No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA POWER-25 WEEK 5 2015

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope In a weekend that went crazy, the Utes were on a bye & now find themselves the #1 team in the nation! Their hold on the top spot is precarious though as the Oregon win doesn’t look as good as it did when they pasted the Ducks 62-20. In fact you can argue that their win over Michigan is more impressive. Utah has a couple of home games coming up against California & Arizona State. If the good times keep rolling then I’d expect Utah to keep the #1 spot. Given the precariuos nature of the ranking, I’d be on guard.
#2 Computer Hope If you want to argue Northwestern being the best team in the nation then I wouldn’t disagree. The win 27-0 win over Minnesota looks amazing in light of how close the Gophers played TCU. The win over Stanford looks downright fabulous at this point and don’t forget the road win over Duke! The Blue Devils have beaten Boston College & Georgia Tech in back to back weeks & look like the ACC Coastal favorite! The Wildcats struggled a bit against Ball St., but the Cardinals might be the 3rd/4th best team in the MAC.
#3 Computer Hope The SEC is tricky with rankings. After this week it’s very hard to imagine Alabama not being the best team in the conference (and really the nation!) but the Tide were upset at home by Ole Miss & we just saw the Gators destroy Ole Miss in Gainesville so how can the SEC not be 1)Florida 2)Ole Miss 3)Alabama at this point if you are ranking solely on merit of the regular season games? Florida is getting exceptionally good defensive play at this point & QB Will Grier has been outstanding. That wins a lot of games.
#4 Computer Hope The Rebels might be long for a top spot in the rankings. When you look at the overall schedule you see a good albeit not great team. Sure they beat Alabama, but they were +5 in TO margin against the Tide & still won by just 6. Look what happened to Georgia when the Tide didn’t give the ball away! Beyond that win, Ole Miss has beat a couple of scrub teams, struggled against Vanderbilt & was blown out by Florida. Ole Miss gets a couple of non-conference games now but beware of Memphis. That’s not automatic.
#5 Computer Hope This is the best team in the nation & only the loss to Ole Miss is holding them back from the top spot. The 38-10 wasting of Georgia in Athens is the most impressive win of the college football season & shows you just how incredible Alabama can be when it’s firing on all cylinders. The Tide defense did a great job on Nick Chubb holding him to 63yds on 19 carries (3.3ypc) before the 83yd TD run late in the 4th. I was also impressed with WRs Calvin Ridley & Richard Mullaney. Jake Coker came into his own! Be afraid!
#6 Computer Hope A perfect weekend for Texas A&M. The Aggies got a huge boost with Arizona St. beating UCLA. That win looks fantastic now. Also Arkansas beating Tennessee helped out the SOS as well. A&M also got it done on the field beating Mississippi St. 30-17 in impressive fashion. Kyle Allen & Tra Carson had big games & I’m not sure there is a way to slow down A&M’s receivers. Josh Reynolds, Christian Kirk & Ricky Seals-Jones look like the best receiving unit in the nation. The A&M defense had a big game too.
#7 Computer Hope A win is a win is a win, but the one caveat I’ll note in Clemson’s 24-22 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night is that the Tigers came out guns blazing & went up 14-0 in the first 6 minutes of the game. For the next 51 minutes, Notre Dame beat Clemson 22-10. Give Clemson some credit though. The win was massive & despite the monsoon like conditions, the Tigers were able to hold onto the ball & run effectively while the Irish lost 3 fumbles & were locked up. Anything short of 13-0 is a disappointment.
#8 Computer Hope Another week another blow out win for the Cardinal, this time hammering Arizona 55-17! As a team Stanford rushed for 314yds/4TD with Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 156yds on only 19 carries. QB Kevin Hogan was darn near perfect going 17/19 for 217yds/2TD! Since losing to Northwestern 16-6, Stanford has won 4 straight & is averaging 42.3PPG! Anu Solomon didn’t play for Arizona due to a concussion, but it’s hard seeing the outcome being any different. Stanford is playing well.
#9 Computer Hope Baylor is here to stay in my power rankings but the Big XII is almost their own worst enemy. From an eye test I believe in TCU & Texas Tech and Baylor is playing better than both. QB Seth Russell is on pace to throw 62TD & for almost 4200yds! RB Shock Linwood is on pace for 1900yds rushing & 20TD! WR Corey Coleman is on pace for 1800yds & 36TD! The offensive numbers are mind blowing, but where are the wins outside the Big XII? Oklahoma’s win over Tennessee doesn’t look so hot anymore.
#10 Computer Hope Another week another win for LSU who cruised to a 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan this past week. Leonard Fournette continued his assault on the nation rushing for 233yds/3TD! Darrel Williams chipped in 89 yards himself on just 11 carries. QB Brandon Harris had a bad game though going 4/15 for 80yds & a pick. That’s not a good sign. Fournette is on pace for 2600 rushing yards & 33TD. He’s tough to stop but so is Nick Chubb. LSU travels to Alabama later & Brandon Harris will have to play well.
#11 Computer Hope Gary Patterson & the Frogs did their part in keeping the heat on Charlie Strong as TCU WAXED Texas 50-7 & it wasn’t even that close! TCU led 50-0 late in the 4th quarter until Texas scored a garbage TD to prevent the shutout. I made this comment in the Baylor section, but you almost get the feeling that you can’t believe in the Big XII until they finally make it. The non-conference schedules are just so soft. In a way I get it with the 9 conference games, but TCU & Baylor need to schedule better in the future.
#12 Computer Hope The loss to Clemson will keep looking better & better as I don’t think the Tigers lose a game. You can’t very well fault Notre Dame for losing 24-22 in a tropical storm on the road to a potential 13-0 squad! As I said before, ND outscored Clemson 22-10 for the final 52 minutes. Close isn’t good enough for the Irish, but if there was a moral victory to be had, I think it was obvious who the better team was. There is absolutely no reason for Notre Dame not to be 10-1 when they head to Stanford in the season finale.
#13 Computer Hope If you believe Utah is the #1 team in the nation then you can make a legit argument that Michigan is #2. Since losing to the Utes 24-17 to open the season, Michigan has won 4 straight by the combined score of 122-14! Michigan has thrown shutouts in back to back weeks & the defense hasn’t allowed a TD since September 19th! Jim Harbaugh is doing an excellent job with game planning. Michigan is playing outstanding defense & controlling the clock. I’m surprised more teams don’t stick to this blueprint. It works.
#14 Computer Hope The 10-6 win over Wisconsin wasn’t pretty but games that include Wisconsin seldom are. This was the first loss for Wisconsin in Camp-Randall since 2013. Iowa starts 5-0 for the first time since 2009 when Iowa finished 11-2 & ranked #7 in the nation. The question now is how far Iowa can take this? I really like CJ Beathead at QB & I came away really impressed with Jordan Canzeri running the ball. The defense is VERY good. If Iowa can win at Northwestern, there is no reason they can’t go 12-0!
#15 Computer Hope Like Utah, the Trojans were on a bye week & also like Utah they benefited. The win over Arizona St. looks even better now that the Sun Devils tore up UCLA. The loss to Stanford looks better with another dominating Cardinal win. On paper this is a ridiculously talented team that is waiting for other teams to lose to move up. USC has a chance to make a huge push. Their next 4 games are: Washington, @Notre Dame, Utah and @California. If there is one weakness here it’s defensive pressure. Keep an eye on it.
#16 Computer Hope 24-21 over Purdue? In East Lansing? You beat Purdue 24-21 at home despite having a +3 TO margin? The win over Oregon is keeping Michigan St. this high but how uninspiring of a football team is this at the moment? As long as Michigan St. keeps winning, everything else will work out but the play should be better. On the other hand, running behind LJ Scott & Madre London while Connor Cook plays mistake free football isn’t a bad play. The Spartans travel to Ann Arbor in 2 weeks. They can make a statement.
#17 Computer Hope Texas Tech had no answer for Baylor RB Shock Linwood who ran for 221yds/2TD on just 20 carries, but the real problem for the Red Raiders was early in the 2nd quarter when they had back to back drives end in a turnover which Baylor turned into TDs. Baylor probably still wins the game, but Tech was -3 in TO margin & racked up 17 penalties for 142 yards! You don’t win games like that. I still really like Texas Tech. I think they can win out & finish 10-2 in a tough Big XII but the play cannot be this sloppy.
#18 Computer Hope Great win for Oklahoma beating West Virginia 44-24. Oklahoma has a couple of good wins over the Mountaineers & Tennessee. Wins over Tulsa & Akron aren’t bad either. We are getting closer & closer to saying Baker Mayfield’s game against Tennessee is the exception rather than the rule. Against the Vols, Mayfield was 19/39 (49%) for 187 yards with 3TD:2INT. In OU’s other 3 wins, Mayfield is 56/96 (58%) for 1195 yards with 10TD:1INT. The defense could stand to be a little better but so far so good for the Sooners.
#19 Computer Hope It’s hard to ignore the Cowboys now that they are 5-0, but I’m not sure how much I believe in the team. Texas completely sucks & Oklahoma St. barely beat them 30-27. They are coming off back-to-back wins by a combined 5 points so while the record says 5-0 it could just as easy be 3-2. What is most impressive about this team is their defensive prowess. The Cowboys currently lead the nation in sacks & tackles for loss. DE Emmanuel Ogbah is having a great season & OK State could reach 8-0 before TCU.
#20 Computer Hope As with Oklahoma St., it’s hard to argue a 5-0 record but California has won their last 3 games by a combined 13 points & those games have come against Texas, Washington & Washington State. Cal’s next 7 games are absolutely nasty starting this week on the road against Utah. QB Jared Goff has been outstanding thus far but he’s now in for a real test. Goff is completing 70.2% of his passes & is on pace to throw for 4,238 yards & 39TD. The offense gets a lot of attention but the Cal defense has been great at ball hawking.
#21 Computer Hope Arizona St. went into SoCal as an underdog against a top-10 team & came away with a 38-23 win over previously unbeaten UCLA. At this point how bad can Arizona St. be? They just got a road win over a top-10 team & their only losses have come against Texas A&M & USC. There is an awful lot of talent on this football team & with USC & UCLA already out of the way & Stanford not being on the schedule, would anyone really be surprised to see the Sun Devils at 10-2 when the dust settles? Good looking team!
#22 Computer Hope Like Michigan St. & Ohio St., Florida St. keeps winning games but they are wholly unimpressive when doing so. This past week the Noles took down Wake Forest but did so 24-16. Wake Forest had more total yards, passing yards, rushing yards & first downs than Florida State. You can make an argument that if Wake wasn’t -2 in TO margin they might have pulled off a stunner. The defense has been on point but at the same time you averaged 19PPG against Wake Forest & Boston College. That doesn’t look so hot.
#23 Computer Hope How in the blue hell is this the #1 team in the nation? The Virginia Tech wins looks terrible now that VT can’t beat anyone. Northern Illinois just got waxed by Central Michigan. Western Michigan completely sucks. Hawaii just got beat by Boise St. 55-0! And then there is Indiana. The Buckeyes barely escaped Bloomington with a 34-27 win & that was a game Ohio St. probably should have lost. Beat Michigan & Michigan St. & nobody will remember the struggles but right now this doesn’t look like the #1 team.
#24 Computer Hope That’s what happens when Alabama is playing at optimal levels. I’m not sure the 38-10 loss at the hands of the Tide is a horrible thing or means that much. From a talent perspective, UGA should win out get to 11-1 & hopefully get a rematch with the Tide. A revenge win & the 12-1 Bulldogs are playing for a national championship. On the other hand, what do we really know about Georgia? They haven’t beaten anyone & the one real team the played crushed them in their own backyard. Georgia has a lot to prove.
#25 Computer Hope The 19-10 loss to Northwestern looks better & better as time passes & Northwestern keeps winning. The win over Georgia Tech doesn’t look as good now that the Yellow Jackets are crashing & burning, but I love the gritty 9-7 win over Boston College. BC is an extremely tough team. They could be 5-0 at this point. QB Thomas Sirk is doing a good job so far & S Jeremy Cash is playing like an All-American. Given the state of the ACC Coastal, I think the Blue Devils have a great shot at winning the division. Wild.

DROPPING OUT

UCLA BRUINS (previously #6): A huge drop for the Bruins but really it was a matter of circumstance. Arizona St. fit in as the #21 team in my rankings & I couldn’t justify ranking UCLA ahead of them. I couldn’t rank them ahead of Florida St. or Ohio St. either & I think Georgia is better & Duke has shown well. UCLA has a bye before playing Stanford on a Thursday night. They can bounce back.

MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS (previously #20): This is what life is like in the SEC West. The Bulldogs are 3-2 with losses to LSU & Texas A&M. You could argue this is still a top-15 squad.

OREGON DUCKS (previously #21): Struggling against Colorado? This isn’t your older brother’s Oregon Ducks!

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (previously #23): Arguably the most unlucky team in college football right now. The Vols are 2-3 but have losses to Florida, Oklahoma & Arkansas by a combined 12 points! If UT wins those games they are 5-0 & making a GREAT argument for being the #1 team in the nation!

WISCONSIN BADGERS (previously #24): Joel Stave just isn’t the answer.

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October 6, 2015 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Baylor, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., NCAA, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 25, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas AM, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Week 5

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