Alex Scheer - College Football Analyst
This week brings us a new number one after some wild games and finishes from Week 5, from surprising (or not so surprising?) blowouts, tighter than expected finishes, and everything in between. The postseason is slowly starting to take shape as conference play is well underway. Check out the ATBSports.net power rankings below.
1.Alabama (Previous Rank: 2)
Alabama cruised to yet another victory, nearly doubling the point total of Ole Miss over the weekend. It was another milestone victory for the Tide as DeVonta Smith set a new school record with 274 receiving yards and five scores, while Tua Tagovailoa’s 418 yard, seven touchdown performance continues to impress.
2. Ohio State (Previous Rank: 5)
Ohio State may very well be the best team in the country, but unfortunately we may not know how true that is until the playoffs. If one thing is true, it's that the Buckeyes are smashing through the Big Ten like there’s no tomorrow. The defense is giving the offense plenty of reps, as they allowed less than 250 yards and forced 3 turnovers last week against Nebraska. JK Dobbins and Justin Fields are fantastic on offense, and look to continue the trend against Michigan State this week.
3. Clemson (Previous Rank: 1)
Remember when I said they may not relinquish the top spot unless they lost? Well, North Carolina was doing everything they could to make that happen. The Tarheels were one 2-point conversion away from getting their first ever win over the number one team in the nation, but if you really watched the game, the Tigers were outplayed all day. Trevor Lawrence had less than 225 yards and only one touchdown, but Clemson did just enough to keep their playoff hopes in tact.
4. Georgia (Previous Rank: 3)
Georgia got their bye at the right time, after an emotional win over Notre Dame, they got the chance to refocus and prepare for Tennessee. These guys are legit, and hope to challenge Alabama for the SEC crown.
5. LSU (Previous Rank: 4)
LSU gets a bye before getting… well, another bye. Utah State comes to town and Joe Borrow and Co should run all over the Aggies. Getting one final tune-up before getting to the conference slate will give this LSU team plenty of confidence as the season moves on.
6. Oklahoma (Previous Rank: 6)
Beating Texas Tech 55-16 was a solid outing for Jalen Hurts. 413 yards through the air was his career high, and three touchdowns, as Oklahoma joined the 900 Win Club. Will Kansas put up a better fight this week?
7. Florida (Previous Rank: 7)
Towson did exactly what everyone expected in their game against Florida ... and that was pretty much nothing. The Gators have a HUGE showdown at home against Auburn, and this is their first season defining test. Can the Gators keep up with the Tigers? Saturday will tell us a lot about the SEC and who the contenders and pretenders are.
8. Wisconsin (Previous Rank: 8)
Not exactly the same dominant performance they put up against Michigan, but a W is a W. It took 2 defensive touchdowns to secure the win for the Badgers, but they are 4-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Jonathan Taylor continues his Heisman Hopeful campaign, rushing for 120 yards and one score against the Wildcats. They get an easy game against Kent State this week, a chance to fine tune some stuff before a showdown at the Horseshoe against the Buckeyes.
9. Auburn (Previous Rank: 9)
Bo Nix, Bo Nix, Bo Nix. That’s all anyone talks about with this Tigers team. Maybe we should start mentioning the rushing attack, you know the one that leads the SEC? JaTarvious Whitlow had three scores in their matchup against Mississippi State and the Tigers rolled. This week they head to Gainesville to take on Florida. All eyes should be watching this game.
10. Texas (Previous Rank: 10)
A bye week before traveling to West Virginia helps this squad heal and prepare for the conference slate. Gonna be interesting to see what Texas can do and if they can avoid overlooking a Mountaineers team who is 3-1 and starting to click on offense.
11. Notre Dame (Previous Rank: 11)
They did what they were supposed to do and beat Virginia, all while collecting 8 sacks and forcing 2 fumbles. Now, they get a tune up against the Bowling Green Falcons. Look for more of the same, as the Irish are gonna do everything they can to light up the scoreboard, early and often.
12. Oregon (Previous Rank: 12)
They get to take on the now formerly unbeaten Cal Golden Bears, who honestly, probably shouldn’t have been undefeated. Oregon has had a strong showing since their opening loss to Auburn, and they can continue their Playoff hopes with a win this weekend.
13. Iowa (Previous Rank: 15)
Well, what more did we expect? The Hawkeyes handled Middle Tennessee pretty handily, and now have a crazy amount of momentum going into their game at the Big House this week. Iowa looks pretty good so far, but this next week is a big test… for both them and Michigan.
14. Penn State (Previous Rank: 16)
The Nittany Lions absolutely throttled Maryland, and honestly, the scoreboard doesn't indicate just how badly Maryland played. A player falling down in the tunnel? Oof. Bad omen for sure. Penn State is starting their conference season on the right foot.
15. Boise State (Previous Rank: 14)
They got the chance to rest this week after a solid conference opener against a pretty decent Air Force team. Can Boise climb the rankings? Only if they can continue their winning ways, next with UNLV.
16. Washington (Previous Rank: 24)
The Huskies handled USC pretty well, and now they are on a significant rise. Salvon Ahmed broke the defensive struggle apart with an 89 yard touchdown run, adding to his 153 yards on the day. Matt Fink showed lots of issues for the Trojans being picked off 3 times, but this Washington defense looks really really good.
17. Michigan (Previous Rank: 19)
This weekend was much needed for the Wolverines, if nothing else than to serve as a confidence booster. Granted, the opponent was Rutgers (who promptly fired their head coach after the loss), but hey, a conference win is a conference win, right? Big game in the Big House this next week against Iowa.
18. Utah (Previous Rank: 20)
Well, they definitely made short work of the Wazzu defense, beating them through the air with 322 yards and two touchdowns, adding 2 more scores on the ground. They now get a bye to work out any kinks and prepare for Oregon State in two weeks.
19. Memphis (Previous Rank: N/R)
Memphis has been playing some really good football, even if it is in the AAC. Holding Navy and their triple option to 23 points is no easy feat. Couple that with a 4-0 record, and they earn a spot in this weeks power rankings. This team is on track to break their previous best start. (8-0 in 2015), as Brady White leads this offense.
20. UCF (Previous Rank: 21)
After crashing back down to earth in a devastating loss to Pitt, the Knights promptly unloaded their disappointment onto UConn, dominating in every facet of the game. Dillion Gabriel had three passing touchdowns, and UConn shot themselves in the foot on several occasions, turning the ball over 4 times. UCF looks to continue it’s tour of destruction against Cincinnati this week.
21. Oklahoma State (Previous Rank: N/R)
Chiba Hubbard is a monster. He ran for nearly 300 yards against Kansas State, which was his third 200+ yard affair on the year. The Cowboys suddenly look like a formidable team, and Chiba Hubbard is one of the main reasons. Texas Tech is up next for Oklahoma State.
22. Arizona State (Previous Rank: N/R)
Jayden Daniels has grown up in just 5 short weeks of playing college football. Accounting for 258 yards, the true freshman is really taking control of this offense. ASU is playing some good football right now, picking up a second road win over a ranked team, and taking out the last of the undefeated squads in the conference. A bye week before hosting Washington State.
23. Michigan State (Previous Rank: 23)
The Spartans had no reason to let Indiana keep this game close. The defense has been the main selling point to Michigan State, but they often looked confused and couldn’t stop the Hoosiers from moving the ball. Things don’t get easier as they travel to Columbus this next week, hopefully Mark Dantonio has the defense ready to take on the Bucks, or this gets out of hand quickly.
24. Wake Forest (Previous Rank: 25)
The Demon Deacons just keep winning. This could be a historical season for Wake Forest as it tries its best to climb the ranks of the relatively weak ACC. Jamie Newman had 360 total yards against Boston College, and Wake Forest has a real opportunity to further their ambitions in two weeks when they play host to the Louisville Cardinals.
25. Southern Methodist (Previous Rank: N/R)
The last newcomer to this weeks power rankings, but definitely deserving. Sitting at 5-0 for the first time since the famed “Death Sentence”, this team has a lot going for them. In their rout of USF, Shane Buechele tossed up three scores, while the defense served up 10 sacks. Traveling to Tulsa, there’s a real chance that SMU can stretch their season to 6-0.