January 19, 2018

Stanford Slips and Falls Out of Leatherheads Top 16

There were lots of points scored and some close games in Week 5 of the college football season but only one Leatherheads Top 16 team lost.  Stanford led the week off with a 17-13 loss to Pac-12 rival Washington, dropping them from the poll.  The Huskies’ defense shut down Stanford’s running game while QB Josh Nunes completed less than 50% of his pass attempts.  Stanford’s upset victory over USC on September 15 lifted them in the polls, but the loss to the Huskies created the exact opposite result.  Oregon State and Clemson joined the Top 16 while Oklahoma joined Stanford, slipping from our ranks.

Alabama got a scare when Ole Miss went up 7-6 in the second quarter.  The Rebels held the lead for an amazing 15 seconds before the Crimson Tide regained the lead when Christion Jones ran the following kickoff 99 yards for a TD.  From that point on, it was pretty much all Alabama.

There was very little movement in our rankings other than Stanford dropping from 10th to unranked.  In a tight race at the top half of the poll, West Virginia tied idle Kansas State for the #7 spot with a 70-63 victory over Baylor.  Geno Smith separated himself from the pack for the Heisman with his 656 yards passing and 8 TD passes.  Baylor’s QB Nick Florence had a nice game too with 581 yards and 5 TDs passing.

As predicted last week, the Oregon State Beavers jumped into the ranks with their victory over the Arizona Wildcats.  The Beavers received big days from QB Sean Mannion (433 yards throwing and 3 TDS), Markus Wheaton (10 receptions, 166 yards and 2 TDs), Brandin Cooks (9 receptions and 149 yards) and Storm Woods (161 yards rushing and a TD).  Here is my Brandon Williams quote of the week: “Quietly, the Beavers are writing a Cinderella story in the Pac-12.”  Could they be for real or will Washington State do the upsetting in the Pac-12 this week?

There are several big games coming up in Week 6 that will shake up the Top 16:  LSU plays at Florida, Georgia plays at South Carolina, and West Virginia plays at Texas.  Other interesting games include Washington playing #2 Oregon.  Can the Huskies knock off another Pac-12 rival and perhaps find themselves in the Top 16?  Ohio State plays a very good Nebraska team.  Notre Dame plays a home game against a 4-1 Miami team.

I am looking forward to next week’s matchups, but for now here are the Leatherheads College Football Top 16:

Rank Team Record  Points  Last Week
   1 Alabama (13)    5-0    208         1
   2 Oregon    5-0    190         2
   3 Florida State    5-0    174         3
   4 LSU    5-0    169         4
   5 Georgia    5-0    156         5
   6 South Carolina    5-0    131         6
   7 Kansas State    4-0    124         7
   7 West Virginia    4-0    124         8
   9 Notre Dame    4-0    101         9
  10 Texas    4-0      96       11
  11 Florida    4-0      81       12
  12 Ohio State    5-0      51       13
  13 TCU    4-0      47       15
  14 Oregon State    3-0      31       NR
  15 USC    3-1      24       14
  16 Clemson    4-1      18       NR

Others receiving votes
: Oklahoma – 12, Louisville – 8, Mississippi State – 6, Rutgers – 5, Stanford – 5, Nebraska – 4, Northwestern – 3.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Dan McCloskey, Andrew McKillop, Tex Noel, Matt Oldham, Pete Sonski, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.



  1. Is the SEC the best conference in college football? If it is, what conference is the next best? The Big 12? Pac-12? Curious what others think..

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