The Gridiron Review: Week Five in College Football
Nine of twenty-nine unbeaten teams fell this week, including LSU and Oklahoma State. That number will decrease by at least three in Week 6 as three matchups feature unbeaten teams. Still, the talk of college football in the coming days is likely to be the USC program.
Player of the Week: AD Pat Haden (USC)- Lane Kiffin is gone, and the Trojans’ program now quietly enters what is likely to be a very high profile search this offseason.
Runner Up: QB Braxton Miller- The Buckeye’s quarterback returned from injury to lead his team to a big win against the Badgers.
What we have learned…
1. Jameis Winston is the real deal. We have seen enough this season to say the Florida State gunslinger is a legitimate Heisman contender. When his team faltered, it was the freshman who led the way.
2. Notre Dame isn’t. A light schedule and a little luck propelled Brian Kelly’s team to the title a year ago, but this program is far from elite.
3. The Bulldogs are not giving up easily. Despite losing their opener against Clemson, Georgia continues to compete for a national title shot.
QB Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)- Despite all the drama and condemnation, no one has stepped up to claim his trophy, and the brash sophomore may just repeat.
USC fans- An era the Trojan faithful would like to forget is now over.
HC Hugh Freeze- Although the Rebels lost, few have more reason to feel upbeat than Freeze. If he stays in Oxford, he has arguably the best young core group of anyone in the country. However, the speed with which he has revived that program could have him in the mix at USC or even Texas.
The Alabama Defense- Shutting out a top 25 opponent is impressive… even if such performances have become expected.
The top of the PAC 12- Oregon and Stanford are the most dominant teams in the country right now. UCLA and Washington are also on the rise.
Oklahoma State- Few expected the Cowboys to win the national title. Nevertheless, falling to a poor West Virginia team is embarrassing.
The Alabama offense- After a couple strong outings, the Tide offense had a lackluster performance against Ole Miss.
The top of the SEC- With Week 5 in the rear view mirror, only two undefeated teams remain: Alabama and Missouri. To make matters worse, one of them may struggle to be bowl eligible by the time the season has concluded.
Maryland at Florida State- I have had the Terps in my Top 25 for weeks, and they have some weapons on offense. The Seminoles struggled last week, so this could be intriguing.
TCU at Oklahoma- The Horned Frogs have failed to live up to expectations this year, but this could be a real test for the Sooners.
Ole Miss at Auburn- Essentially, this may be the game that decides fourth place in the SEC West. For two programs with relatively new coaches and a lot of youth, that is very important.
Ohio State at Northwestern- Arguably, this could be the toughest test for the Buckeyes all year.
West Virginia at Baylor- The Mountaineers pulled a stunner against Oklahoma State last week, and the Bears have not played anybody.
Washington at Stanford- Expect a good game here as one unbeaten is sure to fall. Stanford may have the edge, but I would not count out the Huskies.