It was one of “those Saturdays” in college football, as the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 17th, 18th and 22nd ranked teams in last week’s rankings all lost. While some did lose to other ranked teams, Ole Miss, UCLA, and Wisconsin all fell victim to upsets, while Georgia was surprisingly blown out by Alabama. As a result, there is a lot of movement in this week’s rankings.
1. TCU (5-0, Last Week: 3rd, AP Poll: 2nd)
The Horned Frogs move into the top spot after a 50-7 thrashing of Texas, with early season Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin throwing for five touchdowns in the win. TCU’s defense has been a question at times, but held the Longhorns scoreless until the fourth quarter, and their offense is very clearly one of the best in the nation. The Horned Frogs travel to Kansas State (3-1) this week.
2. Ohio State (5-0, LW: 1st, AP: 1st)
Indiana wouldn’t go away against the Buckeyes, and their close call against the Hoosiers results in them dropping a spot in this week’s rankings. The Buckeyes are now 1-4 against the spread this year, meaning they aren’t beating anyone as big as expected (the only game they covered the spread was the season opener against Virginia Tech). This week, that spread makes them a 33 point favorite at home against Maryland (2-3).
3. Michigan State (5-0, LW: 5th, AP: 3rd)
The Spartans appeared to be cruising at halftime against Purdue, leading 21-0, before the Boilermakers came back and came close to the biggest upset of the year, with the Spartans winning 24-21. The AP Poll dropped the Spartans from second to third, but they move up here with losses by Ole Miss and UCLA. Sparty travels to Rutgers (2-2) this week.
4. Clemson (4-0, LW: 7th, AP: 6th)
As coach Dabo Swinney said in his post-game interview, the Tigers brought their own guts in a 24-22 win over Notre Dame in soggy Death Valley on Saturday night. The Tigers were outgained 437-296, but their defense made a play when it mattered, stopping a late two-point conversion attempt to preserve the win. Rival Georgia Tech (2-3), who was in the top 10 in these rankings earlier in the season but is now unranked, visits Clemson this week.
5. Baylor (4-0, LW: 8th, AP: 5th)
Baylor ran all over Texas Tech in a 63-35 win on Saturday, rushing for 368 yards, including 221 by Shock Linwood, and 81 more by quarterback Seth Russell, who rushed for two touchdowns and ran for four more. After TCU just slipped by the Red Raiders last week, the performance was a statement by the Bears. They are 44-point favorites this week against a Kansas (0-4) team many experts think may go winless this year.
6. Alabama (4-1, LW: 11th, AP: 8th)
The Crimson Tide were dominant Saturday in Athens, beating Georgia 38-10 after the Bulldogs turned the ball over four times. Alabama held Greyson Lambert, the quarterback who had been so impressive so far in the season, to 86 yards in a 10-for-24 performance. Derrick Henry rushed for 148 yards for the Tide, who host Arkansas (2-3) this week.
7. LSU (4-0, LW: 9th, AP: 7th)
The only bad thing that happened to LSU on Saturday was that quarterback Brandon Harris struggled, going 4-for-14 for 80 yards. The good news for the Tigers is that Leonard Fournette is the best running back in the country, and ran for 233 yards, resulting in Harris not having to throw much at all in a 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan. Fournette has rushed for 864 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Tigers’ first four games, compared to 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns all season a year ago. The Tigers were scheduled to travel to South Carolina (2-3) this week, but due to the flooding in and around Columbia, the game has been moved to Baton Rouge.
8. Texas A&M (5-0, LW: 15th, AP: 9th)
The Aggies totaled 516 yards of offense, which was more than enough in a 30-17 win at home against Mississippi State. The win was the first win over a ranked opponent at home under Kevin Sumlin, after the Aggies were previously 0-5 in such games. Kyle Allen threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns as part of a balanced offensive attack. The Aggies have a bye this week, ahead of a showdown at home with Alabama (4-1) next week.
9. Utah (4-0, LW: 12th, AP: 5th)
A week after a 62-20 drubbing of Oregon, the Utes had a much-deserved bye on Saturday. The aftermath of that win is still being felt, as they move into the top 10 in this poll, and up to fifth in the AP Poll. California (5-0) is a worthy opponent for the Utes this week.
10. USC (3-1, LW: 13th, AP: 17th)
Like Utah, the Trojans also had a bye over the weekend, a week after their 42-14 over Arizona State, which looks even better after the Sun Devils’ upset of UCLA. Coach Steve Sarkisian plays his old school this week, as the Trojans host Washington (2-2).
11. Oklahoma (4-0, LW: 16th, AP: 10th)
12. Florida State (4-0, LW: 14th, AP: 12th)
13. Florida (5-0, LW: 24th, AP: 11th)
14. Ole Miss (4-1, LW: 2nd, AP: 14th)
15. UCLA (4-1, LW: 4th, AP: 20th)
16. Notre Dame (4-1, LW: 10th, AP: 15th)
17. Stanford (4-1, LW: 19th, AP: 16th)
18. Georgia (4-1, LW; 6th, AP: 19th)
19. Northwestern (5-0, LW: 23rd, AP; 13th)
20. Michigan (4-1, LW: 20th, AP: 18th)
21. Oklahoma State (5-0, LW: 21st, AP: 21st)
22. California (5-0, LW: 25th, AP: 23rd)
23. Iowa (5-0, LW: unranked, AP: 22nd)
24. West Virginia (3-1, LW: 17th, AP: unranked)
25. Toledo (4-0, LW: unranked, AP: 24th)
Also ranked in AP Poll: Boise State (4-1, 25th)
Fell from rankings: Wisconsin (3-2, LW: 18th), Mississippi State (3-2, LW: 22nd)