Mississippi teams soar in college football Power Rankings after Week 6

College Football
College football roundup: Week 6
Tuesday October 7th, 2014

I couldn’t help thinking about Jeff Goldblum after pausing to reflect on the madness of Week 6. Although admittedly I think about Jeff Goldblum a lot. No, not the Jeff Goldblum currently hawking smart light bulbs in this surrealist Tim & Eric-directed commercial. Rather I was thinking about Ian Malcolm, the character Jeff Goldblum played in "Jurassic Park."

Malcolm is obsessed with chaos theory, which he explains as “unpredictability in complex systems.” He demonstrates this “butterfly effect” by showing that it’s impossible to predict which way a drop of water will roll off a hand. His theory is ultimately proven right thanks in part to Wayne Knight and Barbasol as the dinosaurs make a mess of things.

We may think we have a general idea of what will happen over the course of the football season, but we don’t. We can crunch numbers, break down film, parse quotes, look at historical data, heck, even analyze the weather report, but chaos ultimately rules all.

• Ole Miss, Miss. State share cover of Sports Illustrated | Buy framed copy

Chaos is what breaks fans hearts. Chaos allows a Hail Mary to drop conveniently into the arms of a receiver strolling into the end zone. Chaos drags one foot in bounds. Chaos makes college football great.

As Malcolm says in the movie, “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.”

There was plenty of creation and destruction in Week 6, and the Power Rankings show no one is above chaos.

• ​ELLIS: Mississippi State QB Prescott rises to Heisman lead after Week 6

College Football Power Rankings
  • 1
    1Florida State Seminoles
    last week: 4
    record: 5-0
    You know that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in which the Nazis open the ark while Indiana Jones and his friend are tied up, and everybody’s face melts off but Indy says not to look and somehow the pair are safe after there’s fire everywhere and the ark slams shut? That’s pretty much what happened with the Seminoles on Saturday. They shut their eyes extra tight while all the devastation occurred and walked away unharmed.
    Last Game: Beat Wake Forest, 43-3
    Next game: Saturday at Syracuse

  • 2
    2Auburn Tigers
    last week: 5
    record: 5-0
    The Tigers held the other Tigers (LSU) to 0-of-13 on third downs and outscored them 24-0 after the first quarter. This was a beat down. It wasn’t surprising that Auburn won over LSU. What was surprising was how effortless the Tigers made it look.
    Last game: Beat LSU, 41-7
    Next game: Saturday at Mississippi State 

  • 3
    3Ole Miss Rebels
    last week: 14
    record: 5-0
    The goalposts were down and slowly made their way around town like the Stanley Cup, destined to become memorabilia that you’ll see at trade shows many years from now. For one glorious day, tearing down the goalposts went far beyond destruction of property and into sheer pride, a symbol of what happens when the unlikely settles firmly into reality. Now that it’s over, and you swear you can hear a hum over the stillness, the Rebels have a job to do. The SEC West doesn’t pause for celebration.
    Last game: Beat Alabama, 23-17
    Next game: Saturday at Texas A&M

  • 4
    4Mississippi State Bulldogs
    last week: 12
    record: 5-0
    The box score after the Bulldogs’ win over the Aggies doesn’t look nearly as one-sided as the game actually was. (Somehow Mississippi State only outgained Texas A&M by 33 yards.) The Bulldogs were more physical, more confident and played like they expected to win. With each passing week my dream of Mississippi State releasing its own version of “Friends Forever” under the band name "Dak Attack" seems closer to coming true.
    Last game: Beat Texas A&M, 48-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Auburn

  • 5
    5TCU Horned Frogs
    last week: 24
    record: 4-0
    A few more wins like TCU’s victory over Oklahoma, and Gary Patterson just might have to write a song on the guitar about the 2014 season.
    Last game: Beat Oklahoma, 37-33
    Next game: Saturday at Baylor

  • 6
    6Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    last week: 10
    record: 5-0
    The weather certainly played a role, but these are the type of games Notre Dame won (and won repeatedly) in the Fighting Irish’s 12-0 road to a national championship appearance in 2012. This year’s version of Notre Dame might be headed down a similar path.
    Last game: Beat Stanford, 17-14
    Next game: Saturday vs. North Carolina

  • 7
    7Baylor Bears
    last week: 9
    record: 5-0
    For Baylor to beat TCU on Saturday, the Bears are going to have to get a better output from Bryce Petty, who completed just 7-of-22 passes for 111 yards and two scores against Texas. TCU dialed up pressure and keyed in on the run against Oklahoma. If the Horned Frogs opt to do that again, Petty will have his chances to make plays.
    Last game: Beat Texas, 28-7
    Next game: Saturday vs. TCU

  • 8
    8Arizona Wildcats
    last week: NR
    record: 5-0
    Arizona’s video team ran a motivational film before the Wildcats played Oregon with the message that lightning can strike twice (referencing Arizona’s 42-16 win over Oregon in 2013). After last year's win over the Ducks, Arizona lost its next game, falling flat against Arizona State, 58-21. The Wildcats will hope that sort of lightning doesn’t strike again with a matchup against USC on Saturday.
    Last game: Beat Oregon, 31-24
    Next game: Saturday vs. USC

  • 9
    9Alabama Crimson Tide
    last week: 1
    record: 4-1
    Let’s just go to Phyllis from Mulga, Ala., for this one: 

    Last game: Lost to Ole Miss, 23-17
    Next game: Saturday at Arkansas

  • 10
    10Oregon Ducks
    last week: 3
    record: 4-1
    Maybe Oregon and UCLA can agree to play seven on seven so they can keep their quarterbacks safe. Lord knows each team’s respective offensive line isn’t doing a very good job of it.
    Last game: Lost to Arizona, 31-24
    Next game: Saturday at UCLA

  • 11
    11Michigan State Spartans
    last week: 4-1
    record: 8
    The Spartans beat probably the best team in the Big Ten West despite an almost-collapse for the ages in the fourth quarter. But if we’re going to start emulating college basketball with this newfangled playoff, we might as well use their lingo, too. Survive and advance. If anything, the Spartans’ playoff hopes certainly got a boost with all the other teams losing in Week 6.
    Last game: Beat Nebraska, 27-22
    Next game: Saturday at Purdue

  • 12
    12Oklahoma Sooners
    last week: 2
    record: 4-1
    Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight said Monday of the loss to TCU: “This isn’t the defining moment of our season. There’s a lot of football left. Who knows what’s down the road? It’s early in the season. A one-loss team can still make it.” Knight is right that a one-loss Sooners squad can still qualify for the playoff. But the defeat to TCU removes any margin for error with games against Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Baylor still ahead.
    Last game: Lost to TCU, 37-33
    Next game: Saturday vs. Texas (at the Cotton Bowl)

  • 13
    13Georgia Bulldogs
    last week: 15
    record: 4-1
    SB Nation’s Dan Rubenstein joked that Todd Gurley might be the best quarterback in the SEC East after witnessing Gurley’s 50-yard pass completion against Vanderbilt. The second best (or best, depending on where your allegiances fall) quarterback in the division, Maty Mauk, might have something to say about that Saturday.
    Last game: Beat Vanderbilt, 44-17
    Next game: Saturday at Missouri

  • 14
    14Kansas State Wildcats
    last week: 22
    record: 4-1
    The Wildcats have the sort of defense that can really cause trouble in the Big 12. With Oklahoma picking up a loss and one of TCU or Baylor guaranteed to lose Saturday while Kansas State enjoys a bye week, the conference is there for the taking.
    Last game: Beat Texas Tech, 45-13
    Next game: Oct. 18 vs. Oklahoma

  • 15
    15Texas A&M Aggies
    last week: 6
    record: 4-1
    The Aggies have no time to lick their wounds with Ole Miss coming to town. A win in College Station could do wonders for turning those frowns upside down (not a football term).
    Last game: Lost to Mississippi State, 48-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Ole Miss

  • 16
    16East Carolina Pirates
    last week: 17
    record: 4-1
    Okay, so the Pirates didn’t win 100-0 over SMU. But Shane Carden did throw for 410 yards with four touchdowns (giving him 15 passing touchdowns on the year).
    Last game: Beat SMU. 45-24
    Next game: Saturday at South Florida

  • 17
    17Ohio State Buckeyes
    last week: 19
    record: 4-1
    The loss to Virginia Tech feels so long ago, I’m starting to wonder if it came in 2013. (It didn’t. I just checked.) By year’s end, we’ll may barely remember it at all, like that guy who lived on the floor above you freshman year who was always playing Sublime. What was his name again? I think it was Brad.
    Last game: Beat Maryland, 52-24
    Next game: Oct. 18 vs. Rutgers

  • 18
    18Oklahoma State Cowboys
    last week: 23
    record: 4-1
    I’m still very worried about Daxx Garman’s ability to lead this team, especially if the Cowboys have to play from behind. But the good news is Oklahoma State's young defense seems to be getting better every week and should be able to keep a deficit manageable.
    Last game: Beat Iowa State, 37-20
    Next game: Saturday at Kansas

  • 19
    19Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
    last week: NR
    record: 5-0
    Georgia Tech controlled the ball for 40:45 of the game against Miami. You could almost bake a pumpkin pie in that amount of time.
    Last game: Beat Iowa State, 37-20
    Next game: Saturday vs. Duke

  • 20
    20UCLA Bruins
    last week: 7
    record: 4-1
    Even those people who fell for that trick to think they could charge their iPhones by putting them in the microwave are having a better year than Pac-12 refs, who added to their list of hits with a questionable running into the kicker call that gave the Bruins another shot at escaping against the Utes. Fortunately it didn't matter; UCLA still lost.
    Last game: Lost to Utah, 30-28
    Next game: Saturday vs. Oregon

  • 21
    21Arizona State Sun Devils
    last week: NR
    record: 4-1
    After the Sun Devils’ Hail Mary to beat USC, Fox’s Joey Harrington said: “The best backup quarterback in the country, Mike Bercovici, just saved Arizona State’s season.” That’s all well and good as a comment, but Bercovici isn’t playing like some backup. With 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in his first two starts, he’s playing like he could have or should have been starting all along.
    Last game: Beat USC, 38-34
    Next game: Oct. 18 vs. Stanford

  • 22
    22Nebraska Cornhuskers
    last week: 16
    record: 4-1
    At least five times a week, I type too fast and accidentally type Nebraska as "Nebarska." I just thought you all should know because I’m really trying to be more honest with myself.
    Last game: Lost to Michigan State, 27-22
    Next game: Oct. 18 at Northwestern

  • 23
    23Clemson Tigers
    last week: NR
    record: 3-2
    It gave me great joy to read from Grantland’s Holly Anderson that Deshaun Watson loves sour gummy worms. I also love sour gummy worms, and I kind of love watching Deshaun Watson play as well. The freshman combined for four total touchdowns in Clemson's rout of the Wolfpack on Saturday and looks every bit as good as advertised.
    Last game: Beat NC State, 41-0
    Next game: Saturday vs. Louisville

  • 24
    24Missouri Tigers
    last week: NR
    record: 4-1
    Because by law I need to rank at least seven SEC teams or I will lose my invite to the secret media meetings where we decide which teams we hype and which teams we hate. Oh no, I’ve said too much. It’s a joke, seriously, there’s no secret media meetings. Forget I said anything.
    Last game: Beat South Carolina, 21-20
    Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia

  • 25
    25Marshall Thundering Herd
    last week: 25
    record: 5-0
    The Herd’s Wave of Mutilation passes through Middle Tennessee next. Get your tickets online or charge by phone.
    Last game: Beat Old Dominion, 56-14
    Next game: Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee State

Next five: Stanford, Utah, Louisville, USC, Katy Perry

• ​STAPLES: What to make of playoff picture after wild Week 6

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