Predicting the College Football AP Top 25 Poll for Week 6: A New Team Cracks Top Four

    Here's what we predict the college football AP Top 25 poll will look like for Week 6.

    September 29, 2019

    This should be an intriguing week for the AP Top 25 poll. Even though the 10 highest ranked teams that were in action in Week 5 won their games, No. 1 Clemson looked mortal against North Carolina, while No. 5 Ohio State and No. 7 Auburn were extremely dominant in the primetime viewing window, which means we could see some changes at the top of the poll even though none of the teams involved lost.

    We predict there will be a change in the top four this week.

    Do we think Clemson will drop? Will Ohio State, Oklahoma or Auburn climb?

    Continue reading to find out.

    Here are our predictions for the college football AP Top 25 poll for Week 6. As a reminder, this isn’t a personal AP ballot, this is how we think AP poll voters will vote.

     

    Dropped out: No. 21 USC, No. 24 Kansas State

     

    25. Michigan State (4-1)

    The Spartans found themselves trailing 24-21 at home early in the fourth quarter against Indiana but the Spartans scored four times after that, capped off by a fumble return in the end zone as time expired to win 40-31. Michigan State’s defense was stout against the run, holding Indiana to 2.5 yards per carry but Indiana’s redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was able to exploit the Spartans through the air to the tune of 286 yards and three touchdowns.

     

    24. Oklahoma State (4-1)

    The Cowboys doubled up No. 24 Kansas State at home, 26-13, despite freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders completing just 16-of-25 passes for only 153 yards, one touchdown and two picks. Running back Chuba Hubbard had another ridiculous performance with 25 carries for 296 yards and one touchdown.

     

    23. Texas A&M (3-2)

    The Aggies have a brutal 2019 schedule and their Week 5 game against Arkansas wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the top of the list of their toughest games. Texas A&M pulled out a 31-27 win after trailing 24-21 entering the fourth quarter. The Aggies will have a bye week before hosting Alabama.

     

    22. Wake Forest (5-0)

    It’s time that you talk to your kids about 5-0 Wake. This was a team whose preseason win total in Vegas was somewhere between six and seven wins, depending on which sports book you use. The Demon Deacons held off Boston College 27-24 behind quarterback Jamie Newman’s 243 passing yards and team-leading 102 rushing yards. Wake Forest was last ranked in the AP Top 25 in 2008.

     

    21. Virginia (4-1)

    The Cavaliers finished with four (4) rushing yards on 29 attempts, including sacks, in a 35-20 loss at No. 10 Notre Dame. Quarterback Bryce Perkins threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns, but also two picks. A 17-14 lead at halftime wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers scored just three points in the second half.

     

    20. UCF (4-1)

    In another amazing display of efficiency, UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 11 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns in the Knights’ 56-21 win over UConn in the Civil Conflict. Adrian Killins Jr. needed just three carries to total 77 yards on the ground.

     

    19. Michigan (3-1)

    The Wolverines followed up their disastrous trip to Wisconsin with a 52-0 win against Rutgers, which arguably says more about Rutgers than Michigan. Michigan Offensive Coordinator Josh Gattis moved down to the sideline to call plays but we probably won’t figure out just how successful the move is until next week, when the Wolverines host Iowa.

     

    18. California (4-1)

    Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. The Pac-12 officially doesn’t have any more undefeated teams after Arizona State won 24-17 at Cal, which managed to be the conference’s last unbeaten team thanks to road wins at Washington and Ole Miss. The Golden Bears managed just 2.8 yards per carry and 5.4 yards per pass attempt.

     

    17. Utah (4-1)

    The Utes shut out Washington State’s high-powered offense in the second half of Utah’s 38-13 win as quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more.

     

    16. Washington (4-1)

    Since losing at home to Cal, Washington has righted the ship, beating Hawaii 52-20, winning at BYU 45-19 and defeating No. 21 USC 28-14. The Huskies’ next two games are at Stanford and Arizona, where Washington should be heavy favorites, before they host Oregon in a major Pac-12 North showdown.

     

    15. Boise State (4-0)

    The Broncos were off in Week 5 after pulling out a 30-19 win over Air Force in Week 4. Next up is a trip to UNLV in Week 6.

     

    14. Iowa (4-0)

    The Hawkeyes rolled Middle Tennessee 48-3 as three different players – Toren Young, Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent – rushed for at least 90 yards. Iowa will go to the Big House to face Michigan in Week 6 in a game that feels significant for the future of football in Ann Arbor and the Big Ten West race.

     

    13. Oregon (3-1)

    The Ducks were off in Week 5, following a 21-6 win at Stanford and before hosting Cal in Week 6. In a Pac-12 that doesn’t have any undefeated teams, Oregon might be the conference’s best. Given Auburn’s early season success, the Ducks’ best hope of entering the playoff discussion would be to run the table and hope that Auburn represents the SEC in the playoff.

     

    12. Penn State (4-0)

    The Nittany Lions showed why they were our No. 2 pick to make it to October undefeated back in July. In their first game after a 17-10 scare against Pitt, Penn State went to Maryland and won 59-0 on Friday night behind quarterback Sean Clifford’s 400-plus yards of offense and four total touchdowns. Penn State’s defense held Maryland to a dreadful 2.8 yards per pass attempt and 1.8 yards per carry.

     

    11. Texas (3-1)

    The Longhorns were off in Week 5, which gave them extra time to prepare for a Week 6 road trip to West Virginia, which is likely the second-worst team in the Big 12.

     

    10. Notre Dame (3-1)

    The Fighting Irish rebounded from their loss at Georgia with a home win over No. 18 Virginia, 35-20. If there’s chaos among the teams ranked ahead of Notre Dame, which will surely happen given the five SEC teams in the top nine and two Big Ten teams in Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Fighting Irish’s Week 5 win is one that could be part of their potential playoff resume if they manage to climb four or five more spots.

     

    9. Florida (5-0)

    Florida and Towson played a football game on Saturday and Florida won 38-0. That’s all you need to know about the Gators’ latest performance before they host College GameDay for the first time in seven years.

     

    8. Wisconsin (4-0)

    Those emergency eye wash stations that are in high school science labs could’ve been put to good use for anyone who watched Wisconsin’s 24-15 win over Northwestern. One week after the Badgers put Michigan and its fan base into an existential crisis on the same field one week prior, Wisconsin let Northwestern hang around – 7-3 after the first quarter, followed by a scoreless second quarter and 14-3 through three quarters. The Badgers prevailed, as any top-25 team with a pulse should, but they looked the most mortal they have this season and running back Jonathan Taylor had a pedestrian game by his standards – 26 carries for 119 yards and a score.

     

    7. Auburn (5-0)

    Without getting too far in the weeds, you could make the case that purely based on the quality of Auburn’s wins this season – most notably, Oregon (neutral site), at Texas A&M and Mississippi State – the Tigers deserved to be ranked higher, if not a clear-cut top-four team. They beat the Bulldogs 56-23 in Week 5.

     

    6. Oklahoma (4-0)

    The Sooners were able to get the top three quarterbacks on their depth chart snaps on Saturday as they beat Texas Tech 55-16. Quarterback Jalen Hurts posted 485 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns. Expect more of the same in Week 6 when Oklahoma travels to play Kansas before facing Texas in the Red River Showdown.

     

    5. LSU (4-0)

    The Tigers were off in Week 5 after throttling Vandy on the road, 66-38, in Week 4. LSU will host Utah State (No. 38 SP+ after Week 4) in what should be a sneaky good non-conference matchup in the first weekend of October.

     

    4. Ohio State (5-0)

    The Buckeyes, whose offense is scoring touchdowns more often than their 2014, 2016 and 2018 predecessors, continued their disregard for their 2019 opponents on Saturday, when they went to Lincoln, Nebraska, and left with a 48-7 win. They’ve now scored at least 42 points in every game and their last four opponents have scored seven, five, 10 and zero points, so Ohio State appears to be elite on both sides of the ball. This team has a case to be No. 1 in the country, let alone ranked in the top four, but will AP poll voters rank Ohio State over both Georgia and LSU, which both have a more notable win this season and were off in Week 5?

     

    3. Georgia (4-0)

    The Bulldogs had a bye week in Week 5 after defeating Notre Dame in Athens in Week 4. They’ll resume SEC play in Week 6 with a trip to Tennessee.

     

    2. Alabama (5-0)

    Ole Miss led Alabama 10-7 after the first quarter and the Crimson Tide took a 38-10 lead into halftime as Alabama let an SEC foe get a glimmer of hope for the second time in three weeks, only for the Tide to pull away for a 20-something-point win. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 418 yards and six touchdowns – 274 yards and five touchdowns of which went to DeVonta Smith in an all-time great performance.

     

    1. Clemson (5-0)

    Clemson was a two-point conversion away from losing to North Carolina in Week 5, when the Tar Heels matched the Tigers’ yards-per-carry output and had success converting on third and fourth down. Could Clemson be similar to 2014 Florida State? We’ll let you sit and think about that one. Clemson had been dominant this season before facing North Carolina, outscoring its first four opponents 169-40, but the Tigers’ narrow victory didn’t inspire a lot of confidence and quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s numbers have felt quiet for a preseason Heisman Trophy frontrunner. A win is a win but without any more ranked opponents on Clemson’s schedule, it feels like it may only be a matter of time until someone leapfrogs the Tigers for the top spot in the AP Top 25.

     

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