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Senior College Football Columnist

Power Poll: In record-setting Week 5, WVU QB Geno Smith stands out

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WR Tavarres King (12) had his TD catch overturned, but Georgia scored on the next play. (Getty Images)  
WR Tavarres King (12) had his TD catch overturned, but Georgia scored on the next play. (Getty Images)  

Welcome to the Saturday That Defense Forgot.

The 19 Power Poll teams that played averaged 36 points and won by a net 11 points. In FBS there was an average of 61 points per game. College football's highest division is on pace to shatter the record (30.5) for average points per team in a game. Fifty-one teams reached at least 30 points in Saturday's 52 games.

The nation's great media minds will no doubt dissect what caused such an outbreak. Bad tackling? Spread offenses? Global warming? The offensive panic is so widespread that 13 teams from nine conferences gave up at least 30 points and won.

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SEC Fan will look down his nose and proclaim all of it heresy. Then he will have to explain this: Georgia 51, Tennessee 44. It's everywhere, folks.

Name a conference where offensive records weren't set on Saturday. The average Big 12 quarterback -- of which there are few -- is throwing for 297 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game.

Which means Geno Smith was way above average in his first Big 12 game.

You see where this headed. For the second straight year, Baylor is at the heart of the Heisman race. Last year it was RG3. On Saturday, Bears defensive backs were treated and released for burns administered by the Great Geno, who may have clinched the trophy in Week 5.

Basketball-on-grass by the numbers:

  • 1,507: Combined yards in Baylor-WVU
  • 9.38: Average yards per play
  • 17 seconds: Average time between snaps for Baylor, which ran 92 plays
  • 17 pages: Size of the "book" passed out to media with final statistics
  • 67: Number of first downs
  • 23: Number of first downs in Thursday's Stanford-Washington game, which had 12 fewer points (30) than Baylor and West Virginia combined for in the second quarter
  • 71.2: Average length in yards of TD drives
  • 6: Number of receivers with more than 100 yards receiving
  • 6.8: Average plays per scoring drive
  • 2:05 minutes: Average duration of scoring drives
  • 2: Number of drives that lasted more than three minutes
  • 71.7: Average number of points in four Big 12 games on Saturday

Parentheses indicate previous rank.

Dodd's Power Poll
RankTeam (Previous)Comment
1Alabama (1)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
'Bama trailed, but only for 15 seconds. That now makes it 25 minutes, 27 seconds the Tide has been behind in its last 19 games. Special guest appearance by Tim Tebow, at least on the weight room speakers, during the week as a motivator before the Ole Miss game. How many ways are there to say "focus"?
2Oregon (2)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
Someone finally had to have the stones to kick off to De'Anthony Thomas. What better set of stones than those of Mike Leach? Washington State kicked off to Thomas four times and held him out of the end zone. The Cougars didn't account as well for Kenyon Barner who went for 232 total yards (195 rushing) in the 25-point loss.
3Florida State (3)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
No Clemson hangover. 'Noles took care of business against South Florida in their first road game of the season. At least B.J. Daniels will have the upset of the 'Noles three years ago to hang on his wall. On Saturday, FSU got even.
4LSU (4)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 1-0
The Tigers let Towson hang around, really? "We have been sloppy week in and week out," Les Miles said. "I'm very disappointed in myself and the team right now." Defense allowed season-high 291 yards. Better clean things up quickly. Next four: Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama.
5Georgia (5)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 3-0
Dear SEC Fan: If you are disgusted at Baylor-West Virginia, then what is your take on 51-44? Yeah, I know. Ghost in the machine. Dawgs have a 1-2 freshman combo in Todd Gurley (130 yards) and Keith Marshall (164). Now Mark Richt has to figure out the D with South Carolina looming.
6Florida (6)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 3-0
What makes this schedule? Gators get bye week before LSU.
7South Carolina (8)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 3-0
The joke's on Joker. Trailing 17-7, Gamecocks scored 31 straight to put it away. Now the hard part in the next four weeks: Georgia, LSU, Florida, Tennessee.
8Kansas State (9)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 1-0
Bye week for Wildcats watching Texas and West Virginia solidify spots atop Big 12. Along with K-State, of course.
9Notre Dame (10)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: N/A
There's a tunnel at Soldier Field, right? Please tell me there is a tunnel. Because the Miami game, suddenly, is huge. In a renewal of a rivalry that is physical, mental and verbal, there has to be a tunnel at Soldier Field to make it right.
10Texas (11)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 1-0
It doesn't matter if Joe Bergeron fumbled near the goal line on the game-winning touchdown. It matters that the Oklahoma State win sets up at epic battle between a mascot who makes his own ammunition and one who makes you hope you're upwind. Mountaineers vs. Longhorns this week for the heart and soul of the Big 12.
11West Virginia (13)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 1-0
Those holding tickets to the Heisman ceremony will be able to exchange them for rain checks to the 2013 show. Geno Smith wrapped up the trophy in Week 5, didn't he? 'Neers play four top-15 defenses the rest of the way -- Texas Tech, TCU, Iowa State, Oklahoma (rankings going into Saturday).
12Oregon State (19)
Overall: 3-0
Conference: 2-0
Another Pac-12 win, another trip to In-N-Out. At this rate the Beavers are going to have to go on cholesterol medicine. Based on what I saw out of Washington State Saturday, I can't wait to see the Cougars and Beavs this week in Corvallis.
13Stanford (7)
Overall: 3-1
Conference: 1-1
Washington D.C.'s Justin Wilcox provided the template for every Cardinal opponent the rest of the season. Stack the line against Josh Nunes and make him beat you with his arm. Nunes couldn't against the Huskies.
14USC (12)
Overall: 3-1
Conference: 1-1
Trojans off, preparing for Utah on Thursday.
15Ohio State (14)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 1-0
Braxton Miller may end the season as battered, beaten, bloody pulp, but no one will question his toughness. Reminds me of another Urban Meyer quarterback of some fame. God bless.
16TCU (15)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 1-0
"Whoever didn't screw it up was going to win this game," Gary Patterson said. Frogs didn't screw it up against SMU, but didn't do much in the second half to sew it up either -- 27 yards, only three points.
17Oklahoma (16)
Overall: 2-1
Conference: 0-1
Spent bye week trying to hold onto hope after K-State loss. Fumbled that too.
18Northwestern (18)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 1-0
Wildcats are 5-0 for the third time in five years. The problem is keeping it going. Northwestern is 6-10 after those two previous hot starts. Up next: at Penn State, then at Minnesota. Hello, 7-0?
19Clemson (20)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-1
Sammy Watkins out with abdominal virus. No problem and nice bounce back by the Tigers. DeAndre Hopkins sets school record with 197 receiving yards against Boston College.
20Nebraska (22)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-0
Why not some Taylor Martinez Heisman buzz? Two TD passes and a 38-yard scoring run in the second-biggest comeback in Husker history. Huskers continue with historic run to Big Ten title. Well, historic considered this is their second year in the league.
21Western Kentucky (17)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-0
Shut out at halftime, the Hilltoppers scored 26 in the second half to beat Arkansas State. Willie Taggart gets two touchdown passes from redshirt freshman James Mauro.
22Louisiana Tech (25)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 0-0
Has outscored a pair of BCS teams (Illinois, Virginia) 96-62 the last two weeks. Who you did not want to be Saturday: A Baylor defensive back or Virginia QB Michael Rocco. The latter threw three interceptions. All three were turned into La. Tech touchdowns.
23Miami (Fla.) (NR)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 3-0
'Canes scored at least 41 points in all four victories. Stephen Morris threw for an ACC-record 556 yards and five touchdowns. Kansas State showed the Miami defense needs work. Jedd Fisch showed that he is a rising star as offensive coordinator.
24Washington (NR)
Overall: 3-1
Conference: 1-0
Biggest win of the Steve Sarkisian era Thursday over Stanford. Don James would have been proud. Huskies went from giving up 446 rushing yards to Cardinal last season to limiting them to 231 total yards this season. "There's a black-and-blue mentality our fans appreciate," Sark said. There better be. Day-glo Oregon is next.
25Texasx A&M (NR)
Overall: 3-1
Conference: 1-1
Guess there are different layers to giving up for Tyler Wilson and the Hogs. Ags got their most points ever against Arkansas (58). Johnny Manziel got the most yards ever in school and SEC history, 557, in the Aggies' first SEC win.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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