Here’s a look at New Arena’s Top 25 Poll for Week 5 of the 2018-2019 College Football season:
25. Boise State Broncos
Week 4 result: BYE
Up next: @ Wyoming
Boise will look to open up Mountain West play with a statement victory over Wyoming in Laramie. After a humbling defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State, the Broncos have had plenty of time to prepare for the Wyoming Cowboys (2-2). Boise shouldn’t have too much trouble shutting down a Wyoming offense that has struggled to score (19.5 PPG). With a big matchup against San Diego State looming, Wyoming should serve as a nice tune-up for Brett Rypien and company.
24. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Week 4 result: Lost to Kentucky 28-7
Up next: vs. Florida
After three dominating performances to start the season, the Bulldogs suffered an unexpected setback in Lexington. Nick Fitzgerald was largely kept in check, and the rushing attack struggled mightily — 56 yards on 28 attempts. A loss against a suddenly-hot Florida team could send the Bulldogs’ season into a tailspin.
23. California Golden Bears
Week 4 result: BYE
Up next: vs. Oregon
A team with very little hype entering the season, the Golden Bears have a huge opportunity to make a statement this weekend in Berkeley. Their victory over BYU looks better by the week, and now the Bears face their biggest test thus far as an angry Oregon squad comes to town. Cal’s defense has been stingy in allowing only 19.3 PPG (good for 34th in the nation). While this matchup has shootout-potential, Cal’s best chance of winning may be to hold Oregon under 30 points.
22. Michigan State Spartans
Week 4 result: Defeated Indiana 35-21
Up next: vs. Central Michigan
Sparty rebounded nicely from their loss at Arizona State by handling Indiana on the road. With their toughest stretch of games approaching — vs. Northwestern, @ Penn State, vs. Michigan — Michigan State must first find its groove against Central Michigan. Sparty’s top priority this week should be getting running back L.J. Scott rolling. The star back is averaging a meager 3.4 YPC on the season — down from 5.4 YPC in 2017.
21. Texas Longhorns
Week 4 result: Defeated TCU 31-16
Up next: @ Kansas State
A season-opening loss at Maryland had Texas fans in a state of mass hysteria. A too-close-for-comfort victory over Tulsa in Week 2 did nothing to settle the widespread worry. However, back-to-back dominant victories over USC and TCU have brought the Texas program back to life. Tom Herman’s group has seemingly turned a corner just in time for Big 12 play. Seeing as the Longhorns are winless in Manhattan since 2002, Texas must be careful to not look ahead to their showdown with Oklahoma in two weeks.
20. Colorado Buffaloes
Week 4 result: BYE
Up next: vs. UCLA
In years’ past, having two weeks to prepare for a Chip Kelly-led team would be a blessing. However, the Kelly-led team coming to Boulder this week appears to be one of the worst teams in the nation. Colorado should have little trouble on Friday. The season is setting up for the Buffaloes to make a run at the Pac-12 South crown.
19. Duke Blue Devils
Week 4 result: Defeated North Carolina Central 55-13
Up next: vs. Virginia Tech
The Blue Devils are off to a 4-0 start for the second year in a row. Duke now has an opportunity to declare itself as the main challenger to Miami in the ACC Coastal division. A wounded and embarrassed Virginia Tech team comes to Durham in a battle of backup quarterbacks. Josh Jackson is out indefinitely for Tech, while the Blue Devils may be down to their third-string QB. Look for Duke to continue its stellar play on defense in a tightly-contested victory over the Hokies.
18. Kentucky Wildcats
Week 4 result: Defeated Mississippi State 28-7
Up next: vs. South Carolina
Seeing Duke and Kentucky ranked in football is bizarre. As weird as it seems, the Wildcats’ performance this past weekend showed that they are a team to be reckoned with. Kentucky completely shut down Mississippi State, holding the Bulldogs to 201 yards and 11 first downs. Benny Snell Jr. dominated on the ground — amassing 165 yards and four touchdowns. Through four weeks, Kentucky appears to be the biggest threat to Georgia in the SEC East.
17. Oregon Ducks
Week 4 result: Lost to Stanford 38-31
Up next: @ California
There is only one word to describe Oregon’s loss to Stanford: Heartbreaking. After dominating for much of the game, Oregon squandered a 10-point lead with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Ducks then ultimately lost in overtime. Even in defeat, Oregon proved to be one of the better teams out West. We will learn a lot about the Ducks over the next few weeks. Mario Cristobal’s team travels to Berkeley before returning home for a showdown with rival Washington.
16. Wisconsin Badgers
Week 4 result: Defeated Iowa 28-17
Up next: BYE
After being upset by BYU at Camp Randall, the Badgers narrowly avoided another setback before rallying against Iowa on the road. Alex Hornibrook’s last-minute touchdown pass led the Badgers to victory in a crucial game for the team. Clearly the best team in the Big Ten West, Wisconsin will have two weeks to prepare for an abysmal Nebraska squad.
15. Miami Hurricanes
Week 4 result: Defeated FIU 31-17
Up next: vs. North Carolina
While a 31-17 victory over FIU doesn’t appear to be overly impressive, the final score is not indicative of Miami’s performance throughout the game. The U built a 31-0 lead midway through the third quarter before taking their foot off the gas in the fourth. The Canes have recovered well following their loss to LSU, and should continue to rack up victories against lesser opponents in the coming weeks.
14. UCF Knights
Week 4 result: Defeated FAU 56-36
Up next: vs. Pittsburgh
Fresh off another convincing victory, the Knights continue to make a strong case that they are the best team in the state of Florida. 16-straight victories for UCF has the team rising in the rankings, and a meeting with another Power-5 school (Pittsburgh) offers further opportunity to make a statement. Star QB McKenzie Milton has the Knights looking like a potential top-10 team.
13. Michigan Wolverines
Week 4 result: Defeated Nebraska 56-10
Up next: @ Northwestern
The Wolverines pummeled Nebraska from the opening whistle in the Big House. It’s their third-straight victory following the Week 1 loss to Notre Dame. Shea Patterson has provided Michigan with a dynamic they have sorely lacked during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure. The Wolverines are averaging over 40 PPG while allowing only 14. Harbaugh’s men are on the verge of being among the nation’s best.
12. Penn State Nittany Lions
Week 4 result: Defeated Illinois 63-24
Up next: vs. Ohio State
After Appalachian State came close to ending the Nittany Lions’ season in Week 1, Penn State has responded by outscoring their last three opponents by a mark of 177-40. Trace McSorley and running back Miles Sanders will have to be special this weekend if they want to beat Ohio State. Facing the second-highest scoring offense in the nation, Penn State’s defense will need to limit the Buckeyes’ vaunted attack. The best defense is often a great offense — which is why the Nittany Lions should try to control the clock behind Sanders’ rushing prowess.
11. West Virginia Mountaineers
Week 4 result: Defeated Kansas State 35-6
Up next: @ Texas Tech
Will Grier is making a serious push for the Heisman Trophy. Through three games, the Mountaineers’ quarterback is 71-of-95 for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns. A showdown in Lubbock with the Red Raiders has the feel of a good ol’ fashioned shootout. The game may come down to who has the ball last. However with Grier on their, side the Mountaineers will feel comfortable trading points with any team.
10. Washington Huskies
Week 4 result: Defeated Arizona State 27-20
Up next: vs. BYU
The Huskies have started off Pac-12 play on a high note. Chris Petersen’s team upended a tough Utah squad in Salt Lake City, and then followed that up by defeating the Fighting Herm’s (Arizona State) at home. UDub has a tough game ahead with the always-physical BYU Cougars coming to Seattle. In order to remain relevant in the CFP discussion, the Huskies must take care of business at home. Defeating a seasoned BYU team would be a great help to their potential case.
9. Auburn Tigers
Week 4 result: Defeated Arkansas 34-3
Up next: vs. Southern Miss
Auburn continued its run of good play in a comfortable victory over Arkansas. The Tigers don’t seem prone to a letdown against lesser opponents, and that is what Auburn will face this weekend. Southern Miss shouldn’t push the Tigers too much as they gear up for a trip to Starkville next week. As long as Jarrett Stidham takes care of the ball, Auburn will sleepwalk past the Golden Eagles.
8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Week 4 result: Defeated Wake Forest 56-27
Up next: vs. Stanford
Notre Dame may have just found the key to their lofty goals. Brian Kelly’s decision to start Ian Book at quarterback in place of Brandon Wimbush was a game-changer. Behind Book, the Irish tallied 566 yards of offense — 200 more than what they averaged through the first three weeks. Book accounted for 325 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The Irish face their biggest test of the season as they welcome the Stanford Cardinal to South Bend. A win could go a long way in helping Notre Dame’s playoff chances.
7. LSU Tigers
Week 4 result: Defeated Louisiana Tech 38-21
Up next: vs. Ole Miss
Another week, another victory. Ed Orgeron has the Tigers playing with a ton of confidence as they continue to surprise everybody. LSU is about to face the toughest stretch of its season: Ole Miss, @ Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama. The odds of them coming out unscathed are low. However if the Tigers can go 4-1 during this slate of games, they will remain a player in the race for a playoff spot.
6. Oklahoma Sooners
Week 4 result: Defeated Army 28-21
Up next: vs. Baylor
Perhaps the Big 12’s only team capable of reaching the playoff, the Sooners were lucky to leave Week 4 with a win. Kyler Murray has been great taking over for Baker Mayfield, but Oklahoma must continue to pound the rock and play to their strengths. Trey Sermon has done well stepping in for the injured Rodney Anderson. Between their prolific attack and solid defense, the Sooners should remain formidable. If they can get past Baylor, they will head into the Red River Rivalry with a ton to play for.
5. Stanford Cardinal
Week 4 result: Defeated Oregon 38-31
Up next: @ Notre Dame
The Cardinal looked burnt out with a little more than a quarter left to play in Eugene. However, an 80-yard fumble return for a TD and a Bryce Love TD run in a two-minute span resurrected Stanford from the dead. Overcoming a 17-point deficit at Autzen Stadium against a good Oregon team is an incredible feat. A trip to Notre Dame provides the Cardinal with another opportunity to make a huge statement. A win in South Bend could vault the Cardinal into a prime position to make the College Football Playoff.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
Week 4 result: Defeated Tulane 49-6
Up next: @ Penn State
The Buckeyes rolled over Tulane in Urban Meyer’s return to the sidelines. A trip to Happy Valley will go a long way in determining who comes out of the Big Ten East. Unfortunately for Ohio State, it will be without their best player (Nick Bosa) for several games after undergoing core muscle surgery. The Buckeyes have enough talent to overcome the loss, but Bosa’s absence will be felt.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
Week 4 result: Defeated Missouri 43-29
Up next: vs. Tennessee
Georgia faced a tough test going against Drew Lock on his home turf. However, the Bulldogs were more than up to the task. Georgia’s pass defense kept Mizzou’s star signal-caller out of the end zone — and thus limited him to only 221 yards through the air. While the Tigers succeeded on the ground — 172 yards and four touchdowns — Georgia controlled much of the game from the opening whistle. A trip to Baton Rouge in mid-October looms large, but home games against a poor Tennessee squad and mediocre Vanderbilt are up first on the docket.
2. Clemson Tigers
Week 4 result: Defeated Georgia Tech 49-21
Up next: vs. Syracuse
Dabo Swinney could only delay the inevitable for so long. After throwing four touchdown passes off the bench against Georgia Tech, freshman sensation Trevor Lawrence has been named the starting quarterback. Lawrence makes the Tigers’ attack more dangerous than Kelly Bryant due to his superior passing ability. With the 4-0 Syracuse Orange coming to down, Clemson will be out to avenge their lone regular season loss from a season ago.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 4 result: Defeated Texas A&M 45-23
Up next: vs. Louisiana
There isn’t much left to say about the Crimson Tide. Tua Tagovailoa threw for four touchdowns and nearly 400 yards. Their offense is averaging 53.8 PPG (3rd in the nation) and allowing 12.8 PPG (4th). Alabama doesn’t have a difficult game until November when they travel to LSU. Ho-hum.
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