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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:40 pm

Sinn AP Poll: Week 5

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Week 5 ended up mostly going chalk near the top of the rankings, and there now appears to be a pretty clear Top 8 of undefeated teams after Notre Dame pulled away to beat Stanford and Ohio State came from behind to beat Penn State on the road. 

At the bottom of the rankings, however, there were a plethora of defeats, with Mississippi State, Duke, BYU, Cal and Texas Tech all falling. That means several new additions to this week's rankings. Here is my Top 25 after Week 5.

1. Alabama 5-0

2. Ohio State 5-0

3. Georgia 5-0

4. LSU 5-0

5. Notre Dame 5-0

6. Oklahoma 5-0

7. Clemson 5-0

8. West Virginia 4-0

9. Washington 4-1

10. Auburn 4-1

11. UCF 4-0

12. Penn State 4-1

13. Kentucky 5-0

14. Michigan 4-1

15. Wisconsin 3-1

16. Miami 4-1

17. Oregon 4-1

18. Stanford 4-1

19. Michigan State 3-1

20. Oklahoma State 4-1

21. Syracuse 4-1

22. Boise State 3-1

23. Colorado 4-0

24. South Florida 4-0

25. Virginia Tech 3-1

You can see the official AP Poll here:

I had Notre Dame No. 7 last week and after the Irish's win over Stanford, their second over a Top 20 team in the first five weeks of the season, I moved Notre Dame up two spots to No. 5. The Irish are No. 6 overall, still behind Clemson, which I had them leapfrog. I came away unimpressed with the Tigers after watching them against Syracuse at home and if Trevor Lawrence misses any extended length of time, Clemson will be on its third-string quarterback. Conversely, the Irish have enjoyed two dominant wins since Ian Book took over at quarterback and its defense appears to be one of the best in the country. I also jumped Notre Dame over Oklahoma, which destroyed Baylor as expected, but hasn't played nearly the schedule the Irish have and features a suspect defense. The Sooners have a chance to impress against resurgent Texas next week. For now, the Irish have the resume and the look of a Top 5 team.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech returns to my poll at No. 25 and to the composite poll at No. 24. The Irish travel to Blacksburg next week, giving them another chance to bolster their resume. I wrote this week about Notre Dame not having another Top 25 matchup after Stanford, but the Hokies took care of that with an easy win over then-No. 22 Duke on the road, suggesting their confusing loss to Old Dominion might have been something of a fluke. Notre Dame will not have an easy time of it on the road in front of a raucous crowd.

Other newcomers to my poll this week were Colorado and Syracuse. The Buffaloes are undefeated, with wins over Nebraska and UCLA, which isn't nearly as impressive as it would have seemed before the season. Still, 4-0 with two wins over Power Five teams heading into conference play shouldn't be overlooked. The Buffaloes get Arizona State and then a road date with USC. If they reach 6-0, they could be a legitimate Pac-12 contender.

Syracuse, meanwhile, was 4-0 entering a road matchup against Clemson and led most of the game even before Lawrence left with what appeared to be a head injury. It's not often a team moves up because of a loss, but I admit I was unimpressed with the Orange before, but now believe they're a legitimately good team. If they hadn't slowed their offense down in the second half, they'd probably be undefeated right now.

Bold Pick of the Week: Northwestern 24, No. 20 Michigan State 14

I remain unconvinced by the Spartans and Northwestern nearly beat Michigan (and probably should have won) on Saturday. If the Wildcats come out and play the same way against Michigan State, they could pull an upset in East Lansing.

Remember, feel free to yell at me about my poll or pick on Twitter @DylanSinn or via email at