Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 5 College Football Recap: Rankings, Heisman, BCS Projections

It was a thrilling week in college football. Lane Kiffin got fired after a beat-down by Arizona State. Alabama shut (out/up) Bo Wallace and Ole Miss. The northwest had monsoon-like conditions for a few of the top teams in the country who all rolled to victories. All the “experts” talk about how LSU at Georgia was going to be a defensive struggle, yet I called it a shootout. Who was right? 44-41 final score should tell the story. Check out how week 5 is reflected in my new rankings/projections:

Top 25 Poll
Others receiving votes: Florida, Houston, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, UCF, Wisconsin
Dropped from the rankings: Wisconsin (20), UCF (22)

25 (NR). Maryland (4-0) – IDLE. Next week: at Florida State. That blowout/shutout win over West Virginia looks pretty good now. This could be a bonehead inclusion after they play in Tallahassee next week, but they have been strong so far this season. Randy Edsall has his boys believing.
24 (19). Arizona State (3-1) – The Sun Devils could score at will against USC, but they also gave up some 41 points to a team that was struggling offensively. That does not bode well for their chances in the South division.
23 (NR). Northern Illinois (4-0) – After blowing out Purdue on the road, they are the first MAC team with two wins over the Big Ten in the same season. They are going to threaten another potential BCS bowl appearance.
22 (21). Michigan (4-0) – IDLE. Next week: vs Minnesota.
21 (17). Mississippi (3-1) – They were the latest shutout victim by Alabama, which there is no shame in, but for a team talking as much trash as they were, that has got to be discouraging and humbling.
20 (14). Oklahoma State (3-1) – Just when you want to count out West Virginia, they take out the #1 team in the conference. The Cowboys looked a bit lost throughout the game for the first time. Morgantown isn’t exactly the most hostile of crowds in the Big 12. They are going to need to get it together and soon.
19 (24). Fresno State (4-0) – They had one of those classic 9:00PM pickoffs in Hawaii that a team could sleepwalk through. Their offense was as on fire as it has been all year.
18 (18). Northwestern (4-0) – IDLE. Next week: vs Ohio State.
17 (25). Miami (4-0) – The Canes looked fantastic against the worst team in the nation, the South Florida Bulls. At some point, you have to think they will not show up. That hasn’t happened yet. Morris and Johnson have been scary good early on.
16 (15). Texas Tech (4-0) – IDLE. Next week: at Kansas.
15 (16). South Carolina (3-1) – They were down at the half and had lost their starting quarterback. They could have folded, but instead they came out furiously and took control of the game immediately on the road. Impressive effort by the Cocks.
14 (23). Oklahoma (4-0) – Here we go again…the Sooners look unbeatable early in the year, only to probably disappoint down the stretch again. Same story for the Bob Stoops-era Oklahoma squad.
13 (12). LSU (4-1) – The Tigers have now shown that they can put up the monster numbers in the SEC, and that Cam Cameron has suddenly turned Mettenberger into a top 5 QB in the conference.
12 (11). Texas A&M (3-1) – Johnny Football and company were able to escape with another shootout victory, this time at Arkansas in front of a ruckus crowd.
11 (13). Georgia (3-1) – The win against LSU proved that they still do not have a defense, but that offense can score on anyone. They have a terrific chance of not losing any SEC games.
10 (10). Louisville (4-0) – IDLE. Next week: at Temple.
9 (9). UCLA (3-0) – IDLE. Next week: at Utah.
8 (5). Florida State (4-0) – There is something always missing with hyped-up Florida State teams. The defense just decided it was ok to give up 34 points to a lame duck Boston College offense. They are going to need to get a lot better to contend for an ACC title.
7 (8). Ohio State (5-0) – The Buckeyes had an impressive win over a tough Wisconsin squad. Braxton Miller looked terrific in his return to the lineup. They are starting to look like the preseason #2 team in the country.
6 (7). Baylor (3-0) – IDLE. Next week: vs West Virginia.
5 (6). Washington (4-0) – They were able to blow out Arizona, who isn’t a great team, but one that came in rolling. The Huskies are for real, and with Stanford and Oregon coming up I consecutive weeks, they could prove to be the nation’s best team if they are able to spring the upsets.
4 (4). Clemson (4-0) – The Tigers jumped out to a big lead early and never let up. When they are hitting on all cylinders, I do not know who can beat them.
3 (3). Stanford (4-0) – They had the most impressive result of the week with a hammering of a confident and improved Washington State team in front of a crazy crowd at the Seahawks home stadium. They looked like the Stanford teams who pushed around the entire conference two years ago.
2 (2). Alabama (4-0) – They had one of the more confusing results of the season. Their defense had not been dominant, yet they were able to shut out perhaps the best pure offense they have played yet. The Tide are gearing up for another title run.
1 (1). Oregon (4-0) – The played in stupid conditions in Eugene, but they were seemingly unaffected by it when Cal looked like a bunch of fools. They did nothing to lose the top spot.

Top 5 Games for Next Weekend
5. BYU at Utah State, Friday 5:00PM CBS Sports Network – The Utah in-state matchups are all going to be amazing this year. It may be the best trio of teams the state has ever had. Chuckie Keeton vs Taysom Hill. Should be electric.
4. Maryland (#25) at Florida State (#8), 9:00AM ESPN – This is an intriguing matchup. Stefon Diggs and company are going to be able to score, but can they slow up Winston? No team has been able to do that yet.
3. TCU at Oklahoma (#14), 4:00PM FOX – TCU has looked mighty impressive defensively since losing to LSU on the opening weekend. This is the type of game that the Sooners like to drop. Ohio State (#7) at Northwestern (#18), 5:00PM ABC – Northwestern is always a team that pushes the top B1G teams. This time, the Wildcats have their best squad in decades. Ohio State would be foolish to look any further than this game.
1. Washington (#5) at Stanford (#3), 7:30PM ESPN – No real surprise here, right? The game in Seattle last season, the last game that Stanford lost, was a hard-fought and low-scoring affair. Look for some more offense this time around a terrific game in front of a half-full stadium in Palo Alto.

Heisman Trophy Watch
5. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor – So far, he has put up video game numbers. If he can do the same in games against Oklahoma and his Texas state rivals, then he will be invited for sure.
4. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – It doesn’t matter the venue or situation he is in. He looks like a seasoned veteran. Next year may be his time, but he is threatening this year.
3. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – He seems to get better and better each week. If they go unbeaten, he could potentially take the first Heisman Trophy in school history.
2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – He has led his team to victories in every way possible. He is going to torch every SEC defense and probably win this thing again.
1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – He will be the top contender all season, unless they lose a game. That seems unlikely at this point.

BCS Projections
Rose Bowl – Ohio State over Washington
Orange Bowl – Clemson over Louisville
Sugar Bowl – Texas A&M over Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – Baylor over Northern Illinois
BCS Championship Game – Oregon over Alabama

What did you think of this weekend? Thoughts? Give me your rankings in the comments!


  1. 1. Dude, Fresno St. almost blew a 39-point lead against Hawaii. I'm not sure what to think of that, but it's certainly worth noting. It's also worth noting that they really have a shot at going undefeated.

    2. The De'Anthony Thomas injury could sting the Ducks, even if he comes back vs Colorado or Washington. May not have the same speed bursts and could play a lot more cautious. We're still holding our breaths.

    3. The SEC is such crap. They talk about their defensive integrity, and then have a 44-41 result between of its best teams. And Alabama doesn't even play Georgia or S. Carolina, and has a stretch of 6 of 7 at home. It's such BS. When Oregon/Stanford crushes Alabama in the National Championship game, the hypocrisy of the SEC will be exposed

    1. I know. Fresno is going to struggle on D, but I did mention last week that undefeated seems likely for them.

      Thomas will certainly cost Oregon some explosiveness, but Marshall and company are great players. They will step up and be just fine. It just might cost Mariota some insurance for those check downs. Thomas is just too good in the pass game.

      I am right with you on Alabama and the SEC. Obviously the Pac is the best conference in the land. I didn't really think any SEC teams were going unbeaten until Bama just dominated Ole Miss in what seemed like a trap game. They will lose to Oregon or Stanford or UCLA or Washington or whoever goes undefeated in the Pac. I just fear Ohio State-Alabama and the Tide dominate.