Ducks, Dawgs, Sparty and Seminoles all see playoff dreams dashed

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Charlie Strong is lucky that billionaire T. Boone Pickens isn’t a Texas alumnus.

Pickens has been publicly critical of Mike Gundy, who coaches Oklahoma State, their alma mater.

But Gundy was the one gloating after the Cowboys hammered the Longhorns 49-31 on Saturday. The Longhorns allowed 47 points or more for the third time in their first four games for the first time in school history.

On Monday, Strong announced that he has demoted defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, who he publicly supported during the Longhorns’ bye week. If Strong doesn’t turn around the Texas defense, starting with Saturday’s showdown against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, he might be out of a job soon.

The Longhorns were one of 15 FBS teams eliminated from consideration for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff by The Eliminator this week. Through the first five weeks of the season, 92 of the 128 FBS teams have been eliminated from consideration, leaving 36 teams in contention for the four spots.

Here’s where the FBS stands after Week 5:

Jump to sections: Who’s in? | Still in contention | On the fence | Better luck next season | Previously eliminated

Who’s in?

There’s a shakeup in the top four teams for the available spots in the College Football Playoff. No. 1 Alabama remains in the top spot, even after it got off to a slow start in a 34-6 win over Kentucky, and Ohio State remains No. 2 after crushing Rutgers 58-0. Clemson jumps into the No. 3 spot after knocking off Louisville 42-36 at Death Valley on Saturday night, and Michigan remains No. 4 after winning a 14-7 battle over Wisconsin. Washington emerged as the biggest potential threat to the top four after routing Stanford 44-6 on Friday night.

Still in contention

Alabama Crimson Tide

Trending: UP

Is it too early to bring up the Nick Saban-to-Texas rumors again?

Baylor Bears

Trending: DOWN

After coming from behind to beat Iowa State 45-42 on the road, the Bears will get bye weeks before and after they play Kansas. You can never have enough time to prepare for and recuperate from the Jayhawks.

Clemson Tigers

Trending: UP

After the Tigers defeated Louisville 42-36, ESPN’s Football Power Index projects they have an 85 percent chance to win every remaining regular-season game, except their Oct. 29 trip to Florida State (48 percent) and a 69 percent chance to beat the ACC Coastal winner in the ACC title game.

Houston Cougars

Trending: UP

I’d go ahead and launch my search for a new head coach.

Louisville Cardinals

Trending: DOWN

After falling at Clemson, the Cardinals’ playoff chances aren’t dead. FPI projects Louisville’s remaining schedule as the easiest among any Power 5 school, giving it the best chance (50 percent) to win out during the regular season.

Miami Hurricanes

Trending: UP

The Hurricanes are going to wear “Legend of the U.” uniforms, like the ones they wore during the 1980s, for Saturday’s game against Florida State. Maybe they’ll play against the Seminoles like they used to. They have dropped six straight games against the Seminoles and haven’t beaten them since a 38-24 win in 2009.

Michigan Wolverines

Trending: UP

Don’t tell the Buckeyes that Michigan’s 10-man, I-formation play was really a symbolic finger pointed at them.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Trending: UP

Nebraska, meet Indiana. The Cornhuskers get a bye week before playing the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana, on Oct. 15. It will be the first time the teams have played since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011 and the first time they’ve met since 1978. Orville Redenbacher would think that’s criminal.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Trending: UP

Talk about a lopsided rivalry. Ohio State has won 21 straight games over Indiana, dating back to a tie in 1990. Since 1960, the Buckeyes are 45-2-1 against the Hoosiers, who played them close last season. Indiana led 10-6 at the half and 17-13 in the third quarter, before losing 34-27 in Bloomington.

Tennessee Volunteers

Trending: UP

Hey, Volunteers, the 2013 Auburn Tigers want their lucky horseshoe back.

Texas AM Aggies

Trending: UP

If the Aggies want to beat Tennessee on Saturday, they might want to give the Volunteers an early lead. Tennessee trailed Georgia by 17 points before winning 34-31 on a Hail Mary on the final play. The Vols are now 4-0 over the past two seasons in games in which they trailed by at least 14 points.

Washington Huskies

Trending: UP

Oregon has defeated Washington 12 straight times and hasn’t lost to the Huskies since a 42-10 defeat in Seattle in 2003. Yeah, it might get ugly for the struggling Ducks at Autzen Stadium on Saturday.

On the fence

Air Force Falcons

Trending: UP

Air Force had the best ground defense in a 28-14 win over Navy on Saturday. The Falcons held the Midshipmen to only 57 rushing yards (Navy averaged 316.3 in their first three games) and had six sacks and eight tackles for loss.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Trending: DOWN

The Sun Devils’ 41-20 loss at USC was even more painful after quarterback Manny Wilkins left with a leg injury. He spent the second half on crutches on the sideline and his availability for this week’s game against UCLA isn’t known.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Trending: EVEN

If Alabama is the benchmark for everyone, the Hogs have showed remarkable progress under Bret Bielema. After losing to the Crimson Tide 52-0 in 2013, Bielema’s teams fell 14-13 in 2014 and 27-14 last season. Arkansas hasn’t beaten Alabama since a 24-23 win in overtime in 2006.

Auburn Tigers

Trending: EVEN

Since Tigers coach Gus Malzahn turned over playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Auburn’s offense has piled up more than 1,000 yards in wins over LSU and Louisiana-Monroe.

Boise State Broncos

Trending: EVEN

Don’t sleep on the undefeated Broncos. If Houston slips once or twice, the Broncos might be in position to steal a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game. They will play New Mexico on Friday night.

Colorado Buffaloes

Trending: UP

Early leader for national coach of the year: Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre. The Buffaloes are 4-1 after blasting Oregon State on Saturday, 47-6, their largest margin of victory in a conference game since beating Kansas State 54-7 in the Big 8 in 1992.

Florida Gators

Trending: DOWN

After managing only 236 yards of offense in a 13-6 win over Vanderbilt, the Gators might get back quarterback Luke Del Rio this week for LSU. He sprained his knee against North Texas on Sept. 17.

Indiana Hoosiers

Trending: UP

Ping! Ping! The Hoosiers reclaimed the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2006 with a 24-21 upset in overtime of No. 17 Michigan State on Saturday. It was Indiana’s first home win over a ranked opponent in a decade.

LSU Tigers

Trending: UP

Les Miles chewed grass. Ed Orgeron chews gator hide.

Maryland Terrapins

Trending: UP

The Terrapins have only beaten Penn State twice in 39 meetings, but one of them was a 20-19 win in State College, Pennsylvania, two years ago. James Franklin better not lose to them again.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Trending: DOWN

After losing 29-26 in overtime at Penn State, the Gophers will try to take back the Floyd of Rosedale from Iowa on Saturday.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Trending: UP

Is there anything worse than being taunted by a long-haired kicker?

Oklahoma Sooners

Trending: EVEN

Oklahoma plays Texas in Dallas on Saturday. Texas is reeling and its coach is on the hot seat. Yeah, we know how this one is going to go.

Ole Miss Rebels

Trending: EVEN

The Rebels get a week off before playing at Arkansas on Oct. 15, giving them two weeks to prepare for the play in which the tight end laterals the ball backward and over his head.

Pittsburgh Panthers

Trending: EVEN

Pitt honored tailback James Conner’s oncologist, Dr. Stanley Mark, during last week’s 43-27 win over Marshall. Conner and Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi ran onto the field and gave him a hug.

Stanford Cardinal

Trending: DOWN

How good is Washington’s defense? The Cardinal were sacked eight times and averaged one yard on 29 rushes in a 44-6 loss.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Trending: EVEN

Red Raiders quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes II and Nic Shimonek each threw four touchdowns in a 55-19 victory over Kansas. Tech’s sports information department is still checking to see if they’ve ever done it in practice.

UCLA Bruins

Trending: UP

See, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops isn’t the only coach who teaches the rules to officials.

Utah Utes

Trending: DOWN

The Utes ran 97 plays to Cal’s 49 and held the ball for more than 42 minutes but still somehow lost to the Bears 28-23.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Trending: EVEN

After getting an extra week to prepare for North Carolina’s high-octane offense, the Hokies could throw a wrench into the ACC Coastal race by beating the Tar Heels on Saturday.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Trending: DOWN

After a surprising 4-0 start, the Demon Deacons allowed 527 yards of offense in a 33-16 loss at NC State. That’s not a good sign with Syracuse coming to town.

Western Michigan Broncos

Trending: UP

Row that boat. Row that damn boat.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Trending: UP

Dana Holgorsen has a 9-1 record in his past 10 games as West Virginia’s coach. That’s the same record as Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. Just sayin’.

Wisconsin Badgers

Trending: DOWN

After losing to Michigan by a touchdown, Wisconsin gets a week off before facing a three-game stretch against No. 2 Ohio State, Iowa and No. 12 Nebraska. Who did the Badgers tick off?

Better luck next season

Arizona Wildcats

Trending: DOWN

Injuries have forced the Wildcats to play four quarterbacks this season. Freshman Khalil Tate made his debut in a 45-24 loss at UCLA.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Trending: DOWN

There was a Gunner Kiel sighting in the Bearcats’ 45-20 loss to South Florida. He came off the bench and completed his first three passes, before throwing eight straight incompletions.

Florida State Seminoles

Trending: DOWN

When Florida State fans are including his name in the same breath with Jeff Bowden, it’s probably not a good thing for defensive coordinator Charles Kelly. The Seminoles rank 105th in scoring defense (35.4 points per game) and 94th in total defense (438.4 yards).

Georgia Bulldogs

Trending: DOWN

Yeah, it really happened.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Trending: DOWN

At this point, Mark Richt deserves to have his name somewhere at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. After guiding Miami to a 35-21 win at Tech on Saturday, he’s 9-0 in games there. Maybe they’ll put his name on a statue or a park bench.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Trending: DOWN

Sorry, I’m out of Kirk Ferentz contract jokes. They aren’t even funny anymore.

Kansas State Wildcats

Trending: DOWN

The Wildcats blew a 16-3 lead in the final 14 minutes of a 17-16 loss at West Virginia, losing their Big 12 opener for the third time in four seasons.

Memphis Tigers

Trending: DOWN

Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson threw for 343 yards on 30-for-46 passing in a 48-28 loss at Ole Miss. He also threw three interceptions, including one that was returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Rebels safety Zedrick Woods.

Michigan State Spartans

Trending: DOWN

The Spartans blew a 14-0 lead in a 24-21 loss in overtime at Indiana, which was their first defeat to the Hoosiers since 2006, the season before Mark Dantonio became coach. The Spartans are 0-2 for the first time since 2007, and they’ve lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2012.

Navy Midshipmen

Trending: DOWN

After falling 28-14 at Air Force on Saturday, the Midshipmen have to hope they beat Army — and the Black Knights beat the Falcons — for them to retain the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.

Oregon Ducks

Trending: DOWN

I can’t believe Nike hasn’t invented a jersey that can help the Ducks tackle. They’ve dropped three straight games and are 2-3 after five games, the latest they’ve been under .500 since finishing 5-6 in 2004.

San Diego State Aztecs

Trending: DOWN

I’m guessing San Diego State won’t be scheduling South Alabama again. The Aztecs have lost three times in their past 16 games, twice to the Jaguars. South Alabama won 34-27 in overtime in San Diego last season and 42-24 at home on Saturday night.

TCU Horned Frogs

Trending: DOWN

Remind me to never say anything negative about Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson. Man, that guy never forgets.

Texas Longhorns

Trending: DOWN

After the Longhorns gave up 47 points or more in three of their first four games for the first time in school history, coach Charlie Strong demoted defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and took control of the unit. Good luck.

Toledo Rockets

Trending: DOWN

Best individual performance you might have missed this weekend: BYU’s Jamaal Williams ran for a career-high 286 yards with a school-record five touchdowns in a 55-53 win over Toledo. The Cougars kicked a 19-yard field goal as time expired to win.

Army Black Knights, Central Michigan Chippewas, East Carolina Pirates, Georgia Southern Eagles, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, USC Trojans

Eliminated in Week 3: Boston College Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, Illinois Fighting Illini, Marshall Thundering Herd,Missouri Tigers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Syracuse Orange, Texas State Bobcats, Vanderbilt Commodores

Akron Zips, Ball State Cardinals, BYU Cougars, California Bears, Connecticut Huskies, Eastern Michigan Eagles, Florida Atlantic Owls, Idaho Vandals, Kansas Jayhawks, Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, NC State Wolfpack, Old Dominion Monarchs, Purdue Boilermakers, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, Troy Trojans, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UCF Knights, UNLV Rebels, Utah State Aggies, UTEP Miners, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Wyoming Cowboys

Eliminated in Week 1: Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, Charlotte 49ers, Colorado State Rams, Florida International Golden Panthers, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia State Panthers, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Iowa State Cyclones, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Massachusetts Minutemen, Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, Mississippi State Bulldogs, New Mexico State Aggies, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio Bobcats, Rice Owls, San Jose State Spartans, Temple Owls, Tulane Green Wave, Virginia Cavaliers, Washington State Cougars

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