College Football Top 25: Week 5by Charlie Parent September 27, 2021 1 comment
On what was one of the best college football Saturdays we’ve had in the past couple of seasons, so much was found out about various teams across the nation. Giants fell, some teams rolled, and others struggled as we head deeper and deeper into these fall months.
1. Alabama (4-0) (1-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Southern Miss (W 63-14) | This week: vs Ole Miss (3-0)
Well, what wasn’t surprising was that the Tide Rolled against a not very good Southern Miss squad. So far, Alabama and Georgia have been the only two consistent teams. Both ones have not shown any weaknesses at all. This week, however, will tell us everything we need to know about Alabama as they face Ole Miss in what will be a shootout and potential game of the year candidate.
2. Georgia (4-0) (2-0 SEC)
Last week: at Vanderbilt (W 62-0) | This week: vs Arkansas (4-0)
The internet went wild over Georgia’s rout of Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs almost scored more points than the Commodores had yards in this one. There’s not much else to say about this game but we do turn our attention towards this Week 5 matchup against a red-hot Arkansas squad looking to prove that they are legit.
3. Oregon (4-0) (1-0 PAC 12)
Last week: vs Arizona (W 41-19) | This week: at Stanford (2-2)
Oregon faced off against one of if not the worst power five teams in Arizona. They weren’t great, but they controlled the game from the start. The Ducks still remain the clear favorite in the PAC 12 and are probably this conference’s only chance at a playoff spot. They will have to continue to take care of business, though, against what is a pretty easy schedule.
4. Penn State (4-0) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Villanova (W 38-17) | This week: vs Indiana (2-2)
Penn State moves up a spot in this week’s rankings after they convincingly handled Villanova. The scoreline wasn’t too pretty against an FBS school but the offense rolled and Sean Clifford had over 400 yards with five touchdowns. Now, the Lions shift to full conference play and will look to dominate an Indiana team that has been a little bit sketchy as of late.
5. Iowa (4-0) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Colorado State (W 24-14) | This week: at Maryland (4-0)
Iowa’s fall this week comes from two rough games against some serious lower-tier schools. However, they still remain playing the efficient, break-you-down Iowa football that we have become so accustomed to over the years.
6. Cincinnati (3-0) (0-0 American)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Notre Dame (4-0)
Nothing much to say about the Bearcats this week, except expect an absolutely thrilling game this upcoming Saturday. South Bend will be rocking and if Cincinnati wins, we can finally see a group of five teams enter the top five this season.
7. Ole Miss (3-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Alabama (4-0)
Again, another bye team on the list, and again another huge game for said bye team. If Lane Kiffin’s squad can pull off this upset over the Crimson Tide, pandemonium in college football will break loose, and Ole Miss will soar up our ranks.
8. Arkansas (4-0) (1-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Texas A&M (W 20-10) | This week: at Georgia (4-0)
Arkansas improves to 1-0 in their absolute gauntlet of four top-10 teams in a row on the schedule in impressive fashion. The Hogs rolled against A&M but the scoreline doesn’t show it. Before starting quarterback KJ Jefferson went down, the team was on fire and headed towards a route in this game. The big story, however, was how well the defensive line handled the Aggie run game. Overall, this was a big win for Arkansas but they have got to keep going as next week they are in Athens.
9. Florida (3-1) (1-1 SEC)
Last week: vs Tennessee (W 38-14) | This week: at Kentucky (4-0)
The Gators started off super slow but once they got going, there was no shot for Tennessee. Still, they sit put at the 9 spot this week, also marking themselves as the 5th SEC team in our top 10. Next week’s game with Kentucky should not be overlooked, though, as this team is 4-0 and making some big-time noise.
10. Notre Dame (4-0)
Last week: vs Wisconsin (W 41-13) | This week: vs Cincinnati (3-0)
Notre Dame finally did it. They had a win that was not ugly. Now, how good is this Wisconsin team really? Not very. But, the Irish still played a complete game, asserted their defensive dominance, and proved they are a top 10 team. All eyes turn to the health of Jack Coan but for now, they look towards the big matchup with the Bearcats.
11. Oklahoma (4-0) (1-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs West Virginia (W 16-13) | This week: at Kansas State (3-1)
Oklahoma just eeked one out once again If you are a Sooners fan, there is not much to be happy about right now. The student section chanting for Caleb Williams over the pre-season Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler should just say it all. This is not a top 10 team, and with the performance of others, they luckily land here at 11.
12. Michigan (4-0) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Rutgers (W 20-13) | This week: at Wisconsin (2-2)
Michigan started off this game incredibly. They went into the locker room at halftime up 20-3 but they nearly imploded in the second half. We saw what happens when the run game isn’t working for this team, and their playcalling got exposed. An assertive win in Madison would be huge for this team to get back and rolling again.
13. Michigan State (4-0) (2-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Nebraska (W 23-20 OT) | This week: vs Western Kentucky (2-2)
Both major teams in the state of Michigan did not have impressive victories by any means, but we can’t take away their past accomplishments, so that is why Michigan State only drops three spots and Michigan stays put. Needing overtime against a subpar Nebraska team is really concerning. The Spartans now need to get back on the horse with another win this week.
14. Baylor (4-0) (1-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs Iowa State (W 31-29) | This week: at Oklahoma State (4-0)
Baylor jumps into our rankings in a big big way. The Bears knocked off Iowa State at home and continue to roll with their momentum. This week, we look at one of the most underrated games on the docket. Oklahoma State is just as hot as Baylor and this has huge early-season implications on the Big 12.
15. BYU (4-0)
Last week: vs South Florida (W 35-27) | This week: at Utah State (3-1)
After their big win against Arizona State two weeks ago, BYU had a very tiny bit of a scare against USF. The Cougars, however, continue to stay well in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bid but they have a long ways to go, especially if Cincinnati defeats Notre Dame.
16. Ohio State (3-1) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Akron (W 59-7) | This week: at Rutgers (3-1)
This Buckeye’s team just gets stranger and stranger. They had a player quit mid-game, a quarterback battle emerging, and a not very impressive 42 point win. At the end of the day, this victory against Akron means nothing in our eyes, and they still have a ways to go to actually impress.
17. Coastal Carolina (4-0) (0-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: vs UMASS (W 53-3) | This week: vs ULM (2-1)
Another big-time blow-out that just wasn’t impressive. UMASS is probably the worst program in the FBS besides Akron and UCONN, so it makes sense that a top 25 team would have their way with them. Coastal needs to continue to wrack up these scorelines if they want a shot at a higher ranking with such a poor schedule.
18. Fresno State (3-1) (1-0 MWC)
Last week: vs UNLV (W 38-30) | This week: at Hawaii (2-3)
Following their huge upset over UCLA, Fresno State didn’t win big on UNLV, but they did play pretty well. Jake Haener continues to leave his mark on the college football world and the nation continues to fall in love with this team.
19. Oklahoma State (4-0) (1-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs Kansas State (W 31-20) | This week: vs Baylor (4-0)
The Cowboys are another new team in our rankings, and we are about to see a whole host of them as we continue here. Oklahoma State looked great against a previously ranked Kansas State team but we’ll see if they can keep it up against a Baylor team that we’ve already raved about.
20. Texas (3-1) (1-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs Texas Tech (W 70-35) | This week: at TCU (3-1)
Getting smoked by Arkansas in Week 2 must’ve sparked something in this team. They’ve now scored 128 points in their last two games, and an astounding 70 against a good team in Texas Tech. If this team can keep this up, then they’ll be the squad that a lot of the media thought they could be starting the season.
21. Wake Forest (4-0) (1-0 ACC)
Last week: at Virginia (W 37-17) | This week: vs Louisville (3-1)
Well, this is just something else. Who would’ve thought that the highest-ranked team in the ACC would be Wake Forest? They are only one of two teams in the conference to be ranked and the other is Boston College. Anyway, Wake Forest is a team we need to start taking seriously. They’ve had comfortable wins in every game they’ve played and continue to thrive in ACC play.
22. Texas A&M (3-1) (0-1 SEC)
Last week: vs Arkansas (L 10-20) | This week: vs Missippi State (2-2)
We’ve talked a lot about this game already but so much went wrong for Texas A&M. Their offense continues to struggle under the reigns of Zach Calzada and they got dominated in virtually every front of this one. All hope is not lost, however. For as easy as an SEC schedule can be, A&M probably has one of the easiest. The two toughest teams they face are Ole Miss and Alabama, which is a bit fortunate compared to some of the other teams. If they can steal one of those games and win out, they’ll be set for an NY6 bowl.
23. SMU (4-0) (0-0 American)
Last week: at TCU (W 42-34) | This week: vs USF (1-3)
College football is currently in a place where SMU’s quarterback is looking more and more like a legit Heisman candidate by the week. Tanner Mordecai leads the country in passing yards and touchdowns and proved his greatness against a good TCU team in their win Saturday. The Mustangs are now the clear top threat in the American Conference to Cincinnati.
Last week: at Stanford (W 35-24) | This week: vs Arizona State (3-1)
The Bruins bounced back with a nice victory over Stanford in hostile territory. Zach Charbonnet also bounced back in a big way, totaling over 200 yards on the ground. We need to continue to monitor this team, especially this week with this intriguing Arizona State game on the horizon.
25. Boston College
Last week: vs Missouri (W 41-34 OT) | This week: at Clemson (2-2)
The big question with Boston College here is how long is this sustainable? What we mean by that is how long can they keep going with their run-heavy scheme because of the injury to star quarterback Phil Jurkovec. Well, we should get that answer pretty soon against an obviously talented, but unranked, Clemson team.
Outside looking in: NC State, Clemson, Maryland, Kentucky, UTSA
New teams: Baylor (14), Oklahoma State (19), Texas (20), Wake Forest (21), SMU (23), Boston College (25)
Dropped out: Clemson, Iowa State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, TCU, Kansas State
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images