College Football Top 40, Week 9: Clemson, Kansas State Stumble
For the second consecutive week, the ranks of the unbeatens in the Football Bowl Subdivision were culled by two.
This week, it was Clemson and Kansas State who took their first losses of the season. The Tigers lost at Georgia Tech 31-17 and the Wildcats were absolutely hammered in the second half at home by an angry Oklahoma team, 58-17.
That leaves six teams with perfect records: Alabama, Boise State, Houston, LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford.
It was an eventful week, with teams taking inexplicable losses—I’m looking at you, Texas Tech—and conference standings getting shuffled. Clemson remained in the driver’s seat in the ACC Atlantic thanks to North Carolina’s win over Wake Forest. Virginia Tech survived a scare from Duke and stayed a half game ahead of Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal.
Oklahoma State demolished Baylor and now has sole possession of the Big 12 lead. Texas A&M’s conference title hopes all but disappeared with another second-half collapse, this one at home to Missouri, before losing to the Tigers in overtime.
Cincinnati took a week off and let the Big East shake itself out, with West Virginia, Louisville and Pittsburgh winning staying in the chase with one conference loss each.
Penn State controls its own destiny in the Big Ten Leaders Division, holding a 5-0 mark in a division in which everyone else has at least two losses. However, the Nittany Lions still have to play two of those two-loss teams, with trips to Wisconsin and Ohio State ahead. Nebraska scrambled the Legends race by stopping Michigan State, leaving the Cornhuskers, Spartans and Wolverines with 3-1 records.
Stanford survived USC and remains on a collision course with Oregon in the Pac-12 North while Arizona State holds a one-game lead over UCLA in the South.
South Carolina won at Tennessee for just the second time ever to remain tied with Georgia atop the SEC East, but the Gamecocks hold a head-to-head win over the Bulldogs. Alabama and LSU took the week off before next week’s SEC West showdown in Tuscaloosa.
Four teams dropped out of the rankings this week. Miami (No. 33 last week) lost at home to Virginia, SMU (No. 36) got hammered at Tulsa, Syracuse (No. 38) lost at Louisville and Florida (No. 40) dropped its fourth straight game, losing to Georgia at Jacksonville, Fla.
This week’s rankings follow.
40. Texas Tech (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: 23
This week: Lost to Iowa State 41-7
Next: at Texas
A week after a shocking win at Oklahoma, it was the Red Raiders’ turn to be shocked, as the Cyclones became the first team in 69 games to hold Tech without a touchdown pass.
Seth Doege scored the only touchdown for the Red Raiders on an eight-yard run in the second quarter, but Iowa State went in at the half with a 24-7 lead and never looked back. Doege threw for a season-low 171 yards and turned the ball over three times on two interceptions and a lost fumble.
The last time Texas Tech failed to throw a touchdown pass was in a 12-3 loss to TCU in 2006.
39. Toledo (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: 37
This week: Idle
Next: vs. Northern Illinois (Tuesday)
The Rockets had a week off before a mid-week prime time meeting with the Huskies. Toledo leads the MAC West Division with a 4-0 record, a game better than Northern Illinois and surprising Eastern Michigan.
The Rockets already have a win over the Eagles and can gain a stranglehold on a bid in the MAC Championship with a win Tuesday night.
38. Illinois (6-3)
Last week’s ranking: 35
This week: Lost at Penn State 10-7
Next: vs. Michigan (Nov. 12)
The Fighting Illini lost their third straight game after a 6-0 start when Derek Dimke’s game-tying 42-yard field goal attempt clanked off the right upright as time expired.
On a snowy, sloppy day in Happy Valley, Illinois took the lead in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Scheelhaase to Spencer Harris.
Leading 7-3 late, Illini cornerback Justin Green was flagged for pass interference on a fourth-down pass and Penn State scored its only touchdown with 1:08 remaining.
37. Florida State (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
This week: Beat North Carolina State 34-0
Next: at Boston College (Thursday)
EJ Manuel threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns and the Seminoles returned to the rankings by blowing out the Wolfpack.
Florida State’s defense had two interceptions and held N.C. State to 106 yards in the first half while rolling up a 24-0 lead. It was the Seminoles’ first shutout of the season.
For the game, Florida State outgained the Wolfpack 444-106 and Manuel was tremendous in the first half, completing 17-of-22 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown pass to Kenny Shaw that gave the ‘Noles their big halftime lead. It was also Florida State’s first win this season over a team that had a winning record.
36. Tulsa (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
This week: Beat SMU 38-7
Next: at Central Florida
The Golden Hurricane won its fourth straight game, blowing out the Mustangs to remain tied with unbeaten Houston atop Conference USA’s West Division.
Willie Carter set career highs with his 13 catches and 173 yards for Tulsa, including a 40-yard touchdown. The Golden Hurricane defense held high-powered SMU to 265 yards on offense and forced five turnovers.
G.J. Kinne won the quarterback battle by completing 24-of-36 passes for 274 yards and also ran for 39 yards, including a two-yard touchdown.
35. Baylor (4-3)
Last week’s ranking: 29
This week: Lost at Oklahoma State 59-24
Next: vs. Missouri
The Bears lost for the third time in four games, falling behind the Cowboys 35-0 at halftime and trailing 49-3 after three quarters.
Baylor was stopped on fourth-and-1 twice in the game, including at the goal line on their opening possession, and Robert Griffin III threw a red zone interception to stall another drive. The Bears turned the ball over five times in the loss.
Griffin did throw for 425 yards and Baylor outgained Oklahoma State 622-601—but they didn’t get into the end zone until Terrance Ganaway scored on an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter.
34. North Carolina (6-3)
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
This week: Beat Wake Forest 49-24
Next: at North Carolina State
The Tar Heels stopped a two-game slide behind three touchdowns by redshirt freshman Giovani Bernard, who had his sixth 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
North Carolina forced five turnovers by the Demon Deacons—who had committed just five in their first seven games—and the Tar Heel offense rolled up 562 total yards and scored its most points in seven years.
Bernard finished with 154 yards on 27 carries and also recorded his first career touchdown reception. Bryn Renner threw for a career-high 338 yards on 21-of-28 passing and had three touchdown tosses and Dwight Jones had six catches for 138 yards.
33. TCU (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 32
This week: Beat BYU 38-28 (Friday)
Next: at Wyoming
The Horned Frogs scored 21 points off three special-teams mistakes by the Cougars and won the battle of former Mountain West Conference rivals.
It was the fourth straight season TCU beat BYU, but this time it was in a non-conference affair after BYU took its football program independent this season. Casey Pachall was 13-for-23 for 147 yards and two touchdowns and the defense forced three turnovers, two in the Cougars’ end of the field.
The Horned Frogs took control early. After Pachall hit Skye Dawson for a 48-yard touchdown on the second play of the game and started their next possession at the BYU four-yard line after the Cougars botched a punt snap.
32. Missouri (4-4)
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
This week: Won at Texas A&M 38-31 (OT)
Next: at Baylor
Tigers quarterback James Franklin bounced back from the worst game of his career in a loss to Oklahoma State last week by throwing two touchdown passes, including the game-winner in overtime on an 11-yard throw to Marcus Lucas. Franklin also ran for two touchdowns.
Missouri trailed by 11 at halftime but rallied to take a 31-28 lead on an 11-yard scoring run by Henry Josey with about eight minutes left in regulation. The Aggies tied it with a field goal about four minutes later.
Franklin threw for 198 yards and ran for 97 more. Josey, the leading rusher in the Big 12, had 162 yards on 20 carries.
31. Ohio State (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: 39
This week: Beat Wisconsin 33-29
Next: vs. Indiana
Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left and the Buckeyes left the Badgers with a second straight stunning loss.
Wisconsin got to the Ohio State 45 and had an untimed down after a Buckeye penalty with no time remaining but linebacker Andrew Sweat hit quarterback Russell Wilson as he threw to force an game-ending incompletion.
Miller, a freshman, ran for 99 yards on 19 carries and completed 7-of-12 passes for 89 yards and the game-winning touchdown. It was a wild finish to the game as the teams combined for four touchdowns in the game’s final 4:39.
30. Notre Dame (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: 30
This week: Beat Navy 56-14
Next: at Wake Forest
Michael Floyd and Jonas Gray scored in a span of 1:59 and the Fighting Irish rolled from there, rebounding from a rough week that included some off-field controversy with a thrashing of the Midshipmen.
Coach Brian Kelly talked about having to “retrain” the players he inherited from former coach Charlie Weis, which angered some of the team’s veteran players. The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday that Kelly apologized to players during a team meeting on Friday.
Notre Dame scored on five of its first six possessions and two running backs scored multiple touchdowns for the first time since 2001. Gray scored three times and Cierre Wood had two touchdowns on the ground. Floyd also had two touchdowns, scoring on a 56-yard catch and a 10-yard lateral.
29. West Virginia (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 27
This week: Won at Rutgers 41-31
Next: vs. Louisville
The Mountaineers rallied for a win over the Scarlet Knights on a wet, snowy day with Geno Smith diving headfirst into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal. Smith also threw two touchdowns in the second half as West Virginia beat Rutgers for the 17th straight time.
The Mountaineers shut out the Scarlet Knights in the second half after falling behind 31-21 at the break. Smith was 20-of-31 for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
It was West Virginia’s first game since announcing it was leaving for the Big 12 Conference after this season.
28. Washington (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 31
This week: Beat Arizona 42-31
Next: vs. Oregon
Chris Polk scored five touchdowns and became the first Husky ever with 100 yards rushing and receiving in a single game as Washington rallied past the Wildcats.
The Huskies survived a crazy play when Arizona’s Robert Golden grabbed a bobbled pass and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown thanks to Polk’s 144 yards rushing on 34 carries and 100 yards receiving on four catches. He scored on runs of one, one, five and two yards and had a 17-yard touchdown reception from Keith Price.
Sean Parker helped seal the win with an interception at the Washington 20-yard line with 2:10 to go.
27. Georgia Tech (7-2)
Last week’s ranking: 34
This week: Beat Clemson 31-17
Next: vs. Virginia Tech (Thursday, Nov. 10)
Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards—the most ever by a Yellow Jacket quarterback—and broke the two longest runs of his career as Georgia Tech upset the previously unbeaten Tigers.
The Yellow Jackets raced to a 24-3 halftime lead and held off Clemson in the second half while snapping their two-game losing streak. Washington had runs of 46 and 56 yards among his 27 carries to break the school’s quarterback rushing mark set by Joshua Nesbitt in 2008. Georgia Tech rushed for 383 yards in the game to 95 for the Tigers.
The Yellow Jackets forced four turnovers to help slow down Clemson, which had scored 115 points in its previous two games.
26. Auburn (6-3)
Last week’s ranking: 28
This week: Beat Ole Miss 41-23
Next: at Georgia (Nov. 12)
Clint Moseley threw the first four touchdown passes of his career and Mike Dyer rushed for 177 yards to lead the Tigers past the Rebels.
Auburn scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to break a halftime tie in a battle between the two worst defenses in the SEC.
Moseley, in his second career start, completed 12-of-15 passes for 160 yards and got a boost with the return of leading receiver Emory Blake, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury.
Blake had five catches for 71 yards and a 25-yard touchdown. Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen caught two touchdown passes.
25. Cincinnati (6-1)
Last week’s ranking: 25
This week: Idle
Next: at Pittsburgh
The Bearcats come back to action as the lone team without a loss in Big East play as they head to Pittsburgh next week.
Cincinnati did lose a key part of its defense, though, when senior cornerback Dominique Battle was confirmed to have suffered a torn ACL in the win over South Florida last week.
Battle may seek a fifth year of eligibility from the NCAA for a medical hardship. Sophomore Deven Drane will replace Battle in the secondary for the Bearcats.
24. Southern Mississippi (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 24
This week: Won at UTEP 31-13
Next: at East Carolina
Austin Davis threw three touchdowns passes and Jamal Woodyard rushed for 134 yards and a score as the Golden Eagles beat the Miners to keep pace with East Carolina in the East Division of Conference USA.
Southern Mississippi won its sixth straight game and broke open a 10-10 game in the second half when Davis threw scoring passes of 47 yards to Quentin Pierce and 15 yards to Dominique Sullivan and Woodyard scored on a 68-yard run.
The Golden Eagles held UTEP to 262 yards of offense to set up an East Division showdown at Greenville, N.C., next week.
23. Texas A&M (5-3)
Last week’s ranking: 13
This week: Lost to Missouri 38-31 (OT)
Next: at Oklahoma
The Aggies got the ball in overtime after the Tigers scored but Ryan Tannehill’s pass on fourth-down was deflected. Tannehill threw for three touchdowns in the first half but Texas A&M managed only a field goal after that.
It was the third game the Aggies have lost this season after leading by double digits at halftime.
Texas A&M forced overtime when Randy Bullock kicked a 35-yard field goal with 4:10 left in regulation. Christine Michael rushed for 104 yards on 21 carries while Tannehill threw for 317 yards on 35-of-53 passing. He was intercepted once.
22. Wisconsin (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 12
This week: Lost at Ohio State 33-29
Next: vs. Purdue
The Badgers took their second consecutive stunning defeat when Ohio State scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left. It came seven days after a loss at Michigan State on a desperation pass on the final play.
Wisconsin drove to the Buckeyes’ 45—and got an extra play after time expired due to a defensive facemask call—but quarterback Russell Wilson was hit as he was throwing to end the game. The game had a wild finish, with four touchdowns in the final 4:39, including a pair of long touchdown passes from Wilson to Jared Abbrederis.
Wilson completed 20-of-32 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Montee Ball gained 85 yards on 17 carries with one score. Abbrederis had six catches for 113 yards.
21. USC (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 20
This week: Lost to Stanford 56-48 (3OT)
Next: at Colorado (Friday)
This one wasn’t over until Curtis McNeal fumbled into the end zone in the third overtime. The Trojans had quickly moved the ball to the Cardinal four-yard line after falling behind 56-48 but McNeal had the ball stripped and Stanford fell on it in the end zone.
McNeal rushed for 145 yards and had second-half scoring runs of 61 and 25 yards to keep the Trojans in the game. USC had the Cardinal on the ropes when Nickell Robey intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards to give the Trojans a 34-27 lead with 3:08 left in regulation.
Matt Barkley passed for 284 yards and three scores for USC, who are banned from postseason play this season.
20. Michigan State (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 10
This week: Lost at Nebraska 24-3
Next: vs. Minnesota
The Spartans fell into a tie with the Cornhuskers and Michigan for the lead in the Big Ten Legends Division when it had a chance to essentially lock up a berth in the inaugural Big Ten Championship with a victory over its third straight ranked opponent.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins, as he has throughout his career, struggled on the road. A week after throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns at home against Wisconsin, Cousins missed on 12 of his first 16 passes and finished 11-of-27 for 76 yards and was intercepted once.
Michigan State managed just 187 yards against an inspired Nebraska defense.
19. Arizona State (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 21
This week: Beat Colorado 48-14
Next: at UCLA
Brock Osweiler guided the Sun Devils’ offense to near perfection during a big opening blitz, Cameron Marshall scored three touchdowns on the ground and Arizona State maintained control of the Pac-12 South with a rout of the Buffaloes, who are still winless in Pac-12 play.
Marshall finished with 114 yards on 15 carries and the Sun Devils had 522 total yards while their defense forced five turnovers to stay a game ahead of UCLA in the division heading into next week’s showdown at the Rose Bowl.
Osweiler was 18-for-28 for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Arizona State led 21-0 after the first quarter.
18. Georgia (6-2)
Last week’s ranking: 22
This week: Beat Florida 24-20 at Jacksonville
Next: vs. New Mexico State
Embattled Mark Richt may have saved his job with a pair of gutsy fourth-down calls that resulted in touchdowns and the Bulldogs overcame several mistakes to beat the Gators for their sixth straight win.
Georgia kept pace with South Carolina in the SEC East and won for just the fourth time in their last 22 games against Florida. Richt has been under pressure since opening the season with back-to-back losses to Boise State and the Gamecocks.
The Bulldogs allowed a touchdown on a fourth-and-19 play in the first quarter, surrendered a 99-yard kickoff return, missed two field goals and had a ball bounce off a receiver’s helmet for an interception.
However Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes on fourth down and the Georgia defense allowed just 32 yards and one first down in the second half to help overcome those errors.
17. Texas (5-2)
Last week’s ranking: 26
This week: Beat Kansas 43-0
Next: vs. Texas Tech
Freshman tailbacks Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron racked up 255 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Longhorns ended a five-game home losing streak in Big 12 Conference play with a romp over the Jayhawks.
Texas rushed for 441 yards against the worst defense in the nation. Brown reached the 100-yard mark by halftime and his 635 yards this season already are the most by a Longhorn since 2007.
Freshman quarterback David Ash got his second consecutive start for Texas, which ended a two-game losing skid and got its first home Big 12 win since beating Kansas on Nov. 21, 2009.
16. Penn State (8-1)
Last week’s ranking: 18
This week: Beat Illinois 10-7
Next: vs. Nebraska (Nov. 12)
On a snowy, sloppy Saturday in Happy Valley, Joe Paterno broke Eddie Robinson’s record for most Division I victories by a coach with his 409th as the Nittany Lions beat the Fighting Illini.
Penn State overcame six fumbles—losing two—with Silas Redd’s three-yard touchdown run with 1:08 to go. The Nittany Lions’ only touchdown came after Illinois was called for pass interference while breaking up a fourth-down pass intended for Derek Moye in the end zone.
After struggling most of the afternoon, Matt McGloin drove Penn State from their own 20 to the Illini 32 on three long completions before the pass interference call gave the Nittany Lions a second chance to win its seventh straight game.
15. Virginia Tech (8-1)
Last week’s ranking: 15
This week: Won at Duke 14-10
Next: at Georgia Tech (Thursday, Nov. 10)
David Wilson rushed for 148 yards and the Hokies overcame a sloppy performance to claim a victory over the Blue Devils for an ACC record 11th straight road win.
Logan Thomas was 17-of-28 for 190 yards with two interceptions and a two-yard touchdown pass to Eric Martin. Josh Oglesby added a one-yard scoring run for Virginia Tech, which leads the ACC Coastal Division.
The Hokies entered the game as 15-point favorites, but were held scoreless in the second half. Virginia Tech had 433 yards on offense but allowed 326 to Duke.
14. Kansas State (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 9
This week: Lost to Oklahoma 58-17
Next: at Oklahoma State
The Wildcats are left to see if they can come back from their first loss after the Sooners recovered from their first defeat to hammer Kansas State.
The Big 12’s top defense allowed Oklahoma a season-high 690 yards of offense and after being consistently outgained all season en route to their best start since 1999, the wheels fell off for the Wildcats.
Collin Klein was sacked seven times and the defense fell apart against the Sooners’ onslaught.
13. Arkansas (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 11
This week: Won at Vanderbilt 31-28
Next: vs. South Carolina
The Razorbacks fell behind early again but Zach Hocker kicked a 42-yard field goal with 6:53 left and Arkansas rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Commodores. It was the Razorbacks’ fourth straight win.
Jarius Wright had 10 catches for 135 yards on a night when Arkansas came back from a double-digit deficit for a win for the third time this season. The Razorbacks had trailed by 18 against Texas A&M and by 17 last week at Ole Miss.
Tyler Wilson threw for 316 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell also ran for a score.
12. Houston (8-0)
Last week’s ranking: 17
This week: Beat Rice 73-34 (Thursday)
Next: at UAB
Case Keenum finished with a career-high nine touchdown passes as the Cougars shook off a slow start for a rain-soaked win over the Owls on Thursday night. Keenum became the FBS career leader in touchdown passes with 139 after the outburst.
Keenum threw an interception and had a fumble returned for a score as Rice opened a 17- lead in the first quarter, played in a heavy rain. But Houston got going, outscoring the Owls to take a 52-20 lead early in the third quarter.
Keenum was 24-of-37 for 534 yards before being pulled for backup Cotton Turner with eight minutes left.
11. Clemson (8-1)
Last week’s ranking: 6
This week: Lost at Georgia Tech 31-17
Next: vs. Wake Forest (Nov. 12)
The Tigers were off to their best start since 2000 and had climbed to fifth in the Bowl Championship Series standings before a loss that likely leaves them without enough schedule remaining to get back into the national championship race.
Clemson had scored 115 points in its last two games but committed four turnovers. Tajh Boyd threw for 295 yards and freshman Sammy Watkins had 159 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions. But the Tigers played without running back Andre Ellington due to a sprained ankle and freshmen replacements D.J. Howard and Mike Bellamy each lost a fumble.
Clemson still leads the ACC Atlantic Division and have the inside track for an ACC Championship berth.
10. Michigan (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 16
This week: Beat Purdue 36-14
Next: at Iowa
Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and the Wolverines bounced back from their first loss of the season two weeks ago at Michigan State to move into a first-place tie with the Spartans and Nebraska in the Big Ten Legends Division.
The Boilermakers scored on the first possession of the game before Michigan racked up 36 unanswered points behind a dominant defensive line and tough running attack.
Toussaint had 155 yards rushing through the first three quarters and backup Michael Shaw took his first carry for a 37-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter as the Wolverines were able to take some of the pressure off quarterback Denard Robinson to carry the running game.
9. South Carolina (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 14
This week: Won at Tennessee 14-3
Next: at Arkansas
Connor Shaw threw for a touchdown and ran for another and Brandon Wilds ran for 137 yards in place of injured Marcus Lattimore as the Gamecocks survived the Volunteers.
South Carolina remained in control of the SEC East Division with games against Arkansas and Florida remaining. The Gamecocks are tied with Georgia but beat the Bulldogs earlier in the season to own the tiebreaker.
Steve Spurrier had two weeks to put a game plan together for Wilds to take over for Lattimore, who had 818 yards rushing before tearing his ACL in a win over Mississippi State two weeks ago.
8. Nebraska (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 19
This week: Beat Michigan State 24-3
Next: vs. Northwestern
Rex Burkhead shook off cramps to rush for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Martinez that sealed the Cornhuskers’ win over the Spartans.
Nebraska moved into a tie with Michigan State and Michigan for the lead in the Big Ten Legends Division. The Huskers own the tiebreaker with the Spartans and have yet to play the Wolverines.
Nebraska’s defense was gashed for 486 yards in a blowout loss at Wisconsin earlier this month and was suspect in a win over Ohio State two weeks ago but held Michigan State to 187 yards, its best performance of the year.
7. Oregon (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 7
This week: Beat Washington State 43-28
Next: at Washington
Darron Thomas returned from a knee injury for the Ducks but threw two interceptions in the first half and was yanked from their win over the Cougars.
Running back LaMichael James also came back after missing two weeks because of a dislocated right elbow and ran for 53 yards for Oregon, which won its seventh straight game and its 21st in a row at home.
Freshman De’Anthony Thomas caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Bryan Bennett and returned a kickoff 93 yards for another score.
6. Oklahoma (7-1)
Last week’s ranking: 8
This week: Won at Kansas State 58-17
Next: vs. Texas A&M
Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards and five touchdowns, Ryan Broyles caught 14 passes for 171 yards and a score and the Sooners bounced back from their loss to Texas Tech last week by thrashing the Wildcats.
Jones also moved into first place on Oklahoma’s all-time list with 90 touchdown passes. The day was marred only by a season-ending injury to leading rusher Dominique Whaley, who broke his left ankle on the first play of the game.
Kenny Stills added four catches for 101 yards and Roy Finch had 73 yards rushing and another 69 receiving as the Sooners rolled up a season-high 690 yards of total offense.
5. Boise State (7-0)
Last week’s ranking: 4
This week: Idle
Next: at UNLV
The Broncos spent their bye week with university president Bob Kustra meeting with Big East commissioner John Marinatto in Boise on Thursday. The Big East has targeted Boise State and Air Force from the Mountain West Conference and independent Navy as football-only members and is considering adding Houston, SMU and Central Florida in all sports.
The meeting in Boise came four days after Kustra met with Big East officials in Washington last Sunday.
The school is also reportedly in talks with the Big West Conference for membership in all other sports besides football.
4. Stanford (8-0)
Last week’s ranking: 5
This week: Won at USC 56-48 (3OT)
Next: at Oregon State
The Cardinal’s streak of 10 straight wins by 25 points or more went by the boards but Stanford preserved its 16-game winning streak after Stepfan Taylor ran for the tying and go-ahead scores in the second and third overtimes and the defense sealed the deal by forcing a fumble into the end zone on the Trojans’ final possession.
Andrew Luck led four late scoring drives for the Cardinal after nearly blowing the game by throwing a pick six late in the fourth quarter. Luck threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a key score.
USC took a 20-10 lead shortly after halftime but Luck was stellar on Stanford’s final drive in regulation, completing 10 straight passes down the stretch and got some help when the Trojans were flagged for a personal foul on an incompletion to Chris Owusu.
3. Oklahoma State (8-0)
Last week’s ranking: 3
This week: Beat Baylor 59-24
Next: vs. Kansas State
Joseph Randle had career-highs with 152 yards rushing and four touchdowns and Justin Blackmon matched his career-high with 13 catches for 172 yards and two scores while the much-maligned Cowboy defense carried a shutout late into the third quarter.
Brodrick Brown had a pair of fumble recoveries and Daytawion Lowe and Justin Gilbert registered interceptions as Oklahoma State forced five turnovers and stopped the Bears twice on fourth-and-one.
The Cowboys are 8-0 for just the second time in school history, matching the 1945 Oklahoma A&M Aggies, who finished 9-0 with a Sugar Bowl victory.
2. Alabama (8-0)
Last week’s ranking: 2
This week: Idle
Next: vs. LSU
The Crimson Tide spent the bye week preparing for this year’s Game of the Century, a likely showdown for the SEC West title against undefeated LSU in Tuscaloosa next week.
This game is wrapped in a huge amount of hype, with CBS Sports moving the kickoff to prime time.
Nick Saban told the Associated Press this week that he’s concerned about the clutter surrounding the game. “Getting our players not to think about everything that’s surrounding the game,” Saban said. “That’ll be the hardest part.”
1. LSU (8-0)
Last week’s ranking: 1
This week: Idle
Next: at Alabama
With all of the attention already shifting to the Tussle in Tuscaloosa, some unlikely players have been finding their time in the spotlight in the leadup to LSU-Alabama, such as defensive end Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo was the subject of an Associated Press feature this week that talked about the attention his unusual name receives as well as the starter-like numbers he is posting as a reserve defensive end.
The redshirt sophomore’s specialty is his speed rush on passing downs and leads the Tigers with 7½ tackles for loss while his four sacks are tied for the team lead with starting defensive end Sam Montgomery.