A college football weekend rarely disappoints as far as providing observers with things to discuss. This one was certainly no different with a plethora of big plays, several unexpected results and a few near misses.
There’s a natural tendency to overreact to the most recent events, and many of those analyses will get echoed and amplified until we see the next thing. Of course, commenting on the results from the field is part of the fun, right?
Here are the top overreactions from Week 5, including notes on a couple of playoff hopefuls and a few words of caution for some teams on hot streaks.
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Ohio State should be No. 1
The Buckeyes have had no issues since pulling away from Notre Dame late in Week 1. While both Alabama and Georgia have now had close calls, Ohio State has rolled along.
But as Han famously said to Luke, "Great, kid. Don’t get cocky." The Buckeyes haven’t had to leave the friendly confines of the Horseshoe, and their first road trip to Michigan State next week isn’t likely to test their mettle either, as the Spartans are now on a three-game skid. We aren’t likely to learn how this team handles adversity until the end of the month when the Buckeyes visit Penn State. Yes, of course the Buckeyes are in the playoff hunt as we figured they would be, but being voted No. 1 in the polls does not confer a particular advantage when facing elite competition once the postseason arrives.
Don’t worry – Georgia is fine
Good teams find ways to win, as the old adage goes. The Bulldogs were able to do that at Missouri, coming up with a pair of late TDs to get out with the "W."
But the Georgia team that went through the motions against Kent State before the narrow escape at Mizzou bore little resemblance to the passing attack that fueled the Week 1 rout of Oregon. There’s time to iron things out, of course, but when the standard is competing for national championships, the rumbles and grumbles following a close call are inevitable. If Georgia looks at all ordinary next week against Auburn, a program with myriad issues of its own, the Bulldogs’ fans will have ample cause for concern.
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UCLA is among the Pac-12 favorites
Friday night’s explosive performance against an equally hot Washington squad landed the Bruins in the Top 25, and deservedly so. But we shouldn’t pencil UCLA into the conference championship game just yet.
The next two weeks will tell us a lot more about that. Utah comes calling to Pasadena next Saturday, then the Bruins must head up the coast to take on Oregon. A split of those two would at least keep UCLA in the mix, but losses in both would be difficult to overcome, especially with cross-town rival Southern California still on the slate. Win both, of course, and this was hardly an overreaction.
The ACC race is wide open
The Coastal Division certainly is, especially in the aftermath of defending league champion Pittsburgh’s disastrous effort against Georgia Tech. Any number of teams could emerge, but none appears to be even a remotely significant favorite.
In reality though, the conference race is likely over. Yes, there are four ACC Atlantic teams currently in the Top 25 and a fifth, Florida State, that could work its way back in. But Clemson already owns wins against two of them, and it seems unlikely the Tigers will lose twice the rest of the way or that Syracuse will somehow upset things. Clemson will then be heavily favored against whoever survives the Coastal – North Carolina? Duke? – in the conference title game.
Cincinnati should be ranked
It seems the voters gave up on the Bearcats when they came up just a touchdown short in Week 1 at Arkansas. They came ever so close to returning to the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll this week, finishing just a point behind those same Razorbacks for the No. 25 position.
Cincinnati probably will get back into the Top 25 as long as it keeps winning. A return to the playoff is off the table, but the Group of Five's New Year’s Six bowl slot remains very much in play for the Bearcats in their last swing through the American Athletic Conference. Road dates at SMU and Central Florida at the end of October figure to be their biggest obstacles.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ohio State, Georgia lead five college football overreactions in Week 5