College Football Week 6: Vital Stats and Facts to Know
With six weeks already in the books this college football season, now seems like a good time to take inventory and check in on some of the hot and cold squads and most important story lines.
Alabama tumbled in the rankings after its shocking loss to South Carolina, leaving Nick Saban and company to pick up the pieces and keep working towards an improbable national title game return.
Many teams have begun to find their identity of late, and others have quite a bit left to prove.
I'll dive into some of the key plot lines and vital stats from the prior week and get into what it all means for some big name championship contenders and important players.
Can Alabama Get It Together in Time to Repeat?
After a stunning loss at the hands of South Carolina, many people have written Alabama off as a national title contender. In the words of the immortal Lee Corso, "not so fast, my friend."
While an early season loss can certainly make it difficult to get to a national title game, it absolutely doesn't disqualify a team altogether.
Alabama fell to No. 8 after last week's loss but is still firmly in control of its own destiny from here on out. Don't forget that the Tide have two pivotal home games against the teams they are looking up at in the SEC West, Auburn and LSU.
If 'Bama can regroup and win their remaining games, they will find themselves in the SEC title game with a chance to sneak back up into one of the coveted top two BCS slots.
They will almost certainly have to hope for some losses out of the teams ahead of them, but wackier things have happened in the college football landscape before.
Michigan State Is Very Legit and Very Formidible
Back-to-back victories against ranked Big Ten foes have people up in Lansing all excited about Sparty's prospects for this season.
After handling a strong Wisconsin Badgers crew at home a week ago, the Spartans followed it up with an impressive thrashing of previously unbeaten Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The only ranked team left on the schedule for Michigan State is Iowa, and even though they have to travel to Iowa City for that meeting, they look strong enough to get out of there alive.
The Spartans are 14th in the nation in rushing average and 38th in passing, both impressive numbers. Couple that with the fact that they are 22nd in scoring offense and 26th in scoring defense, and all the pieces are in place for a deep run in the Big Ten.
A spunky Illinois team is up next for Michigan State, and as long as they can avoid a letdown, they should have no problem rolling into Iowa City at an impressive 8-0.
Jimbo Fisher Has the Seminoles Looking Sharp
Since suffering a lopsided and demoralizing loss at the hands of a solid Oklahoma squad in Week 2, Florida State has rolled through its competition with four straight impressive wins.
After easily handling the previously ranked Miami Hurricanes last week, the Seminoles are in the driver's seat for the ACC Atlantic crown and a trip to Charlotte for a shot at a conference title.
Florida State was planning to lean heavily on Christian Ponder and the potent passing attack this season, but it's been the yards churned out by the rushing game that have kept the 'Noles out in front. The two-headed monster of Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas has led Florida State to have the 16th best rushing unit in the country.
Ponder has been no weak link by any stretch either. He has compiled an outstanding passer rating of 133.62 thus far, and outside of the dud he put up in the Oklahoma game, his 10:2 TD to INT ratio has more than kept the Seminoles in each and every game.
With a favorable schedule the rest of the way, Florida State looks poised to reclaim the ACC title for the first time since 2005.
Auburn Is Due for a Precipitous Fall Back to Earth
I'm well aware that Auburn is 6-0 after squeaking out a win against a hungry Kentucky squad last week, but all signs point to them crashing back down to earth beginning this week.
The Tigers have Arkansas and LSU back to back starting this week, and even though they will draw those teams at home, a reality check is certainly on the way. Arkansas has looked very strong this year with its lone loss coming at the hands of Alabama, and LSU has been incredibly impressive in its own right.
After last week's close call against overmatched Kentucky, Auburn has no time to rest and recover because the Razorbacks and their outstanding aerial attack are on their way to provide a stiff test.
Auburn does boast a very solid win over South Carolina, but they looked far from dominant in that game and needed two late scores in the fourth quarter to lock up the win.
I can easily foresee the Tigers losing their next two games and falling back down the SEC mountain, not to be heard from again.