AP Top 25 College Football Rankings – Week Five

AP Top 25
(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

Once again, there was a crazy week of football. A week that saw nine upsets within the previous ranked AP Top 25. Now there are seven newly ranked teams. This week there are seven SEC teams, four ACC schools, three Big Ten programs, four Big 12 teams, four Pac 12 schools, an American Athletic program, and an Independent school ranked. What are the reactions of each team? What’s next?

Others receiving votes: Washington State, Baylor, Florida State, Arkansas, James Madison, Florida, Maryland, Coastal Carolina, Minnesota, Tulane, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Purdue, Oklahoma


25. LSU Tigers

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 21-17 Win over Auburn

What’s next: vs. Tennessee (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The LSU Tigers are 2 missed field goals away from being undefeated on this season, only losing the season opener to FSU by 1 point. Since then this team has been electric on both ends. Cracking the top 25 for the first time is only a start for the bayou Bengals. This defense is the definition of flying to the ball on every play, setting the tone and giving their offense room to relax and execute. This team showed their true poise this weekend coming back from a 17-3 deficit to win against Auburn. Exciting to see what happens for them the rest of the year. –Rowan Donaghey

24. Cincinnati Bearcats

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 31-21 Win over Tulsa

What’s next: vs. South Florida (Saturday, 2:30 PM ET)

The Bearcats appear in the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. The pairing of Ben Bryant and Corey Kiner has done well for Cincy this season. The Bearcat faithful hopes to see it work well the rest of the year as well. They will look to move up next week with a win over conference opponent South Florida. – Cincinnati Bearcats

23. Mississippi State (4-1)

Previous Ranking: Unranked (received votes)

Week 5 Result: 42-24 Win over Texas A&M

What’s next: vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Bulldogs of Mississippi State have been dominant in all three of their victories this season thus far. The only loss coming to the SEC conference foe LSU Tigers. This offense has put up 40 points on every team except for LSU and has shown legit star power. The defense is the only thing holding this team back, once the meat of the SEC gets to them, they will only go as far as their defense takes them. – Rowan Donaghey

22. Syracuse Orange (5-0)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 59-0 Win over Wagner

What’s next: Bye

Along with Kansas, Syracuse is the other new member to earn a seat at the table for the AP Top 25. So far this season the Orange’s most impressive wins are Louisville and Virginia in ACC play, but also the win against Purdue was a nice feather in their cap as well. Bright spots in Syracuse’s success have been Sean Tucker RB (So.) and Garrett Shrader QB (Jr.). They had an easy win against Wagner this past weekend
and Syracuse now faces the next two weeks some of their hardest opponents in ACC play, NC State and Clemson. There’s nothing to say they will not be competitive with them, and they should pull out a win against NC State, but Clemson will be the true test. Syracuse has yet to face formidable defenses and has had favorable matchups so far. It will be a must-watch to see if they can withstand this more difficult part of their schedule.- Branden Timm

21. Washington Huskies

Previous Ranking: 15 (Dropped 6)

Week 5 Result: 42-34 Loss to UCLA

What’s next: at Arizona State (Saturday, 4 PM ET)

Coming into the week, The Huskies’ offense had been firing on all cylinders, with QB Michael Penix Jr. leading all of CFB in passing yards, and after a heartbreaking loss to now UCLA, the Huskies have found themselves all the way down to 21. They look to make a statement and bounce back against an Arizona State team that was beaten badly by USC. Look for the Offense to get back to its normal form. – Shane Davis

20. Kansas State Wildcats (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 25 (moved up 5)

Week 5 Result: 37-28 Win over Texas Tech

What’s next: at Iowa State (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

Kansas State may have come out of nowhere, but it’s clear that they’re here to stay. They would have a tough test in their first game of the season as a ranked team, hosting Texas Tech, who was responsible for upsetting two Top 25 teams in #25 Houston and #22 Texas. Yet it didn’t take long for K-State to set the tone. One play, to be exact. Quarterback Adrian Martinez would take off for 57 yards on the first play of the game, before scoring on the very next play on an 18-yard scamper. Martinez would hoist the Wildcats offense to victory, impressively recording 171 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground and would also contribute another 116 yards and a score through the air. The Wildcats sweated it out late but would clinch their 4th win on the season with an interception to seal the deal at 37-28. They will get little rest, as they travel to take on Iowa State before getting a bye week to help prepare for a 6-game stretch to close out the season. – Logan Guenterberg

19. Kansas Jayhawks (5-0)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 14-11 Win over Iowa State

What’s next: vs TCU (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

Head Coach Lance Liepold has been a winner everywhere he’s been, and college football media has finally noticed as the AP finally ranks Kansas in the top 25 for the first time since 2008. Liepold won 6 national championships in Division III football with UW-Whitewater and brought a Buffalo Bulls team to 10 wins in the 2020 season before taking the job at Kansas. The Jayhawks’ body of work so far has been an impressive group of wins against Houston, West Virginia, Duke, and now arguably the biggest win in recent history against Iowa State. The Jayhawks were able to take advantage of special-teams errors and missed field goals by the Cyclones. The play of the game was an interception by Cobee Bryant CB (So.) to set up the offense with a short field where Jalon Daniels QB (Jr.) was able to rush it in for the score to put Kansas in a position to go 5-0. Kansas will have to go through to gauntlet of Big XII competition facing TCU, then @Oklahoma & @Baylor before their bye then they get to host Oklahoma State. If they can go 2-2 in that stretch that would be respectable for this Kansas team, but if they keep causing upsets as they keep rolling who knows what the destiny is for Jayhawks when it’s all said and done. – Branden Timm

18. UCLA (5-0)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 42-34 Win over Washington

What’s next: vs. Utah (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The Bruins are off to an impressive 5-0 start, being led by Chip Kelly UCLA upset the Washington Huskies 40-32. The win put an unranked UCLA squad back into the AP Top 25. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Until their Pac-12 play, UCLA has an easy schedule which is why they weren’t ranked sooner. They’ll be tested against a (4-1) Utah team. After this matchup we may be able to tell if this team is a fraud or if they are legit. – Dacota Haynes

17. TCU (4-0)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 5 Result: 55-24 Win over Oklahoma

What’s next: at Kansas (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Horned Frogs posted a statement win last week, bludgeoning Oklahoma 55-24. Senior QB Max Duggan dominated the Sooners defense, throwing for 302 yards and rushing for 136, scoring 5 total touchdowns. Duggan will lead this blazing TCU offense, 2nd-best in the country in both yards per game (549.5) and points per game (48.5) into Week 6 against #19 Kansas in what should be an incredible matchup. – Nico Zambuto

16. BYU Cougars (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 19 (Moved Up 3)

Week 5 Result: 38-26 Win over Utah State

What’s next: at Notre Dame (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

BYU kept their Cinderella season alive by winning one of their “must-have” games of the season. Hosting the struggling Utah State Aggies, BYU got off to a sluggish start, as they were only able to muster a 17-17 tie at the half. From then on out, it was nothing but BYU, as they rallied to go on a 21-3 scoring run before allowing a garbage time touchdown to finish with a reassuring 38-26 win. Jaren Hall did Jaren Hall things once again, slinging the rock for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns to overpower the Aggies to win the Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel. Hall did seem to favor his right shoulder after taking a hit near the end of the third quarter, so that will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. BYU will head to Indiana to take on a vaunted Notre Dame team with a chip on their shoulder after disappointing early in the season. – Logan Guenterberg

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 21 (moved up seven)

Week 5 Result: 31-21 Win over Florida State

What’s next: vs. Army (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

After a heartbreaking loss to Clemson last week the Demon Deacons were able to turn it around in an important battle against No. 23 Florida State. After falling behind on the first drive of the game Wake Forest was able to put together three straight drives resulting in TDs in the middle of the first half. Wake Forest used the first drive of the third quarter to put up another TD to go up 28-7. Despite an FSU comeback attempt, Wake Forest was able to walk away with a great 31-21 bounce-back victory. Even though Sam Hartman did put up the same insane stats as last week he still did great work recording 234 pass yards for two pass TDs. The biggest note from this game was the Demon Deacons’ ability to stop FSU on third down as they only allowed them to go 4-11. With some great work from Hartman and a much improved defensive showing, they were able to walk away with a win and move up seven spots in the AP Poll. – Zack Cherney

14. NC State Wolfpack (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 10 (dropped four)

Week 5 Result: 30-20 Loss to Clemson

What’s next: vs. Florida State (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

 After a blazing 4-0 start, the Wolfpack could not overcome #5 Clemson on the road, losing a hard-fought game 30-20. Despite the loss, the team performed well, and proved they belong among the top teams in the country, which is why they only drop 4 spots this week after the loss. NC State’s defense, led by junior LBs Drake Thomas and Payton Wilson, has been monstrous, allowing the 2nd-fewest yards (280.0) and points (15.4) per game in the ACC. They will continue to lean on that defense, as well as QB Devin Leary, next week against Florida State. – Nico Zambuto

13. Kentucky Wildcats (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 7 (dropped six)

Week 5 Result: 22-19 Loss to Ole Miss

What’s next: vs. South Carolina (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

Senior QB Will Levis QB (Sr.) went 18-24 for 220 yards and two touchdowns and even with Chris Rodriguez Jr. RB (Sr.) rushing for 62 yards and an additional touchdown it was not enough to get past Ole Miss. The most jarring stat that raises the eyebrows is Levis having two fumbles that were both lost. Ole Miss played one of their best games to get this win and both teams were evenly matched in the second half. Ole Miss benefitted from a hot two-score start in Q1. This will not be last we hear from HC Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats. It is not going to be easy for mid-tier teams of the SEC to win on the road as those teams have recruited better players the past couple of seasons. Kentucky should be able to have get right game redemption against the South Carolina Gamecocks who have allowed over 40 points against SEC opponents so far this season. – Branden Timm

12. Oregon Ducks (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 13 (Moved up 1)

Week 5 Result: 45-27 Win over Stanford

What’s next: at Arizona (Saturday, 9 PM ET)

Dan Lanning and this year’s squad accomplished something that hasn’t been done by the last four head coaches after their first matchup against Stanford. Chip Kelly, Mark Helfrich, Willie Taggart, and Mario Cristobal all dropped that first game against the Cardinal. Bo Nix set a career-high in rushing yards this week when the Ducks ran all over the Cardinal defense. They got out to a big lead and never looked back. Next week, the Ducks will travel down south and play in Tuscon. It should be another easy Pac-12 victory for Oregon. – Dacota Haynes

11. Utah Utes (4-1)

Previous Ranking: 12 (moved up one)

Week 5 Result: 42-16 win over Oregon State

What’s next: at UCLA (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

After losing to Florida in week 1, in a fluke of a game I might add, the Utah Utes have not allowed a game to be competitive. Winning by a margin of around 35 points per game. They have brutally defended as well as having one of the top-ranked ground attacks in the nation. This team looks like they take games personally, be surprised if the Utes of Utah lose another game this season. This team has playoffs written all over them, maybe even the national title. The next three weeks will be the true test for this team as they will face the two best teams on their schedule back to back. – Rowan Donaghey

AP Top 25

Top 10

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 11 (moved up one)

Week 5 Result: 17-7 win over Northwestern

What’s next: Bye

Penn State not only battled Northwestern but also the rain this week. Fumbling the ball four times in the game. However, despite the extra possession, Northwestern only put up seven points. Penn State’s defense was a driving factor for this game. Penn State still was able to pull out the win 17-7 to move to 5-0 on the season. After the bye week they have this week, their next matchup is their Big 10 rival #4 ranked Michigan. This is a big game as Penn State looks to remain undefeated and get back in the college football playoffs. – Jeremy Adams

9. Ole Miss Rebels (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 13 (moved up five)

Week 5 Result: 22-19 Win over Kentucky

What’s next: at Vanderbilt (Saturday, 4 PM PST)

Ole Miss came into this game with Kentucky undefeated. So we’re their opponents but regardless of their records everyone still questioned if either team was legit. Neither had played any hard competition till now. It was a close hard-fought game that the Rebels defense came up big in. The answer is I would say both are legit but Mississippi took the win. If they can keep rolling this may be the start of the Lane Kiffin dynasty at Ole Miss. With them being in the top team as well it looks like the SEC could beat up on itself if it’s not careful. – Jeff Scoggins

8. Tennessee Volunteers (4-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 5 Result: Bye

What’s next: LSU (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Volunteers got to take a week off which was much needed after a close win over Florida and as they prepare to take on No. 25 LSU and No. 1 Alabama in back-to-back weeks. Hopefully, they were able to take this off week to pump up their defense to the caliber of a Top-10 team. There was a ton of shifting in the rankings after an interesting weekend, but Tennessee was able to stay put. – Zack Cherney

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0)

Previous Ranking: 8 (moved up 1)

Week 5 Result: 36-25 Win over Baylor

What’s next: vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

In the 2021 Big 12 Championship game the Oklahoma State Cowboys came up inches short of a conference title to the Baylor Bears. The Cowboys were more than ready for some revenge in this rematch on Saturday. The Bears got a field goal on the first drive of the game, but after that, it was all Cowboys with two TDs and a safety to go into halftime up 16-3. The Cowboys’ defense held the Bears to only 97 yards after their field goal. The first play of the second half was a kick return for a TD for the Cowboys to go up 23-3. Unfortunately, their defense let up some big plays and with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Cowboys were only up 33-25. Nevertheless, the Cowboys’ defense stepped up and got two interceptions to seal the game. Outside of the third quarter, this game was completely dominated by Oklahoma State. The one issue is that at crucial points in the second half they decided to run the ball instead of trust star QB Spencer Sanders who went 20/29 for 181 pass yards and two pass TDs. Going away from what works is what gets teams in trouble and if they are going to continue to stay in the Top-10 they need to keep passing the ball with Sanders. – Zack Cherney

6. USC Trojans (5-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 5 Result: 42-25 win over Arizona State

What’s next: vs. Washington State (Saturday 7:30 PM ET)

Head Coach Lincoln Riley’s combination of Caleb Williams QB (So.), Travis Dye RB (Sr.), and Jordan Addison WR (Jr.) led the Trojans to victory against Arizona State. Williams threw for three touchdowns and had 348 passing yards, Dye had 13 carries for 62 yards and two rushing touchdowns and Addison had himself a second 100 yards receiving game for this season. The defense for USC had five sacks and seven tackles for a loss but moving forward this season they will have to be stouter against inferior competition. The low-scoring affair with Oregon State can manifest itself again if they fail to tighten their loose ends in this next two-week stretch, as they are scheduled to face the frisky Washington State Cougars and the 11th-ranked Utah Utes. – Branden Timm

5. Clemson Tigers (5-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 5 Result: 30-20 Win over NC State

What’s next: at Boston College (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

Finally. That’s what everyone associated with Clemson has to be thinking as the Tigers defeated NC State Saturday night. This was the team’s most complete game of the season, by far. DJ Uigalelei didn’t make as many big plays passing but still rushed for 73 huge yards. Clemson’s defense looked much closer to the championship-level defense the Tigers are used to seeing. The Wolfpack could not establish any running game, and Devin Leary was harassed constantly by Clemson’s defensive line. There are still things to clean up, nine penalties for 95 yards being the biggest one, but Clemson is now clearly the ACC’s best team yet again.–Lee McManus

4. Michigan Wolverines (5-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 5 Result: 27-14 win over Iowa

What’s next: at Indiana (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Wolverines have been top 4-5 teams all season long, relying on the running game to get them in rhythm. The freshman quarterback shows a lot of poise off of bootlegs and plays actions, easing him into the game every weekend. On the other end is a defense that has only given up more than 14 points once in their five victories. The BIG10 is back when it comes to football and the way Michigan is playing it might be their conference for the taking. This season will come down to one game, against Ohio State. – Rowan Donaghey

3. Ohio State (5-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 5 Result: 49-10 Win over Rutgers

What’s next: at Michigan State (Saturday, 4 PM ET)

The Buckeyes continued their dominance this week with a win over Rutgers. Though C.J. Stroud passed for 154 yards and two touchdowns, the passing game was more dormant this week with Miyan Williams going for 189 yards and five touchdowns. The Buckeyes offense has been firing on all cylinders this season with an average of 48.8 points, while the defense has only allowed an average of 14.8 points. This week, the Buckeyes will match up against a previously ranked Michigan State squad. With how the Buckeyes have been playing it should be an easy route for them to pick up their sixth win of the year. – Dacota Haynes

2. Georgia Bulldogs (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 1 (dropped one)

Week 5 Result: 26-22 Win over Missouri

What’s next: vs. Auburn (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

Georgia had another trial for the second week in a row. Missouri almost upset the top-ranked team at the time with the Bulldogs needing a late-game comeback to win. After barely surviving unranked teams two weeks in a row it was known they would drop in rankings. They only fell one spot to come in second behind top-ranked Alabama. The question is can they get these issues worked out and get back to their dominant ways before the meat of their schedule. Next week we might have our answer for that. – Jeff Scoggins

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 2 (moved up one)

Week 5 Result: 49-26 Win over Arkansas

What’s next: vs. Texas A&M (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

This week is a bittersweet one for the Crimson Tide. Their 49-26 win over a tough Arkansas team helps them vault Georgia to capture the top spot in the AP rankings, however, reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young suffered a shoulder injury early in the second quarter that would sideline him for the rest of the game. While Young heals, the Tide, now led by sophomore QB Jalen Milroe, will prepare for a revenge game next week against rival Texas A&M, a team that handed them their only regular-season loss last season. – Nico Zambuto

TL//DR: These AP Top 25 rankings are based on the official website. The summaries are brought to you by our staff.

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