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Nation Review: Playoff Pontificating Week 5

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Rusty looks at the national landscape and what it means for the playoffs after week 5 of the 2014 college football season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, this past weekend is what we thought it would be.  The teams we thought that would struggle, struggled.  The teams we thought would win, won.  All of these games lead to next week, which is the most action-packed weekend on paper we've had in a long time.

Is anyone better than the SEC West?

Texas A&M needed overtime to top the Arkansas Razorbacks.  The Arkansas defense completely limited what the Aggies could do on offense and it took a dominant fourth quarter from Kenny Hill to tie the game and force overtime.  Hill threw touchdown passes of 86 yards and 59 yards to tie the game.

Arkansas rushed for 285 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per carry.  This is officially a Bret Bielema looking team.  It is a carbon copy of his Wisconsin teams that prided themselves on tackles going in motion and fighting in a phone booth.

Ole Miss beat Memphis and will be hosting College Gameday in The Grove for the first time ever when they take on Alabama.  Auburn beat Louisiana Tech and LSU beat New Mexico State.

This division is so deep that all of their members should be included in the top 25.  Meanwhile, the SEC East is a mess after Missouri, who lost to Indiana last week, beat South Carolina.

Survival wins for top teams

Oklahoma State never got a comfortable lead against Texas Tech until the final moments of the game.  Texas Tech looked dangerous at tall times and seemed to be only a couple big plays away from taking the lead at various points throughout the game.

The Red Raiders were undone by three interceptions.  They were only outgained in total yards 528-512 but gave up 11.9 yards per pass to the Cowboys.  Kliff Kingsbury is dealing with a very young team and should be better next year.  Even though it was a loss, it was a strong showing against Oklahoma State.

Speaking of young teams, Tennessee took Georgia to the wire.  Georgia running back Todd Gurley had 28 carries for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns.  It's shocking that Georgia just figured out that the more you give the ball to Todd Gurley the better your team will be.

Tennessee is probably the youngest team in the SEC and they are surpassing all expectations this season.  They totaled 401 total yards of offense and showed a lot of heart in a close loss to the Bulldogs.

NC State jumped out to a huge lead that felt too good to be true.  By the end of the first quarter the Wolfpack was up 24-7 and was running over the Seminoles.  However, it only seemed like a matter of time before FSU took the game over.  No matter how well NC State played for the first half you knew the Seminoles could make all those problems go away with five minutes of football.

Jameis Winston really struggled at times.  He went 26/38 for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns to go with 2 interceptions and a fumble.  Winston was outdone by Jacoby Brissett, a Florida transfer who switched schools after losing the starting job to Jeff Driskell.  Brissett made some amazing plays that made you feel like NC State was going to win because it was a team of destiny; the fates had already decided.

Florida State's offensive line can't block anyone to save their lives.  They've been manhandled in their last two games.

Playoff Picks

Oklahoma v. Alabama

Oregon v. Texas A&M