arkansas (4-1)
No. 16 Arizona State (Prev. 17): The Sun Devils (4-1) are the class of the Pac-12 South, as I’ve said all along. The team labeled the loss at Illinois as a blessing in disguise and the upcoming marquee matchup in Salt Lake City will be for all of the cards. This Week: at Utah (2-2)
No. 15 Florida State (Prev. 14): Don’t doubt Jimbo Fisher’s ability to put the Seminoles (2-2) right into the mix for the conference title. The team lost E.J. Manuel on the way to losing to OU and was without many key players on the road at Clemson. Expect this team to bounce back after a bye. This Week: at Wake Forest (3-1)
No. 14 Texas A&M (Prev. 10): This is slowly becoming a trend for A&M. The Aggies (2-2) have been outscored 52-12 in the second half of the past two tests against Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Albeit they’re both Top-10 caliber teams this year, losing by five points combined and in the most heart-wrenching fashion can do real damage to your team and supportive fanbase. All is far from lost, nonetheless. I like this team’s chances to stay in the race in the Big 12 this season before launching a new beginning in the crème de la crème in the SEC. This Week: at Texas Tech (4-0)
No. 13 Nebraska (Prev. 8): The ‘Huskers (4-1) have survived Fresno State and Washington both by 13 points, took care of business with conviction in Wyoming and got a beatdown from the big boys and Big Ten front-runners from up in Wisconsin. We’ll have a better idea of the legitimacy of this team after addition conference play at the end of October. This Week: vs. Ohio State (3-2)
Mo. 12 Michigan (Prev. 22): The Wolverines (5-0) haven’t exactly been extremely battle-tested, but boy are they hitting on all cylinders with Denard Robinson. It looks to become a two-team race in the Big Ten Legends division. Week 12 should be fun for sure. This Week: at Northwestern (2-2)
No. 11 West Virginia (Prev. 16): Another offensive powerhouse that technically hasn’t proven anything on paper, the Mountaineers (4-1) are an under-the-radar sleeper in the big picture. The 47-21 score in the loss to LSU is misleading and the Geno Smith-led program is not only a force to be reckoned with, but also the favorite to win the Big East. This Week: vs. UCONN (2-3)
No. 10 Oregon (Prev. 9): The Ducks (3-1) are on a mission to prove their worth after analogous to West Virginia, getting beat up by the wrath of LSU. However, Oregon has bounced back well and inevitably in style (in points and most likely uniforms, too). Quack Attack had a nice mini-bye (in between the length of a bye week and no bye week) in Week 6 and will have another one after meeting the Golden Bears on Thursday night. This Week: vs. California (3-1, Thurs)
No. 9 Arkansas (Prev. 15): Tyler Wilson was razor-sharp in the Razorbacks’ (4-1) crowd-pleasing comeback win over Texas A&M in Cowboys Stadium. He set a new school-record with 510 passing yards, shattering the previous 409 yard mark by Ryan Mallett. The third best team in the SEC West looks to be a Top 10 team. Not a major surprise. This Week: vs. No. 17 Auburn (4-1)
No. 8 Clemson (Prev. 13): The new ACC Atlantic front-runners have taken colossal strides and ascended to new heights, far exceeding expectations. Dabo Swinney and the pumped up Tigers (5-0) are making a case to become the 14th member of the SEC, even if it’s unintended. They’re now also in the national title realm. This Week: vs. Boston College (1-4)
No. 7 Oklahoma State (Prev. 7): The Cowboys (4-0) have discarded that potential pretender label with an impressive showing in the first four weeks. The offense is laden with possibly the best QB-WR combination in the nation in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. This Week: vs. Kansas (2-2)
No. 6 Stanford (Prev. 5): The Cardinal (4-0) has lost several pieces since beating the Hokies to a pulp in the Orange Bowl. However, the defense has been top-notch through the first four weeks and the offense is equipped with the consensus best player in college football—a player that is forcing many NFL front offices to mull over the concept to suck for Luck from his play. He’s unbelievable. Many, myself included, argue that he’s the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning. What’s funny is the 49ers might even win the NFC West and yet Andrew Luck can still reunite with Jim Harbuagh if he sends several players and draft picks over to the team with the top pick, which is definitely possible. But I digress. This Week: vs. Colorado (1-4)
No. 5 Boise State (Prev. 4): There’s something that doesn’t seem quite right this year with the high-powered BCS-bustin’ Broncos (4-0). They haven’t beaten any of their opponents by more than 25 points. Now I know a win’s a win, and Boise certainly hasn’t looked bad, but they still need to play the style points card soon, unless they plan on just one or even no other teams left with an unbeaten record at the end of the year. This Week: at Fresno State (2-3, Fri)
No. 4 Wisconsin (Prev. 6): If there’s anything people in Wisconsin might love more than the outdoors, friendly people, alcohol and dairy, it’s the Packers, Badgers… and Russell Wilson. I didn’t catch much of ESPN’s College GameDay, but I did hear fans in Madison relentlessly chanting the transfer from N.C. State’s name like Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away (2000) (the volleyball was a Wilson brand). Now a premier candidate in the Heisman race, Wilson is taking the team to bigger and better things every week. Well, maybe not this week (idle).
No. 3 Oklahoma (Prev. 3): Landry Jones, the successor to Sam Bradford, has been hitting on all cylinders through the first four games. The Sooners (4-0) have outscored their opponents (Tulsa, No. 15 Florida State, Missouri and Ball State) by a combined margin of victory of 170-61. They can’t sleep on anyone in the Big 12, however. This Week: at No. 22 Texas
No. 2 LSU (Prev. 2): The Tigers (5-0) have scored 40 points or more and surrendered only single-digits three times this season and they’re already collided with two teams that are currently ranked in the top dozen in the nation. Nonetheless, they can’t sleep on any of their next four opponents (No. 21 Florida, at Tennessee, No. 17 Auburn and at No. 1 Alabama), nor can Les Miles pull out another infamous clock management mishap. This Week: vs. No. 21 Florida (4-1)
No. 1 Alabama (Prev. 1): The Tide’s (5-0) dominance through the first three games didn’t prove too much. After annihilating Arkansas (38-14) and Florida (38-10), it’s clear as day right now the top two teams in the country reside in the SEC West and will stay that way heading into their highly-anticipated matchup on November 5th, barring any unexpected upsets which I can’t see happening at the moment. This Week: vs. Vanderbilt (3-1)
Just Missed The Cut: Kansas State (4-0), Baylor (3-1), TCU (3-2), Washington (3-1), South Florida (4-1)
Verse Of This Piece: “People will be rewarded for what they say; they will rewarded by how they speak. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” —Proverbs 18:19-20