Week 5 winners & losers: For Alabama, vindication; for Georgia, humiliation
The Georgia Bulldogs were favored over Alabama, but things didn't really work out that way in what turned out to be a rainy, miserable Saturday for Mark Richt's squad. Couldn't have gone better, though, for a Crimson Tide squad whose obit had practically already been written. Who else placed highly -- and who just stunk up the place?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine
Winner: Michigan football (and Jim Harbaugh)
Harbaugh's squad has rattled off four wins in a row now, the latest vs. Maryland on Saturday. In fact, the only blemish on the Wolverines' resume is a Week 1 loss to a Utah squad that, for now, appears to be a legitimate threat to win the Pac-12. And with other Big Ten titans looking pretty listless and beatable this weekend (Ohio State and Michigan State, we're looking at you), no one should be ignoring the Wolverines.
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Loser: Michigan State football
The Spartans certainly didn't play like the No. 2 team in the nation Saturday, barely holding off an unranked Purdue team in East Lansing. It was yet another uninspiring performance against clearly overmatched competition, and we're not impressed yet.
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Winner: Alabama football
Underdog, you say? Dynasty's over, you say? Game's already passed Nick Saban by? After absolutely throttling No. 8 Georgia on Saturday, the Crimson Tide not only earned some much-needed vindication, but also firmly re-established themselves in the national title race. It's pretty clear that predictions of Alabama's demise have been highly exaggerated.
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Loser: Mark Richt (and Georgia football)
Poor Bulldogs just can't quite get over the hump, even when they're favored to do so. They're still in the hunt, but if they happen to drop another game this season, it's gonna be Destination Disappointment all over again for Richt and his talented squad.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine
Winner: Tennessee pizzeria that trolled Bret Bielema
Maybe Arkansas coach Bret Bielema thought he was getting a deal -- a complimentary pie from a Knoxville-area pizzeria ahead of his team's game vs. the Volunteers on Saturday. Only catch? The olive toppings spelled out 'Go Vols.' Kudos to Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in Maryville.
Beth Hall-USA TODAY SportsBeth Hall
Loser: Tennessee football
Arkansas hasn't been able to buy a close win this season, but the Hogs finally got one at the expense of the Vols -- who apparently were supposed to be a good team this year. Not sure what happened there, but Butch Jones' squad has now lost three of its last four. What's more, they were leading by two touchdowns in all of those losses. Yikes.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY SportsRandy Sartin
Winner: Ezekiel Elliott
The Buckeyes really didn't play well at all against Indiana, but Elliott was a lone bright spot, racking up a career-high 274 yards on the day. Much of that was accrued in the second half thanks to huge chunks of 55, 65 and 75 yards.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
Loser: Ohio State football
Remember how we tweaked the supposed No. 2 team in the nation for its poor play? Well, the country's No. 1 team didn't look so hot, either. In fact, the Buckeyes needed a goal-line stand to hold off the unranked Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday in a game that was way, way, way too close for comfort. If not for Ezekiel Elliott ...
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Winner: Tulane long snapper Aaron Golub
Golub (seen here in an older photo) became the first legally blind person to play in a Division I game on Saturday, according to The Associated Press, citing the school. The Green Wave defeated Central Florida, and Golub -- who has no vision in his right eye and limited vision in his left eye -- snapped on an extra point after his team's last touchdown. 'Mentally I was ready,' Golub said. 'I've prepared for it.'
Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBoston Globe
Loser: Florida State football
For starters, the No. 11 Seminoles had trouble putting away Wake Forest, which is never good. But FSU also lost its star running back -- and the ACC's leading rusher -- when Dalvin Cook left the game with a leg injury. Coach Jimbo Fisher says Cook is day to day.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY SportsJeremy Brevard
Winner: Florida Gators
It wasn't a great weekend for some traditional SEC East powers. Georgia got stomped by Alabama, Tennessee fell to Arkansas ... but Florida? The Gators surprised nearly everyone, taking down Ole Miss, the No. 3 team in the nation. Look for Jim McElwain's squad to move up even further in the rankings, and perhaps even emerge as a legitimate SEC title threat.
Getty ImagesRob Foldy
Loser: Texas football (again)
It's been a brutal stretch for the Longhorns, but at least in the past two weeks, they've been competitive in what some might call 'moral victories.' But after a 50-7 shellacking at the hands of No. 3 TCU on Saturday, there's really no room for any more spin. Texas is terrible. Its own players -- and even pro baseball teams -- apparently aren't afraid to tweet about it.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Winner: Leonard Fournette (who else?)
The Tigers weren't exactly playing a top-notch opponent in Eastern Michigan, but LSU's star running back still found a way to make it memorable. Fournette notched 233 yards and three touchdowns en route to becoming the first player in SEC history to rush for 200-plus yards in three straight games.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
Winner: Arizona State football
The Sun Devils have mostly underwhelmed thus far this season, but on Saturday they played like a team that had something to prove, toppling Josh Rosen and No. 7 UCLA fairly decisively. That's one way to rebound from an ugly home loss last week vs. USC, in which the Trojans hung 42 points on ASU. Maybe QB Mike Bercovici and company can fully right their ship now.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY SportsRichard Mackson
Winner: Clemson football
Yeah, yeah, we've heard all about 'Clemsoning.' But the Tigers proved that those days are over with a huge victory over No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday. They CAN actually win big games, and Dabo Swinney's team may be on track for a special season. In a relatively weak ACC, the Tigers will now be favored in most of the rest of their contests this season.