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College Football QB Power Rankings: Sam Darnold still No. 1

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With 2017 being billed as the "Year of the QB" in college football given the excitement about the talent at the position, we'll be tracking the top signal-callers each week of the season in our QB Power Rankings, continuing this week with our top 10 heading into Week 5.


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We asked five of our draft experts to provide us with their personal top-10 lists, ranking the QBs 1-10 based on their evaluations. From those, we aggregated an overall top-10 list by using a points system. A player received 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 points for second place and so on through one point for a 10th-place vote.

It's a relatively static week in the power rankings. The movement begins at the No. 3 spot, and there's one newcomer (Penn State's Trace McSorley) to the top 10. This weekend will bring one of the most intriguing QB meetings of the season, as Sam Darnold, who holds the No. 1 spot for the second straight week, will visit Washington State and Luke Falk (No. 6) on Friday night. WSU coach Mike Leach had an interesting take this week on Sam Darnold's NFL-readiness (more on that below).

Note: Click through the tabs above to see rankings for previous weeks.

RANK

1

Sam Darnold - USC

Points: 47

Week 4 stats: 26 of 38 for 223 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT in 30-20 win over Cal.

Week 5 opponent: Washington State

It wasn't a perfect performance, but Darnold once again got the job done, this time against a feisty Cal squad. He's now thrown 7 INTs in 4 games this season and there's been much hand-wringing about that statistic -- he threw 9 all of last season -- but a few of his picks this year were off tipped passes. Clearly, our experts aren't dwelling on the number. He'll get a chance to show out on Friday night against an undefeated Washington State team, whose coach, Mike Leach, doesn't think Darnold is an NFL-caliber QB at this point. That goes against much of the hype when it comes to Darnold, but Leach isn't one to be influenced by scuttlebutt.

RANK

2

Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma

Points: 40 (awarded tiebreaker point)

Week 4 stats: 13 of 19 for 283 yards, 3 TDs; 8 rushes for 30 yards in 49-41 win over Baylor.

Week 5 opponent: On bye

Oklahoma got a scare from Baylor, but Mayfield continues to make easy work of defenses. He leads the FBS in efficiency (228.3) by nearly 40 points and also averages an FBS-best 13.2 yards per pass attempt. That's ridiculous. He's a polarizing prospect -- some scouts see him as Russell Wilson, others see him as Johnny Manziel -- but there's no college QB who's more fun to watch right now.

RANK

3

Josh Rosen - UCLA

1

Points: 39

Week 4 stats: 40 of 60 for 480 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs in 58-34 loss to Stanford.

Week 5 opponent: Colorado

Rosen is the only QB who's moving up on this list in the wake of a loss. Why? Well, no one has thrown for more yards (1,763) or TDs (16) than Rosen this season. Now, there's been bad with the good. He's thrown 2 picks in each of the past 2 games (both losses) -- but Rosen certainly isn't the problem for UCLA (its defense is allowing 43.3 points per game). The junior QB is averaging 440 yards per game with a 65 percent completion rate. He makes at least a few throws per week that he'd like to have back, but his undeniable talent keeps him within striking distance of the top spot on this list.

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4

Lamar Jackson - Louisville

1

Points: 34

Week 4 stats: 18 of 22 for 299 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 8 rushes for 34 yards, TD in 42-3 win over Kent State.

Week 5 opponent: Murray State

Overmatched Kent State gave Louisville the perfect opportunity to bounce back from its loss to Clemson, and the Cardinals cruised to a win. Jackson was sloppy on Saturday, though, turning the ball over three times. He only had 4 incompletions, but 2 of them were picked off, and he also lost a fumble. He's going to need to string together some cleaner games to give himself a shot to get back into the top 2 on this list.

RANK

5

Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State

2

Points: 31

Week 4 stats: 22 of 41 for 398 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 1 rushing TD in 44-31 loss to TCU.

Week 5 opponent: Texas Tech

Rudolph looked like a first-round pick a couple weeks ago against Pittsburgh, but he was off the mark in his toughest test of the season thus far, committing three turnovers in Oklahoma State's loss to TCU. There were flashes of brilliance, like his deep touchdown pass to James Washington in the first quarter, but far too few of them from that point on.

RANK

6

Luke Falk - Washington State

Points: 29

Week 4 stats: 36 of 47 for 478 yards, 5 TDs in 45-7 win over Nevada.

Week 5 opponent: USC

In the 2 contests since he was taken out of the game vs. Boise State, Falk has been on a tear -- he completed 73 of 96 passes (76 percent) for 874 yards and 11 TDs. Now, those numbers came against overmatched Oregon State and Nevada. The competition gets much tougher this week with USC set to visit Pullman for a Friday night game. Scouts will be watching closely to see how Falk responds when pitted against the No. 1 player on this list, Sam Darnold.

RANK

7

Trace McSorley - Penn State

NR

Points: 12

Week 4 stats: 31 of 48 for 284 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 17 rushes for 61 yards in 21-19 win over Iowa.

Week 5 opponent: Indiana

McSorley makes his debut in the top 10 after a heroic effort against Iowa. He made the game-winning throw in the final seconds on Saturday, as he found Juwan Johnson in the end zone for the walkoff score. Listed at 6-foot, 195 pounds, McSorley doesn't have prototype size, but as Indiana coach Tom Allen said on Monday, the PSU QB " is just special."

RANK

8

Jake Browning - Washington

1

Points: 11 (awarded tiebreaker point)

Week 4 stats: 11 of 21 for 160 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in 37-10 win over Colorado.

Week 5 opponent: Oregon State

On a cold, rainy night in Boulder, it was the running game and defense that led the way in the Huskies' win over the Buffaloes in Week 4, although Browning did throw a pretty TD pass early in the second half. We expect him to get back to posting bigger numbers this week, when he'll face an Oregon State defense that is allowing 47.5 points per game (fourth most in FBS). However, he will be without one of his top targets, as Chico McClatcher (second on the team with 10 catches for 128 yards) suffered a season-ending broken ankle vs. Colorado.

RANK

9

Josh Jackson - Virginia Tech

1

Points: 10

Week 4 stats: 20 of 30 for 298 yards, 3 TDs 1 INT in 38-0 win over Old Dominion.

Week 5 opponent: Clemson

Jackson's rise continues, as the redshirt freshman now has 11 TDs and only 1 INT this season. He'll face his toughest test of the year on Saturday against stingy Clemson, which is allowing 9.3 points per game (third-fewest in the FBS). The Tigers have chewed up and spit out QBs so far this season. If Jackson reverses that trend, he should be one of the biggest risers on this list next week.

RANK

10

Josh Allen - Wyoming

1

Points: 7 (awarded tiebreaker point)

Week 4 stats: 9 of 19 for 92 yards, 1 TD in 28-21 win over Hawaii.

Week 5 opponent: Texas State

Allen saved his best for last on Saturday, throwing a pretty TD pass on the first play of overtime, which turned out to be the game winner against Hawaii. Overall, though, he produced paltry numbers again. He has a completion percentage of just 55 with 3 TDs and 3 INTs through 4 games. He's not getting much help from his supporting cast, and he's barely hanging on to a spot in the top 10 after opening the season at No. 3 in these rankings.

Dropped out of top 10 (previous ranking): Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald (8)

Also receiving votes: Oregon's Justin Herbert (6 points), N.C. State's Ryan Finley (3 points), Memphis' Riley Ferguson (3 points), Ole Miss' Shea Patterson (2 points), Notre Dame's Brandon Wimbush (2 points), Virginia's Kurt Benkert (1 point), West Virginia's Will Grier (1 point).

Voting panel: Bucky Brooks, Chase Goodbread, Daniel Jeremiah, Chad Reuter and Lance Zierlein.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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