Injuries affect top teams during week 6 of NCAA football Season  

Top of the rankings shift around after several top teams struggle

Butch+T.+Cougar+crowd+surfs+in+the+student+section+during+an+NCAA+college+football+game+against+Oregon%2C+Sep.+24.

HAILEE SPEIR

Butch T. Cougar crowd surfs in the student section during an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Sep. 24.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Following the sixth week of college football, some Cinderella runs are already over and the top echelon of teams are shifting around in the rankings. 

All but one of the top five teams in the AP rankings has had a scare so far this season, and the then-ranked No. 1 Alabama was the most recent of those scares. 

The top-ranked Crimson Tide fought through their starting quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young being out with an injury. They snuck by Texas A&M by a score of 24-20. 

The Aggies were primed and ready to take the game, having the ball inside the red zone and controlling their own destiny. Eventually, the final play of the game came down to a play from the two-yard line for all the marbles. 

It was a questionable play call as Haynes King’s pass fell incomplete and the dream upset fell just two yards short of coming to fruition. 

 

In the most anticipated match of the week for the Pac-12, undefeated and No. 18 ranked UCLA looked to prove themselves as rightful contenders as they took on the No. 11 Utah Utes. The Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson continued to solidify himself in the Heisman conversation as he completed 18 passes on 23 attempts for 299 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

It was a tough and tightly contested battle, but the Bruins took down the Utes by a score of 42-32 and look to be one of the top two teams in the conference. 

The other top team in the conference, No. 6 USC survived a potential trap game against the Washington State Cougars. It was supposed to be a close game, but some questionable and controversial calls by the refs went the Trojans’ way, keeping the game out of reach for WSU. 

Some of the calls included a targeting call on a lineman as he was blocking for his scrambling quarterback as well as defensive pass-interference on a Coug for contact that should have not been called. 

WSU was still able to put up a fight, but playing against a talented team such as USC on top of the refs made it nearly impossible for any team, and the Cougs fell by a score of 30-14. 

In a game that was not seen as a trap game, the Washington Huskies lost to an unranked and pretty awful Arizona State team by a score of 45-38. It was the second straight loss by the Huskies and all momentum that they had built up early in the season has quickly faded and they look like another middle of the pack team in the conference. 

Following week 6, with Utah and Washington both falling, only three teams in the Pac-12 will be able to fight for a playoff spot. UCLA and USC are both undefeated, and Oregon has one loss on the season to an incredibly talented Georgia team. 

If the conference does not self-destruct and trade losses to one another like every other year, there may be some representation for the conference in the playoffs before teams officially start leaving. 

The SEC continues to look like by far the best conference in the nation, Alabama and Georgia hold two spots in the top four and each will have an argument to be in the playoff regardless of how the rest of the season plays out. 

One of the biggest surprises thus far has been the resurgence of the Tennessee program, the No. 8 Volunteers took down the newly ranked No. 25 LSU Tigers in convincing fashion. They won by a score of 40-13 and it was over after the first quarter. 

Outside of those three teams, there is still another undefeated SEC team holding down a spot in the top 10 rankings. No. 9 Ole Miss took down conference opponent Vanderbilt by a score of 52-28 and looked to keep building their push into the playoff. Out of all top-ranked SEC teams, they have had the weakest schedule, but some highly touted upcoming matches will be used by the team to try to prove themselves being in the top echelons of teams. 

Week seven has some exciting matches in store for the college football landscape. No. 3 Alabama heads to face No. 6 Tennessee in their home stadium in the biggest matchup of the season. If Bryce Young is still unable to return for the Crimson Tide, it may spell the end of their playoff hopes, as the team in orange is hungry for a big win. 

No. 5 Michigan faces off against No. 10 Penn State in a Big 10 matchup that will put the winner in the best spot possible to represent the conference in the playoff, assuming they can win out. 

The final notable big matchup is No. 6 USC vs No. 20 Utah. Even with Utah having lost two games and USC being undefeated, the Trojans won’t be too heavily favored as they have not looked their strongest over the past couple of weeks. If the Utes take down USC, it could spell disaster for a dismantling Pac-12 conference.