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2021 Post-Week Five CFB Roundup


Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Reactions & Thoughts

Oregon's Ceiling With Anthony Brown: One of the most significant upsets of Week Five came in the Pac-12 North, as the league's favorite, Oregon, faltered against Stanford. It was an extremely frustrating game for the Duck offense; despite the fact they moved the ball to the tune of 414 yards, they weren't able to make the plays when needed to fend off the Cardinal. In many ways, that has been the story of the Oregon offense for several years. They put up decent enough numbers and have plenty of talent, but always seem to just come up short once every weeks. This felt like a real turning point for the Anthony Brown era, as the veteran QB had an underwhelming showing against a decent, but far from elite, Stanford defense. The sentiment around the program for awhile has been that Brown is only a stopgap before somebody else on the depth chart takes control, and that time could be now. Freshman Ty Thompson received a bunch of hype over the off-season, but Robby Ashford and Jay Butterfield remain in the mix. If Cristobal and the Ducks end up sticking with Brown, you wonder what this team's ceiling is. They're still good enough to win a Pac-12 Title, but they go from a potentially elite to merely "good". One thing is clear: the talent on this level is good enough to compete for CFB Playoff berths, but the QB position continues to hold UO back.

Georgia & Alabama Roll: I picked both Alabama and Georgia to win this weekend, but I certainly wasn't expecting them to blow out their respective foes. They demolished a pair of undefeated SEC West teams, with the Bulldogs running past Arkansas and Alabama pummeling Ole Miss. In a season that has felt like any team could lose at any time, Georgia and Alabama give it a real sense of normalcy. They've been the nation's two most impressive teams and seem to be on a collision course to meet in the SEC Championship. Another duel between Kirby and his mentor, Nick Saban, would only be more exciting with both teams potentially entering undefeated.

Can Cincinnati Do It?: After beating Notre Dame on Saturday, Cincinnati rose to No. 5 in the recent AP Poll, and there seems to be a real chance they will become the highest ranked Group of Five team ever when the initial CFB Playoff rankings drop. It wasn't just that the Bearcats beat a good Notre Dame team, but the fact they looked like the better team for the majority of the game. After the first Irish drive ended with an Ahmad Gardner interception, the Bearcats went up 17-0 and never gave the game away. Now sitting at 4-0 and almost sure to be favored in every game the rest of the way, does Cincinnati have a legitimate shot at the Playoff? I'm still not sure on a Group of Five getting in, even an undefeated one with several quality wins like Cincy. They'd probably need some losses in front of them and other chaos, but this victory assures they remain very much in the conversation.

It's Not Looking Good For "Coach O": Almost no team or program would have been able to effectively follow up what LSU did in 2019. Every single thing that could go right went right and it resulted in a 15-0 Tigers team that will go down as one of the best of all-time. However, that doesn't take any pressure off of Ed Orgeron. The lovable "Coach O" remains on a short list of current FBS head coaches with a National Title (Saban, Jimbo Fisher, Dabo, and Mack Brown) but he is on a flaming hot seat after a loss this weekend to Auburn. Auburn isn't necessarily a terrible loss, but it's more the fact that LSU is now 3-2 heading into a terrifying slate of games. Over the next five games, the Tigers face five straight ranked foes, with three of them coming on the road. They will be lucky to go 2-3 in that stretch before finishing up with Louisiana-Monroe and Texas A&M. 5-7 or 6-6 seems like the most likely outcome with the way LSU has looked this season, which would make "Coach O" roughly .500 since that National Title. Perhaps, Orgeron is able to engineer some late magic this fall, but there's nothing about this program that inspires confidence right now. They've regressed unbelievably fast since 2019 and several bad hires will definitely have boosters and administrators wondering whether "Coach O" is the guy. At a place like LSU, with their resources, if they're wondering, they're probably setting up to move on.

Wisconsin Is The Big Ten's Disappointment... For Now: Even in a league where Northwestern has struggled mightily after winning the Big Ten West and Indiana has appeared to be a one-hit wonder in 2020, Wisconsin has been the Big Ten's most disappointing team. They lost their third game of the year this weekend, getting dominated by a Michigan team that they've regularly handled in the past. While the defense continues to be elite, the offense has been one of the worst in recent memory, at a school not typically known for high-powered offenses. It's not just the fact that Graham Mertz has been dreadful this fall, but the ground game has lacked its usual bite and the offensive line has also been mediocre. Yet, with all that being said, you still get this feeling the Badgers have a chance to turn it around. Sure, competing for a Big Ten West Title seems like a fantasy at this point, but the division is wide open beyond Iowa and the Badgers could easily settle in as second best. For one, the defense will keep them in just about every game they play in, no matter the opponent. Secondly, the schedule sets up really nicely over the next month and a half. Other than Iowa, who they get at home, the Badgers get Illinois, Army, Purdue, Rutgers, and Northwestern before a potentially tough matchup with Nebraska. Lastly, this is just the type of program that should be able to figure out this stretch. Few programs in the country are as consistently strong as the Badgers and Paul Chryst should be able to right the ship. They might not be going to a Rose Bowl this year, but should still have a shot at eight wins.

Weekly Awards

Offensive Helmet Sticker: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Few running backs in the nation has been as dominant in 2021 as Bijan Robinson. The Longhorn sophomore had another huge week against TCU, as he went for 216 yards and two scores to help hold off the Horned Frogs. Not only did he finish as one of Week Five's top rushers, his yardage on the final drive of the game was enough to clinch the game. His success continues to satisfy Texas fans, who wanted him to get the ball more than he did in his 2020 debut. 

Defensive Helmet Sticker: David Ojabo, DE, Michigan

For the second straight week, a Big Ten East Defensive Linemen gets the nod as the Defensive Helmet Sticker. Michigan's David Ojabo came out of nowhere to help lead a stingy Michigan defense that terrorized Wisconsin's backfield all game. Ojabo recorded seven tackles, with 2.5 going for a loss, and helped force a fumble. He looks like he'll became a feature part of a Michigan pass rush that has had a resurgent year, with Aidan Hutchinson spelling chaos on the opposite side.

Team of the Week: Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia continues to push aside their competition in 2021, as they welcomed Arkansas into Athens and proceed to destroy the Razorbacks, 37-0. It would have been impressive to do that against any undefeated team that strolled into Sanford Stadium, but the Bulldogs did it with their backup QB, Stetson Bennett IV. Bennett barely threw the ball, with Georgia instead leaning on a ground game that totaled 273 yards of rushing. This wasn't a case of Arkansas being overrated after a hot start, but Georgia simply being too good, and playing at home. They now go on the road to Auburn coming off a two-week span in which they outscored opponents 99-0.

"Small-School" Team of the Week: Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors

They may not be much of a "small school" but Hawai'i remains one of the funnest watches in the Group of Five, if you can stay up late enough to watch them. They climbed back to .500 Saturday night with a pretty major upset of Fresno State. The Bulldogs simply didn't have an answer for the Hawai'i rushing attack, as Dae Dae Hunter and Calvin Turner finished with a combined 186 yards. Turner in particular is possible the most under-appreciated player in college football; he's a Swiss Army knife playmaker who touches the ball all the time in the Rainbow Warrior offense.

Top 25

Current Rank ________Previous Rank

1. Alabama Crimson Tide    (1)

2. Georgia Bulldogs    (2)

3. Iowa Hawkeyes    (7)

4. Cincinnati Bearcats    (5)

5. Oklahoma Sooners    (3)

6. Penn State Nittany Lions    (8)

7. Oregon Ducks    (3)

8. Ohio State Buckeyes    (9)

9. Michigan Wolverines    (15)

10. BYU Cougars    (14)

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish    (6)

12. Michigan State Spartans    (17)

13. Oklahoma State Cowboys    (19)

14. Arizona State Sun Devils    (18)

15. Arkansas Razorbacks    (10)

16. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers    (23)

17. Ole Miss Rebels    (12)

18. Kentucky Wildcats    (NR)

19. Wake Forest Demon Deacons    (25)

20. Florida Gators    (11)

21. NC State Wolfpack    (NR)

22. Clemson Tigers    (22)

23. Iowa State Cyclones    (24)

24. Texas Longhorns    (NR)

25. SMU Mustangs    (NR)

Just Missed: Auburn Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, San Diego State Aztecs, Oregon State Beavers, UTSA Roadrunners, Stanford Cardinal

Dropped Out: Texas A&M Aggies (13), Fresno State Bulldogs (20), Baylor Bears (21)

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