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1. Alabama (5-0): The Crimson Tide comes off its bye week with some concerns at running back. Junior Eddie Lacy is the starter with true freshmen T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake as the reserves after redshirt freshman Dee Hart went down to a season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter against Ole Miss on Sept. 29. The team already lost junior Jalston Fowler to a season-ending knee injury against Western Kentucky on Sept. 8. Trending: No. 1 last week. Next: at Missouri (3-3), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
2 (tie). Oregon (6-0): Marcus Mariota threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns, shaking off an interception on the Ducks’ opening series to lead Oregon to a 52-21 blowout of Washington. Tight end Colt Lyerla caught three passes for 71 yards, two of them for scores, and Kenjon Barner ran for 122 yards. Trending: No. 2 last week. Next: Idle.
2 (tie). South Carolina (6-0): Connor Shaw threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, Ace Sanders returned a punt for a 70-yard touchdown and the Gamecocks’ defense dominated Georgia in a 35-7 shellacking of the previously unbeaten Bulldogs. It was South Carolina’s 10th straight win, a school record, and it held Georgia to just 224 yards of offense. Trending: No. 5 last week. Next: at LSU (5-1), Saturday, 8 p.m.
4. Florida (5-0): Mike Gillislee ran for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries and the Gators rebounded from another halftime deficit to knock LSU from the unbeaten ranks, 14-6. It was Florida’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2010 and the defense held the Tigers to just 42 yards on the ground. The Gators had earlier come from behind for road wins at Texas A&M and Tennessee last month. Trending: No. 8 last week. Next: at Vanderbilt (2-3), Saturday, 6 p.m.
5. West Virginia (5-0): Geno Smith, who has thrown 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season to emerge as the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, connected with Stedman Bailey for a 6-yard score with 10:50 left and the Mountaineers hung on for a 48-45 win at previously unbeaten Texas. Smith was 25-for-35 for 268 yards despite being hit early and often. Trending: No. 11 last week. Next: at Texas Tech (4-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
6. Notre Dame (5-0): Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III became the first Fighting Irish duo in a decade to crack 100 yards rushing in the same game and Notre Dame blew out Miami 41-3 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The Irish are 5-0 for the first time since 2002 and notched a season-high 587 yards of offense. Notre Dame had its biggest rushing day since No. 11, 2000, with 376 yards on the ground. Trending: No. 9 last week. Next: vs. Stanford (4-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
7. Kansas State (5-0): The Wildcats overwhelmed Kansas, outscoring the Jayhawks 35-2 in the second half en route to a 56-16 win over their biggest rival. John Hubert ran for 101 yards and four touchdowns while Collin Klein threw for 129 yards and two scores while rushing for 116 yards and two more touchdowns. Kansas State led 21-14 at halftime before blowing the game open after intermission. Trending: No. 10 last week. Next: at Iowa State (4-1), Saturday, noon.
8. Ohio State (6-0): Braxton Miller broke his own school record for rushing yards by a quarterback, rambling for 186 yards—including a zig-zagging 72-yard touchdown—and threw for another score to lead the Buckeyes past Nebraska before the largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history. Corey Brown returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown for Ohio State, Bradley Roby brought back an interception for a 41-yard score and Carlos Hyde scored four touchdowns on a career-high 140 rushing yards. Trending: No. 13 last week. Next: at Indiana (2-3), Saturday, 8 p.m.
9. USC (4-1): The Trojans rallied from an early 14-0 deficit and then hung on to beat Utah on Thursday night, 38-28. Matt Barkley threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns for USC, which was making its first trip to Salt Lake City since 1917. The Trojans got into trouble early in the game with mistakes. Utah got its first two scores courtesy of Rimington Trophy candidate Khaled Holmes. A bad snap led to a Barkley fumble that was returned for a touchdown and just 47 second later, Holmes was bulldozed as he snapped the ball. Utah recovered the fumble and scored a few plays later. Trending: No. 12 last week. Next: at Washington (3-2), Saturday, 7 p.m.
10. Texas (4-1): Joe Bergeron scored four touchdowns on short runs for the Longhorns and David Ash hit Marquise Goodwin for a score with 14 seconds left to make it close, but Texas couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick and lost for the first time this season, 48-45 to new Big 12 rival West Virginia. It was the Longhorns’ seventh straight loss to a ranked opponent and Texas is now only 2-7 at home in conference play since 2010. Trending: No. 6 last week. Next: vs. Oklahoma (3-1) at Dallas, Saturday, noon.
11 (tie). Florida State (4-1): The Seminoles suffered a major hit to their national title aspirations, blowing a 16-0 halftime lead and losing at North Carolina State, 17-16. Florida State was able to move the ball near midfield after the Wolfpack took the lead with 16 seconds left, but EJ Manuel’s final desperation pass was knocked down near the goal line. The Seminoles managed just 122 yards of offense after halftime. Chris Thompson ran for 115 of his 141 yards in the first half. Trending: No. 3 last week. Next: vs. Boston College (1-4), Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
11 (tie). LSU (5-1): The Tigers got worn down by Florida’s physical running attack and aggressive defense in the second half, squandering a 6-0 halftime lead in a 14-6 loss to the Gators in Gainesville, Fla. Zach Mettenberger—harassed all night long—was just 11-for-25 passing for 161 yards and an interception and the LSU running attack was mostly neutralized, finishing with just 42 yards on the night. That’s just three more than the Tigers mustered in their loss to Alabama in last season’s BCS championship game. Trending: No. 4 last week. Next: vs. South Carolina (6-0), Saturday, 8 p.m.
13. Georgia (5-1): The Bulldogs’ vaunted freshman running back duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were held to just 76 yards combined and quarterback Aaron Murray completed just 11-of-31 passes for 109 yards and an interception as Georgia was embarrassed at South Carolina, 35-7, for its first loss. Only Ken Malcome’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:55 remaining in the game prevented the Bulldogs from suffering their first shutout since a 31-0 loss to Alabama in 1995. Trending: No. 7 last week. Next: Idle.
14. Oklahoma (3-1): Landry Jones threw two touchdown passes to hit the century mark in his career and the Sooners bounced back from a loss to Kansas State two weeks ago with a dominating 41-20 win at Texas Tech. Backup quarterback Blake Bell added two touchdown runs for Oklahoma and Javon Harris put the game out of reach when he returned an interception 46 yards for a score in the third quarter to give the Sooners a 38-13 lead. Oklahoma rang up 380 yards of offense against a Red Raider defense that came into the game ranked No. 1 in the country. Trending: No. 17 last week. Next: vs. Texas (4-1) at Dallas, Saturday, noon.
15. Oregon State (4-0): Jordan Poyer intercepted three passes and the Beavers outlasted Washington State 19-6 to remain unbeaten. But on Monday, it was announced quarterback Sean Mannion would miss several weeks after suffering a knee injury in the win. Mannion had his worst game of the season, completing 25-of-42 passes for 270 yards and three interceptions. Markus Wheaton hauled in a touchdown pass and finished with 95 receiving yards as Oregon State improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2002. Trending: No. 15 last week. Next: at BYU (4-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
16. Stanford (4-1): For once, it was quarterback Josh Nunes bailing out the Cardinal defense. Nunes threw for a career-high 360 yards and two touchdowns and Stanford came back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Arizona in overtime 54-48. Chase Thomas intercepted a tipped pass in the extra period and Stepfan Taylor ran for a 21-yard touchdown two plays later to give the Cardinal the win. Trending: No. 18 last week. Next: at Notre Dame (5-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
17. Mississippi State (5-0): Tyler Russell threw for two touchdowns and the Bulldogs held Kentucky to just 228 yards of offense in a 27-14 win at Lexington, Ky. LaDarius Perkins ran for 110 yards and a score in 25 carries and Mississippi State improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1999. Russell was 23-for-39 for 269 yards with touchdown tosses to Adrian Marcus and Chad Bumphis. For Bumphis, the 27-yard score was his school-record 17th career touchdown reception. Trending: No. 24 last week. Next: vs. Tennessee (3-2), Saturday, 9 p.m.
18. Texas A&M (4-1): Johnny Manziel threw for 191 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 129 yards and another score as the Aggies rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to win at Ole Miss 30-27. Texas A&M won despite turning the ball over six times with four fumbles and two interceptions. Toney Hurd Jr. intercepted a pass on the Rebels’ final possession and the Aggies were able to run out the clock. Trending: No. 23 last week. Next: at Louisiana Tech (5-0), Saturday, 9 p.m.
19. Clemson (5-1): Tajh Boyd threw for a career-best 397 yards as the Tigers ran 93 plays for 601 yards of offense in a 47-31 win over Georgia Tech. It is the fourth time this season Clemson has gained more than 500 yards in a game. DeAndre Hopkins had 173 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions and Andre Ellington ran for 82 yards on 24 carries. But it was a defensive play that helped seal the win. Linebacker Spencer Shuey diagnosed an option pitch after the Yellow Jackets mangled the kickoff after the Tigers took a 38-31 lead. The safety gave Clemson its first lead of more than seven points. Trending: No. 14 last week. Next: Idle.
20. Louisville (5-0): The Cardinals had the week off after surviving a 21-17 win in a monsoon at Southern Mississippi on Sept. 29 but the offense has put up some sparkling numbers this season. Louisville averages 34:42 in time of possession per game and is 38-for-68 on third down conversions, a ridiculous 56 percent success rate. Those are two reasons why the Cardinals are unbeaten and averaging 31 points a game. Trending: No. 22 last week. Next: at Pittsburgh (2-3), Saturday, 11 a.m.
21. Rutgers (5-0): Jawan Jamison ran for 110 yards and Wayne Warren returned an interception 25 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Scarlet Knights smothered Connecticut 19-3. Rutgers, at 5-0, is off to its best start since 2006. Jamison had 28 carries and topped the 100-yard mark for the sixth straight game. Gary Nova hit Mark Harrison for a 14-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter. Trending: No. 25 last week. Next: vs. Syracuse (2-3), Saturday, noon.
22. Cincinnati (4-0): Camerron Cheatham returned an interception for a 68-yard touchdown and quarterback Munchie Legaux figured in three scores as the Bearcats blasted Miami (Ohio) 52-14. It was Cincinnati’s seventh straight win in the oldest nonconference rivalry in the nation. Legaux only played three quarters and was 12-for-23 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns and also had a 1-yard scoring run. George Winn ran for two touchdowns against one of the nation’s worst defenses. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: vs. Fordham (4-2), Saturday, 7 p.m.
23 (tie). Arizona State (4-1): Sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly comes out of the Sun Devils’ bye week as the most efficient passer in the Pac-12 with a rating of 166.34, good for 16th in the nation. He has completed 96-of-140 passes for 1,323 yards and nine touchdowns after winning a three-way battle for the starting job in fall camp. Defensive tackle Will Sutton had a career-high eight tackles, including three sacks and a forced fumble, in Arizona State’s win at California on Sept. 29. He earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: at Colorado (1-4), Thursday, 9 p.m.
23 (tie). Louisiana Tech (5-0): Kenneth Dixon rushed for 102 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries and the Bulldogs crushed UNLV 58-31. Dixon’s first touchdown gave Louisiana Tech a 27-7 lead in the second quarter but the Rebels cut the lead to 27-24 before the Bulldogs got back on track. Colby Cameron was 31-for-45 passing for 316 yards and Ray Holley had 139 yards rushing on 22 carries. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: vs. Texas A&M (4-1), Saturday, 9 p.m.
25 (tie). Iowa State (4-1): Jared Barnett made his first start of the season at quarterback for the Cyclones and threw three touchdown passes to Josh Lenz, who also had a scoring pass on a trick play, as Iowa State ended TCU’s 12-game winning streak—the longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision—with a 37-23 win at Fort Worth, Texas. Barnett was 12-for-21 passing for 183 yards and also rushed for 30 yards on nine attempts. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: vs. Kansas State (5-0), Saturday, noon.
25 (tie). Texas Tech (4-1): After surrendering just 43 points during a 4-0 start, the Red Raiders got lit up for 41 in a 41-20 loss to Oklahoma to fall from the unbeaten ranks. The Texas Tech defense, ranked No. 1 coming into the game, gave up 380 yards of offense to the Sooners. Seth Doege was 22-for-36 for 203 yards and threw three interceptions for the Red Raiders, which had beaten Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., last year to break the Sooners’ 39-game home winning streak. Trending: No. 19 last week. Next: vs. West Virginia (5-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Out of the rankings (with last week’s ranking): TCU (No. 16), Nebraska (No. 20), Northwestern (No. 21).
Also receiving votes: Boise State (4-1), Baylor (3-1), Duke (5-1).