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College Football Week 5: You Want to Get Nuts? Let's Get Nuts

By Justin Cates | October 04
College Football Week 5: You Want to Get Nuts? Let's Get Nuts
Photo Credit: Cincinnati Athletics

Nine of the AP’s top 25 teams lost this weekend and a record 34 ranked teams have lost through just five weeks. That’s an exciting development which tells us that polling is garbage — we knew that — and that this college football campaign continues to take aim at 2007 to lay claim to the wackiest season in modern memory.

It’s not just useless early season polls which have gifted us this bounty. The nature of the Covid season of 2020 — extra eligibility, transfers, mass chaos — helped to create the perfect storm of high strangeness that is 2021.

So what’s the craziest part of all of this? Here are a few early contenders for the most unexpected development.

Clemson Takes a Step Back

A step back? Sure that seemed possible this summer but the idea that Clemson would struggle so dramatically wasn't on many minds. Most thought they would just plug new guys into the holes left by so many high draft picks like always, but it hasn’t gone smoothly at all. Injuries have compounded the issues and left the Tigers with a 3-2 overall record which includes wins of just six points apiece over scuffling Georgia Tech and Boston College without their top quarterback.

There’s still a ton of talent in Death Valley but with the Tigers dropping out of the AP poll for the first time since 2014, there’s also a ton of concern down there.

Strangely, there are plenty of folks acting like the dynasty is over and Dabo is going to retire any minute now. More likely is they'll regroup and qualify for some weird bowl game this season. They'll wrap up another great recruiting class which is currently ranked 11th in the nation by 247Sports, and the Tigers will be back to the level everyone expects in 2022.

That Dawg Will Hunt

Georgia was universally expected to be good, but they’re always good to some extent. They’ve won at least eight games every season but one this century. Even more impressive, they’ve won 10 or more games in 13 of those seasons placing them firmly among the top programs in the country. They’ve just struggled to win the big one.

That problem may be a thing of the past. Sure Arkansas probably isn’t ready to be a top ten team but there’s plenty of talent over there too. They just got a whoopin’ from a group on a completely different level. The total domination by Georgia — and Alabama down the road — begs the question, as the season progresses can anyone beat those two teams except each other?

It sure doesn't look likely so far.

The Undefeateds Are Unexpected

Did you imagine undefeated teams like Iowa and Cincinnati to be ranked in the top five at this point in the year? Did you think the last unbeaten team in the ACC would be No. 19 Wake Forest? Surely your didn't have great vibes about 5-0 Michigan State?

No you didn't. Come on, stop lying!

Sorry. That got oddly confrontational.

The important thing is that to this point there are plenty of feel good stories out there, and the list above doesn't even include Coastal Carolina or BYU. Plenty of nontraditional powers are putting together great seasons and that's a wonderful thing if you want parity to rule the land.

Odds and Ends

The Bearcats went to South Bend and soundly beat the Irish despite a late rally. Desmond Ridder made some headlines during the week by stating that it wouldn't be loud for long in Notre Dame Stadium. He caught some flack for that but he was absolutely correct. To be fair, having been twice I can't say it's that loud to begin with but Luke Fickel's bunch took them down a few decibels more.

The Bearcat program has some considerable swagger but they've proven more than capable of backing up the big talk. The video above is incredible and may well be the troll of the season.

The path is all laid out for an undefeated season for Cincinnati. They just have to take care of business to throw a wrench in the P5's playoff plans.
The late night crowd got a treat when the Hawai'i Warriors knocked off No. 18 Fresno State. That puts the Warriors at 3-3 overall on the year under second year head coach Todd Graham. Remember that guy? He's been moving ever westward since a brief stint at Pittsburgh. It would appear his own manifest destiny has gone about as far as it can in that direction, barring a late career stint at Konan University in Kobe, Japan. RED GANG UNITE!
Quite a few fans dressed as empty seats witnessed Stanford upset No. 3 Oregon 31-24 in overtime. It was a huge win for David Shaw's team and a massive disappointment for the Ducks who were looking to make the Playoff, but now face an uphill climb to do so. Anthony Brown has to be more productive if there's to be any hope in Eugene. He's largely avoided mistakes this season, but hasn't provided much in the way of firepower for an offense that needs some. His 31.9 QBR Saturday just isn't going to cut it.