Arkansas, Oregon and Florida each bit the dust as Top 10 teams in the AP poll went on the road to unfriendly confines. At least Arkansas was a 19-point underdog, the same cannot be said for the favored Ducks or Gators. While Oregon had a questionable penalty called on them on a would-be game sealing fourth down play, Florida was penalized fifteen times to short circuit an offense that played decently. And so the whims of 2021 continue to upset the apple cart.
1. Georgia (5–0)
Last game: Beat Arkansas 37–0
Next game: at Auburn
The Dawgs dined on some smoked Hog on Saturday—Arkansas never had a chance. Georgia defenders showed their teeth all day on both sides of the ball.
Arkansas struggled to get anything going on offense and the miscues including a blocked punt and multiple penalties certainly didn’t help their cause. Georgia didn’t even have starting QB JT Daniels, ruled out shortly before the game with a lat injury. It didn’t seem like they needed him. Georgia’s defense has now only allowed one of its five opponents on its schedule to score a touchdown and has outscored the last two conference opponents 99–0.
2. Alabama (5–0)
Last game: Beat Ole Miss 42–21
Next game: at Texas A&M
Lane Kiffin told us to get some popcorn ready and then his Ole Miss team went out and looked like they were on the wrong side of a horror movie. But this sequel was nothing like last year’s original. Alabama played great defense and Ole Miss couldn’t get anything done on offense. The Tide took what they showed on film last season to heart.
3. Iowa (4–0)
Last game: Beat Maryland 51–14
Next game: against Penn State
Maryland hosted the Hawkeyes in a Friday night tilt that did not go very well for the home team. They were down so a throw-heavy game plan was necessary, but it definitely didn’t go well considering:
Before it was over, he added a fifth INT and the Hawkeyes barely had to do much of anything with an opponent self-destructing on the other side of the field like the Terps were. But that’s how Iowa wants to win, by executing a game plan that’s more solid than yours is.
4. Cincinnati (4–0)
Last game: Beat Notre Dame 24–13
Next game: against Temple
In the Marcus Freeman Bowl, the Bearcats emerged victorious by jumping out to a big lead thanks to turnovers and holding on despite iffy special teams. Quarterback Desmond Ridder finished with 293 yards through the air and led a clutch late drive to put the game on ice. It’s arguably the biggest win for the Bearcats in school history, and shows that UC keeps it rolling after three successful seasons.
5. Penn State (5–0)
Last game: Beat Indiana 24–0
Next game: at Iowa
Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. exited the game due to injury in the third quarter, but it’s tough to say it would have even mattered with how suffocating the performance was from Penn State’s defense. The Hoosiers got into the red zone twice in 13 drives and came away with nothing, including getting stoned on the 4-yard line. All eyes now turn to the mammoth trip to Iowa City next week.
6. Oklahoma (5–0)
Last game: Beat Kansas State 37–31
Next game: Texas
Spencer Rattler largely took care of the ball with a 22–25 performance and Kennedy Brooks finally got something going for the OU run game with 91 yards on the ground. A late kick return by the Wildcats made things momentarily nerve wracking, but after recovering an onsides attempt, the Sooners hung on against the usually up-for-it Kansas State team. Red River awaits as as the Sooners look to keep their offense headed in the right direction.
7. Michigan (5–0)
Last game: Beat Wisconsin 38–17
Next game: at Nebraska
The Wolverines snapped out of their issues with Wisconsin in a big way going to Camp Randall and routing the Badgers. They knocked quarterback Graham Mertz out of the game and his replacement, Chase Wolf, wasn’t able to do much better. It was 38–10 until a late score put Wisconsin a little bit closer.
8. Coastal Carolina (5–0)
Last game: beat Louisiana-Monroe 59–6
Next game: at Arkansas State
Why not them? The Chants’ have absolutely bludgeoned the last two teams on their schedule and sit undefeated—and impressively so. One of the nation’s best rushing attacks kept rolling with 6.5 yards-per-rush and 275 yards total on the ground. They now head into the teeth of conference play with Arkansas State, App State and Troy coming up.
9. BYU (5–0)
Last game: beat Utah State 34–20
Next game: against Boise State
Zach Wilson who? Ok the Cougars aren’t as explosive as they were last year through the air, but they are still getting the job done. Starter Jaren Hall didn’t even play in this game, but BYU simply fed the Aggies a steady dose of Tyler Allgeier, who went off for 218 yards. The rushing-based approach is more suited for Kalani Sitake's interests anyway. BYU is back to its recent roots.
10. Ohio State (4–1)
Last game: Beat Rutgers 52–13
Next game: against Maryland
Despite all the calls for his benching, CJ Stroud responded with 330 yards on 17–23 through the air. The Buckeyes still have one of the best wide receiving corps in the country and Shroud found them all day. Rutgers is emerging and far from the depths of the past few seasons, but the Buckeyes just have much more in the tank even if they’ve stumbled out of the blocks this season.