College QB Power Rankings - Week 5

Slowing down the Darnold Hype Train, Luke Falk is rising

October 03, 2017 - 6:41 pm

Derek Kramer

Fans, we may need to talk about the Bills' chances of landing in the top of the draft to grab a new quarterback. However, let's save that for a later day. While the Bills are at 3-1 and the Chiefs are 4-0, it does not mean we are going to stop looking at the college quarterbacks each week. For now, let's enjoy watching more football and continue the search.

It was a rough week for Sam Darnold and USC, as he was outdone by Washington State's Luke Falk. It's time to reflect on the possible second fall from grace of the group of Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Wyoming's Josh Allen. 

Darnold's fall allows Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph to reclaim the top spot and some shuffling in the rankings. 

Let the fifth set of quarterback Power Rankings begin! Make sure to "COLLEGE" to 550-550 in order to keep up with anything new Jeremy White sees from the college quarterbacks!

1.) Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State
Week 5 Stats: 27 of 38, 376 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 11 carries, 50 yards 2 TDs vs. Texas Tech

That didn't last long. Rudolph's absence from the top spot was brief, as he held serve and fought his way to victory over Texas Tech. There was one pretty terrible misfire, that Texas Tech took 95-yards to the house. Other than that throw, it was more of the same of what we have been seeing from the senior this season. Rudolph ever managed to look better in one of his flaws: throwing on the run. Two of Rudolph's touchdowns came from him escaping pressure on connecting with his receivers while on the run. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday, 10/14 vs. Baylor, TBD


2.) Lamar Jackson - Louisville
Week 5 Stats: 18 of 26, 249 yards, 3 TDs, 7 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD vs. Murray State

While Lamar Jackson is beating on a bunch of bad teams for now, it's still stupid amounts of fun to watch him play, even if it's for on half of play. Jackson continues to make throws that he would not have made a year ago and looks a lot more polished in his technique. Now, Jackson gets another test in N.C. State, a defense who has averaged 20.5 points against in their last four games. Jackson's only issue is consistency in his passing. He still sails the occasional pass, which is frustrating because of all of his potential and general dominance of the college ranks. Thursday night should be fun, Jackson will need to be at his best to take down the Wolfpack. 

NEXT GAME: Thursday at #24 N.C. State - 8 p.m. (ESPN)


3.) Josh Rosen - UCLA
Week 5 Stats: 28 of 45, 372 yards, 1 TDs, 1 INT vs. Colorado

For some reason, the Colorado defense has helped cause some duds from players on this list for the second straight week. After frustrating Jake Browning of Washington, the Buffaloes did the same to Rosen. While Rosen did need to chuck the ball another 45 times, he finally was given some help from his team's running game. Rosen continues to stand tall in the pocket, rarely thrown off by the pass rush. Rosen even had a throw on a flea flicker where he knew he'd take a shot, but still nailed the deep ball. Rosen has the physical tools, the mental toughness in the pocket and has been limiting the gun-slinging tendencies. Rosen has the week off before taking on Arizona. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday 10/14 at Arizona - TBD 


4.) Sam Darnold - USC
Week 5 Stats: 15 of 29, 164 yards, 1 INT 9 carries, 25 yards, 2 TDs vs. Washington State

Quite the fall from grace for the presumptive first overall pick. However, Darnold has been a bit more shaky this season. While some of his interceptions have been off of his receivers' hands, the fact that he has still been rather careless with the football, with 8 interceptions now on the season. Last year, he threw nine for the entire season. On his interception in this game, Darnold throws a deep out pattern that gets jumped for the pick. In addition to the pick, the throw was low and behind, which certainly did not help. Darnold's game was off for most of the night, even with the pair of rushing touchdowns. He needs to clean up his game against a terrible Oregon State defense.   

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Oregon State - 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)


T-5.) Luke Falk - Washington State
Week 5 Stats: 34 of 51, 340 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT vs. USC

What a game from Luke Falk. Before I continue, it is not easy to evaluate Falk, due to being in Mike Leach's system. Leach has produced the likes of Cliff Kingsbury, Graham Harrell and B.J. Symons. However, Falk looks to have the tools, technique and production to become a part of the conversation. Just how much of Falk's success is from the Air Raid system? I'm not sure. But Falk continues to look impressive. In this game, Falk fought through five sacks, at least five drops from his wide receivers, and playing against a superior squad. It would be nice to see Falk in the college football playoff against some impressive defenses. But the first hurdle for Falk was cleared, out-gunning Darnold. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Oregon - 8 p.m. (FOX)


T-5.) Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma
Week 5 Stats: BYE WEEK

I'm not going to penalize Mayfield for having the week off. However, Luke Falk really needed to move up for the game he put up against USC. Mayfield gets going again against our own Paul Hamilton's alma mater, Iowa State. Sorry Paul, it's not going to be pretty if Mayfield plays like he has. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Iowa State - 12 pm (FOX)


6.) Jake Browning - Washington
Week 5 Stats: 26 of 34, 293 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD vs. Oregon State

I expected no less of Browning against one of the softest defenses in the country. When a prospect is beating on a soft team, always watch for the mechanics, velocity and decision making from that player. Browning's interception was not his fault at all, bouncing off of his wide receiver's chest, into the air and picked off. That said, if only to nitpick, one of his touchdown passes was also a bit behind. Browning gets a better test against a Cal defense the gave Sam Darnold some fits. That said, have fun catching that game super late on Saturday night on ESPN! 

NEXT WEEK: Saturday vs. Cal - 10:45 p.m. (ESPN)


7.) Josh Allen - Wyoming
Week 5 Stats: 14 of 24, 219 yards, 3 TDs vs. Texas State

While Allen is looking more like a project, it cannot be ignored when he plays well. Allen played a school called Texas State, so we'll take it as it is. But a good game is still a good game. Maybe there is something to the narrative regarding the lack of talent on the Wyoming roster. Regardless, he'll need to continue to produce in order to regain some standing in these rankings. 

NEXT WEEK: Saturday 10/14 at Utah State - 4:30 p.m. 


Struggle City: 
Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State) had a rough game against the vaunted Auburn defense. Riley Ferguson (Memphis) got picked off three times against UCF. Drew Lock (Missouri) and Mike White (Western Kentucky) had the week off. 

Honorable Mentions:
It's time to add players to the list! I've been told by some callers and tweeters to look into some more players, so let's update the group with a new pair of quarterbacks. 

  • Will Grier (West Virginia) - Next game: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. at #8 - TCU (FS1)
  • Ryan Finley (N.C. State) - Next game: Thursday vs. #17 - Louisville, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
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