The Touchdown CFB Top 25
Week 6 of the College Football season started with Houston putting up 49 points on Tulane in their long awaited season opener and ended with Charlotte hanging 49 on North Texas. In between, the College Football Top 25 suffered a major shake up with shocks, setbacks, comebacks, and whole host of overtime in the Red River Rivalry.
Who’s in, who’s out? Who’s up, who’s down? Read on…
Clemson came to play in arguably the biggest game of the weekend, running out 42-17 winners. The Tigers showed against possibly the second best team in the ACC so far this season that there really is no competition for them in the conference.
It was a huge night for running back Travis Etienne with 222 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns whilst the fearsome Tigers defense held the Hurricanes run game to just 89 yards.
They can’t afford to let up against Georgia Tech with Alabama looming large in the College Football Top 25 rear view mirror.
Despite some defensive deficiencies, the Alabama offense continues to roll with Mac Jones under center, as the Crimson Tide pile the pressure on number one ranked Clemson.
It was an old fashioned shootout in Oxford against Ole Miss. Jones was impressive again, throwing for 417 yards, but it was Najee Harris and his five touchdown runs that proved decisive.
The biggest game of Week 7 sees Alabama welcome Georgia to Tuscaloosa. A win over the third ranked Bulldogs could see Nick Saban’s team supplant Clemson at the head of the College Football Top 25.
If the old cliche that offense wins games and defense wins championships then Georgia could well be the favourite for the 2020 National Championship.
The Bulldogs have playmakers all over the defense, from Eric Stokes and Richard Lecounte in the secondary, to Monty Rice the linebacker who put the game with Tennessee to bed with a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
Next week’s matchup with Alabama will be a defining moment for both programs.
4. Notre Dame
After a COVID enforced extended bye, the Fighting Irish returned to ACC action with a convincing win over a poor Florida State team.
Sophomore running back Kyren Williams continues to impress behind one of the nations best offensive lines. Williams ran for 185 yards and two scores as Notre Dame overcame an early 17-14 deficit to win comfortably.
They creep into the College Football Playoff places of this College Football Top 25 but will face stiff competition to stay there with UNC close on their heels, and Ohio State set to kick off their season in two weeks.
5. North Carolina
Is there a team in the nation with more offensive firepower than the Tar Heels?
Sam Howell was at his very best on Saturday afternoon, with two touchdown throws apiece for Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. In Michael Carter and Javonte Williams they may have the best running back duo in College Football, combining for 383 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Having been 42-17 up early in the third, Mack Brown will be concerned by how close the Hokies came to a comeback but UNC stay undefeated to remain a presence at the sharp end of the College Football Top 25.
A bye week for the Bearcats, but they climb a place in the College Football Top 25 with Florida’s loss to Texas A & M.
Cincinnati face Tulsa in Week 7 looking to continue their quest to be the best “Group of Five” program in the nation.
7. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State were the big winners in the Big XII after the Red River Showdown left both Texas and Oklahoma at 2-2, whilst the Cowboys sat at home and watched the carnage unfold.
They can extend their lead over the traditional Big XII contenders with a win at Baylor next week.
With the win over UTSA, the Cougars are one of only three 4-0 teams in the nation. There is a very strong chance they go undefeated in 2020 leaving any poll no option but to rank them highly in the College Football Top 25.
Zach Wilson continues to impress, forcing himself into the quarterback conversation for the ’21 NFL Draft. He accounted for over 300 yards on Saturday, with two passing touchdowns and another rushing score.
The trip to Houston on Friday night could be their toughest challenge yet.
SMU sat back on their bye week and watched three teams in front of them lose, elevating the Mustangs into the Top 10 of the College Football Top 25.
They have the opportunity to be offensively impressive against a Tulane team that capitulated against Houston having held a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter.
10. Texas A & M
Kellen Mond went toe to toe with Kyle Trask and Isaiah Spiller emerged into the national spotlight as the Texas A&M Aggies shocked my previously third ranked Florida Gators with a last gasp field goal.
Spiller’s rushing touchdowns either side of the third/fourth quarter changeover altered the course of the game before Seth Small’s 26 yard field goal secured the win.
The win rockets Texas A&M back up the College Football Top 25 after last week’s embarrassment against Alabama. The Aggies will need to find some consistency if they’re to be force in the SEC for the rest of the season.
Kyle Pitts’ incredible run of touchdowns continued and Kadarius Toney is rapidly emerging as one of the most potent receivers in the game, but Florida were gashed on the ground to the tune of 205 yards in a defeat that plummets the Gators down the College Football Top 25.
They have the opportunity to rebound against an LSU team that has had it’s struggles on both sides of the ball on their way to a 1-2 start.
As a 2-1 SEC team, the Auburn Tigers will find themselves in the top half of the College Football Top 25 but they have looked far from impressive in getting to that early record.
Bo Nix continues to struggle and had his blushes sparred with an atrocious officiating call that cost Arkansas their second win of the season.
Gus Malzhan takes on Will Muschamp next week in clash of coaches on the hot seat. It is a must win for both teams, but especially for Auburn if they want to be considered a challenger to Alabama in the SEC West.
The Hurricanes fell to their first defeat of 2020 as they were outplayed and outperformed in national primetime.
The defeat drops Miami behind Clemson, UNC, Notre Dame, and even Boston College and NC State in the ACC table but their early season performances see them hold station ahead of the Eagles and Wolfpack.
The Tennessee Vols held a shock halftime lead over the Bulldogs but couldn’t hang with Georgia in the second half.
Eric Gray laboured to just 25 yards on eight carries as Georgia forced the Vols into a negative rushing day.
The emergence of senior wide receiver Josh Palmer as a genuine threat in the passing game comes at the right time as they face a Kentucky team that picked off K.J. Costello and Will Rogers six times in the Wildcats win over Mississippi State.
15. Iowa State
After losing to Louisiana in their season opener, the Iowa State Cyclones have won three straight to emerge as a genuine threat in the Big XII. A 300 yard day from Brock Purdy helped the Cyclones beat Texas Tech on Saturday.
The true star of the Iowa State offense, however, is sophomore Breece Hall who now has over 500 rushing yards and eight touchdowns through four games.
They have a bye next week before facing Oklahoma State which could see the Cyclones cement their place in the College Football Top 25 with a win.
UCF remain in the College Football Top 25 with a Week 6 bye before facing their biggest test to date against Memphis.
Defeat to Tulsa ended any hope of a challenge for the College Football Playoffs but the Knights should still be a feature of the College Football Top 25 at the end of the season if they win out.
The “Battle of the Sun Belt” had to be postponed due to Hurricane Delta and will now be the opener of Week 7 when the Rajin’ Cajuns welcome Coastal Carolina to Louisiana.
The winner will go 4-0 and continue to represent the conference in the College Football Top 25.
18. Boston College
Welcome to the College Football Top 25 Boston College!
The Eagles won a thriller against Pittsburgh to go 3-1 on the season. That sole defeat was a close fought affair with North Carolina, which could have easily been a BC win.
Jeff Hafley has transformed the Eagles from a power run team to a pass happy team in an incredibly short space of time. Notre Dame quarterback transfer Phil Jurkovec is impressing and Zay Flowers has provided a legitimate receiving threat alongside tight end Hunter Long.
The BC defense held Pitt to 2.6 rushing yards per play which could prove to be a difference maker next week against a Virginia Tech offense that has been incredible on the ground.
There are only four, four win teams in College Football and after a close win in a dire game, Army are one of them.
The Black Knights have been entertaining and impressive in most of their games this season but will need to be better than they were on Saturday to maintain their standing in the College Football Top 25.
Will they have an answer to UTSA running back Sincere McCormick?
Freshman sensation Grant Wells was held to just 162 passing yards, but Brendan Knox ran roughshod over Western Kentucky for 3 touchdowns as the Thundering Herd won 38-14 to climb four spots in the College Football Top 25.
Marshall are just one of two undefeated teams in the Conference-USA and are currently two games clear of the other, Florida Atlantic who have had three games postponed. They face the Owls after taking on West division leaders Louisiana Tech next week.
21. Virginia Tech
It was too little too late for the Hokies as they mounted a second half comeback but came up short against a strong North Carolina team. Khalil Herbert was again impressive with 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Virginia Tech drop just a couple of places in defeat due to the strength of their opponent and with the advantage of a win against North Carolina State.
They face a must win clash with Boston College next week.
22. Kansas State
Despite not having starting quarterback Skylar Thompson available on Saturday, Kansas State made it three straight wins to land in the College Football Top 25 for the first time.
The Wildcats have defeated Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU to be just one game behind Oklahoma State at the top of the BIG XII.
Two field goals and an interception returned for a touchdown ensured that the Wildcats were too much for TCU, who managed to keep freshman sensation Deuce Vaughn relatively quiet.
23. Coastal Carolina
The “Battle of the Sun Belt” had to be postponed due to Hurricane Delta and will now be the opener of Week 7 when Coastal Carolina travel to Louisiana to face the Rajin’ Cajuns.
The winner will go 4-0 and continue to represent the conference in the College Football Top 25.
24. North Carolina State
North Carolina State enter the College Football Top 25 for the first time after defeating Virginia 38-21 on Saturday. The Wolfpack have upset their opposition in two straight games after defeating ranked Pitt last week.
The Wolfpack have some genuine talent, with Emeke Emezie impressing against Pitt and Alim McNeil emerging as a potential early round NFL Draft prospect. The 320lbs defensive lineman secured a 18 yard “Big Man touchdown” on an interception return against the Cavaliers on Saturday.
The win over Pitt in Week 5 ensures they are ranked ahead of the Panthers this week.
Pitt fall to their second straight defeat with an overtime loss to Boston College. Both defeats have been close, but another close defeat to Miami next week will ensure the Panthers fall out of the College Football Top 25.
OLIVER HODGKINSON IS A COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRITER FOR THE TOUCHDOWN. HE ALSO WRITES ON THE NFL FOR THE PRO FOOTBALL NETWORK. YOU CAN HEAR HIS OPINIONS ON ALL THINGS COLLEGE FOOTBALL AS ONE THIRD OF THE COLLEGE CHAPS PODCAST.