W2Mnet College Football Top 25 (Week 5)

College Football Top 25
The College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy presented by Dr Pepper is seen prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. – Getty Images

After the early upset of Oklahoma over Ohio State, it’s been largely stable in the playoff spots since then. Clemson have held up their end as defending national champions. While Alabama simply reloads behind quarterback Jalen Hurts and head coach Nick Saban. Oklahoma have battled but certainly lived up to the preseason hype. While it took an all-time classic finish for Penn State to keep their spot. Things were a bit easier for the top four this week. However, just below them a major shake-up caused some movement. And the loser in the Clemson and Virginia Tech game to a little tumble too. There’s certainly more in-store in this week’s W2Mnet College Football Top 25 poll.

* just a reminder that eight staff members vote on the Top 25 Weekly *

W2Mnet College Football Top 25 (Week 5)

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#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6 first place votes)

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 1st in SEC West)

Last Week: 1

The Alabama Crimson Tide destroyed the Ole Miss Rebels this week in an expected outcome. The Tide’s defense ended up getting to the Ole Miss’ quarterback five times, doubling their total for the year. They have a much tougher test against Texas A&M next week. So far Alabama is doing exactly what they are supposed to do and continue earning their spot, as the number one team in the country. – Daniel Anderson

Next Week: @ Texas A&M (4-1)

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#2 Clemson Tigers (2 first place votes)

Record: 5-0 (3-0, 1st in ACC Atlantic)

Last Week: 2

In their second big test of the season, the Clemson Tigers went on the road to Blacksburg and shined. Taking a 10-0 first quarter lead and not looking back. Clemson win their third September game against a top 15 team in the process too. It was an all-around performance with a pick-six Dorian O’Daniel and Tavian Feaster scoring on the ground and through the air. With few big games the rest of the way, the path to Charlotte just got a little easier. – Erik Watkins

Next Week: vs. Wake Forest (4-1)

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#3 Oklahoma Sooners

Record: 4-0 (1-0 in Big 12)

Last Week: 3

The Oklahoma Sooners enjoyed a week off, after coming back and defeating Baylor last week. They now look forward to playing an Iowa State Cyclones squad, who just suffered a Thursday night 17-7 loss to the Texas Longhorns. The Sooners play in the Red River Shootout against Texas in two weeks. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: vs. Iowa State (2-2)

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#4 Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 1st in Big Ten East)

Last Week: 4

The Penn State Nittany Lions jumped out on a severely outclassed Indiana Hoosiers team, leading 28-0 after the first quarter. Ultimately, they won decisively 45-14. Saquon Barkley yet again established himself as a front runner for the Heisman trophy. Although, he was held to only 56 yards rushing, he took the opening kickoff back 98 yards to very quickly set the tone for Penn St. – Harry Broadhurst

Next Week: @ Northwestern (2-2)

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#5 Washington Huskies

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 1st in Pac-12 North)

Last Week: 6

Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin and the Washington Huskies offense overcome a slow first half to blow up in the second half. Browning throws three touchdowns, two in the third quarter, along with 113 yards rushing and TD of his own from Gaskin allowed the Pac-12 leaders an easy win. Washington’s defense put on a stellar performance as well. Not allowing any points until deep into the fourth quarter, forcing two turnovers and holding the Oregon State Beavers to only 184 of total offense too. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: vs. California (3-2)

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#6 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 4-0 (1-0, 3rd in Big Ten East)

Last Week: 7

The Michigan Wolverines had a week off. They return to action to face in state rival the Michigan State Spartans next week. – Harry Broadhurst

Next Week: vs. Michigan State (3-1)

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#7 Georgia Bulldogs

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 2nd in SEC East)

Last Week: 8

The Georgia Bulldogs had a dominant victory on the road over the Tennessee Volunteers and solidified their status as heavy favorites in the SEC East. The biggest takeaway from Georgia’s performance, was not just how good their offense was, but how their defense held Tennessee’s offense to no points. So far, Georgia is shaping up to face Alabama in the SEC Championship. – Daniel Anderson

Next Week: @ Vanderbilt (3-2)

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#8 Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 4-0 (1-0, 2nd in Big Ten West)

Last Week: 10

The Wisconsin Badgers bounce back from a slow start and then hold off a late rally to take down Northwestern by a final of 33-24. A 21 point fourth quarter lead was cut to seven with just under three minutes to play. However, a safety scored by the defense with 58 seconds left, sealed the win for Wisconsin in Madison. – Harry Broadhurst

Next Week: @ Nebraska (3-2)

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#9 Washington State Cougars

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 1st in Pac-12 North)

Last Week: 14

A fantastic back and forth game culminated on a field goal with less than two minutes left, which helped the Washington State Cougars get a huge win that caps off their five game homestand, with five straight victories. Giving them great hope for the very tough road ahead of them. Luke Falk threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns. Jamal Morrow was vital as well, with two touchdowns, and 91 yards on the ground. While the Cougars defense held Sam Darnold to 164 yards through the air, and forced two turnovers too. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: @ Oregon (4-1)

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#10 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 4-1 (2-0, 1st in Big Ten East)

Last Week: 9

Ever since the loss in the ‘Shoe to Oklahoma, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been on a tear. They beat Army by 31, UNLV by 33 and this week, went to New Jersey and put a beating on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by a final of 56-0. J.T. Barrett became the all time passing leader at Ohio St, passing for 275 yards on a 14-22 performance. Mike Weber had three rushing touchdowns in the first half and the Buckeyes cruised. – Harry Broadhurst

Next Week: vs. Maryland (3-1)

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#11 TCU Horned Frogs

Record: 4-0 (1-0, 1st in Big 12)

Last Week: 13

The TCU Horned Frogs had a week off. It’s much deserved after a big win against the Oklahoma State Cowboys last week, where the ground game dominated proceedings. Now, they look ahead to a tough test in a rising West Virginia Mountaineers team. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: vs. West Virginia (3-1)

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#12 Miami Hurricanes

Record: 3-0 (1-0, 2nd in ACC Coastal)

Last Week: 12

Miami: With memories of Durham and an incredible kickoff, the Miami Hurricanes needed a win in the worst way to put an early season stamp on the Coastal division. Malik Rosier and the defense started things strong and the defense held the Duke Blue Devils at bay to cruise to an easy 31-6 win. The only thing to go wrong was Mark Walton’s injury in the second half, but Duke’s #2-ranked run defense held him to 51 yards at 3.0 yards per carry. Walton shouldn’t miss any time, but Rosier’s three total touchdowns and Travis Homer scoring on a big late run should provide encouragement should the worst happen. – Erik Watkins

Next Week: @ Florida State (1-2)

College Football Top 25

#13 USC Trojans

Record: 4-1 (2-1, 2nd in Pac-12 South)

Last Week: 5

There’s no doubt that Sam Darnold hasn’t had the spectacular season everyone expected coming into it, but until Friday night, the team was collectively winning despite that. The USC Trojans have been dealt a rough schedule, and at one point or another, had to battle through each game. Once again they were in a tight game in Pullman, Washington. However, this time, USC couldn’t come out with the victory.

Sam Darnold proved more effective on the ground, scoring two touchdowns with his legs. While relying on the running game and defense to keep it close. But it wasn’t enough, and USC face an uphill fight against many odds to not only get a playoff spot, but even to win the Pac-12. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: Oregon State (1-4)

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#14 Auburn Tigers

Record: 4-1 (2-0, 1st in SEC West)

Last Week: 15

The Auburn Tigers defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an impressive offensive performance. Auburn’s defense has been strong all year, but if their offense can play at a high level for the rest of the season, Auburn is a strong competitor for the SEC West championship. – Daniel Anderson

Next Week: vs. Ole Miss (2-2)

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#15 South Florida Bulls

Record: 5-0 (2-0, 1st in American East)

Last Week: 17

The South Florida Bulls remain undefeated, thanks to 24 unanswered points in the second half, which include two touchdown passes from Quinton Flowers. While the running game of D’Ernesto Johnson and Darius Tice poured it on as well. Securing another win for USF, stretching their win streak to 10 games. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: OPEN, Next Game: vs. Cincinnati on 10/14

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#16 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 4-1 (1-1, 6th in Big 12)

Last Week: 16

With little over a minute left, Mason Rudolph used his legs, not his arm on a 16 yard scamper, to give Oklahoma State the lead and eventual 41-34 win over a blazing Texas Tech Red Raiders squad. Rudolph finished with 376 passing, and throwing for three more touchdowns as well. While Justice Hill helped with 164 yards on the ground himself, as the Cowboys escape Lubbock with a victory. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: OPEN, Next Game: vs. Baylor (0-5) on 10/14

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#17 Virginia Tech Hokies

Record: 4-1 (0-1, 5th in ACC Coastal)

Last Week: 11

With the team touching the Hokie stone and stepping on the field to Enter Sandman, Virginia Tech had a solid first few minutes. However, in the end, Josh Jackson was finally held in check in his first big ACC test of the season. With 251 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, Tech’s offense never got a chance to recover after an early hole. Staring up at Miami, Georgia Tech, and Duke, the Hokies didn’t make it easy on themselves if they want to rebound. – Erik Watkins

Next Week: @ Boston College (2-3)

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#18 Louisville Cardinals

Record: 4-1 (1-1, 3rd in ACC Atlantic)

Last Week: 19

As much as last week’s loss hurt. Especially, with how the Atlantic is shaking out, could rub some extra salt in the wound. However, Lamar Jackson had a solid rebound game on Saturday. Jackson ran for a touchdown in the second quarter and threw for two more in the third to break the Cardinals’ all-time record for touchdowns responsible for (89). Malik Williams did most of the work to start, with two touchdown runs in the first quarter. Throw in a pick-six and it was a great 45 minutes that helped Louisville Cardinals cruise to an easy victory. – Erik Watkins

Next Week: @ North Carolina State (4-1)

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#19 Florida Gators

Record: 3-1 (3-0, 1st in SEC East)

Last Week: 18

The Florida Gators defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores in an essential SEC East victory. However, it was not without cost. The Gators lost quarterback Luke Del Rio for the season with a shoulder injury. Florida suddenly has to go back to Felipe Franks again. It almost looks certain that Florida and Georgia are on a collision course to decide the SEC East championship. – Daniel Anderson

Next Week: vs. LSU (3-2)

College Football Top 25

#20 San Diego State Aztecs

Record: 5-0 (1-0, 1st in Mountain West, West Division)

Last Week: 21

This one can certainly be called a total team effort for the San Diego State Aztecs. Juwan Washington started things on a bright note by running back the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score.

Quarterback Christian Chapman threw two touchdowns, Rashaad Penny ran for over 100 yards and the defense forced four turnovers, including one run back for a 83 yard interception return. Most importantly, the defense held Northern Illinois scoreless in the fourth quarter to stay undefeated. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: @ UNLV (2-2)

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#21 Utah Utes

Record: 4-0 (1-0, 1st in Pac-12 South)

Last Week: 20

The Utah Utes defense had to bail out the team against the Arizona Wildcats. But they entered this off week still unbeaten and now sit atop the Pac-12 South as well. Now, they prepare for a feisty Stanford Cardinal team next week. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: vs. Stanford (3-2)

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#22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Record: (4-1, Independent)

Last Week: NR

Since their one point loss to Georgia, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have looked impressive during their three game winning streak. Easily dispatching Boston College, the Michigan State Spartans and this week, putting up 45 points in the first half to blowout Miami-Ohio. Led by four total touchdowns from quarterback Brandon Wimbush and a stifling defense. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: @ North Carolina (1-4)

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#23 West Virginia Mountaineers

Record: 3-1 (1-0, 1st in Big 12)

Last Week: 24

West Virginia have had a an easy slate of games since their opening week loss to Virginia Tech. This also includes a week off this week, as they prepare for their first Big XII test of the season. When the Mountaineers visit Fort Worth for a clash with the Horned Frogs. – Sean Garmer

Next Week: @ TCU (4-0)

College Football Top 25

#24 Central Florida Golden Knights

Record: 3-0 (1-0, 2nd in American East)

Last Week: NR

After easily whooping up on the Florida International Panthers. The Central Florida Knights got hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Forcing one of their games to get pushed back and another cancelled.

It really hasn’t been too much of a bother for UCF though. They’ve easily taken care of two early season surprise teams. Walloping the Maryland Terrapins 38-10. Then, this week, they beatdown the Memphis Tigers 40-13. Quarterback McKenzie Milton threw for three touchdowns. While Adrian Killins put up two more scores and it was enough to help UCF to 3-0 on the season. – Sean Garmer

Next Game: @ Cincinnati (2-3)

College Football Top 25

#25 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Record: 4-1 (2-0, 2nd in ACC Atlantic)

Last Week: NR

Facing a surprisingly tough Syracuse Orangemen team, the North Carolina State Wolfpack pulled away early thanks in part, to some helpful trick plays and a strong ground game. Nyheim Hines ran for 115 of the team’s 256 yards, and was one of three backs to score a touchdown. (One of two, along with Jaylen Samuels, to go for 100 yards and a TD). While the Orange narrowed the deficit to 26-17 late in the game, an onside kick recovery and a 4th-and-1 conversion meant NC State starts 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 2006. – Erik Watkins

Next Game: vs. Louisville (4-1)

Others Receiving Votes for this week’s Top 25: Navy (4), Texas A&M (1), Maryland (1)

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