The fifth week of college football revealed the 6 luckiest teams in the nation: Missouri, Texas Tech, Brigham Young (BYU), Kansas, Boise State and Vanderbilt. It was the 6 teams in the AP Top 25 poll that had a bye week, saving them from a possible upset loss.

The other 19 Top 25 teams didn’t fare as well in Week 5, with just 10 of the 19 winning (a meager 53%) while 9 more, including 3 of the top 4 teams, lost.

Among the 9 ranked teams that lost, 6 committed the unforgivable sin of losing to unranked teams, an absolute no-no if you want to be in the hunt for the national title. You can say goodbye to the national title hopes of Southern California, Wisconsin, Wake Forest, Clemson, Illinois and Texas Christian (TCU).

The biggest loser was the University of Southern California (USC, the University of Shoulda Coulda), ranked No. 1, which traveled to the Corvallis (OR) lair of the Oregon State Beavers. The Beavers, an unranked 1-2 team that had already lost road games at Stanford and Penn State, decided to take it out on the Trojans, outscoring USC 21-0 in the first half and holding on for a 27-0 win. twenty-one. .

USC should have known better, as the Trojans were beaten by the Beavers 33-31 during their last trip to Corvallis two years ago. That loss ended Southern Cal’s 38-game regular season winning streak.

No. 4-ranked Florida hosted unranked Mississippi and promptly lost 31-30 with lousy defense and its star quarterback, Tim Tebow, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, having a horrible day. Tebow was sacked 3 times for holding the ball too long, knocked down 4 deep receivers, fumbled a fumble that turned into an Ole Miss touchdown, and failed to convert on a rushing attempt with a critical fourth down and 2 feet for the end of Ole Miss Yard 32 with 40 seconds remaining.

Florida won the first half 17-7 but lost the second half 24-13. It’s a loss that Coach Urban Meyer and his players will not soon forget, nor should they.

No. 9 Wisconsin led by 19 and was ahead of unranked Michigan, but allowed the Wolverines to get back in the game by giving up 20 points in the fourth quarter, allowing Michigan to enjoy its biggest home comeback in history and gave new trainer Rich “I’m Not Hitched to West Virginia” Rodriguez his first win at Michigan, 27-25.

No. 16 Wake Forest saw Navy 17 unranked points in their home field and never came back as they trailed 24-17.

No. 20 Clemson led unranked Maryland 17-6 on the half goal he failed to score in the second half while trailing at home, 20-17. Here’s a news flash: Apparently, Maryland is a lot better than Clemson this year.

No. 23 East Carolina hosted unranked Houston and bit the dust, 41-24. East Carolina’s early season wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia look less impressive each week.

The other 3 ranked teams that lost at least lost to ranked opponents. No. 3 Georgia hosted No. 8 Alabama and was dominated by the Crimson Tide 41-30 in a game that wasn’t as close as their score. No. 22 Illinois traveled to No. 12 Penn State and made the Nittany Lions look good in Happy Valley as the Illini fell, 38-24. No. 24 Texas Christian (TCU) traveled to No. 2 Oklahoma and found out why he doesn’t want to play the Sooners at home, losing 35-10.

The Georgia Bulldogs just took a beating, and at home no less. Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll and will now plummet down the rankings. Illinois, Clemson and East Carolina should drop out of the Top 25 this week.

Seven other qualifying teams won, some impressively, some not. They included:

No. 5 LSU at home 34-24 over Mississippi State 1-4 (not impressive), No. 7 Texas at home 52-10 over Arkansas (impressive), No. 13 South Florida on the road 41-10 over North Carolina State (impressive), No. 14 Ohio State at home 34-21 over Minnesota (Gophers came in undefeated), No. 15 Auburn at home 14-12 over Tennessee (seriously, not impressive), No. 17 Utah at home 37- 21 over 1-AA Weber State (beating a 1-AA team isn’t impressive), and No. 25 Fresno State on the road 36-31 over UCLA (barely impressive, given the current state of UCLA football).

Other results of the game that caught my attention were:

Seeing Hawaii Warrior’s recent great tradition of winning games is now going through tough times. Hawaii dusted off 1-AA Weber but lost to Florida, Oregon State and San Jose State to open the season. June Jones, who built a 75-41 record in 9 seasons in Hawaii, left the program to take over the head coaching job at Southern Methodist University this year.

Michigan State is now 4-1 after beating Indiana 42-29 on the road, but can the Spartans continue to win against Iowa and Northwestern and host Ohio State off to a 6-1 start? Has coach Mark Dantonio been able to build a different mindset at Michigan State, or will the Spartans bow out once again when they play better competition?

Question: When was the last time the Tennessee Volunteers started a season 1-3? Answer: 14 years ago.

How bad could North Texas be? Rice is rarely good, and the Owls defeated in-state rival North Texas 77-20. That was also the score at the end of the third quarter. North Texas must be in pretty bad shape. North Texas has played the fifth-toughest schedule in the country thus far, but Jeff Sagarin also has them ranked 152nd out of 119 1-A teams.

Washington’s two major institutions, Washington and Washington State, are terrible this year. Washington has lost its first 4 games, and Huskies star quarterback Jake Locker broke his thumb on his throwing hand while losing Saturday at Stanford, 35-28. Things are not going well in Husky land. Fourth-year coach Ty Willingham could move soon.

Things are even worse in Washington state. The Cougars are 0-5, having lost 39-13, 66-3, 45-17, 48-9 and 63-14. First-year coach Paul Wulff will get a temporary bye, but it’s possible that when Washington State hosts state rival Washington on Nov. 22, the Cougars will be 0-11 and the Huskies 0-10.

Texas-El Paso (UTEP) coach Mike Price finally got his first win this season by hosting and beating the University of Central Florida, 58-13. Both teams are now 1-3.

The beauty of college football is the unexpected, the excitement of thousands of fans flooding the field after the Oregon State Beavers upset No. 1-ranked Southern Cal, the relentless attrition of undefeated teams facing each other throughout the conference and the unknown gamers who herald themselves as the stars of tomorrow in today’s games.

Welcome to the sixth week of college football, when Wisconsin hosts Ohio State, South Florida hosts Pittsburgh, Auburn travels to Vanderbilt, Utah hosts Oregon State, Michigan State hosts Iowa, Southern Cal receives Oregon and Missouri travels to Nebraska.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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