College Football Polls 2013: Analyzing Week 5 AP and Coaches Polls

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

College Football Polls 2013: Analyzing Week 5 AP and Coaches Polls

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Week 4, the final week before widespread conference play, was an odd one that saw no top-20 teams suffer a loss.

    As such, it was not the most exciting week in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls. Michigan took a tumble after a second consecutive near-loss against Connecticut, but other than that, there was very little jockeying.

    Still, with a couple of new faces and small shifts between power programs, there were some developments of note.

    Even when things stay the same, the rankings never bore.

Nos. 25-21

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images
    AP PollFresno StateTexas TechWisconsinNotre DameOle Miss
    Coaches PollTexas TechWisconsinFresno StateNotre DameOle Miss

    Arizona State dropped out of both polls (and Michigan State dropped out of the coaches), opening up spots for Fresno State, Wisconsin and Texas Tech to become consensus members of the rankings.

    Fresno State, in particular, has a chance to shake up the polls. It's already the highest-ranked non-BCS team, and with nary a threat left on its schedule, it's a good bet to finish the regular season undefeated.

    All it needs to do is win, wait and watch everyone ahead of it lose.

    Notre Dame also dropped in the coaches poll, which was a little odd since it beat a team, Michigan State, that the coaches ranked No. 24 last week.

    Even if the game was (very) ugly, and even if the Irish needed some referee intervention, a quality win like that usually yields reward.

    Not punishment. 

Nos. 20-16

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    AP PollFloridaBaylorMichiganNorthwesternWashington
    Coaches PollWashingtonFloridaBaylorMichiganNorthwestern

    Washington continues to draw a wedge between the polls, ranking No. 16 in the AP and all the way down at No. 20 in the coaches.

    That schism might be attributed to a general principle of these polls: AP voters are much more meritocratic, voting based on what they see, whereas coaches adhere more strictly to preseason rankings and value sheer wins over style points.

    It's otherwise hard to explain why Washington, which has looked varying degrees of awesome in each of its first three games, would be ranked so low in one poll.

    Elsewhere, Baylor hopped Florida and jumped one spot in both polls, the result of another scary-good offensive output. The Bears have scored 69, 70 and 70 points in their three games, and last week they had exactly 781 yards for the second consecutive week.

    Bryce Petty for the Heisman? It sounds less and less ludicrous with each passing game.

Nos. 15-11

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images
    AP PollMiamiOklahomaUCLA South CarolinaOklahoma St.
    Coaches PollMiamiUCLASouth CarolinaOklahomaOklahoma St.

    Most of the middle section was idle in Week 4, as Oklahoma, South Carolina and Oklahoma State all had byes.

    Miami and UCLA might as well have, too, beating Savannah State and New Mexico State by a combined score of 136-20. There was not a lot to be learned from any of these teams beyond the fact that the Hurricanes and Bruins can lay the smack down on some cupcakes.

    The same cannot be said of next week, when South Carolina and Oklahoma will both be given big road tests.

    The Gamecocks travel to face an upstart UCF team, which they should be able to beat. But after watching them dispatch Penn State, it would come as no surprise to see the Knights play USC close.

    Oklahoma travels to South Bend for a game with Notre Dame, which will be a huge test for quarterback Blake Bell more than anyone else. The Irish defense isn't quite as good as last year's, but it's still far from ideal for anyone's first career road start.

Nos. 10-6

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
    AP PollTexas A&MGeorgiaFlorida StateLouisvilleLSU
    Coaches PollGeorgiaTexas A&MFlorida StateLouisvilleLSU

    Georgia let North Texas hang around between the hedges on Saturday, but not too much should be read into that. It was a rainy, sloppy, ugly football game, and the Bulldogs were looking ahead to a Week 3 matchup with LSU.

    That game, though, will have major poll implications and should be one of the marquee matchups we see all season. Georgia's up-and-down defense will get a huge test against LSU's much-improved passing attack.

    As for Florida State, another easy win over inferior competition still doesn't reveal much. The Seminoles should dispatch Boston College on the road this week, but after that, a home game with Maryland is suddenly kind of tricky.

    The Terps laid a smackdown on West Virginia on Saturday, beating the Mountaineers 37-0 in Baltimore. They'll be undefeated when they play FSU, and with the Seminoles looking ahead to the following week at Clemson, there's a chance it could be a game.

    Oh, yeah. Louisville also beat Florida International 72-0. That Bridgewater fellow is pretty good at football. 

Nos. 5-1

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    Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports
    AP PollStanfordOhio StateClemsonOregonAlabama
    Coaches PollStanfordClemsonOhio StateOregonAlabama

    There was no actual movement in the top five this week—in either poll—but there were still a couple of noteworthy developments.

    For one thing, idle Oregon gained first-place votes from Alabama in both rankings. One week after receiving just one in each poll, the Ducks received four from the AP and three from the coaches.

    Alabama wasn't as impressive as it could have been against Colorado State, but that still feels like a bit of an overreaction. I mean, just eight days ago, the Tide walked into College Station and beat a consensus top-10 team.

    Oregon still hasn't played anyone of note.

    Elsewhere, it was a tad surprising to see Ohio State still ranked behind Clemson in the AP rankings.

    The Tigers almost Clemson'd themselves on Thursday night against NC State, needing a lucky call to avoid going down in the second half.