College Football Rankings: B/R's Top 25 After Week 5

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesFeatured Columnist IVOctober 2, 2022

College Football Rankings: B/R's Top 25 After Week 5

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    COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 01: Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs throws a pass during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)
    Georgia's Stetson Bennett (Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

    In a week featuring five showdowns between AP Top 25 teams, of course it was No. 1 Georgia at unranked Missouri that had the college football world on the edge of its collective seat for three hours Saturday night.

    UGA's defense was mostly fine. The Dawgs held the Tigers under 300 total yards and made Harrison "Thiccer Kicker" Mevis make a lot of long field goals. But Missouri's defensive line fared a whole lot better than expected, forcing Georgia to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns to escape from Columbia with a four-point victory.

    Georgia will probably remain No. 1 when the new AP Top 25 comes out Sunday afternoon, but Bleacher Report's CFB experts David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller and Morgan Moriarty have the Bulldogs slipping into a tie for No. 2 after back-to-back less-than-dominant performances.

    Elsewhere, No. 2 Alabama won 49-26 at No. 20 Arkansas despite losing Heisman winner Bryce Young to a shoulder injury early in the second quarter and despite leading by just five at the start of the fourth. No. 5 Clemson was clearly the superior team at home against No. 10 N.C. State. No. 14 Ole Miss clipped No. 7 Kentucky by three points thanks in large part to the Wildcats botching a field goal and two extra points. No. 9 Oklahoma State got a big kickoff return for a touchdown and remained undefeated with a 36-25 victory at No. 16 Baylor. And No. 22 Wake Forest got a rare solid defensive effort for a 31-21 win at No. 23 Florida State.

    Throw in Texas A&M, Washington, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Pittsburgh all losing to unranked opponents and there was a whole lot of moving and shaking in our new Top 25.

    Bleacher Report's Post-Week 5 Top 25:

    1. Ohio State (Previous Week: 3)
    2 (tie). Georgia (1)
    2 (tie). Alabama (2)
    4. Michigan (4)
    5. Clemson (5)
    6. Oklahoma State (8)
    7. Ole Miss (11)
    8. Tennessee (7)
    9. USC (6)
    10. Utah (12t)
    11. Kentucky (9)
    12. Penn State (10)
    13. TCU (NR)
    14. Kansas (19t)
    15. Oregon (22)
    16 (tie). BYU (21)
    16 (tie). UCLA (NR)
    18. Wake Forest (23)
    19. Kansas State (25)
    20. North Carolina State (15)
    21. Syracuse (NR)
    22. James Madison (NR)
    23. Mississippi State (NR)
    24. Washington (14)
    25. Arkansas (19t)

    Others Receiving Votes: Cincinnati, Florida State, Illinois, North Carolina

Who's Hot: UCLA Bruins

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    PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins jumps over Kamren Fabiculanan #13 of the Washington Huskies in the second quarter at Rose Bowl Stadium on September 30, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Heading into Week 5, there were 21 remaining undefeated teams.

    Most of those teams were ranked and either cementing their status as a College Football Playoff contender or at least gradually entering that conversation. Others fell into the "let's wait and see what happens when you finally face a competent opponent" category.

    And with just three votes in the most recent AP poll—equal to what Tulane received fresh off a home loss to Southern Miss—UCLA was clearly in the latter club in advance of Friday night's 4-0 vs. 4-0 showdown with AP No. 15 Washington.

    The Bruins wasted little time in showing that it at least has a real-deal offense.

    Their first drive did stall out inside the UW 5-yard line, but they were able to turn that turnover on downs into a safety before Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Zach Charbonnet and Jake Bobo took over.

    UCLA scored touchdowns on five of its next seven possessions and made it down into the red zone in the other two.

    Washington's defense was so helpless that its usually unflappable quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., started forcing the issue and making careless mistakes while trying to keep the Huskies within striking distance. Twice in the second quarter, he threw a ball down the left sideline and seemed to be completely unaware of how many Bruins defensive backs were in the area. Both Stephan Blaylock and JonJon Vaughns were gifted easy interceptions while UCLA stormed to a 33-10 lead.

    UW did make things interesting with three consecutive long touchdown drives, leaving us to still wonder if the Bruins have a good enough defense to vie for a Pac-12 championship. But much like DTR's highlight-reel hurdle over Washington's Kamren Fabiculanan, the Bruins should be leapfrogging into the AP Top 25.

    Honorable "Hot" Mentions: Clemson Tigers, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Ole Miss Rebels, Adrian Martinez's Heisman campaign, Alabama's Jahmyr Gibbs, Ohio State's Miyan Williams

Who's Not: Oklahoma Sooners

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    FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 01: TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) runs for a touchdown during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners on October 1, 2022 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    TCU's Max Duggan (Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Three weeks into the season, it looked like Oklahoma was going to be just fine while adjusting to life without Lincoln Riley and all the transfers who left after last season. The QB-RB-WR trifecta of Dillon Gabriel, Eric Gray and Marvin Mims looked downright unstoppable and, better yet, the defense was lights-out under new head coach, former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

    Last week was a major setback for that defense as the Sooners had no answer for Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez in a 41-34 loss to the Wildcats. But surely they would bounce back to some extent this week against TCU, right?

    Oh, hell no.

    After giving up 41 points in the loss to KSU, Oklahoma allowed 41 points in the first half to TCU.

    The first Horned Frogs touchdown came on a short field after a Mims fumble. It happens. And the Sooners forced a three-and-out on the next possession.

    But then TCU QB Max Duggan found Taye Barber for a 73-yard touchdown reception before Duggan rushed for a 67-yard score on the next offensive snap. He then found a w-i-d-e open Gunnar Henderson for a 62-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, basically ending the game before the intermission.

    Just for good measure, Kendre Miller ran one in from 69 yards out midway through the third quarter.

    As bad as things got last week against Kansas State, at least Oklahoma minimized the back-breakers. Martinez had a 55-yard run, but that was the only gain of at least 30 yards in the game and only the second 30-yard gain against the Sooners thus far this season.

    But like Miami against Middle Tennessee one week ago, what had been a solid defense turned into a gigantic wedge of Swiss cheese.

    In addition to the four touchdowns of at least 60 yards, TCU also had runs of 35 yards (Duggan) and 36 yards (Emari Demercado) en route to 361 rushing yards and 307 passing yards in the 55-24 victory.

    Up next is the Red River Rivalry, and you can bet there will already be people calling for Venables' head if Oklahoma also loses that one in blowout fashion.

    Honorable "Not" Mentions: Minnesota Golden Gophers, Georgia Bulldogs, Texas A&M's offense, Iowa State's kicker, Pittsburgh Panthers

Fun Fact: Alabama Allows 23 Unanswered Points in a Rare Near-meltdown

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    FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - OCTOBER 01: Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball up the middle in the first half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
    Alabama's Jahmyr Gibbs (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

    For the first 28 minutes of game time, No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas was an annihilation.

    On Alabama's opening drive, Arkansas got an interception in the end zone on a deflected pass—on a play that was pretty clearly impacted by a defensive holding that wasn't called.

    Early in the second quarter, Alabama lost Bryce Young to a shoulder injury.

    Neither of those things seemed to matter. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 28-0 lead with backup QB Jalen Milroe rushing in a touchdown and finding JoJo Earle for a 22-yard score on his first two drives.

    Out of nowhere, though, Arkansas woke up and made things very interesting.

    The Hogs had two long touchdown drives, got a field goal after a successful onside kick attempt and then punched in another touchdown after a botched snap on a punt attempt set them up with the ball at the Alabama 4.

    Just like that, it was 28-23, and I started researching whether Alabama had ever blown a 28-point lead. (It definitely has not happened in the past two decades, but the Crimson Tide had reclaimed a comfortable lead by the time I made it back to 2002 and called it quits there.)

    Another interesting factoid popped up while perusing those game logs, though:

    This was just the fourth time under Saban that Alabama allowed 23 unanswered points in a single game.

    The three previous occurrences were Clemson scoring 30 straight in the national championship at the end of the 2018 season, Ohio State scoring 28 in a row in the CFP semifinal at the end of the 2014 season and Arkansas putting up 28 unanswered on September 15, 2007.

    So, take out those major swings in the two CFP games and you're talking about something that hadn't happened in the regular season in over 15 years.

    Alabama scoring 23 straight happens like a dozen times per season these days, but it's quite rare to see this program taking it on the chin for an entire quarter or more.

Looking Ahead: Carnage in Store with Road Games Galore?

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    TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24:  Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) gives a thumbs up to referees before the college football game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 24, 2022 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Utah's Cam Rising (Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    What's even more chaotic than a week featuring four Top 20 showdowns?

    How about a week in which a boatload of ranked teams play on the road?

    The exact number remains to be seen, but if the rankings didn't change, it would be 13 ranked teams playing road games, which is the recipe for a shake-up Saturday.

    The top-ranked teams should be fine. No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan State, No. 4 Michigan at Indiana and No. 5 Clemson at Boston College aren't exactly dripping with upset potential, but that's why they play the games. (Right, Georgia?)

    No. 8 Tennessee at 4-1 LSU, though? That has "Game of the Week" written all over it for what will be just their second meeting in more than a decade. Do Hendon Hooker and the Vols take care of business, or do they get caught peeking ahead to the Week 7 matchup with Alabama?

    No. 12 Utah at undefeated UCLA is another huge one, as both squads look to keep pace with USC and Oregon atop the Pac-12. At the beginning of this season, this looked like a trap-game situation for Utah, one week before its massive game against USC. The Bruins should be ranked, though, so they'll get Utah's full focus.

    Elsewhere, No. 19 BYU (at Notre Dame), No. 20 Arkansas (at Mississippi State) and No. 25 Kansas State (at Iowa State) might all be underdogs.

    While No. 17 Texas A&M and No. 23 Florida State are presumably going to fall out of the rankings after their Week 5 losses, their road games against No. 2 Alabama and No. 10 NC State, respectively, could be good old-fashioned slobberknockers.

    And last, but certainly not least:

    College GameDay @CollegeGameDay

    👀 👀 👀 GET READY, LAWRENCE!! <br><br>We're coming to KU for the first time EVER 😤 <br><br>A battle of the unbeatens: <a href="">@TCUFootball</a> vs. <a href="">@KU_Football</a> <a href=""></a>

    TCU-Kansas deservedly getting GameDay instead of Texas A&M-Alabama perfectly sums up how batty the first five weeks of this season have been.

    Can't wait for Week 6 to take us even further off the rails.


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