College football games, Week 5: NC State’s latest chance to break through, Georgia faces tough SEC East road

These are heady times for the No. 10 state. It was last ranked in the top 10 20 years ago. The last time it beat a top five opponent on the street was 55 years ago. The only obstacle this week is No. 5 Clemson. You know, the same Clemson who’s been in six of the last seven college football playoffs. The same Clemson who won 10 games in a “free” year last season.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s not much room upstairs. Not much has changed since we started with Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State. A third into the season, it’s still reasonable to assume there’s still a spot left to fill the CFP.

But what looked like another identical, identical playoff race has some spice. Suddenly we have to consider USC, Kentucky and Tennessee. Oklahoma State too. Remember: The Cowboys were inches from a playoff spot last season. There’s an opportunity hanging out there for the wolf pack. Not traditional, of course. A basketball school, of course. Not factor? Well, we’ll see.

Coach Dave Doeren has methodically built the program over the past decade and once finished second overall at the ACC Atlantic. He has one quarterback, Devin Leary, who started the season as a Heisman Trophy contender. (At least I got the hat in the mail that said so much.)

Much of this potential turning point is up to him. A win over Clemson opens up this CFP opportunity. After Saturday there are only three away games left. NC State could dangle one of the nation’s most impressive victories in front of the CFP selection committee. Don’t forget: Half of the CFP field consisted of newcomers last year (Michigan, Cincinnati).

Leary led the wolfpack with four touchdowns in last year’s Tigers riot in overtime. This season was kinda blah because the schedule was kinda blah. Leary (and the rest of the pack) fought East Carolina. Numbers have been padded against Charleston Southern and UConn.

Against the only Power Five opponent so far, Leary mainly relied on short throws against Texas Tech. He Has being a difference maker in this game. Many of the measurable values ​​speak for Leary and NC State. Clemson’s secondary was vulnerable, part of the ACC’s second-worst pass defense. Meanwhile, NC State’s defense leads ACC in interceptions (seven).

It’s not about Clemson being back; it’s about whether the tigers ever really left. DJ Uiagalelei helped Clemson to this win last week at Wake Forest. Clemson has won 36 straight games at home. The Wolf Pack is only the second top 10 opponent for the Tigers this series.

Teams began playing in 1899. This could be the greatest Clemson-NC State game of all time. Much like Texas defeated A&M Alabama, NC State didn’t do enough with that landmark Clemson win, going 9-3. And it still hasn’t won the ACC since 1979, when Dabo Swinney was just 10 years old. Maybe it’s time NC State’s ambitions grew up, too.

Storylines week 5

Best coaching jobs at third point: We’ll take a look earlier this week Lance Leipold’s hot start to Year 2 in Kansas and wondered if the Jayhawks can hold on to him given the coaching carousel already underway. But Leipold isn’t the only coach who deserves praise after a third of the season.

  • Lincoln Riley, USC: Did we forget the Trojans were 4-8 last season? So far, the turnaround in SoCal has been massive. USC is the only program that hasn’t turned the ball yet. Caleb Williams is in conversation with Heisman. Jordan Addison looks like he brought his Biletnikoff Award to the West Coast with no trouble. Shane Lee looks like a linebacker from Alabama – like a lot of trojans you get through the portal.
  • PJ Fleck, Minnesota: Tanner Morgan is a fifth-year starter with a lot of experience. Mohamed Ibrahim has returned to No. 2 on the FBS Rushing after suffering a season-ending injury. Fleck is not a scam. He’s coming off a nine-win season in 2021 and winning 11 at Minny in 2019. The Golden Gophers could win the Big Ten West.
  • Josh Heupel, Tennessee: When Heupel left to become a UCF coach in 2018, there was barely a shrug in Missouri. Leaving UCF for Tennessee amid an NCAA scandal, Heupel hit his sweet spot when he inherited Hendon Hooker. The Volunteers are 4-0 up for the first time in six years after an impressive win over Florida.
  • Sonny Dykes, TCU: The Horned Frogs broke under Gary Patterson in later years. Dykes restored her with the nation’s top rated passer, Max Duggan. That was after Dykes revived cross-town rivals SMU. Beat Oklahoma and TCU are 4-0 for the first time since 2017.
  • Mark Stoops, Kentucky: Stoops temporarily lost its top jam. Chris Rodriguez is expected to return this week. He overtook Florida and overtook Bear Bryant as Britain’s most successful manager. He made quarterback Will Levis an NFL prospect. Stoops is at a school where he can go 8-4 for the rest of his career and they’re going to build him a statue.
  • Kalen DeBoer, Washington: A junior version of Leipold, who is a national championship coach in a minor league (Sioux Falls in NAIA). The former Indiana offensive coordinator imported his former quarterback Michael Penix Jr. through the portal. The Huskies are back in the national conversation.
  • Dino Babers, Syracuse: From Hot Seat to Hot Coach. In the seventh year of an up-and-down stint with the Orange, Babers’ Cuse is 4-0 for the first time in 2018. We’ll find out more next month on back-to-back weekends against NC State and Clemson.

pig heaven: No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas (3:30 p.m. CBS) would have been so much better if a specific kicker made a specific kicker against Texas A&M. But here we are with the Razorbacks able to get right back into the SEC West race. Hogs defensive coordinator Barry Odom will have something for the Crimson Tide. The question: how long?

Alabama didn’t play particularly well in their only away game this season. Texas, now 2-2, revealed Bama’s weaknesses that day: inexperience at cornerback, a questionable offensive line. Aside from an important 81-yard scoring run by Jace McClellan, the Tide averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Arkansas led 14-0 against Texas A&M at the end of the first quarter. It had won the game when kicker Cam Little stepped in for the game-winning field goal. You know what happened next. Arky’s New Year’s Bowl ambitions could be at stake.

SEC East won’t be a cakewalk for No. 1 Georgia: We know this now because of the starts of No. 7 Kentucky and No. 8 Tennessee, both 4-0. Oh, and don’t forget Florida (2-2), who have more wins against ranked teams than 10 other SEC teams. (Okay, one, but it was a big one against current No. 12 Utah.) In four weeks, the Gators have done enough to make the world’s biggest cocktail party even more interesting.

Georgia gets another scrimmage against 28-point underdog Missouri this week. In Kentucky at Ole Miss No. 14, the winning coach gets Auburn? OK, maybe it’s too soon, but Stoops and Lane Kiffin have done wonderful things. They’re at schools that could serve as stepping stones for both of them. Kentucky has the nation’s second-longest winning streak (eight games). Stoops brings Rodriguez back from suspension. Kiffin wants people to leave The Grove early to get to the game on time. It ends up somewhere between sacrilege and guerrilla marketing.

Big 12 Rematch: It would be a revenge of sorts for No. 9 Oklahoma State to win at No. 16 Baylor this week. The world seems to have forgotten that the Cowboys were 2 yards from a playoff spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. Dave Aranda’s defense held and changed the math on several levels. Aranda continues to be a hot name in coaching circles. The question he needs to answer: Does he think he’s chasing a CFP berth in Waco, Texas? For now, the answer is yes.

If the higher ranked pokes want to stay in the playoff race, they have to win. Quarterback Spencer Sanders has won 27 career games, one fewer than coach Mike Gundy’s school record. That nugget was eclipsed this week as Gundy celebrated the 15th anniversary of his ‘I’m a man. I’m 40″ rage “celebrated”.

Excursion! Finally! Not to say Iowa can’t score, but if you darted the Hawkeyes from 2 feet, they would miss the dartboard. It’s so bad for an offense that’s offensive (as in…stinks). Meanwhile, who has it better than No. 4 Michigan? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo for that The Wolverines will have to wait until October to play their first street game. They fixed their quarterback situation (JJ McCarthy). They have to like their chances with the No. 2 attack (50 points per game) against the nation’s worst attack (5.8 points per game). Another reason to like the Wolverines: Blake Corum has nine touchdowns (the most in FBS). Iowa as a team has rushed for five (T-second lowest in FBS).

Fast kicks: Will the winning coach at Iowa State in Kansas get the Nebraska job? … Oklahoma No. 18 visits TCU still trying to figure out what happened to Brent Venables’ defense last week. The 41 points Kansas State scored was the best against a Venables defense since 2016… Williams’ streak without an interception (188) was scored at two schools (Oklahoma, USC), survived a transfer and has four defenders so far in that one Season. Arizona State visits USC this week… The Sun Devils are 1-3 (or worse) after four games for the first time since 1994… Minnesota leads the country, gaining opponents by 355.2 yards per game. Thirty-one teams don’t average as many yards…Arkansas leads the country with 20 sacks, four more than the next closest team (Middle Tennessee, 16)…Heisman contender Brock Bowers — widely regarded as the nation’s best tight end — has more rushed touchdowns (three) than getting points (two).