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College Football Rankings 2020: Latest Standings and Predictions for Week 5

Keegan PopeContributor IIISeptember 28, 2020

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 in Auburn, Alabama. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Week 5 college football slate might be a little lean when it comes to Top 25 matchups—just two—but that doesn't mean we'll be short on good games. The SEC, which registered eight teams in the AP Top 25 and three of the top four ranked teams, will feature both ranked showdowns. 

Elsewhere in the rankings, Ohio State (No. 6), Penn State (No. 10), Wisconsin (No. 19) and Michigan (No. 23) re-entered the rankings after the Big Ten officially announced that it would reverse course and play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oklahoma, which gave up a 21-point lead and lost a 38-35 heartbreaker to Kansas State, dropped all the way from No. 3 to No. 16. Meanwhile, LSU, which couldn't slow down Mike Leach's high-flying Mississippi State (yes, you read that right), fell 14 spots all the way down to No. 20. 

We're breaking down the Top 25 tilts, but keep an eye on Memphis-SMU, Boston College-North Carolina, and Ole Miss-Kentucky as a couple of intriguing matchups you might've otherwise missed. 

          

AP Top 25 Poll

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Florida

4. Georgia

5. Notre Dame

6. Ohio State

7. Auburn

8. Miami (FL)

9. Texas

10. Penn State

11. UCF

12. North Carolina

13. Texas A&M

14. Oregon

15. Cincinnati

16. Mississippi State

17. Oklahoma State

18. Oklahoma

19. Wisconsin

20. LSU

21. Tennessee

22. BYU

23. Michigan

24. Pittsburgh

25. Memphis

     

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 13 Texas A&M

After easily dispatching Missouri 38-19 on Saturday, No. 2 Alabama will get what should be a substantially tougher challenge when it welcomes No. 13 Texas A&M to Tuscaloosa for the prime-time afternoon game on CBS. Quarterback Mac Jones was no Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts against Mizzou, but he was efficient and effective getting the ball to the Tide's numerous playmakers. The Aggies come in off of a puzzling 17-12 win over lowly Vanderbilt, in which A&M's defense played well, but the ballyhooed offense led by Kellen Mond was pedestrian. 

Alabama's first-string defense was dominant in the first half against Missouri, holding the Tigers to just 112 yards and a field goal. Mond and Co. should have more success than that, but they'll have to do a lot more than they did against Vandy to keep this competitive. 

Prediction: Alabama 38, Texas A&M 17

      

No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 7 Auburn 

This has all the makings of the weekend's best matchup—potentially by a large margin. Both Auburn and Georgia struggled with inferior opponents early on Saturday, but each came away with a decisive victory to set up a showdown between two of the three teams chasing Alabama in the SEC this season.

While the Tigers have the quarterback position all sewn up with Bo Nix (233 yards, 3 TDs) under center, Georgia is still in the middle of a quarterback battle. The Bulldogs offense was supposed to be helmed by grad transfer Jamie Newman, but he opted out of the season to prepare for the NFL draft. USC transfer J.T. Daniels got an immediate eligibility waiver, but he is still rehabbing from an ACL injury suffered last season. That leaves D'Wan Mathis, who started Saturday's game against Arkansas, and Stetson Bennett, a former walk-on who finished it. 

Mathis is a much bigger dual threat, but he struggled mightily against a pretty porous Arkansas defense, completing only 8-of17 passes and throwing an interception. Bennett, who likely had no dreams of playing this season just a few weeks ago, completed 20 of 29 pass attempts for 211 yards and two touchdowns. 

Overall, Georgia still has more talent across the board, including on its vaunted defense, but good quarterback play—or a lack thereof—might be the deciding factor in this one. 

Prediction: Auburn 31, Georgia 20

      

Follow Keegan on Twitter @ByKeeganPope. 

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