The Week 5 scores in college football showed how fragile a top 25 ranking can be, but even as many top teams faced upset scares, the new college football rankings will provide an opportunity for voters to reset expectations moving forward. So, while the top of the AP Top 25 may remain mostly intact due to the lack of outright upsets, there's definitely some movement after Saturday's thrilling finishes.
Ole Miss made history with its 55-49 win against LSU, rolling up 700 yards of offense and scoring more than 50 points against an SEC and AP-ranked foe. The aftermath the Rebels' epic win, which included three fourth-quarter touchdowns to storm back from a second-half deficit, includes a major move up in the rankings for a team that is now 4-1 with its only loss coming to Alabama. For LSU, now at 3-2, the debate for many voters will be not just where to place the Tigers but whether to include them at all on their ballot with many teams improving to 5-0 who were not ranked in last week's balloting.
Among those unranked teams who improved to 5-0 in Week 5 were rivals Kentucky and Louisville, who both picked up big conference wins against Florida and NC State, respectively. We're projecting they will make their arrival in the AP Top 25 poll as others shuffle out with teams like Maryland, Air Force and James Madison also hoping to see more representation after maintaining an unblemished record through the month of September.
Here's how we project the new AP Top 25 to look on Sunday after Week 5 action:
1. Georgia (Last week -- 1): Though they were pushed to the brink in Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Bulldogs will not see their status as No. 1 changed thanks to a huge performance from Brock Bowers to beat Auburn.
2. Michigan (2): The competition was supposed to get tougher with the beginning of conference play, but Michigan is dismantling every opponent in the same manner. A 45-7 win at Nebraska in its first road game should bring some confidence to those considering the Wolverines as one of the top teams in the country.
3. Texas (3): What was a one-score game past halftime spun out of control as Kansas' inability to sustain drives against a stout Texas defense presented the breaking point in the game. The Longhorns rolled up more than 600 yards of offense and had three times more first downs (33-11) in a dominant performance that might not even be reflected in the 26-point margin.
4. Ohio State (4): The Buckeyes were off in Week 5 and will be back in action next week against Maryland.
5. Florida State (5): The Seminoles were off in Week 5 and will be back in action next week against Virginia Tech.
6. Penn State (6): Things got off to a slow start for the Nittany Lions, who were knotted 10-10 at halftime against Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. But Penn State woke up and outscored the Wildcats by 28 in the second half en route to a 41-13 win that keeps this group on a path to Big Ten title and College Football Playoff contention.
7. Washington (7): A closer-than-expected 31-24 win at Arizona flew largely under the radar, but surviving and advancing likely means the Huskies will stay put in the rankings. Washington gets a bye before a massive Pac-12 showdown vs. Oregon in Week 7.
8. USC (8): Small margins in the voting points between the Trojans and the No. 6 spot in last week's poll provided the possibility for a move up with a statement win against Colorado. After allowing the Buffaloes to climb back into the game, USC likely lost its shot at a rankings boost, especially with other teams winning by larger margins.
9. Oregon (9): Like Penn State, Oregon found itself with an early score that drew concern for a possible upset only to flip the script and win handily by a large margin. Stanford led 6-0 early in the second quarter, but a 42-0 run by the Ducks left a lopsided final score on the board that should keep Oregon in a similar position on Sunday.
10. Notre Dame (11): Marcus Freeman says the team learned from last week's defeat against Ohio State, and there is at least some evidence in the late-game execution that helped the Fighting Irish overcome a second-half charge from the Blue Devils to win, 21-14.
11. Alabama (12): It's been a rough few weeks for the Crimson Tide, but a 40-17 win at Mississippi State felt more like the team we've come to know under coach Nick Saban. Despite some early-season struggles on offense, Alabama is 4-1 and knocking on the door to return to the top 10.
12. Ole Miss (20): Rolling up 711 yards of total offense on LSU marks a new school record for an SEC game, and the 55 points scored was the most ever against an AP-ranked opponent. Though the game was expected to be close, the resilience and late-game effort will resonate with voters as they adjust their ballots.
13. Oklahoma (14): Heading into the Red River Showdown, Oklahoma seems properly primed to make a run at the newly minted Big 12 favorites. The Sooners hung 50 points on Iowa State, taking hold of a one-point game midway through the second quarter and blowing it open for a 30-point win.
14. North Carolina (15): The Tar Heels were off in Week 5 and will be back in action next week against Syracuse.
15. Washington State (16): The Cougars were off in Week 5 and will be back in action next week against UCLA.
16. Oregon State (19): There is definitely going to be some upward movement in the ratings after Friday night's 21-7 win against Utah, but there is a ceiling in the top 25 because of the head-to-head loss to Washington State. Oregon State will end up as one of the top-ranked one-loss teams in the AP Top 25 thanks to defeating the Utes, but it won't be the top-ranked one-loss team as a result of where the Cougars currently stand in the order.
17. Miami (18): The Hurricanes were off in Week 5 and will be back in action next week against Georgia Tech.
18. Kentucky (NR): An SEC team that is stacking wins will always get some attention from the voters, but after finishing just two spots outside the top 25 last week, the Wildcats could see a catapult over other ranked teams following a 19-point win against Florida, which was previously ranked No. 22. Running back Ray Davis paved the way with 280 yards and four touchdowns, giving the kind of performance that will increase the intrigue for next week's battle with No. 1 Georgia.
19. Duke (17): Losing a game against Notre Dame in the final minute hurts, but having star quarterback Riley Leonard knocked out with an injury on the game's deciding play makes matters worse moving forward for the Blue Devils. All eyes will be on Leonard's status to project what's next for Duke, which is still in the ACC title race despite Saturday's nonconference loss thanks to the season-opening win against Clemson.
20. Tennessee (21): The big headline from Saturday's win against South Carolina is less about Joe Milton and the Tennessee passing game than how the Vols defense limited Spencer Rattler and rode Jaylen Wright and the ground game to a 41-20 win.
21. Missouri (23): Brady Cook had a stellar showing at Vanderbilt, throwing for 395 yards in a 38-21 win that has the Tigers off to their best start since 2013.
22. Fresno State (25): The Bulldogs went wire-to-wire in a comfortable conference win against Nevada, maintaining their status as one of the favorites to win the Mountain West. A 5-0 team with two wins against power conference opponents, Fresno State not just a profile that's worth top 25 consideration but a quality that will continue to attract attention as long as the Bulldogs keep piling up victories.
23. Utah (10): There is certainly a drop coming for the Utes after a 21-7 loss at Oregon State. On its face, a road loss against a top-20 team shouldn't warrant a significant tumble, but the team's offensive struggles may contribute to an even larger reaction from the voters. Utah has averaged 16.3 points across its four games against FBS opponents, and the defense has contributed both directly and indirectly to that production.
24. Louisville (NR): The Cardinals are 5-0 after a hard-fought road win at NC State and should break into the top 25 after being 28th in voting points heading into the weekend.
25. LSU (13): There's a chance that Kansas State, which was the first team out last week, gets this spot as voters punish LSU for a second loss. Consider me skeptical that an SEC team with two defeats to other ranked teams will be bounced all the way out of the rankings especially given the close margin at Ole Miss.
Projected to drop out: Florida (22), Kansas (24)