College football Week 5 winners, losers, overreactions: Oklahoma struggles continue as Big 12 race excites

Oklahoma fans spent the entire offseason chirping that the program would be better off without Lincoln Riley. Leave it to Lincoln’s brother, TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, to help put that narrative to bed in one of the most emphatic turnarounds in recent years.

The Horned Frogs blanked Brent Venables’ No. 18 Oklahoma team 55-24 on Saturday. The younger Riley gave the Venables defense nightmares, scoring touchdowns of 73, 68, 67 and 62 yards. It was the Sooners’ worst loss since a 63-28 embarrassment to Joe Burrow’s LSU in the 2019 College Football Playoff semifinals and the worst conference loss since 2014 when Baylor took Bob Stoops’ Sooners to the woodshed 48-14. And really, this could have been even worse than those shows if Sonny Dykes didn’t put the dogs away.

Now, an Oklahoma team that entered the year projected as the Big 12 title favorite and a preseason top-10 team must deal with an 0-2 start in Big 12 play in its first pandemic-free season since the John Blake coached the Sooners in 1998. Needless to say, coming out of the gate in Big 12 play was not on the bucket list for Oklahoma fans.

Here are more winners, losers and overreactions from around the country


Mississippi State: It’s starting to feel like 2014 in the Magnolia State. Ole Miss pulled off a 22-19 upset of No. 7 Kentucky thanks to a forced fumble on the final drive of the game to go on a 5-0 run. The Rebels should be in the top 10 on Sunday. Across the state, Mississippi State made its case for the top 25, knocking off No. 17 Texas A&M 42-24 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. Add in another strong start by Jackson State, and the top three teams in Mississippi are a combined 14-1. Oh, and by the way, State might have the best passing game and the best rushing game in the SEC.

Big 12 undefeated: There are only three undefeated teams left in the Big 12. Those teams? No. 9 Oklahoma State (sure), TCU (huh) and Kansas (what?!). It’s been a strange year in the conference, but all three teams added to their impressive resumes on Saturday alone. Oklahoma State proved its high ranking was worth it with a dominant road win against Baylor. Kansas relied on its defense to shock Iowa State. TCU had perhaps the most emphatic win of the weekend by crushing Oklahoma. None of the Big 12’s remaining undefeated teams have won an outright conference title in the past decade, so we should be in for a thrilling finish across the board.

Clemson: Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei proved his impressive performance against Wake Forest was no fluke in an impressive 30-20 win for No. 5 Clemson over No. 10 NC State. Uiagalelei threw for 209 yards and was a huge part of the Clemson running game with 73 yards and three total touchdowns. He avoided mistakes and seems to be building a strong relationship with Jake Briningstool. If Uiagalelei can maintain this level of performance, Clemson has a legitimate shot at returning to the College Football Playoff.


Wisconsin: The Badgers are officially dead after an embarrassing 34-10 loss to Illinois to drop to 2-3. Wisconsin rushed for two yards. Two! Illinois’ defense is very good, but 208 total yards against a Big Ten West opponent isn’t good enough. With such a decisive loss to Illinois, the rest of the schedule suddenly comes into question. Will the Badgers miss a bowl game? Can they survive road trips to Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan State? What is this group? To barely compete for bowl eligibility is well below the expectations people in Madison have come to expect.

Washington: I’ve been beating the Washington drum for most of the season, but the schedule is starting to crumble under control. Michigan State’s win feels meaningless, and not the signature win it seemed at the time. Stanford does not have a win over an FBS team as of publication. UCLA is a good team that should be in the top 15 after crushing UW, but it’s hard to write off the Huskies coming off a 40-16 loss in the Rose Bowl. Washington is still a nice story, but nowhere near the Pac-12 contender we envisioned.


Georgia does not repeat: A bad game is an aberration. Both are trending. Missouri and Kent State might be the two worst FBS teams the Bulldogs have played all season, yet Georgia let both hang around well into the fourth quarter.

In the narrow 26-22 victory over Missouri, the Bulldogs didn’t score until 9:39 remained in the game. Georgia didn’t lead until 4:03 remained in the game. He had to settle for three fields of 35 yards or less after having trouble converting in the red zone against an overmatched Mizzou defense.

Georgia can cruise through most of the soft SEC East schedule, but battles with No. 8 Tennessee, No. 7 Kentucky and Mississippi State remain. It’s hard to imagine this misguided version of Georgia getting away unscathed.

The ACC Coastal is the wildest division in football: The ACC Coastal has earned a reputation for chaos. In fact, each of the seven members has won the division at least once since 2013 with Pitt being the only repeat champion in that division. However, the ACC Coast’s final year before divisions are eliminated could be one for the ages.

Georgia Tech shocked No. 24 Pitt — the expected Coastal favorite — in a 26-21 decision the same week the Yellowjacks fired coach Jeff Collins. Conversely, Duke and North Carolina are the only undefeated teams remaining in ACC play, aside from a Miami team that has yet to play a conference game. With Georgia Tech now on the board, almost any team can win the ACC Coastal this season. It’s a fitting tribute to the division.

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