College football rankings: Top 25, week 6
September has yielded to October. The air is getting a little crisper, the tailgates a little rowdier, and the stakes rise with each passing week. We are starting to get a better feel of conference pecking orders, as teams settle out the hierarchy on the field.
The first weekend of the month had the potential to throw serious wrenches into the rankings, with a couple of top-ten teams skirting disaster against well-matched opponents. But Stanford and Ohio State held on against Washington and Northwestern respectively, and the top seven positions stay the same after this weekend.
Before we go any further, though, here’s how our ballots combined to form the Week 6 poll after the conclusion of the first month of the 2013 regular season:
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Oklahoma State (3), Houston (2), UCF (2)
After falling to their higher-ranked opponents, both Washington and Northwestern fell five spots. Their stumbles were the most significant shake-up this week; we also saw Arizona State fall from 22nd to completely out of the rankings after dropping their neutral-site contest against Notre Dame.
The largest beneficiaries of the movement were Missouri and Virginia Tech. The Tigers, after a rough transition into the SEC last season, are now atop the East Division after improving to 5-0 with a 51-28 win over Vanderbilt. One of just 17 teams in the country that are still undefeated, Missouri had been creeping under the radar before showing up on two ballots this week. Meanwhile, the Hokies vaulted from merely receiving token votes to a spot in the rankings at 24th thanks to a 27-17 win over North Carolina. The victory improved Virginia Tech’s record to 5-1, making them a serious contender to Miami in the ACC Coastal Division.
The SEC ranks first among conferences with seven teams among the top 25. The Pac-12 remains best positioned to put two teams into the final BCS equation, with Stanford, Oregon and UCLA all in the top ten. And the BCS Buster hopes of Fresno State and Northern Illinois remain alive another week, with both featuring in this week’s top 25 for the second straight week.