On the Ball: College Football Power Rankings: Week 6
It was quite a weekend for upsets.
First, Oregon lost to Arizona on Thursday. Then on Saturday, Alabama was clipped by Ole Miss, Oklahoma was beaten by Texas Christian, Texas A&M was whipped by Mississippi State, and finally UCLA fell to Utah as five of last week’s top 10 teams picked up their first loss of the year. Here’s how the top 10 teams shake out now.
10. Texas Christian (4–0): The Horned Frogs held Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight to just 14/35 passing in the 37–33 win and won despite committing more penalties and turnovers. Fortunately for Texas Christian, both Oklahoma turnovers were returned for touchdowns.
This week: at Baylor. Previous Ranking: NR
9. Michigan State (4–1): The Spartans beat Nebraska 27–22 and can thank their defense for the win. Michigan State held Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah to a season-low 45 yards—more than 100 yards per game below his season average heading into the contest.
This week: at Purdue. Previous Ranking: 10
8. Oregon (4–1): Who knew Oregon’s Thursday night home upset at the hands of Arizona would be a sign of things to come? The shocker that started off the crazy weekend was sealed when Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was stripped on the team’s final possession for just his second turnover of the season.
This week: at UCLA. Previous Ranking: 1
7. Alabama (4–1): The Tide scored just three points after halftime, allowed two fourth-quarter TDs to Ole Miss, and consequently have their earliest loss of the season since 2007—Nick Saban’s first year in Tuscaloosa.
This week: at Arkansas. Previous Ranking: 2
6. Ole Miss (5–0): On the surface, Ole Miss’s 23–17 win over Alabama seems like quite an upset—after all the Tide have won three of the last five national championships. But the Rebels were, and still are, undefeated and are currently second in the country in fewest points allowed at 10.2 per game.
This week: at Texas A&M. Previous Ranking: NR
5. Mississippi State (5–0): Mississippi State’s 17-point blowout of Texas A&M is even more impressive if you consider that the Bulldogs led 48–17 with three minutes to go, before the Aggies scored a pair of meaningless touchdowns. How did they do it? Quarterback Dak Prescott was especially impressive going 19/25 passing for 259 yards, 2 TDs, and no interceptions in the win.
This week: versus Auburn. Previous Ranking: NR
4. Baylor (5–0): Ten years ago no one would have believed the box score from Baylor’s win at Texas—or that they were favored in the first place. Undefeated Baylor, once the joke of the Big 12, beat mighty Texas by three touchdowns to drop the Longhorns to 2–3 on the season and did so despite starting quarterback Bryce Petty’s pitiful 7/22 for 111 yards passing day.
This week: versus Texas Christian. Previous Ranking: 9
3. Auburn (5–0): For the second straight game, and third time this season, Auburn boasted a pair of 100-yard rushers and the result was yet another win—41–7 over highly regarded LSU, who had previously allowed just 65 total points over their first five games.
This week: at Mississippi State. Previous Ranking: 7
2. Notre Dame (5–0): The Irish got past Stanford 17–14, and owe much of their success this season to a defense that has yet to allow more than 17 points. In addition, Stanford’s 205 yards of offense was a season low.
This week: versus North Carolina. Previous Ranking: 6
1. Florida State (5–0): The defending-champion Seminoles, which came into the season with high expectations, finally looked the part Saturday in whipping Wake Forest 43–3. While reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston threw for 297 yards and a score, it was the defense that was the story holding the Demon Deacons to just 126 yards.
This week: at Syracuse. Previous Ranking: 3