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SQ College Football Top-25 Power Rankings: Week 6

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State upset USC, but was it enough for the Cougars to crack our top-10?

If there’s one thing that has remained constant throughout the young 2017 season, it’s that the top-10 is a revolving door. It seems like every week teams are making their way up from the middle ranks to the top-10 by way of an upset. This week is no exception as USC fell victim to an upset vs. Washington State. But was it enough for the Cougars to crack our top-10? Find out below.

25. Stanford

Previous Rank: 24

“I’m starting to think there’s no one that can stop Bryce Love. Love became the first player this season to break the 1,000-yard mark after rushing for a school-record 301 yards against Arizona State. Stanford has seen some talented running backs come through there over the last decade, but Love may top them all. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him wind up with the Heisman if he keeps running over his opponents.” - Sean Berger

24. Florida State

Previous Rank: Unranked

“Florida State needed a late touchdown against Wake Forest, but the Seminoles are back in the win column. Had it not been for quarterback James Blackman’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate, the Seminoles would’ve faced their worst start since opening the 1976 season at 0-3. Blackman still has plenty of room for improvement, but so does the offensive line after allowing five sacks. Things need to shore up quick before facing Miami this weekend.” - Sean Berger

23. Notre Dame

Previous Rank: 25

“Fighting Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush threw for three scores and ran for another, as Notre Dame throttled Miami of Ohio, 52-17. The Irish controlled the line of scrimmage, racking up 333 rushing yards, while averaging 8.54 yards per carry. Josh Adams had 159 yards on just eight carries, scoring two touchdowns from over 50 yards out. Notre Dame travels to Chapel Hill to take on the skidding 1-4 North Carolina Tar Heels team.” - Colton Spaur

22. West Virginia

Previous Rank: 22

“Since an opening week loss to Virginia Tech, the Mountaineers have rebounded nicely by winning three straight. With Will Grier looking more and more like the quarterback he was touted to be out of high school, West Virginia will need a big effort out of its signal caller as the team takes on an undefeated TCU. The Horned Frogs gave up nearly 400 yards through the air against Oklahoma State, so look for Grier to exploit that secondary as well.” - Sean Berger

21. Utah

Previous Rank: 21

“Currently, Utah has the top rush defense in the PAC-12. We’ll see if that’s able to hold up after Bryce Love runs through Salt Lake City this weekend. The Utes have been able to limit rushers to just 2.66 yards per carry this season, but gave up 200 yards in their last game against Arizona. Stats can be misleading, so just because Utah has the top mark for now, don’t expect that to stay the same after this weekend.” - Sean Berger

20. San Diego State

Previous Rank: 20

“Running back Rashaad Penny continues to show that he is one of the top running backs in the nation, as he racked up 139 yards of offense and scored a touchdown in the 34-28 win over Northern Illinois. With the win, the Aztecs wrap up a 4-0 non-conference schedule that included two wins over Power Five schools. San Diego State travels to Las Vegas to take on the 2-2 UNLV Rebels.” - Colton Spaur

19. USF

Previous Rank: 18

USF kept their record unblemished with a 61-31 rout of East Carolina behind 390 yards rushing. With that performance, Charlie Strong’s offense has now topped the 300-yard rushing mark in four of its five games this season. USF’s commitment to the ground-and-pound approach has paid off so far, and should continue to over the next couple games. The Bulls are idle this Saturday before they resume conference play against Cincinnati.” - Quinn Douglas

18. Florida

Previous Rank: 19

“After being manhandled by Michigan in the season opener, there wasn’t much hope for Florida’s offense. But since that game, the Gators’ offense has risen up and continued to improve with every snap. Florida’s offensive line regrouped and has allowed the Gators to rush for 572 yards over the last three games with the Gators scoring five rushing touchdowns against Vanderbilt this past weekend. With Florida continuing to show improvement on offense, the Gators might have something up their sleeve in regards to the SEC East race.” - Sean Berger

17. Virginia Tech

Previous Rank: 12

“The Hokies had a golden opportunity to prove themselves as title contenders, hosting 2nd-ranked Clemson. Virginia Tech kept it close, but in the end Dabo Swinney’s defense was too much as the Tigers prevailed, 31-17. Hokie quarterback Josh Jackson struggled, turning the ball over twice including a pick six in the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech looks to bounce back this week as the Hokies travel to take on the 2-3 Boston College Eagles.” - Colton Spaur

16. Louisville

Previous Rank: 17

“Louisville has gotten back on track the past two weeks after its disappointing loss to Clemson by beating Kent State and Murray State by a combined score of 97-13. Lamar Jackson was responsible for four touchdowns last week against Murray State and the Cardinals rushed for 312 yards as a team, but it’s hard to glean anything meaningful from a walkover game against an FCS opponent. We’ll see how much Louisville has improved when it travels to Raleigh to take on N.C. State this weekend.” - Ryan Neu

15. Oklahoma State

Previous Rank: 14

“The Cowboy offense continues to light up the scoreboard, as Mason Rudolph has them averaging over 46 points per game. Rudolph accounted for over 400 yards of offense and five touchdowns on Saturday, as the Cowboys topped Texas Tech in a shootout, 41-34. Oklahoma State has a bye week before hosting Baylor next Saturday.” - Colton Spaur

14. Miami

Previous Rank: 15

“Prior to Friday’s contest, the Duke defense had allowed just 15.3 points per game, top-20 in the country. Miami dropped 31 on the Blue Devils – in Durham – and held what had been a potent Duke offense to just six points. Quarterback Malik Rosier completed his first nine passes, including an impressive touchdown as the defensive line bared down on him. With Virginia Tech taking its first conference loss, Miami has a leg up in the Coastal as the Hurricanes head to rival Florida State this weekend. They are the better team in that matchup, but anything can happen in a rivalry game.” - Ryan Neu

13. Auburn

Previous Rank: 13

“Gus Malzahn and the Tigers’ defense showed once again why they are one of the top units in the nation, holding Nick Fitzgerald and the Mississippi State offense to only ten points. The defense forced two turnovers and recorded a whopping eleven quarterback hurries Saturday night, en route to an impressive 49-10 victory. The Tiger defense is currently 6th in the entire nation in points allowed per game, holding opposing teams to just eleven points per game. Auburn will continue to lean on their defense this Saturday as they host Ole Miss.” - Colton Spaur

12. USC

Previous Rank: 5

USC’s playoff hopes took a major hit Friday night, as the 16th ranked Washington State Cougars edged out the Trojans 30-27. Quarterback Sam Darnold struggled to get going, as he had two turnovers, posting an unimpressive 37.6 QBR. USC’s offense will have to be better in order to jump back into the playoff race, as the Trojans host Oregon State this Saturday.” - Colton Spaur

11. Washington State

Previous Rank: 16

“Luke Falk and the Washington State offense are the truth, but it’s the Cougars’ defense that makes it a legitimate conference title contender. The past few seasons, Falk and head coach Mike Leach have made the offense one of the premier scoring offenses in the country. The Cougars averaged 38.2 points per game last season. The defense, however, was as porous as any. This year, however, the offense is just as strong (41.0 points per game), but the defense is vastly improved, allowing just 20.2 points per game compared to 27.2 last season. That defense secured a vital turnover in the waning seconds against USC to secure the win, and it will be an enormous key for any Cougar title hopes going forward.” - Ryan Neu

10. Wisconsin

Previous Rank: 11

“Wisconsin built up a 31-10 lead by the middle of the fourth quarter, but found itself clinging to that advantage after a last ditch comeback by Northwestern. The Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points to bring the game within a touchdown, but the Badgers defense came up with a huge safety to put the game on ice. By the way, those two fourth quarter touchdowns scored by Northwestern were the first second-half points scored on Wisconsin’s defense this season. The Badgers offense was able to overcome a sluggish performance, but will need to come out swinging when it faces fellow division foe Nebraska this weekend.” - Sean Berger

9. TCU

Previous Rank: 10

“It’s time to see if TCU has a big win hangover after beating Oklahoma State a couple weeks ago. Hopefully last week’s bye was enough to bring the Horned Frogs back down to Earth and get them ready for a big conference matchup against West Virginia. The Mountaineers have struggled against good running teams like Virginia Tech and Kansas, giving up a combined 601 yards on the ground to them. Look for TCU to continue to build off the strong ground game they’ve built so far this season.” - Sean Berger

8. Ohio State

Previous Rank: 8

“The Buckeyes blasted an overmatched Rutgers team, 56-0, in Piscataway thanks to JT Barrett’s three TD passes. Barrett has taken advantage of facing weak opponents the past couple weeks, averaging 18 yards per completion. Ohio State returns to Columbus on Saturday to face a Maryland squad which is down to its third-string quarterback. Look for Nick Bosa to be in his face all game.” - Quinn Douglas

7. Michigan

Previous Rank: 8

“At this point it looks as if John O’Korn will start in place of Wilton Speight at quarterback for the Wolverines when they take on Michigan State this weekend. O’Korn played well when he took over for the injured Speight against Purdue a couple weeks ago, completing 18 passes for 270 yards. Michigan State has one of the stingiest pass defenses in the country this year, ranking in the top 10 in multiple categories. Look for Ty Isaac and Chris Evans to get plenty of touches in this game to keep the pressure off O’Korn.” - Sean Berger

6. Georgia

Previous Rank: 7

“Since quarterback Jacob Eason went down with an injury, the Bulldogs have not missed a beat with freshman quarterback Jake Fromm at the helm. Fromm guided Georgia to 41 points, as the Bulldogs shut out Tennessee, 41-0, on Saturday. Georgia’s defense continues to show that they are an elite unit, as they rank second in the nation in points allowed per game (9.2). Georgia looks to continue their pursuit of an SEC crown as they play 3-2 Vanderbilt this Saturday.” - Colton Spaur

5. Washington

Previous Rank: 6

“Thanks to USC’s loss to Washington State, Washington has now moved into the pole position to represent the Pac-12 in the Playoff. The Huskies have quietly started the year off well, with a defense as frightening as it was last season. Last week, however, the offense shined, dropping 42 points against poor Oregon State. Quarterback Jake Browning threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns while running back Myles Gaskin ran for 113 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries. Washington is just as talented as it was a year ago when it reached the Playoff, despite losing several players on both sides of the ball to the NFL.” - Ryan Neu

4. Penn State

Previous Rank: 4

“Saquon Barkley can do anything. A week after gashing Iowa for 211 yards, Barkley was limited on the ground to just 56 yards on 20 carries. However, he still found multiple ways to contribute in Penn State’s 45-14 blowout win. Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, showing off his trademark speed and elusiveness in the process, then threw for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Even on the rare days he doesn’t shine on the ground, he finds new ways to amaze us.” - Ryan Neu

3. Oklahoma

Previous Rank: 3

“Coming off of a bye week, Baker Mayfield and the Sooners host Iowa State this Saturday. Mayfield has been sensational so far this year, completing over 75% of his passes and posting a 228.3 passer rating. The Sooner offense is averaging the fourth most points in the nation, scoring 48 points a contest.” - Colton Spaur

2. Clemson

Previous Rank: 2

“Clemson is clearly elite. The defense has allowed only 10.8 points per game, tied for fourth in the nation. It has wreaked havoc on every offense that has had the misfortune to come its way. But if there is one potential flaw to this team, one flaw that might prevent the Tigers from repeating as national champions, it’s quarterback Kelly Bryant’s ability as a passer. Bryant is completing a solid 66.2 percent of his passes on a reasonable 8.15 yards per attempt, but he has only thrown for 211.8 yards per game, three total touchdowns, and three interceptions. He more than makes up for it on the ground, but come the Playoff against the likes of Alabama, Washington, Penn State or any other dominant defense, Bryant will need to throw the ball to score points and it is unclear he can do that effectively or consistently.” - Ryan Neu

1. Alabama

Previous Rank: 1

“It’s got to be embarrassing for the SEC that Alabama just keeps bulldozing over conference opponents week after week. After decimating Vanderbilt 59-0, the Crimson Tide crushed Ole Miss to the tune of 66-3. Heck, the Tide didn’t even put up that many points against Fresno State or Colorado State. Jalen Hurts threw for 197 yards and for 101 yards, while scoring three total touchdowns. He’s not the best passer by any means, but his presence in that offense is what gives Alabama a certain swagger.” - Sean Berger

Edited by Joe Sparacio.

When was the last time Washington State's football team finished the season in the AP top-10?
Created 10/4/17
  1. 1964
  2. 1987
  3. 2003
  4. 2008

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