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2017 College Football Polls: Week 6

Stanford re-enters the rankings halfway into their season in both polls.

Stanford v Utah
Bryce Love scurries out of the clutches of the unranked
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

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

Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
1 Alabama 1 6-0 0
2 Clemson 2 6-0 0
3 Penn State 4 6-0 1
4 Washington 5 6-0 1
5 Georgia 6 6-0 1
6 Wisconsin 8 5-0 2
7 TCU 10 5-0 3
8 Ohio State 9 5-1 1
9 Washington State 11 6-0 2
10 Miami 12 4-0 2
11 Auburn 13 5-1 2
12 Oklahoma 3 4-1 -9
13 USC 15 5-1 2
14 Oklahoma State 14 4-1 0
15 USF 16 5-0 1
16 Michigan 7 4-1 -9
17 Virginia Tech 19 5-1 2
18 SDSU 21 6-0 3
19 Notre Dame 22 5-1 3
20 NC State 24 5-1 4
21 UCF 25 4-0 4
22 Michigan State 36 4-1 14
23 Utah 18 4-1 -5
24 Navy 29 5-0 5
25 Stanford 31 4-2 6

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

Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
1 Alabama 1 6-0 0
2 Clemson 2 6-0 0
3 Penn State 4 6-0 1
4 Georgia 5 6-0 1
5 Washington 6 6-0 1
6 TCU 8 5-0 2
7 Wisconsin 9 5-0 2
8 Washington State 11 6-0 3
9 Ohio State 10 5-1 1
10 Auburn 12 5-1 2
11 Miami 13 4-0 2
12 Oklahoma 3 4-1 -9
13 USC 14 5-1 1
14 Oklahoma State 15 4-1 1
15 Virginia Tech 16 5-1 1
16 Notre Dame 21 5-1 5
17 Michigan 7 4-1 -10
18 USF 18 5-0 0
19 SDSU 19 6-0 0
20 NC State 24 5-1 4
21 Michigan State NR 4-1
22 UCF 25 4-0 3
23 Stanford NR 4-2
24 Texas Tech NR 4-1
25 Navy NR 5-0

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!