OK, I'll admit it: I thought the Florida Gators could have done better in hiring a head coach than Colorado State's Jim McElwain. But sometimes you have to give those smaller-school guys a chance, and it certainly worked out at UF with Urban Meyer previously.
In my mind, the most surprising result of Week 5 in college football was the Gators' 38-10 win over then-No. 3 Ole Miss. Redshirt freshman QB Will Grier was spectacular, going 24-for-29 for 271 yards and four touchdowns despite playing through the flu. Florida hadn't beaten a team ranked that high in Gainesville since knocking off No. 2 Tennessee in 1999. McElwain became the first Florida coach since Steve Spurrier in 1990 to open his first season 5-0. UF might be the team to beat in the SEC East now considering how bad preseason favorite Georgia looked in its home loss to Alabama.
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The Gators skyrocketed to No. 11 in the Associated Press Top 25. It is the highest Florida has been ranked this point in the season since being ranked No. 10 in the first weekend of October 2012. Ole Miss' loss dropped the Rebels to No. 14. There are no SEC teams in the Top 5 of the poll for the first time since Oct. 10, 2010. LSU is the highest-ranked SEC team at No. 7.
Two Big 12 teams, Baylor and TCU, jumped former No. 2 Michigan State in the polls after the Spartans struggled in a win over a bad Purdue team. No. 1 Ohio State was the only team in the Top 16 to have the same ranking this week as last. The Buckeyes have been ranked No. 1 now 101 weeks in program history, tying Oklahoma for the most in the AP poll's history. The Buckeyes are +200 title favorites at Sportsbook.com. There are a total of 15 undefeated Power 5 teams left.
Here are a few opening Week 6 lines that caught my eye.
No. 10 Oklahoma vs. Texas (+16): Remember when this annual game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas used to be one of the biggest of the season? I see no way that Charlie Strong is the Longhorns' coach next season after UT was bombed 50-7 by TCU on Saturday. Texas had to score a late touchdown to avoid matching the second-worst shutout loss in school history -- 50-0 to Oklahoma 107 years ago. The 1-4 Horns are off to their worst start since going 1-9 in 1956. The Texas Rangers' Twitter account accidentally posted a "Fire Charlie" tweet on Saturday, Yet ESPN is reporting that Strong has a "lot of breathing room" and still has the support of school officials and key boosters. I'm not sure why. Strong is now 7-11 at Texas. Seven of those losses have come by 21 points or more. The pick: Texas covers but doesn't win.
Georgia Tech at No. 6 Clemson (-7.5): Might be a bit of a letdown game for Clemson after the Tigers won a thriller over Notre Dame on Saturday. Clemson ran for 199 yards on Notre Dame, held top Irish running back C.J. Prosise to 50 yards on 15 carries, sacked quarterback DeShone Kizer four times and finished with nine tackles for losses. Clemson will now be favored in the rest of its regular-season games and should win the ACC. The Yellow Jackets, defending ACC Coastal champions, have been huge disappointments. They have dropped three in a row after falling to Notre Carolina 38-31 on Saturday. Tech blew a 21-point lead in that one. The Tar Heels ended a streak of eight straight losses at Georgia Tech since their last win in 1997. Tech beat Clemson 28-6 last year. The pick: I'll take the points but Clemson escapes.
No. 13 Northwestern at No. 18 Michigan (-8): I'd say that hiring of Jim Harbaugh has worked out pretty well for Michigan. Since that opening loss to Utah, which looks better and better by the day, the Wolverines have allowed just 14 total points in four games. They posted a second straight shutout Saturday (first time doing that in 15 years), 28-0 over Maryland. The Terps had just 105 total yards. Northwestern (5-0) is one of the country's biggest surprises and routed Minnesota 27-0 on Saturday. The Wildcats' defense has allowed only three touchdowns in five games and limited Minnesota to only 173 yards. I don't care what the total is for this one, go "under." The pick: Northwestern.
Miami at No. 12 Florida State (-9): After losing last Thursday night at Cincinnati, it has pretty much come to this for Hurricanes coach Al Golden: Beat FSU or get fired after the season. "Fire Golden" banners have been flying at UM home games but there was actually one over Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Thursday. The last two years, UM had momentum heading into the FSU game but lost and it torpedoed the rest of the Canes' season. The Seminoles have won six straight in the series overall. Miami is 126th out of 127 teams on third down third down this year, converting only 24.5 percent. Only once over the last five years has Miami converted 40 percent or more on third down: In 2011, Golden's first year. That's poor coaching. The big question here is whether FSU star running back Dalvin Cook, who is from Miami, will play. He hurt his hamstring in Saturday's win over Wake Forest. The pick: Take the points if Cook sits. Otherwise give them.
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