Sept. 25, 2023

Scott Hamilton’s College Football Rankings Week 5: Taylor Swift Edition

Scott Hamilton’s College Football Rankings Week 5: Taylor Swift Edition

Look What You Made Me Do: Oregon coach Dan Lanning made a statement before the game with his impassioned pregame speech (clicks vs. wins) and the Ducks made a statement on the field, beating Colorado 42-6. Oregon rolled up 522 total yards while holding Colorado to 199 total yards – including only 40 rushing on 25 carries. Two big takeaways: The Ducks might be the class of the Pac-12 during an especially strong season for that conference in its final year and that Colorado – while much, much better – is still a work in progress. Oregon moved up a spot on my poll to No. 9; the Buffaloes slipped out and likely won’t make it back this season with the likes of Southern Cal and Washington looming ahead.

1989: Duke moved up a spot to No. 15 in my rankings after winning at UConn, 41-7. The Blue Devils are 4-0 and have two Power 5 wins (Clemson and Northwestern) with ESPN’s “College Gameday” headed to town Saturday. That season-opening win over Clemson aside, the meat of the schedule remains ahead. Notre Dame heads to Wallace Wade Stadium this weekend to start a tough stretch of North Carolina State, Florida State, Louisville, Wake Forest, North Carolina. In other words, the bottom could still fall out. Regardless, for now there hasn’t been this much buzz around Duke football since 1989 – when the Blue Devils were co-champs of the Atlantic Coast Conference during Steve Spurrier’s second and final season in Durham. 

Bad Blood: Lou Holtz trolled Ohio State as soft and the Buckeyes responded with a hard-nosed, last-second 17-14 win at Notre Dame. And OSU coach Ryan Day wasn’t having it, calling out the former Notre Dame head coach afterward. However, I can’t help but think Day took it as a shot at him personally. His reaction was a little over-the-top for a guy who’s now a crazy 49-6 at Ohio State, though on-message for a coach who’s starting to get tagged as a guy who can’t win the big games.

Shake It Off: Alabama dusted off an ugly win at South Florida and the home loss two weeks ago to Texas to once again dispatch Ole Miss, 24-10. The Crimson Tide are still seriously flawed, with the quarterback position a major weakness. But that begs the question: If Lane Kiffin can’t beat Nick Saban now, then when?

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Is Clemson’s stranglehold on the ACC finally loose? It seems that way, especially after a 31-24 home loss to a resurgent Florida State team. The defeat was as much the fault of poor clock management and playcalling as it was on-the-field miscues. Clemson is now 2-2 for the second time in three years, 0-2 in the ACC for the first time since 2010, and losers of four of its last seven games going back to last season.

Anti-Hero: The curious case of Brian Ferentz – Iowa’s beleaguered offensive coordinator and son of the Hawkeyes' longtime head coach – is as notable and watchable as any game score. His amended contract after an offensively inept 2022 calls for Iowa to average 25 points a game this season or he’s fired. The Hawkeyes gave themselves some wiggle room by dropping 41 points on Western Michigan in Week 3 – but then got shutout at No. 6 Penn State, 31-0. Not only did that knock the Hawkeyes out of my rankings, but they’re now averaging only 21.3 points per game.

Style: No. 1 Georgia (49-21 win over UAB), No. 2 Michigan (31-7 Rutgers), No. 4 Texas (38-6 Baylor), No. 6 Penn State (31-0 Iowa), No. 7 Washington (59-32 California) and No. 8 USC (42-28 Arizona State), cruised. Those teams won by an average of 20.8 points, comfortably staying in my top 10.

This week’s rankings:

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. Ohio State 
4. Texas
5. Florida State
6. Penn State
7. Washington
8. Southern Cal
9. Oregon
10. Utah
11. Notre Dame
12. Alabama
13. LSU
14. Oklahoma
15. Duke
16. Washington State 
17. North Carolina
18. Miami
19. Oregon State
20. Ole Miss
21. Tennessee
22. Florida
23. Missouri
24. Kansas
25. Kansas State

Check out “The Scott Hamilton Show,” on FanStreamSports.Com and the Fan Stream Sports mobile app. You can follow him on X @ScottH4456 and hit him up on the Fan Stream Sports Facebook page.