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College football rankings: Mississippi State drops into The Bottom 25 after Mike Leach’s offense sputters

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25. Kentucky 1-2 The Wildcats became the first team in history to hold a Mike Leach-coached offense without a single point. Obviously, the defensive performance the Cats put on against Mississippi State increased their overall rating quite a bit, as did their first win. This week they look for another one at Tennessee. (Last Week: 4) 24. Wake Forest 1-2 The Demon Deacons had the weekend off and are set to play Virginia on Saturday. (23) 23. Temple 0-1 Speaking of one-game teams entering late, hey there, Temple. The Owls didn’t look half-bad considering the delayed start to their season in a 31-29 loss to Navy. Of course, considering how Navy has looked this year, I’m not sure how much stock we should put in it. Maybe this week’s game against No. 5 South Florida will provide more information? (Not Ranked) 22. Missouri 1-2 So how is it that Missouri beat LSU, but remains in The Bottom 25 while — SPOILER ALERT — LSU isn’t ranked? Mostly LSU’s performance against Vandy. Also, the win didn’t wipe out the first two losses. As for Mizzou’s game against Vanderbilt to boost its numbers, that’s become the first SEC game to be postponed. Missouri’s next scheduled game is now at Florida on Oct. 24. (5) 21. UTEP 3-2 This is bittersweet. I’m not thrilled to see UTEP back in The Bottom 25 with a winning record, but at the same time, I’m never unhappy to see our two-time champions coming home to say hello. This week the Miners get No. 9 Southern Miss. (NR) 20. South Alabama 1-2 South Alabama had to postpone its game last week against Troy. It is currently scheduled to return this weekend against No. 16 Texas State. (20) 19. East Carolina 1-2 My Beloved Pirates took care of

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College football rankings: LSU, Mississippi State losses see SEC West teams tumble in CBS Sports 76

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CBS Sports graphic

One of my favorite parts about the month of October in college football is how quickly the rankings adjust to those initial reactions from the opening weeks of the season. In “normal” seasons this, would still be the point where teams have finally have a couple conference games in the books and whatever kind of overreaction we made from the few September results worth noting has been put to the test by the grind of league play. 

Even in a “normal” year, this is the point where we identify an early-season result that has been proven to be wildly misleading. In 2020, that game is Mississippi State’s 44-34 win at LSU. The biggest game on the SEC’s opening-week schedule had everything fans could want, from the intrigue of seeing how the defending champs would replace Joe Burrow and more than a dozen starters to the SEC debut of Mike Leach. By the time K.J. Costello and the Bulldogs (who entered the game as 18-point underdogs) were done carving up LSU for 623 passing yards in the upset win, a new era was proclaimed in the conference. Mike Leach was here, we thought, and the league would never be the same. 

Well, while we did see scoreboard-breaking totals in the SEC this past weekend, none of it came from Mississippi State. The Bulldogs did not even score an offensive point in a 14-2 loss to Kentucky, a result that was preceded by a 21-14 loss to Arkansas. Ever since the Leach era started with lighting up LSU, Costello has thrown the ball 114 times and the Mississippi State offense has scored just two touchdowns.   

Now at 1-2, Mississippi State finds itself at the bottom of the SEC West standings with LSU. That same LSU team that started in

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Mike Leach’s offense shut out for first time in his career as Kentucky routs Mississippi State

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Getty Images

Just two weeks after Mississippi Sate coach Mike Leach burst onto the SEC scene in record-breaking fashion in a win over defending national champion LSU, Leach’s pirate ship hit an iceberg on Saturday in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky. Mississippi State’s two points were the fewest ever scored by one of Leach’s teams in his 19 years as a coach.

Leach’s first team at Washington State in 2012 was held to single-digits four times but always mustered at least six points. His first team at Texas Tech in 2000 scored three points in its lowest output during a loss to No. 1 Nebraska.

Things got so dire for the Bulldogs in the second half that Leach benched Stanford graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello, the hero of the of the LSU victory, in favor of true freshman Will Rogers. Neither found any success against the Wildcats, however, as Kentucky intercepted six passes. Costello threw four interceptions while Rogers tossed two as Kentucky followed the blueprint that Arkansas established in a win over Mississippi State last week by frequently dropping eight defenders into zone coverage.

Mississippi State outgained the Wildcats 295-157 for the game as the teams combined for just 452 total yards. By comparison, Alabama and Ole Miss combined for 644 total yards just in the first half of their game Saturday. After consecutive losses to Arkansas and Kentucky, things are set to get even more difficult for Mississippi State. Next up is a game against No. 21 Texas A&M, which beat No. 4 on Florida on Saturday. Then after a bye week, the Bulldogs play No. 2 Alabama on the road.

“We’re going to have to check our group and see who really wants to play here,” Leach told reporters after the game.

If there was a bright

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College football expert picks, predictions for Week 6, 2020: Kentucky covers against Mississippi State

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There are multiple games on the Week 6 college football schedule that should not only impact conference races, but also help shape the early-season College Football Playoff picture. The latest Week 6 college football odds from William Hill show top-ranked Clemson as a 14-point home favorite against No. 7 Miami (FL). No. 8 North Carolina is laying 4.5 points at home against No. 19 Virginia Tech.

No. 3 Georgia has a 12.5-point edge against No. 14 Tennessee in the 3:30 p.m. ET SEC on CBS matchup. Where are the best values for Week 6 college football bets in those marquee matchups and others around the nation? Before locking anything in for this weekend’s action, be sure to see the top Week 6 college football expert picks, predictions and best bets from Barrett Sallee.

Sallee is a true insider — a CBS Sports analyst, SiriusXM host, Heisman voter and consistently one of the top CBS Sports experts picking games against the spread — and his best bets have helped bring in huge returns. He debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way, posting a winning record in his weekly college football best bets column since that point. 

He went 59-35-2 (63 percent, plus $2,037) on all his college football picks for SportsLine in 2019, and he also enters Week 6 of the 2020 college football season on a 49-28 streak on his best bets since the start of last year. Anybody who has been following him is way up.

Now, he has turned his attention to the Week 6 college football odds from William Hill and is sharing his top three best bets over at SportsLine. Get his top college football picks now. 

Top Week 6 college football expert predictions

One of Sallee’s top college football picks