That was quite the classic week of college football, wasn’t it? It was one of those weekends that seemed light on meaningful games...then we ended up getting two pretty major upsets, and of course Stanford’s first win against Utah in the Pac-12 (the Cardinal have now officially beaten every other team in the Pac-12 in conference play). Let’s take a look at how the college football landscaped changed after the eventful weekend.
Week 6 Coaches Poll
The biggest changes in the Coaches Poll are definitely Oklahoma and Michigan both dropping nine spots after their upset losses. In terms of the playoff landscape, Michigan realistically probably wasn’t going to make a run for the playoff anyways, but Oklahoma was a strong contender to make it, ranked as high as #3. We’re halfway through the season but it’s still a bit early to really rule out Oklahoma and the Big 12, like some outlets are doing. Playing a close game against Baylor and losing to Iowa State are pretty concerning, but maybe Iowa State is actually a decent team this year. On the flip side, maybe Ohio State ends up disappointing, so the Sooners’ win over the Buckeyes may end up not being so great by the end of the season.
At the lower end of the spectrum, we had Louisville, Florida, and WVU all drop out after their respective losses, and Michigan State making a huge leap up into the rankings (14 spots!). And finally, Stanford returns to the realm of the ranked teams, popping in at #25. It’s good to be back!
Week 6 AP Poll
Similar changes here in the AP Poll with Oklahoma and Michigan dropping nine and 10 spots respectively, but at the bottom end there’s some fairly significant differences between the two polls. Notably, the AP Poll has Texas Tech at 24 while the Coaches would have Texas Tech at 29, tied with WVU. The AP voters are clearly buying into the Red Raiders’ improved defense (hard not to improve considering the depths of that defense in past seasons) and are probably encouraged that they would be undefeated if not for a seven-point loss to Oklahoma State, but the Coaches seem more measured in their perception of Texas Tech.
While the Coaches Poll has Utah above Stanford, the AP has Stanford ranked at 23 and Utah not in the rankings at all. The Coaches Poll has seemingly been higher on Utah all season, ranking them way earlier and higher than the AP Poll ever did. Obviously as Stanford fans, I’d rather be ranked #23 and ranked higher than Utah, but you could make an argument that a single loss by 3 points shouldn’t warrant dropping Utah below 2-loss Stanford.
Now that the Cardinal are back in the rankings, let’s hope they stick around and keep winning and going up in the rankings. It’s Homecoming this week, and games against Oregon are always fun, so everyone enjoy the games this weekend!