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With another poor performance against Auburn, Stephen Garcia has lost the South Carolina starting quarterback position.
16. Illinois (5-0) - Win vs. Northwestern, 38-35 - Up Seven
The Illini went absolutely down to the wire with Northwestern, but when they needed him to, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase delivered, scoring on a touchdown run with 13 seconds left in the game, resulting in a three-point victory. Northwestern certainly did not make it easy on the Illini, but it was a huge day for wide receiver A.J. Jenkins.
Of Scheelhaase’s 391 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, all three of the scores and 268 yards were on Jenkins receptions. It is unclear how good the Illini actually are, considering they have won each of their last three games by three points. However, they remain undefeated, and with a win over Arizona State leading the resume, the Illini are rising up the rankings.
17. Houston (5-0) - Win at UTEP, 49-42 - Up Four
UTEP took Houston to the wire, but in an absolute shootout in which the two teams accounted for 91 points and 1,248 yards of offense, the Cougars came out on the better end, with 49 points and 710 yards.
Most of those yards, 471 to be exact, came from the ever-prolific passing attack led by Case Keenum. It was a poor performance by the Houston defense, which allowed 240 rushing yards to Joe Banyard, but the Cougars got the important win and remain undefeated, enabling them to move up in the rankings.
18. South Carolina (4-1) - Loss vs. Auburn, 13-16 - Down Nine
The South Carolina Gamecocks came into this past week’s game against Auburn undefeated, but they had not looked too impressive in getting their wins, so it did not come as a huge surprise to me that they fell in defeat.
It was yet another rocky game for quarterback Stephen Garcia, who only completed 9-of-23 pass attempts while throwing two interceptions, and it has since been announced that Connor Shaw will take back the starting job following this loss. The Gamecocks still have a great chance to win the SEC East, but they are going to start playing up to their ability to do so.
19. Texas Tech (4-0) - Win at Kansas, 45-34 - Into Top 25
To be fair, the Texas Tech Red Raiders have not beaten anyone of significance. That being said, with all the other undefeated teams ahead of them, they have to slot in here. The Red Raiders did not dominate against a very weak Kansas squad, while only beating their toughest opponent, Nevada, by one point.
More than likely, the Red Raiders will lose their first game to Texas A&M this weekend, which would knock them out of the top 25. However, if the Red Raiders manage to pull off the victory at home, they will really be taken seriously.
20. Arizona State (4-1) - Win vs. Oregon State, 35-20 - Into Top 25
Ever since a disappointing loss to Illinois, the Arizona State Sun Devils have been terrific. Brock Osweiler did not have one of his better games against Oregon State, throwing three interceptions, but the defense made up for it with four interceptions of their own. With Osweiler and running back Cameron Marshall leading the offense and stud middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict on defense, the Sun Devils are hanging around as Pac-12 contenders.