Alabama grabs the top spot while UCLA makes a big jump in the post-Week 5 edition of college football Power Rankings.
Texas senior wide receiver John Harris hurled an ill-advised barb Monday straight at Art Briles and the Baylor Bears. “They’re still Baylor,” Harris said. “Just because they started playing better, that’s good for them. We’re still Texas.” Yes, this is bulletin board material, tried and true. At the heart of it, though, this says a lot about our own impressions toward name-brand teams, particularly those that struggle.
They’re still Baylor, the same Bears that won 29 games the past three seasons and started this year 4-0. Texas is still Texas, a team that hasn’t had a 10-win season since 2009. And out in Ann Arbor, Michigan is still Michigan. The Wolverines have won one of their last 10 meetings against Ohio State and appear headed towards their third head coach since Lloyd Carr coached his final game on New Year’s Day 2008.
Coaches always say to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. But the name on the front can be deceiving. Definitions and reputations are fluid. Just because a word, a team or a name meant one thing in a certain era does not guarantee it will hold true in the next. Things can change in a year or a week -- or a game.
The power rankings this week have tried to address that. Teams that aren’t playing like top 25 teams don’t belong there based on their preseason rankings alone. That’s why there’s a new No. 1 once again and why so many teams have shuffled. As SI.com’s Andy Staples wrote in his Punt, Pass & Pork this week, “We may still have the wrong idea, but five weeks of data have provided a few hints.” I’ve tried to take those hints into consideration.
Next game: Saturday at Ole Miss
Next five: Missouri, Arizona, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Arizona State