With the fifth week of college football action almost here, it’s time to take our weekly look at the top winners and losers inside the nation’s top 25 rankings. Let’s get started in South Beach, where the nation’s biggest early ‘winner’ resides so you can bet on their NCAAF odds.
NCAAF Top 25 Rankings: Winners and Losers Heading Into Week 5
No. 8 Miami (3-0)
The Hurricanes opened up their 2020 campaign with a modest 31-14 smackdown of UAB on Sept. 10 before getting past formerly nationally-ranked Louisville 47-34 in their second game. More impressive however, was Miami’s 52-10 destruction of longtime in-state rival Florida State last weekend. The Canes jumped out to a 14-3 lead after one quarter and stretched that out to a commanding 38-3 by halftime by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second quarter. Miami shut down Florida State with a 14-0 final quarter and now, the Canes look like a legitimate College Football Playoff candidate. Quarterback D’Eriq King has passed for 733 yards with six TD tosses and no picks while running back Cam-Ron Harris has 311 rushing yards and five scores. Miami is limiting the opposition to 19.3 points per game (21st) and right now, the eighth-ranked Hurricanes are the biggest winners in the country!
No. 5 Notre Dame (2-0)
The fifth-ranked Fighting Irish got past Duke 27-13 in their opener – before completely destroying – South Florida in its 52-0 shutout win two weeks ago. Notre Dame is ranked 16th in scoring (39.5 ppg) and a stupendous fifth in points allowed (6.5 ppg). While quarterback Ian Book has more touchdown runs (3) than TD passes (1), the Irish are running back extremely well with running backs Kyren Williams (174 yards) and C’Bo Flemister (127 yards) are having their collective way. Now playing in the ACC, Notre Dame is undoubtedly one of the nation’s biggest winners heading into Week 5.
No. 11 Central Florida (2-0)
While college football fans and betting enthusiasts everywhere know the Knights are a perennial winning program, the fact of the matter is that UCF has gotten off to a fantastic start this season. After smacking Georgia Tech around 49-21 in their opener, the Knights man-handled East Carolina on Saturday to pick up a commanding 51-28 blowout win over the Pirates. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel has thrown for 825 yards with eight touchdown passes and just one interception while throwing for over 400 yards in both games with an identical four TD passes. Expect the Knights to improve to 3-0 by taking down winless Tulsa on Saturday.
No. 20 LSU (0-1)
I don’t want to toot my own horn MYBookie college football betting buffs, but I saw LSU’s championship collapse coming from a mile away – and well before they suffered an embarrassing 44-34 season-opening loss at home against Mississippi State. The Tigers allowed Bulldogs quarterback KJ Costello to pass for a mind-boggling 653 yards and five touchdowns in their opener while getting held to a pitiful 80 rushing yards on 38 carries! Quarterback Myles Brennan looked like the inexperienced starter he is and now, the Tigers look like a team that could be in big trouble moving forward.
No. 18 Oklahoma (1-1)
Well, it looks like Lincoln Riley’s three-year run of producing Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks is over if Week 1 was any indication. Sophomore signal-caller Spencer Rattler looked rattled in the Sooners’ stunning 38-35 home loss against Kansas State on Saturday bu throwing three costly interceptions to virtually cancel out his four TD passes. Rattler was sacked three times and Oklahoma’s defense allowed K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson to run for three scores while passing for another. Don’t look now, but this could be a long season for the CFP-hopeful Sooners.
Florida State (0-2)
Florida State might have a new head coach in Mike Norvell, but he’s apparently got his work cut out in trying to rebuild the Seminoles, once, perennially-powerful program. After getting upset by a pretty mediocre Georgia Tech team 16-13 in their opener on Sept. 12, Florida State got embarrassed in their 52-10 road loss against longtime rival Miami on Saturday. Now, heading into Week 5, the Seminoles are averaging just 11.5 points per game while giving up 34.0 points per game defensively. With remaining games against Notre Dame, North Carolina, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Clemson, things could get real ugly, real fast, for Florida State.