How the AP Top 25 should’ve looked based on Week 5 performances
Eight teams from the SEC are among the top 25 in the country, but how many are deserving? The SEC East has struggled mightily in the early going, but Mizzou jumped back in following a win at South Carolina. Based on eye test only from last weekend’s single-game results, we piece together the AP Top 25 in terms of performance.
We’ve included the actual rankings for comparison and teams without an excerpt didn’t play. Since a handful of the elites were off, the first few spots are subjective based on previous results.
Here’s how the AP TOP 25 should’ve looked based on Week 5 performances only
4. Texas A&M — Seizing victory from the jaws of defeat is no easy task in the SEC, especially when it takes multiple stops on defense against an opponent who dominates on the ground. Kenny Hill led a late 14-point turnaround with two touchdown passes and added another in overtime to lift the Aggies past Arkansas.
5. Auburn — The Tigers are still in hibernation mode offensively and ran just 70 plays Saturday — not the tempo you would expect from Gus Malzahn’s offense. Saturday’s game against LSU begins the gauntlet.
6. UCLA — The Bruins managed college football’s most impressive win of Week 5, erupting for 62 points against previously unbeaten Arizona State. Preseason Heisman candidate Brett Hundley finally had a ‘show-me’ outing for UCLA.
7. Michigan State — The Big Ten favorite has looked untouchable since a loss at Oregon, scoring 129 total points over its last two wins.
8. Notre Dame — This team has a look that’s similar to the 2012 BCS runner-up squad, one that wins on defense. Quarterback Everett Golson has played his way into the Heisman race with a pivotal game against Florida State forthcoming.
9. Baylor — The Bears have started 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976 and Saturday’s victory over Iowa State was over by halftime.
10. Florida State — Trailing 24-7 after the first quarter at N.C. State, the Seminoles avoided the road ACC upset by out-scoring the Wolfpack 49-17 the rest of the way. Florida State has serious issues defensively and doesn’t have the look of a team that’s won 20 straight games.
11. Mississippi State
12. LSU — A lackluster first quarter drew jeers in Baton Rouge, but true freshman Brandon Harris quickly emerged as a formidable threat with touchdown drives on each of his seven series.
13. Georgia — Unimpressed with Mike Bobo’s play-calling through three quarters, Georgia fans got what they wanted in the fourth when Todd Gurley became the featured option on offense. Thanks to a career-high rushing effort, the Bulldogs slipped past Tennessee.
14. Ole Miss — The Rebels’ defense controlled the game even when put in tough situations by quarterback Bo Wallace. Ole Miss limited Memphis to 104 total yards during a contest that was in doubt with 10 minutes remaining.
15. Stanford — David Shaw’s team spoiled Chris Petersen’s Pac-12 debut on Kevin Hogan’s 5-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left at Washington. Stanford limited the Huskies to 179 yards on offense, but three turnovers nearly cost what is perceived as the league’s second-best team.
16. USC — The Trojans’ Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the first half was essentially the knockout punch during a 35-10 win over previously unbeaten Oregon State.
17. Ohio State — The Buckeyes’ 40th straight victory over an in-state opponent (Cincinnati) featured 45 first downs and 710 yards of offense without Braxton Miller. Ohio State’s offense was virtually unstoppable.
19. Wisconsin — The Badgers let South Florida hang around for the better part of three quarters before pulling away, 27-10. Doak Walker candidate Melvin Gordon surprisingly lost a fumble for the second straight game.
20. Nebraska — Tailback Ameer Abdullah eclipsed the 200-yard mark for the third time this season during a convincing win over Illinois. The Huskers are one of two 5-0 teams (Texas A&M) this season.
21. Kansas State — Bill Snyder and the Wildcats recovered nicely from a tough loss to Auburn with a blowout of UTEP, forcing the Miners into five consecutive three-and-outs to open the game. Kansas State built a 31-0 halftime lead.
22. East Carolina
23. Mizzou — Gary Pinkel’s defending division champs got off on the right foot in Columbia, S.C., escaping an anemic offensive performance with two late touchdown drives to shock South Carolina.
24. N.C. State — Based on performance, the Wolfpack (4-1) stood toe-to-toe with Florida State until the Seminoles’ overall talent difference took over in the second half. It may have been a loss, but it was the best N.C. State has looked during the Dave Doeren era.
25. Oklahoma State — The Cowboys struggled with discipline (10 penalties) and defense (512 yards, 35 points), but managed to beat Texas Tech.