In this periodical, we're keeping track of which college football teams actually still have a chance at playing for the national title. The number is falling quickly, and this sport is, like, the meanest thing in the world.
First up, a handful of important items:
Performance Of The Week
Did Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel finally become what we always thought he could be, diversifying FSU's portfolio by adding a top-tier passing attack? Or did he just take advantage of a defense that was bad last year and still undergoing its overhaul?
We'll take 482 total yards, two touchdowns and no major errors in prime time against a top-10 team, but let's not assume the Noles are going to roll up points like that against just anybody.
/checks FSU's schedule again
Okay, yeah. They will.
Fan Of The Week
First, the runner-up: where's Arizona's red zone offense?
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
And the winner: the thousands of Notre Dame fans who wore leis in support of Manti Te'o, their star linebacker from Hawai'i who's led the Irish to two big wins since losing his grandmother and girlfriend 24 hours apart.Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
GIF Of The Week
I don't really know anything about anime, but every time I watch Ace Sanders here (and I've watched this, like, 40 times, easy), I think about one of those anime scenes where the guy with the dinosaur hair has his arm explode and turn into an even bigger arm that's actually a nuclear bomb and there's all this FLASHING and SQUEALING going on and a factory turns into a robot that knows how to turn its arms into nuclear bombs and the backgrounds are all just PINK SPEED LINES and nothing makes any sense and everyone's SCREAMING. It's like that, but INTENSE.
Photo Of The Week
An immortal leaves yet another hypothetical national championship of somebody else's in his wake.
Brett Deering/Getty Images
Stat Of The Week
Notre Dame intercepted 5 straight Michigan passes in the 1st half Saturday -- and that may never have happened (no NCAA record exists)— John Heisler (@NDHeisler) September 24, 2012
Old Dominion QB Taylor Heinicke throws for 730 yards, runs for 61, and breaks David Klingler's D-1 record for total offense in a game.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 22, 2012
As always, bold teams are new additions, with the week of each team's title race exit in parentheses.
An impressive dozen teams join the commoners this week, headlined by Boise State, two from the SEC, two from the Big Ten and three from the ACC. At this point in the year, the ACC has become one big weight around the necks of its few good teams. If Clemson didn't have South Carolina on the schedule and a potential ACC title game against a decent team, I'd probably drop them to Barely Alive at best even though they were very competitive on the road against an excellent team.
The most exciting entry: Boise State, which is not a great football team, having lost to what's turned out to be a likewise overrated Michigan State and won in hideous fashion against a BYU team that might as well have just punted all night long. The last time we were able to say that was, what, 2005? 2001? And we knew they wouldn't be, yet they were ranked in the top 25 on name brand alone.
Boise State was pretty wildly overrated. Consider it an achievement and the next in a long line of milestones for the Broncos, who'll probably still win their conference and drop 50 points on somebody by the end of the year.
I don't really know what the point of this part is. Not really very many teams to put here, and I'm being way too nice to Michigan. College football and America's shrinking middle class.
Four teams left the running this week, with three landing in wink-wink-oh-yeah-they're-still-in-it country after dropping games to very good teams, either taking on second losses as if they were mortgages (Michigan, Missouri) or getting beaten by 49 (Arizona).
Eliminator Games Of Week 5
Week 5 sucks, but the herd will indeed further be thinned. Here are the games guaranteed to knock somebody out of the title race for good:
- Wisconsin at Nebraska
- N.C. State at Miami
- Duke at Wake Forest
And the top five games putting actual contenders in actual jeopardy:
- Texas at Oklahoma State
- Stanford at Washington
- Baylor at West Virginia
- Tennessee at Georgia
- Oregon vs. Washington State
Check the national college football scoreboard right here, and look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.