College Football Rankings: Spartan Avenue’s Week 5 Top 25

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Sep 26, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Skyler Howard passes the ball on the run against the Maryland Terrapins during the second quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia was barely on our radar last week after the Mountaineers had started the season 2-0 against two cupcake opponents. However, the Mountaineers had a chance to show just how good they could be against Maryland in week four and a 45-6 victory was the end result.

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Skyler Howard had a breakout game, passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns while Wendell Smallwood had his best game of the year on the ground with 147 yards and a touchdown.

As the first game of the week for any Top 25 team, Stanford had a short preparation schedule for Oregon State following a big upset win over No. 6 USC late last Saturday night. The Cardinal rolled once again, defeating the Beavers, 42-24, on Friday night. Christian McCaffrey had an unbelievable performance in the ground game, rushing for 206 yards on 30 carries, but somehow failing to reach the end zone.

This can be looked at as sort of a ‘hangover’ game for the Northwestern Wildcats since they haven’t had one yet this season. Defeating No. 21 Stanford in week one was surprise enough, but the Wildcats went into Durham, N.C., last week and took down a tough Duke squad. Northwestern was allowed a poor performance against an inferior Ball State team and they just snuck by the Cardinals, 24-19. Clayton Thorson did, however, have his best game of the season at quarterback.

Just as I predicted, Wisconsin would stymy the Hawaii offense and Joel Stave would continue to look solid at quarterback for the Badgers. Although he didn’t have his best game, Stave completed 14-of-23 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, but he wasn’t needed much. Freshman running back Taiwan Deal, filling in for the injured Corey Clement, rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Badgers’ 28-0 victory.

Oklahoma got the week off, but the Sooners will be forced to host the red-hot Mountaineers of West Virginia next week. Baker Mayfield has been a pleasant addition to the Sooners’ offense, giving the aerial attack much more firepower than it had when Trevor Knight was leading the way. Don’t sleep on Samaje Perine, either. He’s one of the best running backs in the land.

Next: No. 15 Texas A&M - No. 11 Alabama