The College Football Playoff committee won't begin releasing weekly rankings until November, but we can still look ahead along the way. Let's use the AP Poll as our starting point. Below, brief notes on the scores from all the AP-ranked games for the weekend.
Week 5 was an especially crucial piece of the Playoff puzzle, with games likely to decide most of the ACC Atlantic and Pac-12 North races, define much of the Big Ten battle, and possibly even more stuff.
The top of the current polls are locked in, but it's no longer about just the top two anyway. If Ohio State-Michigan remains on course, Bama keeps winning, and the ACC Atlantic doesn't totally destroy itself, that would leave one spot to be filled later on. The Pac-12 entered Week 5 in fine shape for that spot, thanks to the Big 12's rough start and Notre Dame's collapse.
So! Here's the list of the most important final scores.
No. 1 Alabama 34, Kentucky 6
This meant nothing!
No. 2 Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0
That's what a top-four team should do against Rutgers, yeah.
No. 5 Clemson 42, No. 3 Louisville 36
The Tigers control their own destiny if they win out, and they've added a high-quality win, in case they do drop a game.
No. 4 Michigan 14, No. 8 Wisconsin 7
Quality W for Michigan, assuming Wisconsin holds up fine against the Big Ten West.
No. 6 Houston 42, UConn 14
Now Houston has to hope for UConn to make a bowl, in order to make the most of this mid-major schedule.
No. 10 Washington 44, No. 7 Stanford 6
Uh ... wow. The Huskies are now the Pac-12 favorite by an extreme distance.
No. 9 Texas A&M 24, South Carolina 13
No. 11 Tennessee 34, No. 25 Georgia 31
These two are grouped together, because guess which two teams play next week? The SEC East has a legit Playoff contender, thanks to a Hail Mary, and the SEC West retains at least one viable challenger to Bama.
North Carolina 37, No. 12 Florida State 35
The Louisville-Clemson winner is now quite clearly the ACC favorite, and UNC-Miami looms as a huge ACC Coastal game.
No. 13 Baylor 45, Iowa State 42
You have to think the committee will be looking for reasons not to associate with Baylor's brand, and winning at the last minute against a team with an FCS loss isn't gonna help the Bears. Still, it was a road game.
No. 14 Miami 35, Georgia Tech 21
Potentially a quality road win for the other ACC Coastal favorite.
No. 15 Nebraska 31, Illinois 16
This won't matter, but the final score looks much more impressive for the Huskers than it did for almost the entire game.
No. 16 Ole Miss 48, Memphis 28
Should hold up as a decent win over a bowl team.
Indiana 24, No. 17 Michigan State 21
The Hoosiers should be a bowl team, which could boost somebody's schedule.
Cal 28, No. 18 Utah 23
Well, at least the Pac-12 has Washington!
South Alabama 42, No. 19 San Diego State 24
The Mountain West’s New Year’s hopes are down to Boise State, as is custom.
No. 20 Arkansas 52, Alcorn State 10
The committee doesn't care about FCS wins.
Oklahoma 52, No. 21 TCU 46
The Big 12 is in horrible Playoff shape at this point.
Oklahoma State 49, No. 22 Texas 31
The rest of the Big 12's a big mess, too! So is Texas!
No. 23 Florida 13, Vanderbilt 6
Well, Florida didn't lose. This won't matter much.
No. 24 Boise State 21, Utah State 10
Should be a respectable win for the Mountain West's last New Year's hope.