A new Heisman contender, Ohio State's resurgence and more Week 5 takeaways

No. The Nos. 1 and 2 college football teams are stronger than ever while the other top-10 lost.
Our reporters attempt to understand Week 5 of college football season.

The wide and varied divide

At least in certain areas, the narrative surrounding college football has been that it is getting boring because the same teams keep winning. As Alabama and Georgia continue to dominate the game, it seems we will hear more of this. There are good chances that those two schools will play in the SEC championship and then turn around to play again in the College Football Playoff. It is very real. It's almost as real as the fact these two schools spend tons of resources, then reinvest more in their football programs.

Don't blame Alabama or Georgia, or any of their College Football Playoff regulars each season for the sport becoming boring. Don't blame those conferences who aren’t carrying their weight.

We are not at the halfway point of October yet, and the Pac-12 seems to be looking in from the outside when it comes time to the playoff. The league was devastated by Saturday's overtime loss against Stanford. There are currently no unbeatens in the Alliance's West Coast division. Yes, it is more enjoyable when USC is an elite team. It is up to everyone else to catch up.

We must not forget that our goal in the playoffs was not to select the top four teams from each region but the best four.

You never know. Perhaps there will be new blood this season. It's likely that Cincinnati will not be beaten and is not allowed to play in the playoffs in a four-team format. Chris Low

It is time to pay attention to Ohio State once again

Since the Buckeyes' loss to Oregon in Week 2 the spotlight has been on Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan. However, while everyone is arguing about whether Iowa or Penn State should be ranked higher than them, the Buckeyes quietly start to look like they can beat them all.

After beating Rutgers by 52-13, Ryan Day said that "it was some difficult times here, but it was worth it." "We didn’t panic and that might be why we might have a strong team heading into October, November."

This is precisely when it really matters.

Quarterback C.J. After missing a game due to a shoulder injury, Stroud threw five touchdown passes against Rutgers. Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Quarterback C.J. After missing the previous game due to a shoulder injury, Stroud threw five touchdowns and no interceptions. After scoring on six of their first possessions against Rutgers's, the Buckeyes are now in their offensive stride. The defense also got a pick-six. This was undoubtedly their most complete game to date, and although the competition will be tougher, Ohio State appears more prepared.

Ohio State generates more offense than Penn State and Iowa with an average of 555.6 yard per game, 39.4 point per game and 8.57 yard per play.

According to the Allstate Playoff Predictor Ohio State has the best chance of winning the Big Ten (37%) followed by Iowa (31%), Michigan (17%), and Penn State (8%) The Buckeyes are still the favorite to win Big Ten East (51%), followed closely by Michigan (26%). Ohio State has many opportunities to make up for the loss to Oregon. ESPN's Football Power Index project that Ohio State will win all four Big Ten East games. Heather Dinich

Pitt's QB is turning heads

The preseason buzz around quarterback in the ACC was centered on Sam Howell at North Carolina. So much so, that Pat Narduzzi, Pitt coach, wondered if anyone had forgotten about Kenny Pickett, his veteran returning quarterback.

Pickett is making sure that everyone remembers the season five weeks in. Pickett was a very elite thrower in Saturday's 52-21 victory over Georgia Tech. He threw for 389 yard and four touchdowns. Pickett has thrown 15 touchdown passes in his last three games. This breaks Dan Marino's school record of 13 in 1981 for the most TD passes in a 3-game stretch.

Pickett also threw at least four touchdown passes in his last three games. This streak is the longest by an ACC quarterback since Russell Wilson's 2009 performance for NC State. Pickett is ranked in the top five nationally in seven statistical categories: passing yards per games (346.2), passing efficiency (1,731) passing touchdowns (19), total offense (376.8 YPG), QBR (total QBR) and touchdowns (21). Pickett also has one interception.

Kenny Pickett broke Dan Marino’s school record of 13 touchdown passes in three games with 15 touchdown passes. Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Pickett chose to return to Pitt over the NFL draft. As it stands now, Pitt (4-1) is the ESPN FPI favorite for the ACC. Pickett and his offense are the biggest reasons. The first time in school history, Pitt has scored more than 40 in five consecutive games.

Pickett stated that this is what he expected to return and do after the game in a telephone interview with ESPN. Pickett said, "I believed this would be one of the most talented and most experienced teams that I would ever be a part, and it has been." We have to continue the hard work that we did.

When discussing his quarterback with reporters after the Georgia Tech win Narduzzi used the H-word

Narduzzi stated, "He should be Heisman candidate." It's what he does right now. He's so calm and smooth. ... He is a smart football player and it takes time for that to become his best. He has worked hard and deserves the rewards he is receiving right now.

Since Larry Fitzgerald's 2003 Heisman-caliber play, Pitt hasn't had a Heisman-caliber Pitt player. Pickett laughed when asked if he should be included in the Heisman conversation.

Pickett stated, in reference to the media: "You guys can figure it out." "I just want to keep playing. There are seven more games. I want to win a championship. That's why I returned." -- Andrea Adelson

Cincinnati's CFP hopes rest likely on Ridder’s shoulders

Desmond Ridder was not Cincinnati's best player Saturday's win against Notre Dame. Cincinnati would not have enjoyed the comfortable lead it enjoyed for most part of the afternoon if it wasn't for its defense's signature, three-point defense. The fourth-quarter touchdown drive by Ridder and coach Luke Fickell, which was led by the senior quarterback, made it clear who will be leading Cincinnati for the remainder of the season.

Ridder will be the reason Cincinnati is the first group of five team to qualify for the CFP.

Fickell stated that Notre Dame made it difficult for Des all day. They had done an excellent job of eliminating Des and his run games. He's really difficult to stop. He is so consistent. He works hard and will find the right solution if he can't. This is the type of leader we want for this program.

"We feed off him."

Ridder thrives under the coaching of Gino Guidugli, quarterbacks coach, and passing game coordinator. On Saturday, he accounted for 201 passing yards on six completions.

Cincinnati's average run game (4.5 yards per carry) is only 31% efficient. The fourth-year quarterback is the most efficient in the offense. Ridder accepts this challenge.

Ridder stated, "Sometimes the group needs a voice." People say that it has to be the quarterback. It doesn't necessarily have to be the quarterback. It's who I am as a person. I take great pride being the leader of this team and will continue to lead them to victory. -- Adam Rittenberg