Alabama grabs the top spot while UCLA makes a big jump in the post-Week 5 edition of college football Power Rankings.

By Martin Rickman
September 30, 2014

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.

• ROSENBERG: Hoke is struggling, but don't indict his integrity

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’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.

INSIDE READ: Ethical questions surround the world of sign-stealing

1Alabama Crimson Tide
last week: 3
record: 4-0

Next game: Saturday at Ole Miss

2Oklahoma Sooners
last week: 4
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat West Virginia, 45-33
Next game: Saturday at TCU
3Oregon Ducks
last week: 2
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Washington State, 38-31
Next game: Thursday vs. Arizona
4Florida State Seminoles
last week: 1
record: 4-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Wake Forest
5Auburn Tigers
last week: 5
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Louisiana Tech, 45-17
Next game: Saturday vs. LSU
6Texas A&M Aggies
last week: 7
record: 5-0

Next game: Saturday at Mississippi State
7UCLA Bruins
last week: 16
record: 4-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Utah
8Michigan State Spartans
last week: 11
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Wyoming, 56-14
Next game: Saturday vs. Nebraska
9Baylor Bears
last week: 6
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Iowa State, 49-28
Next game: Saturday at Texas
10Notre Dame Fighting Irish
last week: 8
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Syracuse, 31-15
Next game: Saturday vs. Stanford
11Stanford Cardinal
last week: 10
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Washington, 20-13
Next game: Saturday at Notre Dame
12Mississippi State Bulldogs
last week: 12
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat LSU, 34-29
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas A&M
13BYU Cougars
last week: 15
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Virginia, 41-33
Next game: Friday vs. Utah State
14Ole Miss Rebels
last week: 9
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Memphis, 24-3
Next game: Saturday vs. Alabama
15Georgia Bulldogs
last week: 14
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Tennessee, 35-32
Next game: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
16Nebraska Cornhuskers
last week: 21
record: 5-0

Last game: Beat Illinois, 45-14
Next game: Saturday at Michigan State
17East Carolina Pirates
last week: 19
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat North Carolina, 70-41
Next game: Saturday vs. SMU
18LSU Tigers
last week: 25
record: 4-1

Last game: Beat New Mexico State, 63-7
Next game: Saturday at Auburn
19Wisconsin Badgers
last week: 18
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat South Florida, 27-10
Next game: Saturday at Northwestern
20USC Trojans
last week: 20
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Oregon State, 35-10
Next game: Saturday vs. Arizona State
21Ohio State Buckeyes
last week: 22
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Cincinnati, 50-28
Next game: Saturday at Maryland
22Kansas State Wildcats
last week: 23
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat UTEP, 58-28
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech
23Oklahoma State Cowboys
last week: NR
record: 3-1

Last game: Beat Texas Tech, 45-35
Next game: Saturday vs. Iowa State
24TCU Horned Frogs
last week: NR
record: 3-0

Last game: Beat SMU, 56-0
Next game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma
25Marshall Thundering Herd
last week: NR
record: 4-0

Last game: Beat Akron, 48-17
Next game: Saturday at Old Dominion

Next five: Missouri, Arizona, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Arizona State

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