A couple of teams went toppling down in Week Five, sending a frenzy in the rankings. Here's who made their presence known and who disappeared into nothing.
Big Winner: Cincinnati: For years, Group of Five schools has been excluded from the playoff discussion. They've been subjected to playing in the worst New Year's Six bowls, having modest success against a powerhouse team. However, that may change this year with the Cincinnati Bearcats. They went into South Bend and defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 24-13. The Bearcats were led by Alec Pierce's six receptions for 144 yards and Desmond Riddler (19-for-32, 297 yards, two touchdowns). Cincinnati's defense also stepped up, forcing three turnovers and stopping the Fighting Irish rushing game for just 84 yards. There's plenty of reason to be excited if you love chaos in the playoff discussion. The Bearcats also have a home match-up against #24 SMU later in the year, which will prove to be monumental. Perhaps it's time the CFP committee started taking these Group of Five schools seriously.
Winner: Michigan: Jim Harbaugh has been the subject of hot seat talk, underachieving during his Michigan tenure. However, his team proved quite formidable, demolishing the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, 38-17. It starts with the Michigan defense, who forced three turnovers and held the Badgers to 210 total yards. Of course, the unit was led by David Ojabo, who had seven total tackles and 2.5 sacks (Michigan had six total sacks for the day). Ann Arbor has plenty of reason to be excited, for the Maize and Blue are in the thick of a playoff race.
Winner: Kentucky: The Wildcats have always been known as a basketball school, kicking ass and winning countless titles. However, they might have some creed on the gridiron, taking down #10 Florida, 20-13. Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a big game for Kentucky, rushing the ball 16 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. Next stop for the Wildcats: Alabama in the SEC Championship game?
Big Loser: Oregon: The Ducks started slow against Stanford, trailing at the half, 17-7. Then, when the Cardinal offense was stalling in the second half, Oregon had a chance to slam the door. It didn't due to a targeting penalty by Kavyon Thibodeaux, resulting in the Cardinal to tie and eventually win the game in overtime, 31-24. For the Ducks, it's been a story of progressively worse play since beating Ohio State. Whether it's a slow start or costly penalties, Oregon's been haunted by such mishaps. For the Pac-12, it's been an underperforming conference (once again) that still hasn't shaken Larry Scott's ghost. Unnecessary trap games, trying to capitalize on profit instead of performance, and poor performances from every school have murdered this conference in the past and continue to do so. If new commissioner George Kliavkoff is to rid the Conference of Champions of Larry Scott's incompetent ghost, he must find a way to eliminate these factors. Otherwise, the Pac-12 may never sniff the playoffs again.
Loser: Texas A&M: The Aggies continue to slide as well, falling to Mississippi State, 26-22. Texas A&M Let Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers throw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, showing signs of a weak passing game. Once again, the Aggies fell short of lofty expectations, collapsing at the worst time possible.
Loser: LSU: Another SEC West school that has disappointed has been the Tigers. Two years removed from winning the National Championship, Ed Orgeron's squad has disappointed since that time, playing .500 ball along the way. This time, they lost to #22 Auburn, 24-19. LSU allowed 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, letting Bo Nix damage them in the air and on the ground. Both the Tigers and Aggies are making way for another Alabama run in the SEC West, making the inevitable happen again.
Other Winners: Hawaii, Bailey Zappe, Chase Brown
Other Losers: UCLA, Army's awful first quarter, UCF's awful fourth quarter