The Alabama Crimson Tide remained atop the AP Top 25 college football rankings for Week 5 after a defensive show to come back and defeat the #10 Arkansas Ranzorbacks, making their hold on the #1 spot almost automatic, while Arkansas fell to #15. The Top 10 saw a minor shake-up with Arkansas falling out, but a major dislocation when #7 Texas dropped a game at home against a resurgent UCLA. But the stories of the week in the Ap Top 25 college football rankings, besides the Alabama win and the Texas loss, was the solid win by Stanford and hard-won victory by Auburn.
The Pac-10 flexed their collective conference muscle (except for #24 Oregon State, who lost to Boise State) by watching Oregon, Arizona, USC, and Stanford all remain undefeated for Week 5, and the UCLA Bruins travel to Austin to record their second straight win over an undefeated team. They didn’t get in the AP Top 25, but it certainly got them noticed. As for getting noticed, the Stanford Cardinal vaulted into the Top 10 with a convincing win over the hapless Notre Dame Fighting Irish, landing at #9. (It should be noted that Stanford crushed UCLA 35-0 earlier in the season.)
The top half of the Top 10 for Week 5 saw Ohio State and Boise State remain in the same position they were in Week 4 — #2 and #3, respectively. Oregon jumped into the #4 spot (from #5) by beating a tough Arizona State and TCU slipped one notch to #5 even though they defeated SMU by 17 points.
The bottom half of the Top 10 reflected a static Nebraska, but Florida slid into the #7 spot after soundly defeating the previously undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. Oklahoma remained steady at #8. As mentioned, Stanford vaulted 7 notches into the #9 slot and Auburn took their undefeated record, gained via defeating a tough #12 South Carolina, into the #10 position, replacing their SEC rivals Arkansas by beating an SEC rival.
Texas was the biggest loser of the week, falling 14 places to land at #21. Stanford and Auburn shared the claim for biggest vertical leap with seven spots gained.
Possibly the most disappointed team in the nation (except for perhaps Arkansas and South Carolina) was the #11 Wisconsin Badgers. They were #11 in Week 4 as well. Although undefeated, they have remained at #11 since Week 3, but had only moved up one spot from Week 2 (actual first week poll — the Preseason AP Top 25 being Week 1). Even a resounding pummeling of tiny Austin Peay, 70-3, didn’t move them into the Top 10. Perhaps next week after #4 Oregon takes on #9 Stanford, #1 Alabama takes on #7 Florida, #6 Nebraska takes on an undefeated (and unranked) Kansas State, and #8 Oklahoma will take on an embarrassed archrival Texas (#21). But for Wisconsin to get into the Top 10, they’ll have to beat #24 and undefeated Michigan State.
Oregon State, with their loss to #3 Boise State, fell out of the AP Top 25 college football rankings, as did #22 West Virginia, who fell to #15 LSU. The LSU Tigers were rewarded with a three-spot bump to #12.
Replacing the teams that dropped were a surprising North Carolina State (#23) and Nevada (#25).
Other upcoming games to watch for Week 5 will be match-ups between ACC rivals #16 Miami (FL) and Clemson, #17 Iowa and #22 Penn State, #20 Michigan and undefeated Big Ten rival Indiana, and #23 North Carolina State and a resurgent Virginia Tech.
Something to note: In the ever ongoing debate of whether or not Boise State deserves their high rank, it must be noted that not only is Virginia Tech possibly on the rebound from their first two losses, but it looks as if Boise State may have to take on a potentially undefeated Nevada squad in the next-to-last game of the season.
AP Top 25 College Football Rankings (Week 5)
2. Ohio State
3. Boise State
16. Miami (FL)
19. South Carolina
22. Penn State
23. North Carolina State
24. Michigan State
Compare to AP Top 25 College Football Rankings (Week 4)
Associated Press Top 25 via ESPN.go.com