No. 10 Florida
Towson wasn’t going to provide much challenge for Florida on Saturday, but it was another data point suggesting the Gators are in good hands with quarterback Kyle Trask, who opened the tilt 15-of-15 passing, extending his two-game streak to 18 straight completions and breaking a school record. With Auburn, LSU and Georgia coming up among Florida’s next four foes, however, the job is about to get much tougher for Trask. — David Hale
No. 11 Texas
It’s way too early to eliminate Texas from the College Football Playoff equation, especially if LSU goes on to win the SEC championship. The Longhorns, coming off an open date, need to take care of their business, which they did two weeks earlier in a key home win against Oklahoma State. They go on the road next week against West Virginia, and then comes the annual showdown with Oklahoma. In what is quickly shaping up as the year of the quarterback in college football, don’t forget about Sam Ehlinger. He has accounted for 16 touchdowns and thrown just one interception in his first four games. – Chris Low
No. 12 Penn State
The Nittany Lions thoroughly embarrassed host Maryland in front of a sold-out crowd Friday night, showing the Big Ten East could run deeper than Ohio State. Could. Penn State’s status as a contender won’t be revealed until October, when the Nittany Lions play three consecutive ranked opponents: No. 14 Iowa, No. 20 Michigan and No. 25 Michigan State. The only game left they’re not favored to win? Nov. 23 at Ohio State. — Heather Dinich
No. 13 Oregon
The Ducks were off after a much-needed road win at Stanford the weekend before, their first conference road victory outside the state since a year ago when they beat Cal. Their next two games are at home against Cal and Colorado, before a key road trip to Washington on Oct. 19. The bye week might help the Ducks get freshman receiver Mycah Pittman back. He was the talk of the preseason until injuring his shoulder, and he was able to return to practice this past week.- Chris Low
No. 14 Iowa
Iowa had too many athletes for Middle Tennessee’s defense to handle, and the Hawkeyes spread the ball to a lot of them. Nate Stanley averaged more than 16 yards per completion, a trio of Iowa running backs averaged 8.6 yards per carry and if you’re into the transitive property, the Hawkeyes handled the Blue Raiders far better than next weekend’s opponent — Michigan — did. Now comes a trip to Ann Arbor that could define both teams’ respective seasons. — Bill Connelly
No. 15 Washington
It’s not too early to start looking forward to Oct. 19, when Washington will host Oregon in a matchup that could decide the Pac-12 North. The Huskies have road trips to Stanford and Arizona before then, but neither figures to be much of a hurdle based on what we’ve seen so far. Since a shaky performance against Cal in the middle of the night following a lightning storm, quarterback Jacob Eason has been an efficient, calming presence. — Kyle Bonagura
No. 16 Boise State
The Broncos were off after opening the Mountain West Conference part of their schedule the week before with a 30-19 win over Air Force, albeit a costly one. Sophomore middle linebacker Ezekiel Noa, the team’s leading tackler, tore his ACL and broke his wrist, and he will miss the rest of the season.— Chris Low
No. 17 Utah
Utah is the latest example of how different teams in the Pac-12 can look week to week. After an uninspiring loss to USC, the Utes looked — again — like the type of complete team that has what it takes to win the conference title. They’ll use the coming bye week to get healthier before returning to conference play at Oregon State, before what could be a huge game at home against Arizona State on Oct. 19. — Kyle Bonagura
No. 18 UCF
Maybe it’s time for UCF to start a new winning streak. A week removed from its first regular-season loss in 27 games, UCF opened conference play with a 56-21 rout of UConn on Saturday at home. The Knights, with freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel throwing three first-half touchdowns, built a 42-0 halftime lead and never broke a sweat. They might be on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff after falling at Pitt, but a New Year’s Six bowl berth is still very much in play. — Chris Low
No. 19 Michigan
The Wolverines got exactly what they needed: a convincing victory without further disaster. Michigan had faced criticism since its resounding defeat at Wisconsin last weekend but was able to get its stagnant offense moving — albeit against a team that now has lost 14 straight conference games — though not without another turnover. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Notre Dame all can benefit from Michigan improving and staying ranked, as the Wolverines can affect all of their schedule strengths. — Heather Dinich
No. 20 Arizona State
In a short week, Arizona State bounced back from a tough 34-31 loss to Colorado by going on the road and beating Cal 24-17 on Friday, as Eno Benjamin got untracked with three touchdowns. The Sun Devils will face a key home test against Washington State on Oct. 12. They already have two wins over ranked teams, counting the one over Michigan State. — Chris Low
No. 21 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys were way undervalued in the preseason polls, but they have demonstrated during the first month of the campaign that they will be players in the Big 12 race. Mike Gundy’s club bounced back nicely from its loss at Texas with a 26-13 home victory Saturday over previously unbeaten Kansas State. And if you haven’t already had a chance to watch the running back/receiver combo of Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace play, do yourself a favor and set the DVR for Oklahoma State’s next game. They combined for 441 yards from scrimmage in the win over the Wildcats. — Chris Low
No. 22 Wake Forest
There aren’t any so-called signature victories, but the Demon Deacons are 5-0 for the first time since 2006 after holding off Boston College for a 27-24 road victory on Saturday. That 2006 season was a special one for Wake Forest, which was rewarded with a trip to the Orange Bowl. The best thing the Demon Deacons have done this season is find ways to win. Three of their five W’s have been by six points or fewer, and looking down the schedule, there could be a lot more victories coming. After an open date, the next three games are all at home — against Louisville, Florida State and NC State. — Chris Low
No. 23 Virginia
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins had an excellent first half through the air, but the Irish’s defense stifled the Cavaliers’ offense in the second half. Virginia put up a good fight, but it isn’t quite ready to put away a top-10 team on the road. Luckily for UVa, this was not a conference game, and its hopes for an ACC championship-game berth still are very much intact and realistic. — Tom VanHaaren
No. 24 SMU
Here are two things we know about A&M-Arkansas games: They’re going to be really close, and A&M’s going to win. With 10 fourth-quarter points, the Aggies won their eighth straight in the series; but this was the fifth meeting in six years to be decided by one score. But hey, whatever — survive and advance. Now 3-2, Texas A&M gets a bye week before hosting Alabama, its third top-10 opponent of the season. — Chris Low
No. 25 Texas A&M
Here are two things we know about A&M-Arkansas games: They’re going to be really close, and A&M’s going to win. With 10 fourth-quarter points, the Aggies won their eighth straight in the series; but this was the fifth meeting in six years to be decided by one score. But hey, whatever — survive and advance. Now 3-2, Texas A&M gets a bye week before hosting Alabama, its third top-10 opponent of the season. — Bill Connelly
Honoring a Huskers family
After she was selected to appear on GameDay, Omaha native Gabrielle Union asked her Twitter followers whose jersey she should wear. Nebraska senior offensive lineman Christian Gaylord responded to the actress with a special request. To honor his father, Scott, who died in a car accident last week in Nebraska, he offered the jersey his dad wore in the stands during Christian’s games.
@itsgabrielleu I’m a senior on the team. I tore my acl this year and awaiting a medical redshirt. My father was killed in a car accident last Friday. You’re more then welcome to wear my fathers jersey he wore during my games. It would be an honor. pic.twitter.com/02d7q2AhEN
— Christian Gaylord (@Big_Chris_65) September 26, 2019
Union said she’d be honored, and Nebraska helped get the jersey to her. After Saturday’s show, Union offered her condolences to the Gaylord family.
Truly humbled and honored to wear Scott Gaylord’s jersey today. Sending so much ❤ to the Gaylord family. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/WZPBUqkZeJ
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 28, 2019
Week 5’s best
Fastest punter ever
Western Carolina’s Caleb Ferguson has punted 12 times for the Catamounts over the past two seasons, but he is listed on the roster as a running back. When his number was called on a fake punt, he showed why, scoring on a 69-yard run.
He faked the punt then turned on the jets 💨 pic.twitter.com/PdHpQXLNgH
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 28, 2019
Polar bears have to like this atmosphere
Up in Havre, Montana (about 35 miles south of the Canadian border), the Montana Tech Orediggers took on the Montana State-Northern Lights. While the Diggers have beaten the Lights by a 147-28 margin over the past two seasons, you gotta play the game. Even if it looks like this on the field.
— Montana Tech Football Equipment (@tech_equipment) September 28, 2019
Our new celebration overlords
Cheerleaders and mascots of the world, take notice. Virginia Tech already has a robot ready to take your place in the world of post-score celebratory pushups.
Virginia Tech shows off its pushup robot during its loss vs. Duke.
That’s a spicy nugget
Spotted on Union Bay outside Husky Stadium in Seattle: what appears to be a floating fast-food establishment. Wendy’s replied, confirming it is operational and does have a “sail-thru.”
There’s a floating @Wendys outside Husky Stadium in Seattle
— Matt (@matthewverygood) September 27, 2019
Everything old is new again
For its Sun Belt opener against Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State wore helmets featuring its mascot, Yosef, which is a caricature that dates to 1942. According to App State: “Yosef is mountain talk for ‘yourself,’ with the idea being that if you are an Appalachian alumnus, fan or friend and have a heart filled with black and gold, you are Yosef.”
Appalachian State @AppState_FB last wore the old Yosef logo on a yellow/gold helmet Sept 29, 2012 with the logo on both sides of the helmet (L). Tomorrow it will be on one side with numbers on the other (R).#CFB2019HelmetWatch#SeasonTotal91@UniWatch @PhilHecken @SimplyMoono pic.twitter.com/fjDAEANWZ4
— Blaise D’Sylva (@wtfcoach) September 28, 2019
Charlotte, meanwhile, featured its own pipe-smoking mascot, a throwback depiction of Norm the Niner, on its helmets for its homecoming game against Florida Atlantic.
𝚃𝙷𝙴 𝙾𝙻𝙳 𝙽𝙾𝚁𝙼
𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙉𝙀𝙒 𝙉𝙊𝙍𝙈
9.28 | Homecoming | vs. FAU pic.twitter.com/K16UETTBid
— Charlotte Football (@CharlotteFTBL) September 27, 2019
Texas Tech wore all-white throwback uniforms for its trip to Oklahoma.
— TexasTechEquipment (@TTU_EQUIPMENT) September 26, 2019
Bully won’t be bullied
Mississippi State might have given up three unanswered touchdowns to Auburn to start the game, but the Bulldogs — especially Jak (Bully XXI) — will not give up without a fight. JaTarvious Whitlow scored a 30-yard touchdown rush on Auburn’s first play from scrimmage, ending his run by sliding out of the end zone and directly into Jak.
– MSU Bully Mom (@BullyXXI) September 28, 2019
– WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) September 28, 2019
But the Mississippi State mascot bounced right up and made sure to tell everyone he was OK.
Casey O’Brien has defeated osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, four times and is defying the odds again by playing football for the Golden Gophers.
Casey O’Brien has defeated cancer four times and is defying the odds again by playing football for the Golden Gophers.