College football’s first weekend in October has come and went and the year of the “basketball school” continues on.
The Kansas Jayhawks, Syracuse Orange and UCLA Bruins have all started the season 5-0 — just as we all predicted — and land in this week’s Power Rankings. Meanwhile, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Florida State all fall from the ranks after Week 5 losses.
Yes, the basketball schools have entered the college football ranks but the sport’s bluebloods still retain the power. Georgia survived a close call at Missouri while Alabama rolled against Arkansas and Ohio State sprinted past Rutgers as this year’s “top-3” all remained unbeaten. Clemson may just be the team to round out a true top-4 this season following a statement win over NC State, 30-20, in a top-10 matchup.
The Week 5 slate featured two top-10 teams losing and four of last week’s teams falling from the rankings so there’s plenty of movement to track.
Here are this week’s Power Rankings.
For the second straight week, Georgia wasn’t on top of its game and trailed most of the way Saturday before rallying in the fourth quarter for a 26-22 road win over Missouri. The Dawgs (5-0) also weren’t sharp in a 39-22 win over Kent State in Week 4. Against a determined Missouri team, Georgia had to overcome a 16-3 deficit in the second quarter and a 22-12 deficit with 14:09 remaining in the game. Quarterback Stetson Bennett passed for 312 yards but threw it 43 times. Georgia also had two more turnovers. That’s five in the past two weeks. — Chris Low
Up next: vs. Auburn (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
After the No. 1 Bulldogs escape with a 26-22 come-from-behind victory at Missouri, Kirby Smart says winning on the road is always difficult in the SEC.
The win itself over Arkansas was pivotal even if it wasn’t pretty. See: a multitude of drops by Crimson Tide receivers and a fumbled punt in the 49-26 victory. But surviving on the road against a ranked team in the SEC is never going to be a bad thing. What was almost disastrous was when quarterback Bryce Young injured his shoulder and spent an eternity in the medical tent and then the locker room. Alabama’s championship hopes flashed before its eyes until Young returned to the sideline among his teammates in the second half. His shoulder will be scrutinized in the coming week, but the biggest win of all on Saturday was the fact that Young didn’t reappear wearing a sling. — Alex Scarborough
Up next: vs. Texas A&M (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, CBS)
Running back Miyan Williams tied the Ohio State single-game rushing touchdown record in a 49-10 win over Rutgers. Williams had five rushing touchdowns and 189 yards on 21 carries to tie Keith Byars, who had five touchdowns in 1984, and Pete Johnson, who did it in 1974. The Buckeyes’ defense held Rutgers to just 74 yards passing and 107 yards on the ground in a dominant win to remain undefeated. — Tom VanHaaren
Up next: at Michigan State (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app)
The Tigers followed up their double overtime thriller over Wake Forest with a dominant 30-20 victory over NC State to put them in control of the Atlantic Division through the first month of the season. DJ Uiagalelei threw for 209 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 73 yards and two more as he continues to improve with each passing game. But the story in this one was the defense, which redeemed itself after a shaky performance against the Demon Deacons by holding the Wolfpack to 279 total yards and forcing two turnovers. — Andrea Adelson
Up next: at Boston College (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app)
The Wolverines avoided the trap that is Kinnick Stadium and beat Iowa on the road, 27-14. Michigan scored on its opening drive with a 16-yard run from wide receiver Ronnie Bell. After running for 234 yards against Maryland, running back Blake Corum had 133 yards and a touchdown in this game for the Wolverines. The Michigan defense held Iowa scoreless until the fourth quarter, when the Hawkeyes were able to get two touchdowns. Despite those two scores, Michigan came away with a win and remains undefeated on the season. — VanHaaren
Up next: at Indiana (Saturday, noon ET, Fox)
What appeared to be a dangerously close game at halftime for USC against a far inferior Arizona State team turned into an expected win to go 5-0, surpassing last year’s 4-win total. Caleb Williams threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns while adding 44 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Meanwhile, the defense continued to struggle to stop the run, allowing over 200 total offensive yards in the first half before buckling down and holding ASU to only eight points in the second half. A Calen Bullock interception in the final minute sealed the result and kept the defense’s streak of having at least one turnover in every game this season alive. — Paolo Uggetti
Up next: vs. Washington State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, TBD)
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Tennessee, which had a breakthrough 38-33 win over Florida a week ago but is also dealing with some key injuries. Top receiver Cedric Tillman missed the Florida game after having a minor procedure on his ankle. The Vols are hopeful he will have a chance to return for the LSU game. In addition, quarterback Hendon Hooker was slung down hard on his right shoulder against Florida but finished the game with 349 passing yards and 112 rushing yards. Freshman running back Dylan Sampson should also be back for LSU after missing the Florida game. The Vols are averaging 48.5 points per game and have racked up more than 415 yards in total offense in all four games this season. — Low
Up next: at LSU (Saturday, noon ET, ESPN/ESPN app)
The Cowboys weren’t going to let this year’s Baylor game be decided on the final play or a short-yardage situation, scoring on all five of their red zone trips at McLane Stadium. Quarterback Spencer Sanders tied coach Mike Gundy for second place on the team’s all-time touchdown passes list (28), while adding a team-high 75 rush yards and a score. Oklahoma State’s special teams were the difference, though, as Jaden Nixon opened the second half with a 98-yard touchdown return, and Tanner Brown converted two short field goals. The Cowboys’ defense recorded a safety and allowed only three first-half points in the win. — Adam Rittenberg
Up next: vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, TBD)
Lane Kiffin has had his share of explosive offenses, but Ole Miss’ defense was the difference Saturday in a 22-19 home win over Kentucky, the Rebels’ first win over a top-10 foe since 2016, when they beat then-No. 8 Texas A&M 29-28. Ole Miss forced turnovers on Kentucky’s final two possessions, the last one coming when defensive end Jared Ivey hit Kentucky quarterback Will Levis just as he was about to throw and forced a fumble that was recovered by Tavius Robinson. The Wildcats had moved to the Rebels’ 8-yard line inside the final minute when the Rebels made their stand. — Low
Up next: at Vanderbilt (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network/ESPN app)
Kentucky’s touchdown is called back because of an illegal shift, and the Wildcats fumble on the next play to seal the win for Ole Miss.
Penn State’s defense stepped up yet again as it helped the offense overcome five turnovers amid bad weather conditions to beat Northwestern 17-7. The Nittany Lions’ defense forced three turnovers in the first half — which the offense turned into 14 points — while holding Northwestern to 78 total yards in the half. Its offense collectively ran for 220 yards as three players (Nicholas Singleton, Kaytron Allen and Keyvone Lee) churned out at least 40 yards apiece. Quarterback Sean Clifford‘s (140 passing yards) chemistry with junior tight end Brenton Strange continued to flourish as the duo connected for a touchdown for the second straight week. Penn State is off to a 5-0 start for the second consecutive year. — Blake Baumgartner
Up next: BYE
The Ducks’ 45-27 rout of Stanford was largely product of their run game. A lot of that by design and more from when QB Bo Nix took off and ran (six carries, 141 yards). The Ducks finished with 341 yards rushing as a team on just 34 carries with four touchdowns, and no one had more than 11 carries (Noah Whittington). This game likely could have gotten more out of hand but Oregon had the game sewn up at halftime with a 31-3 lead. — Kyle Bonagura
Up next: at Arizona (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, TBD)
The Wildcats got star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. back on Saturday, and he added a boost to their running game. But it was their shoddy pass protection and two crippling fourth-quarter fumbles by quarterback Will Levis that got them beat in a 22-19 road loss to Ole Miss. The Wildcats also had a touchdown pass in the final minutes nullified by a false start penalty in their first loss of the season. Levis was sacked three more times, including an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone that resulted in a safety for Kentucky. He already has been sacked 19 times this season. — Low
Up next: vs. South Carolina (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network/ESPN app)
A week after Oregon State took USC to the wire, the Utes dominated the Beavers from start to finish in a 42-16 win. It was the type of performance that reaffirmed why the Utes were the preseason favorite in the Pac-12. Utah QB Cam Rising completed 19 of 25 passes with three touchdown passes and no interceptions and added 73 yards rushing and another score on seven carries. The Utes were actually outgained by the Beavers (417 to 361), but that was mainly a product of the Utes’ four interceptions. — Kyle Bonagura
Up next: at UCLA (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, TBD)
After losing a heartbreaker to Clemson a week ago, many wondered how Wake Forest would respond on the road against Florida State. After going down 7-0 early, the Demon Deacons showed why they are the veteran team that they are — dominating up front on the offensive and defensive lines and never flinching even when the Seminoles came back in the fourth quarter. The 31-21 win is Wake Forest’s third straight against the Seminoles — tied for the Deacons’ longest winning streak in the series. Quarterback Sam Hartman threw for two touchdown passes, and Justice Ellison had a career-high 114 yards and one touchdown in the win. — Adelson
Up next: vs. Army (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
High preseason expectations and a win over Clemson a year ago meant there was perhaps additional pressure on the Wolfpack headed into their game against Clemson on Saturday. But the same issues that have plagued this team on offense showed up — an ineffective run game, inconsistent receivers and a quarterback that could not put everything together — in a 30-20 loss to Clemson. NC State only had 34 yards rushing, and Devin Leary went 28 of 47 for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception, as he was hurried for most of the night and could not get a rhythm going. — Adelson
Up next: vs. Florida State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network/ESPN app)
Kansas is 5-0. This is not a drill. It wasn’t exactly the most comprehensive win of the weekend, but the Jayhawks’ 14-11 victory against Iowa State is up there with the most meaningful. The Jayhawks were limited to just 213 total yards, but second-quarter running touchdowns from Daniel Hishaw Jr. and Jalon Daniels provided the only points they needed. — Bonagura
Up next: vs. TCU (Saturday, noon ET, FS1)
TCU’s first Big 12 game of the Sonny Dykes era was a stunner, with the Horned Frogs rolling over Oklahoma in historic fashion in a 55-24 win, just the second TCU win over OU since joining the Big 12 in 2012. The Frogs rolled up 668 yards, including 361 rushing on 8.8 yards per carry and Max Duggan became the first player with three passing touchdowns and two rushing TDs against Oklahoma since Patrick Mahomes did it for Texas Tech in 2016. It was a dominant performance that ended an eight-game losing streak to the Sooners. — Dave Wilson
Up next: at Kansas (Saturday, noon ET, FS1)
As soon as Michael Penix Jr. drove the Huskies down the field for a touchdown in Washington’s opening possession on Friday night against the Bruins, it appeared to be the start of a long night for Chip Kelly’s team. Instead, UCLA turned the tide and did it quickly. Behind a stellar performance from Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who danced all over the Washington defense, the Bruins put up nearly 500 yards of offense and 40 points on a team that was expected to dispatch them. It was a game that Kelly’s teams over the past five years have, more often than not, lost. But this time, they pulled off the upset and look like a Pac-12 surprise team that is gaining more steam. — Uggetti
Up next: vs. Utah (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, TBD)
Adrian Martinez (171 yards) and Deuce Vaughn (170 yards) were nearly unstoppable on the ground as Kansas State moved to 2-0 in the Big 12 with a 37-28 win against Texas Tech. The Wildcats were gashed for 359 yards through the air but erupted for three straight scoring drives to begin the third quarter to put the game away. Martinez scored on runs of 18, 69 and 12 yards and threw for another score. — Bonagura
Up next: at Iowa State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU/ESPN app)
Adrian Martinez runs for 12-yard touchdown
After absorbing a hit from Utah State in the first half, BYU used the third quarter to pull away and ensure there was no Thursday night upset in Provo. The Cougars’ offense put up nearly twice as many yards in the third as it did in the first half and scored two touchdowns on the way to a 38-26 win. Jaren Hall tossed three touchdowns while BYU’s defense forced two fumbles, recovered one and picked off backup quarterback Cooper Legas twice to stave off the Cougars’ in-state rival. — Uggetti
Up next: vs. Notre Dame at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
Everything was coming up Washington heading into Friday night’s matchup against UCLA. The Huskies were undefeated and their transfer quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., was starting to get Heisman hype. But instead of rolling through another opponent, Kaelen DeBoer’s team hit an unexpected wall. The Bruins gave the Huskies all they could handle and throttled them on offense thanks to 499 total offensive yards and Dorian Thompson-Robinson looking like the better quarterback on the field. The disappointing result doesn’t derail Washington’s season, but it does bring the surprise team back down to earth a bit. — Uggetti
Up next: at Arizona State (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, TBD)
This is a much younger team than the one that won the Big 12 in 2021, and it showed in the league opener against Oklahoma State. Baylor didn’t execute well on offense in the first half, mustering only three points despite gaining 156 yards. Coach Dave Aranda said his team was outplayed on special teams, surrendering a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half. The Bears fought back in the third quarter with 22 points but couldn’t get enough offense down the stretch despite strong performances from wide receiver Monaray Baldwin (186 receiving yards, two touchdowns) and running back Richard Reese (85 rushing yards, one touchdown), plus a career-high 345 pass yards from Blake Shapen. — Rittenberg
Up next: BYE
Give the Hogs credit for storming back in the second half. After trailing Alabama by three touchdowns, Arkansas got a 13-yard touchdown, recovered an onside kick, kicked a field goal and ran in another touchdown to make it a 5-point game. But then Alabama reminded everyone why it was a 17-point favorite when it put together two touchdown drives in the span of two minutes to secure the win — and Arkansas’ second straight loss. Sam Pittman will need to right the ship — and the struggling secondary — ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Mississippi State. — Scarborough
Up next: at Mississippi State (Saturday, noon ET, SEC Network/ESPN app)
Syracuse jumped all over Wagner during a 59-0 shutout on Saturday. Of its 631 total yards, 388 of them came on the ground as the Orange saw two players eclipse the 100-yard mark (sophomore Sean Tucker and freshman LeQuint Allen). Tucker ran for a career-high 232 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries — including a 60-yard touchdown run. Junior quarterback Garrett Shrader was a perfect 17-of-17 passing for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Orange’s defense limited the Seahawks to only 50 total yards and four first downs on the way to starting 5-0 in a season for the first time since 1987. — Baumgartner
Up next: BYE
After suffering their first defeat of the season last week against Oregon, Washington State bounced back strongly with a convincing 28-9 win against Cal. QB Cameron Ward topped the 300-yard passing mark for the consecutive week, completing 27 of 40 passes (343 yards) with three touchdowns. But this win was more about the defense. It’s the second straight year Wazzu has limited Cal to single digits on the scoreboard. — Bonagura
Up next: at USC (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, TBD)