Recapping Week 5’s Top Winners and Losers in College Football

By Dan Vasta in Sports
| October 4, 2021 9:50 am PDT

The opening weekend in October was one of the better weekends ever. We had a few thrilling finishes, and we nearly saw half the Top 10 go down.

Florida, Notre Dame, Arkansas, and Oregon all became victims of the upset bug, and their seasons all look done as far as the College Football Playoff goes.

Losing in overtime to Stanford was heartbreaking for Oregon. They weren’t the only ones disappointed from the weekend.

Here are your top winners and losers from Week 5 of the college football season.

Winner: Cincinnati

Desmond Ridder has had an exceptional career with the Bearcats, but he often saves his best performances for the top games. Going on the road to South Bend is often a hostile environment. Ridder was chirping a bit leading up to the game, but he backed it up in the monumental win over Notre Dame.

It was the first win over an AP Top 10 since 2006, but it was Cincy’s first-ever road victory over a Top 10 foe.

They now have a path to earn a spot and become the first squad to appear in the College Football Playoff. They may need a little help, but their resume is more than worthy at this point.

Loser: Oregon, UCLA

The Pac-12 once again is the biggest loser of the weekend. Their top teams suffered losses, and now they will have their work cut out for them. Reaching the CFP seems like a lost cause. For Oregon to lose that game in overtime to Stanford was disappointing.

UCLA was supposed to be the favorite in the South. USC and Utah both lost a few games already, so nobody knows what to expect. Losing at home to Arizona State was not what the Bruins had in mind. As usual, the Pac-12 is in disarray at the top.

Winner: Georgia, Alabama

The top teams in the country continue to flex their muscles against top competition. The Bulldogs shut out Arkansas 37-0, and that was without JT Daniels under center.

Stetson Bennett took care of the ball in his place, but their defense suffocated the Razorbacks. UGA limited Arkansas under 100 yards rushing. They came in averaging 261 yards per game and left with a lowly 75 on the ground.

Georgia has allowed their fewest points through five games since 1937!

The first half was complete domination for Alabama against Ole Miss, thanks to Brian Robinson Jr. owning the line of scrimmage. Robinson paved the way with four scores and 171 yards on 36 carries. The second half was where the Rebels finally picked up some momentum, but it was too little too late.

Loser: SEC West Threats to Alabama

Texas A&M suffered the most shocking loss of the bunch. They were double-digit favorites at home against a Mississippi State squad that could finish last in the division.

Arkansas was in the AP Top 10. They were handled well before the game even started. They didn’t have a great shot in our preview, but the game was one-sided from the opening kick.

Alabama drubbed Ole Miss from the opening kick, and it quickly snowballed with turnovers and empty possessions.

Auburn and LSU came down to the wire and lived up to the hype. Auburn went into Baton Rouge and picked up their first win since 1999 at Death Valley.

Life in the SEC is where only the strong survive.

The only bright news is that there is a chance all seven squads in the SEC West will go bowling this season, but everybody but Alabama may have somewhere between two to six losses.

Winner: Kentucky, Michigan, Stanford

Michigan won their first game under Jim Harbaugh as an underdog (1-11), and they dominated Wisconsin for four quarters. The Wolverines still have Penn State and Ohio State, but they could finally appear in their first-ever Big Ten championship game.

They haven’t made it to Indianapolis, and there is a path for them to reach the CFP.

Running the table could be a requirement, but they have the defense and rushing attack to keep them in every game.

Kentucky won their first game in Lexington over Florida since 1986! They entered their matchups against the Gators as losers in 15 straight games against the AP Top 10. They had lost 22 of the last 23 games against Top 10 foes and found a way to knock off Florida. This is the same UF program with a 33-1 record in their past 34 meetings against Kentucky before this past weekend.

Stanford picked up their first win over a top three squad since 2013 when they knocked off Oregon of all teams. The Cardinals looked lost in their season-opening loss to Kansas State.

They have battled back and defied all odds. Knocking off an Oregon squad many had penciled in as CFP contenders after dismantling Ohio State was impressive.

Loser: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Florida

The Irish was a preseason Top 10 team, and they finally suffered a loss after flirting with disaster for most of September. October is where the competition heats up, and the Golden Domers found that out against Cincinnati.

They can still win double-digit games, but they are not in the ACC like last year. Their chances are slim pickings now to reach the CFP.

Wisconsin is off to their worst start since 1990 when they went 1-10 in the first season under Barry Alvarez. They started 1-3, and these Badgers should still go bowling. Sadly, they had expectations to become a dark horse CFP squad this season.

Florida had hopes of competing for an SEC East title, and many felt their narrow loss to Alabama could propel them towards a great season. They had eight false starts in their loss in Lexington to Kentucky. Florida will have a challenging rest of the season ahead to come close to finishing in the Top 15 like they did last season.


The Big Ten is quietly a surprise winner of the weekend with the way Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, and Penn State all performed. They all keep winning, and it certainly looks great these days to get one team in the playoff from the B1G.

The Hawkeyes are the only team from the West that is among those squads. Everybody else is in the East, which should benefit them. They host Penn State in a pivotal matchup next weekend. That could determine the CFP fates for both programs.

Another week is in the books. If this past weekend was any indication, October is going to be highly entertaining.



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