Big Ten

See how they stack up: Week 5 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 5 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 5 in the books, here’s my top 25.

1. Clemson (5-0)

Marching into Blacksburg against a Virginia Tech D that hadn’t allowed a rushing touchdown, Clemson scored two, part of a 31-point night in which its own D shone with three takeaways, including a pick six.

2. Alabama (5-0)

Bama is amazing. And its schedule will allow that to continue, with Auburn the only ranked opponent left. So maybe every game will look like Saturday’s 66-3 mauling of Ole Miss.

3. Oklahoma (4-0)

The Sooners were off this weekend. They’re tuning up to go undefeated in October: Iowa State, Texas, Kansas State, Texas Tech. Let Baker Mayfield’s Heisman campaign ratchet up.

4. TCU (4-0)

The Frogs were off this weekend, no doubt prepping for next weekend’s huge Big 12 matchup with West Virginia. Here’s to 1,000 points being scored in that game.

5. Penn State (5-0)

It took the Lions just one quarter to completely run away from Indiana. Saquon Barkley had 107 rushing/receiving yards, but the highlight was his 98-yard kick-return TD to open the game. Dude’s good.

6. Georgia (5-0)

So the Dawgs are pretty darn fantastic, going up on Rocky Top and blanking the Vols in a 41-0 shellacking. The Georgia defense took the ball away from Tennessee four times. That’s not fake news.

7. Wisconsin (4-0)

It wasn’t the smoothest of sailing, but the Badgers stayed undefeated with a win over Northwestern. Wisconsin trailed at halftime, but a near-perfect third quarter on both sides of the ball locked in the win.

8. Washington (5-0)

Though I still submit Washington’s schedule has been really soft, it’s outscored its five opponents 220-54. That scoring defense ranks right up there with all these other top-of-the-line teams.

9. Miami (3-0)

I was very impressed by the Canes dominating previously undefeated Duke. The Devils were averaging more than 40 points a game coming in, and the Miami defense kept them out of the end zone.

10. Michigan (4-0)

The Wolverines were off this weekend, allowing Jim Harbaugh to go diving while wearing khakis.

His form is questionable, but his defense remains terrific and will face an unexpectedly 3-1 Michigan State team next weekend.

11. Washington State (5-0)

There weren’t many stories bigger than Wazzu’s upset of USC on the Palouse. Mike Leach and Luke Falk run a hell of an offense, but how about that Cougs defense? Big reason they’re still undefeated.

12. Ohio State (4-1)

Yeah, this is still that same Ohio State team that demolishes opponents — especially when that opponent is Rutgers. A 56-0 throttling ought to keep the Buckeyes in those title discussions.

13. Oklahoma State (4-1)

It was almost back-to-back losses for the Boys, who got a late tie-breaking touchdown run — plus 376 yards and three touchdown passes — from Mason Rudolph to sneak out of Lubbock with a win.

14. Auburn (4-1)

Since the post-Clemson scare against Mercer, Auburn has smoked Missouri and Mississippi State by a combined 100-24 score. More of the same coming against Ole Miss, LSU and Arkansas?

15. Virginia Tech (4-1)

I feel like you can’t blame anyone for losing their undefeated season to Clemson at this point. It happens every week. I fully expect the Hokies to still be good, but you just can’t beat Clemson right now.

16. Florida (3-1)

An eye-popping performance from Florida this weekend. I guess Vandy’s defense was never that good, as the typically low-scoring Gators exploded for 38 points. But of course there’s some more QB drama.

17. West Virginia (3-1)

The Mountaineers were off this weekend, resting up after scoring at least 56 points in three straight games. Think that streak comes to an end next weekend against that TCU defense?

18. Utah (4-0)

The Utes were off this week, but keep in mind that they’re one of just three still-unbeaten teams in the Pac-12. Some real tests coming, though, against Stanford and USC.

19. USC (4-1)

Sam Darnold does some impressive things, no doubt about it, and he nearly kept the Trojans undefeated. But he makes a lot of mistakes, too, now with eight picks, second most in the country.

20. Louisville (4-1)

While everyone was paying attention to other things, Louisville trucked Murray State, with Lamar Jackson racking up 349 passing/rushing yards and four total touchdowns. Ho hum.

21. Notre Dame (4-1)

The Irish went over 500 yards of offense in their blasting of Temple. They’ve scored 139 points in the three games since the loss to Georgia, two of which were road games against Power Five teams.

22. USF (5-0)

The Bulls dropped 61 points on Saturday! That’s a lot of points!

23. San Diego State (5-0)

Not even a grotesque poke in the eyes could stop Rashaad Penny from racking up triple-digit yardage against Northern Illinois.

SDSU also had an 80-plus-yard pick six, one of three interceptions for the D.

24. North Carolina State (4-1)

Two more sacks for Bradley Chubb in NC State’s win over Syracuse. Should be interesting to see the talented defensive lineman go up against Lamar Jackson next week.

25. UCF (3-0)

In a battle of American unbeatens, UCF crushed Memphis, beating a team that dumped 48 points on UCLA by a 40-13 score. The Knights can pile up the points, man, with 139 of them in just three games.

Maryland (3-1)

What a win for the Terps, taking down previously unbeaten Minnesota on the road behind third-string quarterback Max Bortenschlager, college football’s most fun name to say with a German accent.

Stanford (3-2)

I fully believe Stanford is the best two-loss team in the country, mostly because Bryce Love is absolutely amazing. He went off for a school-record 301 yards and three touchdowns this weekend.

Texas Tech (3-1)

A mighty fine showing from the Red Raiders in nearly upsetting Okie State. Nic Shimonek can sling like any good Texas Tech quarterback should, and maybe the Raiders put some more teams on upset alert.

Oregon (4-1)

The Ducks have the highest-scoring offense in college football. But they also have a head-scratching loss to Arizona State and now a serious injury to starting quarterback Justin Herbert.

Duke (4-1)

The Dukies got destroyed by Miami this weekend, bringing their undefeated start to an end. We’ll see where Duke goes from here. It should be a win against Virginia.

Georgia Tech (3-1)

North Carolina is a shell of itself, but still an impressive blowout win for the Jackets, with TaQuon Marshall and Kirvonte Benson combining for 267 rushing yards.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?