Which teams are moving up the board, and which teams are moving down after Week 5 of college football action? The Sunday Stock Exchange combs through all the highs — and lows — from the most recent week of action.
Sunday Stock Exchange | College Football Week 5
Stock up: Kansas Jayhawks
It’s time. Put Kansas in the Top 25. The Jayhawks are 5-0 and coming off a statement win against the Iowa State Cyclones, who have been consistently competitive under head coach Matt Campbell. Jalon Daniels is a two-phase star. The roster is quietly very solid. This team is legit.
Kansas’ biggest prove-it test still remains. Next week, they play 4-0 TCU — a team coming off a blowout win against Oklahoma. The next week, they play the Sooners themselves. We don’t know if Kansas will keep it going. But they’ve done enough to earn a place as one of the best 25 teams in the nation for now.
Stock down: Georgia Bulldogs
It’s not often you see a team in the “stock down” department after securing a win. But that’s the position the Georgia Bulldogs find themselves in after a Week 5 scare against Missouri. The Bulldogs were down 16-6 at the half against their 2-2 SEC opponent and were down 19-12 entering the fourth.
Georgia did manage to come away with the victory, but this victory was very different from the ones we’ve come to expect from Kirby Smart’s squad. Perhaps we need to adjust our expectations. This is still a very good team and a playoff contender — but it’s not the unstoppable juggernaut that early-season games made it out to be.
Stock up: Clemson Tigers
Clemson earned a “stock up” mention last week with their win against Wake Forest in overtime. But they deserve another one with their latest victory against top-10 opponent NC State. The Tigers’ victory against Wake Forest was impressive, but we needed to see if the 2022 Clemson Tigers could stack wins against quality opponents. This week, they proved they could.
Even without Bryan Bresee, the Tigers’ defense still gave Devin Leary fits in the pocket. Myles Murphy was an absolute menace with 1.5 sacks and several more pressures. And on offense, DJ Uiagalelei was once again efficient and a threat on the ground as well. This is the first time Clemson has truly felt “back” since losing Trevor Lawrence.
Stock up: Old-school football
You know the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same?” We may be getting to that point in football. The 2000s and 2010s ushered in the rise of spread and pass-happy offenses, making “ground and pound” a thing of the past. Then, on Saturday, North Dakota State gloriously spit on convention — rolling out four fullbacks on one play.
That level of grit in one formation shouldn’t be allowed, but we’ve long established the Bison play by their own rules in the FCS. Their win against Youngstown State was not only another step toward the FCS playoffs but also a nod to old-school football. It’s not gone.
Stock up: Sean Tucker
You’ll hardly ever see a forfeit in college football, but Syracuse’s game against Wagner was about as close as you’ll get. Syracuse led Wagner 49-0 at the half. It was so lopsided that the two teams agreed to play shortened 10-minute quarters in the second half. That’s not a typo. That’s not an exaggeration. That actually happened. And it’s all thanks to running back Sean Tucker.
Tucker left the game with an injury after one carry in the second half. But in the first half, the Orange star had 22 carries and a career-high 227 yards, as well as three touchdowns. That’s 113.5 yards per quarter, which converts to 454 yards per game, which converts to 5,448 rushing yards in a standard 12-game season. It’s a small sample size, we get it. But all this is to say — Tucker was dominant on Saturday.
Stock down: Will Levis and the Wildcats
The loss to Ole Miss ends Kentucky’s hopes of an undefeated season and could serve as a stain on any optimistic playoff hopes. It’s a loss big enough to land Kentucky in the stock-down department, but this was also a notable development regarding Will Levis‘ draft stock.
At this point, Levis is going to be a top-10 pick. He’s too talented and too tough to not win over NFL teams. But this game showed, better than most, that he’s not at the level of C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young.
We’ve rarely seen Levis put this team on his back and will them to a win when they need it. And on the final drive, when he needed to play mistake-free football, he instead drew an illegal-formation penalty with a rushed play in the red zone, then inadvertently ended the game by allowing a strip sack.
Levis will earn a chance to be a starter in the NFL, and he should — because he does truly have high-end tools. But as long as Stroud and Young are in the picture, he’s QB3. They have something he doesn’t have yet.
Stock up: Illinois Fighting Illini
In one of the more surprising and underrated twists of the 2022 college football season, Illinois is actually competitive. They’re 4-1, and they just dismantled a Wisconsin team that’s always been respectable under head coach Paul Chryst. Illinois won 34-10 against Wisconsin in Week 5, terrorizing Graham Mertz in the pocket and churning out more yards on the ground.
Illinois has a legitimate chance to make some noise in the Big Ten West division. They have a stellar offensive attack fueled by Chase Brown and a mauling offensive line, and the defense is a fast-flying, urgent unit. Purdue might be the biggest challenger to Illinois taking home a spot in the Big Ten Championship. Don’t sleep on the Illini.
Stock down: Aaron Judge simulcam
Saturdays are sacred. From late August to late December, there is but one promise — that all Saturdays will be devoted to college football and nothing else. ESPN has violated the sanctity of that promise for two weeks now — at times splitting the screen between football and a sport called “baseball” that some people are apparently into.
To my understanding, New York Yankees baseball player (I have enough positions to know in football, okay?) Aaron Judge has tied the American League home-run record with 61 and is looking for his 62nd house call. And in a brilliant targeted marketing campaign, ESPN decided that avid CFB viewers care about this.
In a cruel twist of irony, Judge has yet to take the record outright. And as of the Kentucky-Ole Miss game yesterday, he was 2 of 12 with seven strikeouts during CFB games. Maybe it’s a hint, ESPN — give us our Saturdays back.
Stock up: Clark Phillips III
Defenders don’t always get their due in modern college football. We saw it swing back their way a bit in 2021 when two edge rushers — Aidan Hutchinson and Will Anderson Jr. — found their way onto the Heisman standings. But more often than not, it’s much easier to be a star on the offensive side of the ball. Clark Phillips III, however, is challenging that notion after his Week 4 showing.
Utah came into Week 4 with a matchup against a formidable Oregon State offense on deck. How did Phillips respond? The 5’10”, 191-pound defender snagged three interceptions and took one for six points the other way. On the boundary, in the slot, it didn’t matter — he locked it down.
Stock down: Stanford Cardinal — and trees in general
Remember when Stanford head coach David Shaw was getting hype as a potential NFL target? Good times. Times are not so good now for Shaw, who at one point was a coach who consistently earned double-digit wins.
Now, Stanford has just one winning season over the last four campaigns, and that was their 4-2 COVID-shortened season. Shaw went 4-8 in 2019, 3-9 in 2021, and is now 1-3 in 2022 after losing 45-27 to Oregon.
As if Stanford’s descent into mediocrity wasn’t bad enough, the Stanford mascot is taking a beating as well. Footage at the game showed a security guard accidentally knocking over a tree with eyes — Stanford’s “Cardinal” mascot. They then half-heartedly attempted to stand the tree back up, before leaving it on the ground in its strewn state.
Stock up: TCU Horned Frogs
Don’t look now, but TCU is 4-0 and coming off a dominant 55-24 victory over Oklahoma. Max Duggan is a very fun college QB with dynamic dual-phase ability. And an offense that was once believed to only have Quentin Johnston has revealed countless other playmakers within their ranks — running back Kendre Miller, receivers Savion Williams, Derius Davis, and Taye Barber.
Will TCU keep it going and stay undefeated? That remains to be seen. The Horned Frogs play a fellow undefeated team in Kansas next week. But one thing is certain: Sonny Dykes has this team humming, and it still feels like they have more to show.
Stock down: Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners weren’t perfect under Lincoln Riley — far from it. But you could always count on them staying in the Top 25. That status may be in jeopardy now, after two consecutive losses to two separate purple menaces — Kansas State and TCU. If it’s just an aversion to purple, Oklahoma will be fine. But more likely, their 55-24 loss to TCU is a product of an out-of-sync defense and an offense that’s quickly losing its luster.
It’s still very early in the Brent Venables era, so there’s no need to panic. But Oklahoma is now 3-2, and there’s a good chance they’ll fall out of the Top 25. It’s not a good look for a future SEC team. They need to find some answers because the Big 12 looks visibly more challenging this year.