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Football: Week 5 Student Media Poll picks from 'The Post'

Each week, the Sports editorial team selects its Top 25 Division I college football teams for the Student Media Poll.

The SMP is a nationwide poll featuring 122 student journalists from all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. There are voters from 69 different schools across 34 states.

The Post Sports will break down its ballots each week. Here are the top five, those it kicked out of the Top 25 and those it added:

Molly Burchard, Asst. Sports Editor 

Top 5

  1. Alabama 

  2. Ohio State 

  3. Georgia 

  4. Clemson 

  5. Michigan 

Once again, all the teams in my Top 5 this week are the same as last. However, there was some movement among the five spots. 

Alabama stayed at No. 1 after its 49-26 win over Arkansas. It led the whole game and has had a smooth start to Southeastern Conference play over the past two weeks. Alabama's defense has allowed the fourth fewest yards per game in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and its offense is ranked No. 4 in points per game as well. 

Ohio State overtook Georgia at No. 2 this week, something that I probably should have had last week as well. Ohio crushed Rutgers 49-10, and even though Rutgers is tied for last in the Big Ten East Division, it was still a good win for the Buckeyes. 

I had to drop Georgia to No. 3 after it almost lost to Missouri on Saturday. The Bulldogs played from behind for nearly the whole game. A comeback is impressive, but they shouldn't have been down in the first place. 

Finally, I know I said Michigan would probably stay at No. 4 in my pick explanations last week. However, Clemson deserved the spot after it defeated Top 10 opponent North Carolina State 30-20. Michigan played Iowa, and only beat the second worst team in the Big Ten West 27-14. 

Who I added

UCLA, TCU, Florida State,

UCLA is 5-0 and just beat ranked Washington, which was all I needed to hear in order to add it to my poll at No. 22. UCLA is also already 2-0 in conference play, and I could see it giving Utah and USC a run for their money if it continues to play well. 

On that same note, TCU made my rankings at No. 24 because of its dominant 55-24 win against Oklahoma. TCU had an all-around great offensive day Saturday. Its quarterback Max Duggan threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns, and it had two rushers run for over 100 yards. 

Those numbers would be impressive against any team, but against Oklahoma, they're even sweeter. 

Why did I add Florida State to my poll this week and not last? Good question. Most of the reason it made it into my Top 25 this week is because of panic and not knowing who else to add. Because I failed to rank Florida State last week when it was still undefeated and was once again struggling to pick teams towards the bottom of my rankings, Florida State squeaked in. 

Who I dropped

Pitt, Minnesota, Texas A&M

After Pitt's loss to 1-3 Georgia Tech, there was no room for it in my rankings. Losing to a 1-3 team is bad enough, but a 1-3 team that just fired its head coach? That's even worse. 

Minnesota's time in the Top 25 was short-lived. The Gophers made an appearance last week at No. 24, but dropped out of my poll after their 20-10 loss to Purdue Saturday. 

And for the second time this season, Texas A&M lost a game it shouldn't have, which is why it dropped out of my poll this week. It was only losing to Mississippi State 21-10 going into the fourth quarter Saturday, and it had a chance to turn the game around. However, its defense could not hold and it gave up another 21 points.

Will Cunningham, Sports Editor

Top 5

  1. Alabama

  2. Ohio State

  3. Georgia

  4. Clemson

  5. Michigan

My Top 5 is once again the same, and I won't waste any time talking about it this week because I have a remarkable number of changes to get to in the rest of my poll, and frankly, until one of these teams loses, talking about them is pretty boring.

Who I added

TCU, Wake Forest, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi State

Texas Christian University blew Oklahoma's doors off in Week 5, winning 55-24 in maybe the most surprising result of the weekend. Senior quarterback Max Duggan accounted for 418 yards and five total touchdowns. The Horned Frogs are 4-0 heading into next week's College Gameday matchup against 5-0 Kansas.

Wake Forest returns to the Top 25 after an impressive 31-21 win over Florida State. The Demon Deacons were somewhat unfortunate to drop out after a Week 4 loss to Clemson, so the rebound win brings them right back.

Illinois got Paul Chryst fired as Wisconsin head coach with a 34-10 win at Camp Randall. Current Illinois coach and former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema would've taken some pleasure in this win, and his Illini are now 4-1.

Maryland comfortably took down Michigan State 27-13 in Week 4, and as the game took place in October, it is now safe to consider Maryland a good team. The Terps have one of the better passing attacks in the Big Ten, and they are better than they have been, maybe since joining the conference.

Mississippi State knocked off Texas A&M 42-24, and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, ran the ball 24 times, a staggeringly high number for a Mike Leach team. The Bulldogs are now 4-1, and if Leach is truly starting to run a slightly more balanced offense than his traditional pure Air Raid, that is a sign of good things to come.

Who I dropped

Texas A&M, Pitt, Washington, Oklahoma, Arkansas

I am officially done with Texas A&M, or as it is sometimes referred to, "the loudest 9-3 team in America." With two losses already on the books and staring down games against Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida and LSU, the Aggies will be lucky to get to 9-3 this season.

Pitt suffered one of the most embarrassing losses of the season in Week 4, losing 26-21 to a dilapidated Georgia Tech program that had just fired its coach. Pat Narduzzi followed up an ACC title by driving off Mark Whipple, the offensive coordinator who had made Pitt so exciting in 2021 and is now paying the price.

Washington came crashing down to earth in Week 4 with a 40-32 loss to UCLA, and although that was enough to drop the Huskies out of the Top 25, they are still 4-1 and could get back in quickly with another few wins.

Oklahoma has some real issues, and back-to-back losses to Kansas State and TCU have dropped it from No. 6 to out of the Top 25 in just two weeks. The offense has been solid, but the defense has been dreadful the past two weeks, which is strange considering former Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables coaches the Sooners.

Arkansas is the only one of these five teams that lost to a ranked team, and it was my No. 1, Alabama. There is no shame in such a loss, but a number of teams just outside the Top 25 notched impressive wins and the Razorbacks were unable to keep the game particularly close, so they, unfortunately, have to drop out.

Ashley Beach, sports writer 

Top 5: 

  1. Alabama 

  2. Georgia 

  3. Ohio State 

  4. Clemson 

  5. Michigan 

My Top 5 is still the same five teams, but there has been a shift in the order. Alabama and Georgia swapped, as well as Clemson and Michigan. Ohio State is still stuck in third. I fall into the same category as Will; until one of these teams make a big mistake, I'm not taking it out of the Top 5. 

Who I dropped

Florida, Pitt and Texas A&M 

Florida started the season strong and it did beat Eastern Washington in Week 5, but someone had to go to make my poll work this week. Unfortunately, I had to give Florida the boot. 

Pitt lost to Georgia Tech, a program that is crawling its way through the season. It was not the same Pitt that defeated West Virginia, and it was not the same Pitt that took Tennessee to overtime. Until something changes, Pitt will not be on my poll. 

Texas A&M is about to take on Alabama and it does not seem like it will be able to handle the challenge. Mississippi State ran over Texas A&M. Therefore, it is off my poll. 

Who I added 

Boston College, James Madison and Kansas State 

James Madison is playing its first year in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and it is phenomenal. James Madison is still undefeated and deserves a vote because of that. I hope to see James Madison break into the AP rankings. 

Kansas State is an underdog, and I love underdogs. It snuck out of the shadows to defeat Oklahoma and now it sits second in the Big 12 which is Impressive. 

Boston College was my panic pick this week. I can't explain why it is on my ballot, and I cannot explain why I put it above the No. 25 spot, but If I could re-vote this week, Boston College would not be on the poll. 




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