The college football landscape was rewritten this past weekend as ranked teams dominated, were upset and those who were looking to make a name for themselves in 2021 spoke loudly that they are not going anywhere anytime soon. As the hot takes of what happened this past weekend are still being created, here is a recap of week 5 in college football.
One of the biggest winners on Saturday afternoon were the Cincinnati Bearcats, who traveled into Notre Dame Stadium and left with some cash for the program, and their first ever victory over a ranked opponent. The Irish were smothered by the Bearcats, shutout in the first half and down 17-0 at the intermission. Cincinnati held on to a 24-13 win over the previously #9 ranked Irish, leaving Notre Dame out of the College Football Playoff picture this season while propelling the Bearcats into the postseason conversation. If you like chaos, root for Cincinnati to win out this season.
The team that I think had a so-so day were the Georgia Bulldogs. Sure, they shutout the upstart Arkansas Razorbacks 37-0 after being up by three touchdowns in the first quarter … but the reason why I am not sure the have a great day was because of what took place elsewhere. Namely in The Swamp, where the Kentucky Wildcats upset the Florida Gators 20-13, leaving the Bulldogs and Kentucky as the last two unbeaten teams in the SEC East. That means the path to the conference title game may not be as easy as Georgia might have once thought, and with Alabama appearing to be playing with half their playbook most of the time, making a trip to the playoffs still may be a tough task for the Bulldogs despite being ranked #2 in the nation.
The day’s surprising loser was the Oregon Ducks, who fell victim to this year’s #3 Jinx after losing in overtime to the Stanford Cardinal 31-24. With only Arizona State in the Pac-12 South and Oregon State in the Pac-12 North still undefeated, seeing a team from this conference reach climb the rankings and earn a playoff spot might be difficult. Both the Sun Devils and Beavers did receive votes in last week’s AP rankings, but not nearly enough to crack the Top 25; and without games to be played against a legitimate title contender, it might be another dark January for the Pac-12 once the Rose Bowl is over.
There is one conference, and at least one team specially that I am worried about. The conference is the Big Ten and the team I am most concerned about is Penn State. With Oregon losing, the Nittany Lions will likely be the third ranked team in the country this week after their 24-0 win over the disappointing Indiana Hoosiers. If Penn State is the third best team in the country, then, sadly, the national title chase is over since Alabama is clearly head and shoulders over anyone in the Big Ten. They are playing better this year on both sides of the ball, and with chaos dwelling behind them in the rankings, barring and injury to their quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Young, everyone else is just playing for second place in college football this year.
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College Football Week 5 Recap | TooAthletic.com