How the Week 5 AP Top 25 Poll should have looked
LSU – and the SEC — took a hard fall in the Top 25 last week, thanks to the Tigers’ controversial loss at Auburn.
Among SEC teams, Georgia took the biggest fall in the AP Poll following its 45-14 loss at Ole Miss. The Bulldogs moved down 13 spots from No. 12 to their current ranking of No. 25.
But should they have moved down that far? And are other teams deservedly where they should be?
Based on last week’s results and not falling victim to massive overreactions, here’s how the AP Top 25 Poll should’ve looked based on Week 4 performances.
HOW THE AP TOP 25 POLL SHOULD’VE LOOKED
1. Alabama (4-0; 50 first-place votes) — The Crimson Tide surprised no one by crushing Kent State, Nick Saban’s alma mater, 48-0 at home. The good news is that the injury that forced Damien Harris to be carted off the field might not be as bad as originally feared. The running back is recovering from a sprained ankle while Alabama prepares for Saturday’s home game against Kentucky, which is coming off a 17-10 win over South Carolina. A visit to Arkansas follows on Oct. 8.
2. Louisville (4-0; 6 first-place votes) — A week after crushing Florida State, Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals suffered no letdown in their 59-28 road victory over Marshall. Just when you think there’s not much else Jackson can do, he raises the ante by throwing for a career-high 417 yards. He also accounted for 7 touchdowns to run his total on the season to 25. Now comes the matchup the ACC and the rest of the FBS has been waiting for – Louisville visits fellow unbeaten Clemson on Saturday night. Jackson’s matchup with fellow QB Deshaun Watson should be something else.
3. Ohio State (3-0, 4 first-place votes) — The Buckeyes, who enjoyed a bye week, finally kick off their Big Ten schedule this week. Ohio State faces Rutgers and Indiana at home for its next two games before visiting Wisconsin on Oct. 15.
4. Houston (4-0) — After struggling somewhat in their victory over Cincinnati, the Cougars were their explosive selves in a 64-3 trouncing of Texas State. Houston’s toughest remaining regular-season game is a home matchup with Louisville on Nov. 17, which can’t get here fast enough. But will Tom Herman still be coaching the Cougars by then?
5. Michigan (4-0; 1 first-place vote) — Penn State isn’t what it used to be, but the Wolverines shredded the Nittany Lions for 326 yards on the ground and 6 rushing TDs – by five different backs — in their 49-10 home victory. Michigan will play its fifth straight game at the Big House, but it gets a much tougher opponent in Wisconsin on Saturday. One of those teams will finally suffer its first loss.
6. Clemson (4-0) — Deshaun Watson was his typically productive self in Clemson’s 26-7 road victory over Georgia Tech, but the Tigers’ defense was even more impressive, holding the Yellow Jackets to just 124 total yards. When Clemson plays host to Louisville on Saturday night, it will feel like a College Football Playoff game. The winner will clearly have the upper hand in the ACC.
7. Stanford (3-0) — The Cardinal needed a TD pass with 24 seconds left to overcome UCLA, but what a matchup awaits. Stanford’s road trip to Washington on Friday night will be the Pac-12’s first top-10 matchup of the season.
8. Texas A&M (4-0) — The Aggies put on quite a show with their 45-24 romp over Arkansas. The second-best team in the SEC West. Texas A&M has two straight games against SEC East opponents and a bye before visiting Alabama on Oct. 22.
9. Wisconsin (4-0) – The Badgers’ 30-6 win at Michigan State was the most eye-opening victory in the Big Ten this season. Wisconsin’s reward? It gets to stay in Michigan for Saturday afternoon’s battle with the Wolverines.
10. Washington (4-0) — The Huskies got their first test and passed it by winning at Arizona in overtime. Washington hosts Stanford on Friday night in what could be its biggest game of the season.
11. Tennessee (4-0) — The Volunteers snapped their 11-game skid against Florida to assert themselves as the best team in the SEC East. It doesn’t get any easier for the Vols this week as they face Georgia in Athens, where they haven’t won since 2006.
12. Florida State (3-1) – Dalvin Cook’s career-high 267 rushing yards were a good thing for the Seminoles. Surrendering 35 points to South Florida – albeit on the road – was not.
13. Baylor (4-0) — The Bears beat Oklahoma State by 11 points to remain one of the Big 12’s two unbeaten teams. The other one is West Virginia, which Baylor will visit for its regular-season finale on Dec. 3.
14. Miami (3-0) — Mark Richt and his Hurricanes got to enjoy a bye week following their win over Appalachian State. Miami visits Georgia Tech on Saturday.
15. Nebraska (4-0) — Northwestern is having an off year, but winning on the road in the Big Ten isn’t easy, so the Huskers deserve credit for their 24-13 victory. Nebraska might not lose a game until its Oct. 29 showdown at Wisconsin.
16. Ole Miss (2-2) — The best two-loss team in America is also the top first-half team in the country, and Alabama’s biggest nemesis over the last three years. After a home game against Memphis on Saturday night, the Rebels get back into SEC play by visiting Arkansas on Oct. 15.
17. Michigan State (2-1) — A week after nearly collapsing against Notre Dame, the Spartans completely fell apart against Wisconsin. Michigan State gets a chance to get back on track with a trip to Indiana on Saturday night.
18. Utah (4-0)
19. San Diego State (3-0)
20. Arkansas (3-1) — It doesn’t get much worse than being outscored 35-7 after taking a 17-10 lead against Texas A&M, but that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night. This week’s game against Alcorn State might be just what Arkansas needs before its home matchup with Alabama on Oct. 8.
21. TCU (3-1)
22. Texas (2-1)
23. Florida (3-1) — The Gators gave up 38 unanswered points on their way to losing to Tennessee for the first time in 12 meetings. After visiting Vanderbilt on Saturday, Florida hosts LSU – and its new coach – the following week.
24. Boise State (3-0)
25. Georgia (3-1) — Had the Bulldogs not rallied to win at Missouri two games ago, they would be 2-2 and out of the Top 25. After getting mauled by Ole Miss, Georgia has to quickly regroup for its home matchup this Saturday against Tennessee. Keep an eye on Nick Chubb, who sprained his ankle against the Rebels.