College Football Rankings 2013: Full Top 25 Breakdown for Week 5
There was very little movement in the Week 5 AP Top 25 and USA Today football coaches polls after most of the top teams in the nation cruised to easy wins.
Alabama, however, lost a couple of first-place votes after having some difficulty against Colorado State before winning the game 31-6. Oregon was idle in Week 4 but picked up a few votes as a result.
Overall, the Top 14 of the AP poll remained unchanged and just two teams shifted in the coaches poll. LSU leaped ahead of Louisville after convincingly handing Auburn its first defeat, and Michigan dropped from the 14th spot after struggling for the second week in a row in a narrow victory over winless Connecticut.
The bottom of the polls, as per usual, saw the biggest flux of movement this week. Fresno State cracked the AP Top 25 and solidified its BCS hopes after edging Boise State. Wisconsin and Texas Tech slipped into the final two spots of the coaches poll.
25. Fresno State
24. Texas Tech
22. Notre Dame
21. Ole Miss
25. Texas Tech
23. Fresno State
22. Notre Dame
21. Ole Miss
The back end of the polls saw some significant changes, as they always do. Arizona State dropped from both rankings and Michigan State slipped out of the coaches poll after losing a close game to Notre Dame.
Arizona State was clearly outclassed by No. 5 Stanford until the Cardinal pulled their starters in the second half. A late comeback bid shouldn't be mistaken for anything other than it was: garbage-time production by an outmatched team. Their fall from the standings was justified, for now, after that poor performance.
Wisconsin answered some questions after being controversially beaten by the Sun Devils last week. The Badgers offensive line demolished Purdue, a team that controlled the point of attack well against Notre Dame last week. After the onslaught subsided, Wisconsin finished with 388 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Speaking of Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish failed to accumulate 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row but still managed to eke out a win over Michigan State. Notre Dame's lack of control on either side of the line of scrimmage has limited the team's ability to play its style of football.
Another team that solidified itself in both polls this week was the Fresno State Bulldogs. They didn't convincingly beat Boise State, but a win is a win. And it was a huge victory—the first for the Bulldogs over the Broncos since 2005. If they can run the table, the Bulldogs look like a sure bet to seal a BCS bowl berth
Ole Miss was idle this week and remained atop the AP poll and slid ahead of the Irish in the coaches poll.
Most of the same teams make up the 20 to 16 slots in both of this week's polls.
There was some shuffling among the teams, though, and Michigan slipped further this week into the group after narrowly escaping a winless Connecticut team.
That's two weeks in a row that the Wolverines have faced late deficits against unheralded teams. Turnovers have been the key to their struggles. For the second week in a row, the Wolverines turned the ball over four times but still found a way to win. They won't be as lucky against the stiffer competition they'll face in the Big Ten in the coming weeks.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Baylor Bears are putting up video-game-like numbers, averaging 60-plus win margins in each of their first three games. Can they keep up that scoring once they get to Big 12 play? Or, will they slow down and come back down to earth and be exposed?
Florida has had its fair share of struggles to this point, but its dominant defense is keeping the team relevant. Losing quarterback Jeff Driskel for the season last week may not change much for the Gators offensively. If anything, they looked better with Tyler Murphy taking the snaps.
Washington is a team that's viewed a little differently by press members and coaches, with the Huskies rounding out the group in the coaches poll and leading the AP version. Rushing for 370 yards and blanking Idaho State 56-0 is to be expected, so we'll wait to see where the Huskies stand once they get to the tougher part of their schedule.
Early October matchups against Stanford and Oregon will separate this team as contenders or pretenders.
Last in the group is Northwestern, the highest-ranked Big Ten team not named Ohio State. The Wildcats haven't played any real quality opponent to this point and haven't exactly distanced themselves in the process. Averaging 41.3 points per game has helped them negate a poor defense that is surrendering over 23 points a game during their four-game winning streak.
Northwestern is idle this week while it prepares for a showdown with the Buckeyes on Oct. 5. Chances are the Wildcats look less like a Top 20 team in that game and the following week against No. 23 Wisconsin.
15. Miami (Fla.)
12. South Carolina
11. Oklahoma State
15. Miami (Fla.)
13. South Carolina
11. Oklahoma State
Most of the middle group of the both polls was inactive in Week 4. And not much has really changed as a result, other than Michigan's slide and newcomer Miami cracking into group at the 15th spot.
The Hurricanes absolutely wrecked Savannah State even after starting quarterback Stephen Morris left the game early. That's to be expected, but it's more evidence in favor of the team's offensive progress. Their young receivers are starting to produce while minimizing mistakes. They're a dark-horse contender in the ACC.
UCLA did nothing to hurt its stock after a big win over Nebraska last week. The Bruins easily improved to 3-0 by blowing out New Mexico State at home with 692 yards of total offense. Minimizing mistakes will be the key for Brett Hundley if the Bruins hope to have a chance against Stanford and Oregon.
South Carolina, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were idle but will get their chance to continue to move up in the rankings as conference play kicks off in the coming weeks.
10. Texas A&M
8. Florida State
9. Texas A&M
8. Florida State
The coaches poll was the only ranking to shift after Week 4. LSU leaped Louisville, despite the Cardinals running up the score to beat Florida International 72-0.
Louisville's schedule is going to have a big impact on the team's chances of moving forward in either poll. The Cardinals' strength of schedule is severely lacking as they don't play any teams currently ranked in either of the polls. That doesn't take away from the convincing fashion the Cardinals have been able to dominate on both sides of the ball to this point.
LSU answered some questions about its new-look offense by putting up 35 points against unbeaten Auburn in Week 4. The Tigers' ability to run the football has opened up Zach Mettenberger to shine in the team's new offense, engineered by coordinator Cam Cameron.
Their defense also answered questions, proving to be as physical and dominant as in years past, despite losing several key players during the offseason.
Texas A&M responded from a close loss against top-ranked Alabama by riding its Heisman hopeful quarterback, Johnny Manziel, to a blowout win over SMU in Week 4. There's still plenty of time for the Aggies to get back into the national title conversation, but it'll take a loss for the Crimson Tide and running the table to get there.
Georgia somehow maintained its advantage over the Aggies in the AP poll after being tested by North Texas until separating in the third quarter to win by three touchdowns. The Bulldogs didn't struggle as much as the scoreboard indicated, though. Northern Texas scored twice on special teams but was shut down by the Bulldogs' stifling defense.
Florida State didn't hurt its stock, either, by dismantling Bethune-Cookman. Freshman Jameis Winston was solid but not spectacular, and the Seminoles limited their opponents to just 242 yards of total offense. Now at 3-0, the new-look Seminoles defense is third in the nation, allowing just 8.7 points per game.
4. Ohio State
2. Oregon (4)
1. Alabama (56)
3. Ohio State
2. Oregon (3)
1. Alabama (59)
*First-place votes in parentheses
Neither poll shifted any of the Top Five teams after last weekend's action.
The Ducks didn't have to show their explosive offense to gain a couple more votes for the top spot. Although, one or two votes doesn't signal much of a change in the overall opinion of voters.
After beating Texas A&M in a shootout last week, the Alabama Crimson Tide were unquestioned top dogs in both polls. However, they had some early struggles against a Colorado State team they're expected to roll over. In the end, the Crimson Tide wore down their lesser opponents and won decisively.
You'll get no questions from me about who the top team is right now. Margin of victory is largely an overblown measuring stick.
That's apparent in the Ohio State Buckeyes' 76-0 win against Florida A&M. Despite the massive margin of victory, AP voters didn't push the Bucks ahead of Clemson, who narrowly defeated conference opponent North Carolina State. Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton set a school record with six touchdown passes in that win.
With Braxton Miller set to make his return for the start of Big 10 play, the Buckeyes could make some noise in the polls in the coming weeks.
Speaking of the Tigers, Tajh Boyd has been phenomenal to this point and the team's defense is playing better than usual. As long as it continues to limit opponents, Clemson has a good chance to win with its high-powered offense.
Last, but not forgotten, the Stanford Cardinal rolled over a pretty good Arizona State team. Opting to play it safe rather than pile on the struggling Sun Devils, the Cardinal pulled their starters to make their Week 4 win look much closer than it actually was. With a new prowess on offense, the tough Cardinal may be a match for the Ducks this year.
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