NCAA Football Report (Week 5)

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There are four weeks left before the College Football Playoff rankings are officially released but the committee may take this week into some serious consideration.

They will look at the 5th week in the season were many teams went in with confidence and came out not knowing what happened.

This is the time of year were the season begins to get a little tougher for a lot of teams as the time for easy teams is beginning to end.

Teams schedule “easy” games to start the season but if they want to make the playoff they have to play some tough teams outside of their own conferences.

Those free dates are few and far between now as conference games have started and so there is no need to waste them on teams outside of the FBS.

This means better matchups bot in and out of conference and with better games comes much more important games that mean a lot more in the rankings.

It also means that some good teams will run into tougher games than they are ready for and so the upsets begin.

Week 5 was full of them as the league saw massive changes to the AP rankings in a week that is sure to influence the CFP rankings a few weeks from now.

It all started at the top where Ohio State took on the Indiana Hoosiers in a Big Ten game that has been a trouble spot for the Buckeyes in the past.

It looked like it was about to once again as the top team in the country did not have an easy time trying to get by their conference rivals.

Eventually they did get by them but the tone was set for the entire day. The #2 team in the country, Michigan State, had to kick a field goal to get by the Purdue Boilermakers and dropped the #4 in the AP Poll.

The #3 team, Ole Miss, lost a shocker to the Florida Gators and dropped from the playoff out of the top 10 while the Gators saw a massive jump from #25 to #11.football-sidebar

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish came into the week ranked #6 in the country and had one of the toughest games in the week.

In rain-soaked Death Valley the Irish went down quickly to the Clemson Tigers and despite a great comeback fell short on a two-point conversion that would have forced overtime.

For the loss the two teams reversed positions with the Irish dropping to #15 and the formerly #12 Clemson moving to #6.

The Tigers will have a good chance of making the playoff if they can keep up with the top teams while the Irish are now in a tough spot to earn a top 4 ranking.

They weren’t the only team to see massive changes to their fortunes though as the rising UCLA Bruins were upset by the Arizona State Sun Devils despite a comeback attempt.

The Georgia Bulldogs were also handed a loss by the Alabama Crimson Tide who were just knocked out of the top four a few weeks ago.

The top 10 is almost entirely new heading into Week 6 and the CFP committee is sure to take a close look when they come up with their rankings.

For some teams Week five will mark a minor setback in their season as they remained within striking distance of the playoff like the Buckeyes and Spartans.

For others, like the Fighting Irish or Rebels, the dream of a playoff berth just got a lot tougher to accomplish.

For even more that dream has been completely shattered like the Bruins or the Bulldogs.

It was a week of surprises in the NCAA but in those weeks it is the teams that can work through the surprises and rise up that will make the playoff.

It was one of those pivotal weeks that the NCAA is known for and this season it could be the week that makes a difference when the first CFP rankings come out on November 3rd.

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Key Scores:
#1 Ohio State Buckeyes 34 – 27 Indiana Hoosiers
– The Buckeyes got the scare of their season against an unranked team as the Hoosiers gave them everything until the top team in the country pulled away with a touchdown in the fourth quarter scored by the star of the game Ezekiel Elliott

#2 Michigan State 24 – 21 Purdue Boilermakers
– It was almost a double upset day at the top of the rankings as the Boilermakers held on against the Spartans until the last drive where the Spartans were able to shut them down and preserve their three-point lead

Arizona State Sun Devils 38 – 23 UCLA Bruins #7
– It was the upset of the day as the unranked Sun Devils were able to get past the Bruins as sloppy play by the Bruins and determination by the Sun Devils gave ASU a win after a tough start to their season

#12 Clemson Tigers 24 – 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #6
– The Tigers and Irish came into this game knowing that it was going to have big implications at the end of the year but the Tigers looked like they took it a bit more seriously coming out fast and taking advantage of four turnovers by Notre dame to take a signature win

Next Week:
#10 Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns (Saturday October 10th; 12:00 pm ET)
– It may not be the game it was a few years ago as the Longhorns are a shell of their former selves but the Red River Rivalry is still a big game for both teams and the Longhorns can make a big impression if they can step up and beat the Sooners

Navy Midshipmen vs. #15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Saturday October 10th; 3:30 pm ET)
– In the past few years Chip Kelly’s teams have looked great until they lost a big game and began plummeting down the rankings but he is hoping to prevent that this year as they try to recover quickly from a poor performance against a tough Clemson team

#13 Northwestern Wildcats vs. #18 Michigan Wolverines (Saturday October 10th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Wildcats are one of the sleepers this year as they remain undefeated looking to move into the top ten with a win against the Wolverines who are beginning to rise back to what they used to be this time under Jim Harbaugh

#11 Florida Gators vs. Missouri Tigers (Saturday October 10th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Gators are coming off of a big win that sent them flying up the rankings and they are trying to continue that momentum against the Tigers with the idea of setting themselves up for a great end to the season

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