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1. Alabama (5-0): The Crimson Tide actually trailed against Ole Miss … for all of 15 seconds. Amari Cooper caught two touchdown passes from AJ McCarron and Christion Jones returned a kickoff 99 yards for another score and Alabama rolled over the Rebels 33-14. Trending: No. 1 last week. Next: Idle.
2. Oregon (5-0): De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner had touchdown runs bookending Avery Patterson’s 34-yard interception return for a score and the Ducks scored three third-quarter touchdowns to break open a close game to beat host Washington State 51-26. Trending: No. 2 last week. Next: vs. Washington (3-1), Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
3. Florida State (5-0): EJ Manuel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown to help the Seminoles pass their first road test with a 30-17 win at South Florida. But Florida State’s first trip to Tampa since 1979 was closer than the final margin would indicate. Trending: No. 4 last week. Next: at North Carolina State (3-2), Saturday, 8 p.m.
4. LSU (5-0): Zach Mettenberger threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. and the Tigers overcame a mistake-filled effort to beat FCS Towson 38-22. Mettenberger and Beckham hooked up five times for 128 yards and two scores but LSU surrendered four sacks, lost a fumble and trailed its seemingly overmatched opponent in the second quarter. Trending: No. 3 last week. Next: at Florida (4-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
5. South Carolina (5-0): Trailing at Kentucky 17-7 at the half, the Gamecocks managed just 26 rushing yards in the first half. But South Carolina outrushed Kentucky 174-7 after intermission and hung up 31 unanswered points for a 38-17 win. Marcus Lattimore had 120 yards on 23 carries and scored two second-half touchdowns and Kenny Miles added a 17-yard scoring run. Trending: No. 7 last week. Next: vs. Georgia (5-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.
6. Texas (4-0): David Ash threw three touchdown passes to Jaxon Shipley and drove the Longhorns 75 yards to set up Joe Bergeron’s 2-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds left as Texas won at Oklahoma State 41-36. D.J. Monroe added a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown for the Longhorns. Trending: No. 12 last week. Next: vs. West Virginia (4-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.
7. Georgia (5-0): Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns and Keith Marshall added two as the Bulldogs recovered from squandering a 17-point lead to beat Tennessee 51-44. Georgia needed three takeaways in the final six minutes to remain unbeaten. Sanders Commings had two interceptions late in the game and John Jenkins recovered a fumble. Trending: No. 5 last week. Next: at South Carolina (5-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.
8. Florida (4-0): The Gators come off their bye week averaging nearly 225 yards a game on the ground, a huge improvement over last year’s struggles on the offensive line. Mike Gillislee is second in the SEC in rushing averaging a little more than 100 yards a game and gives Florida a more versatile ground attack than did diminutive Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps the last two seasons. LSU will provide a stiff test for the newfound strength up front. Trending: No. 11 last week. Next: vs. LSU (5-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
9. Notre Dame (4-0): It’s not exactly a revival of the “Catholics vs. Convicts” rivalry from the 1980s but this week’s matchup with Miami is big for both teams. The Fighting Irish have been led this season by a defense featuring senior linebacker Manti Te’o. Notre Dame has eight interceptions this year – matching last season’s total – and is third in the country with a plus-9 turnover margin. Trending: No. 6 last week. Next: vs. Miami (4-1) at Chicago, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
10. Kansas State (4-0): The Wildcats will be looking to avoid a letdown after having a week off to follow their big win at Oklahoma on Sept. 22. Collin Klein has rushed for 289 yards and leads the team with five touchdowns on the ground to go with 758 yards and five touchdowns passing while John Hubert leads Kansas State with 426 yards on the ground. Trending: No. 8 last week. Next: vs. Kansas, Saturday, noon.
11. West Virginia (4-0): Geno Smith tied a Big 12 Conference record with eight touchdown passes and just missed another by throwing for 656 yards as the Mountaineers won their debut in their new league, beating Baylor 70-63. Smith, the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, had more touchdown passes than incompletions (six). He was 45-for-51 passing and has thrown 20 touchdowns to zero interceptions this season. Trending: No. 10 last week. Next: at Texas (4-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.
12. USC (3-1): The Trojans rebounded with a 27-9 win over California on Sept. 22, then had a bye week to prepare for this week’s game at Utah. It is USC’s first trip to Salt Lake City since beating the Utes 51-0 in 1917. It could be a chance for the Trojan passing attack to shine – Utah ranks 50th in the country in pass defense, allowing 218.5 yards a game. Trending: No. 13 last week. Next: at Utah (2-2), Thursday, 9 p.m.
13. Ohio State (5-0): Braxton Miller was knocked out of the game twice but came back each time, throwing for 179 yards and running for 136 as the Buckeyes won at Michigan State 17-16. Miller put Ohio State up for good with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith in the third quarter and the Buckeyes’ much-maligned defense held Le’Veon Bell and the Spartan rushing attack in check. Trending: No. 15 last week. Next: vs. Nebraska (4-1), Saturday, 8 p.m.
14. Clemson (4-1): DeAndre Hopkins had a school-record 197 receiving yards on 11 receptions and Tajh Boyd threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers bounced back from a tough loss at Florida State with a 45-31 win at Boston College. Boyd also ran for a touchdown while Andre Ellington rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Trending: No. 17 last week. Next: vs. Georgia Tech (2-3), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
15. Oregon State (3-0): Sean Mannion threw for a career-high 433 yards and hit Connor Hamlett with a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 left, his third TD pass of the game, to lead the Beavers to a wild 38-35 win at Arizona. Oregon State took a 17-0 lead before the Wildcats charged back and the teams then traded scores in the second half in a game that featured a combined 1,158 yards of offense. Trending: No. 21 last week. Next: vs. Washington State (2-3), Saturday, 6 p.m.
16. TCU (4-0): The Horned Frogs couldn’t generate any offense after halftime and the special teams had trouble holding onto the ball in a heavy rain but TCU won its 12th straight game by beating host SMU 24-16. The Horned Frogs had just three points and 27 yards of offense in the second half and blew a snap on a field goal attempt in the third quarter before punter Ethan Perry fumbled twice on one punt in the fourth. Trending: No. 14 last week. Next: vs. Iowa State (3-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
17. Oklahoma (2-1): The Sooners head to Texas Tech off a bye week. Prior to that, Oklahoma lost at home to Kansas State on Sept. 22. The Sooners haven’t won in Lubbock since 2003 and lost to the Red Raiders in Norman last season to snap a 39-game home winning streak. Coach Bob Stoops said the bye week focus was on addressing the Texas Tech game, not worrying about what “happened in 2005.” Trending: No. 16 last week. Next: at Texas Tech (4-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
18. Stanford (3-1): The Cardinal blew a 10-point lead last Thursday night and were stunned at Washington 17-13. Stanford’s offense struggled, going more than 21 minutes in the first half without a first down and Josh Nunes couldn’t put together a game-winning drive in the closing seconds. The Cardinal mustered just 235 yards of offense and were held without an offensive touchdown for the first time since a 2007 loss at Oregon State. Trending: No. 9 last week. Next: vs. Arizona (3-2), Saturday, 3 p.m.
19. Texas Tech (4-0): Seth Doege threw three touchdown passes and the Red Raiders held off host Iowa State 24-13 in the Big 12 opener for both teams. Doege threw for 331 yards for Texas Tech, which held the Cyclones to just 189 yards of offense. The Red Raider defense made a statement against a major-conference opponent after shutting down Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico to lead the nation in total defense coming into the game. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: vs. Oklahoma (2-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
20. Nebraska (4-1): Taylor Martinez led the Cornhuskers on four straight scoring drives in the second half and Nebraska came back from 17 points down to beat Wisconsin 30-27 in their Big Ten opener. Martinez scored on a 38-yard run, threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Reed and set up Brett Maher for the tying and go-ahead field goals. It was the second-largest comeback win in program history, trailing only the Cornhuskers’ rally from 21 points down in the third quarter against Ohio State last season. Trending: No. 23 last week. Next: at Ohio State (5-0), Saturday, 8 p.m.
21. Northwestern (5-0): Kevin Colter ran for 161 yards and four touchdowns and the Wildcats set a school record with 704 yards of offense in a 44-29 win over Indiana in their Big Ten opener. Colter also had 131 receiving yards while Trevor Siemian threw for 308 yards and Venric Mack ran for 138 yards and a touchdown. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: at Penn State (3-2), Saturday, noon.
22. Louisville (5-0): Senorise Perry slogged and staggered 14 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and the Cardinals came from behind to win at winless Southern Mississippi on a waterlogged night in Hattiesburg. Perry rushed for 118 yards and two scores and Jeremy Wright added 84 yards on the ground as Louisville continued its best start since 2006. Trending: No. 19 last week. Next: Idle.
23. Texas A&M (3-1): Johnny Manziel threw for a school-record 453 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as the Aggies crushed Arkansas 58-10 for Texas A&M’s first Southeastern Conference victory. The Razorbacks—who have lost four in a row—led 10-7 after the first quarter before the Aggies ran off 51 unanswered points. Manziel also had 104 yards rushing to break school and SEC records with 537 yards of total offense. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: at Ole Miss (3-2), Saturday, 7 p.m.
24. Mississippi State (4-0): The Bulldogs are off to their best start since opening the 1999 season with eight straight wins but concerns remain. Mississippi State is coming off a 30-10 win over South Alabama on Sept. 22. The Bulldogs led 7-0 midway through the second quarter before pulling away but the defense looked better after getting torched for 572 yards in a win over Troy on Sept. 15. Trending: No. 20 last week. Next: at Kentucky (1-4), Saturday, 12:21 p.m.
25. Rutgers (4-0): The Scarlet Knights, off to their best start in six years, had a week off after winning at Arkansas on Sept. 22. First-year coach Kyle Flood is the third Rutgers coach to start his career 4-0, the first since John Bateman in 1960. Quarterback Gary Nova is coming off the third-highest passing total in school history after throwing for 397 yards and five touchdowns against the Razorbacks. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: vs. Connecticut (3-2), Saturday, noon.
Out of the rankings: Michigan State (No. 18 last week), Boise State (No. 22), Baylor (No. 24), Oklahoma State (No. 25).
Also receiving votes: Arizona State, Baylor, Cincinnati, Boise State, UCLA.