NCAA Football Rankings 2019: Week 5 Standings and Analysis for Latest Polls

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2019

MADISON, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 21:  Jack Coan #17 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a touchdown during the second half of a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Auburn and Wisconsin were rewarded for their Week 4 victories with upward movement in the college football polls. 

The Tigers and Badgers inched closer to challenging the nation's elite programs, and they have chances later in the regular season to elevate their respective placements. 

The bottom halves of the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll were revamped due to the losses suffered by Michigan, Texas A&M, UCF and Washington State. 

California and Boise State were the top beneficiaries of those defeats, while USC earned a return after a one-week absence thanks to its triumph over Utah. 


Week 5 Polls

AP Top 25

1. Clemson (4-0) 

2. Alabama (4-0) 

3. Georgia (4-0) 

4. LSU (4-0) 

5. Ohio State (4-0) 

6. Oklahoma (3-0) 

7. Auburn (4-0) 

8. Wisconsin (3-0) 

9. Florida (4-0) 

10. Notre Dame (2-1) 

11. Texas (3-1) 

12. Penn State (3-0) 

13. Oregon (3-1) 

14. Iowa (3-0) 

15. California (4-0) 

16. Boise State (4-0) 

17. Washington (3-1) 

18. Virginia (4-0) 

19. Utah (3-1) 

20. Michigan (2-1) 

21. USC (3-1) 

22. UCF (3-1) 

23. Texas A&M (2-2) 

24. Kansas State (3-0) 

25. Michigan State (3-1) 


Coaches Poll

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Georgia

4. Oklahoma

5. LSU 

6. Ohio State

7. Auburn 

8. Florida

9. Wisconsin 

10. Notre Dame

11. Penn State

12. Texas

13. Oregon

14. Iowa

15. Boise State

16. California

17. Washington

18. Virgina

19. Utah

20. Michigan

21. Texas A&M 

22. Kansas State

23. UCF

24. Wake Forest 

25. USC 


Auburn moved one spot due to the dominance of the six programs ahead of it. 

At No. 7, the Tigers may have the best resume in the nation, with victories over Oregon and Texas A&M. As SEC Network's Cole Cubelic noted, it is only the start of a grueling schedule: 

Cole Cubelic @colecubelic

Auburn has defeated number 13 & number 23 in the current @AP_Top25 The Tigers still have; No. 2 Alabama No. 3 Georgia No. 4 LSU No. 9 Florida Remaining on the schedule.

Wisconsin picked up five positions in both polls, but it was held behind Florida by the voting coaches. 

Paul Chryst's side has an opportunity to reside in the Top 10 for a while, with three home games upcoming before a two-game road swing to Illinois and Ohio State. 

Even if the Badgers lose to the Buckeyes, they would still have a shot at the Big Ten Championship if they beat all of their divisional foes. 

By the time they visit Ohio Stadium, the Badgers may be up to the Top 5 because of attrition among the SEC teams. 

Auburn plays Florida October 5, and then the Gators face LSU the following week. An Oklahoma loss to Texas October 12 would also open the door for Wisconsin. 

California and Boise State must be viewed as the two other winners from Sunday's poll releases. The Golden Bears' No. 15 spot in the AP poll is their highest position since Week 3 of the 2009 campaign, per The Daily Californian's Josh Yuen: 

Josh Yuen @joshcal2020

Cal’s AP No. 15 ranking is its highest since week three of the 2009 season, more than 10 years ago, when the Bears were ranked No. 6.

The Broncos' boost to No. 15 in the Coaches poll and No. 16 in the AP created separation between them and UCF to be the best Group of Five side. 

Boise State could make a run at an undefeated mark with its Mountain West schedule. A road trip to BYU October 19 appears to be its toughest test left. 

After surviving a scare at home against Old Dominion, Virginia is up to No. 18 in both rankings. The Cavaliers will be the fourth ranked ACC team to enter Notre Dame Stadium, per David Teel of the Daily Press and Virginian-Pilot: 

David Teel @DavidTeelatDP

No. 18 #UVa at No. 10 Notre Dame on Saturday only fourth time a ranked ACC team has played ranked Fighting Irish in South Bend. The others ...

Michigan was one of two programs to fall nine spots, with Utah being the other. ESPN's David Hale pointed out the Wolverines' porous record as a Top 10 team since 2010: 

THE™️ David Hale @ADavidHaleJoint

vs AP top 10 (at game time) since 2010: Bama, 25-7 Ohio St, 14-4 Clemson, 13-6 Okla, 13-9 Mich St, 10-7 LSU, 14-12 UGA, 9-10 FSU, 8-11 USC, 7-10 Fla, 7-12 Auburn, 11-19 A&M, 6-14 Wisc, 5-12 Texas, 6-15 ND 3-8 Wash, 5-14 Penn St, 2-13 Miami, 1-8 VT, 1-9 Cuse, 1-12 Michigan, 1-16

Jim Harbaugh's team still has five ranked opponents on its schedule, so it has a chance to either rebound or produce more futility. That record suggests tough sledding could be ahead. 

USC faces a difficult October, as it takes on Washington and Notre Dame in back-to-back clashes over a three-week span. 

If the Trojans pass both of those tests, they could push up toward the Top 10 and challenge Oregon's claim as the best Pac-12 program. 

Kansas State and Wake Forest made waves at the bottom, as they were positioned at No. 24 in the AP and Coaches, respectively. 

The Wildcats are back in the AP poll after a two-year absence, as David Scott Fritchen of 247 Sports pointed out: 

David Scott Fritchen @DScottFritchen

Kansas State is ranked 24th in the Associated Press Poll. It is the first time the Wildcats have been ranked in the AP Top 25 since week 3 of the 2017 season. https://t.co/omnDfcrcKg

Wake Forest's appearance in the Coaches poll is its first in either ranking since 2008, per Ethan Joyce of the Winston-Salem Journal.

There could be more movement after Week 5 with two ranked matchups and four teams hitting the road to play sides outside of the Top 25. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90


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