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College football QB Power Rankings: Sam Darnold plummets

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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 6.


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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.

There's a lot of movement in the top half of the top 10 this week, with Josh Rosen returning to the No. 1 slot and Sam Darnold plummeting to the lowest point he's reached in the power rankings.

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

RANK

1

Josh Rosen - UCLA

2

Points: 44

Week 5 stats: 28 of 45 for 372 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in 27-23 win over Colorado.

Week 6 opponent: On bye

Rosen is back in the No. 1 spot after ceding it to Sam Darnold for the previous two weeks. He made some NFL throws on Saturday against Colorado (as well as one toss he'd like to have back -- the INT) and helped the Bruins snap a two-game losing streak.

RANK

2

Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma

Points: 39 (awarded tiebreaker point)

Week 5 stats: On bye

Week 6 opponent: Iowa State

Mayfield, the FBS leader in passing efficiency by 40 points (228.3), returns from a week off to meet an Iowa State defense that he has feasted on (8 TDs) in each of the past two seasons. An improved Cyclones club should provide a tougher test this time around, but no one has been able to knock Mayfield off his game this season, including Ohio State.

RANK

3

Lamar Jackson - Louisville

1

Points: 38

Week 5 stats: 18 of 26 for 249 yards, 3 TDs; 7 rushes for 100 yards, TD in 55-10 win over Murray State.

Week 6 opponent: N.C. State

Jackson sliced through the Murray State defense, as you'd expect a reigning Heisman winner to do against FCS competition. If he's going to make a serious run at winning the award in consecutive years, he's going to need to stay hot against a rising N.C. State team that has won 4 games in a row.

RANK

4

Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State

1

Points: 35

Week 5 stats: 27 of 38 for 376 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 11 rushes for 50 yards, 2 TDs in 41-34 win over Texas Tech.

Week 6 opponent: On bye

Rudolph helped the Cowboys bounce back from a disappointing performance in a loss to TCU with a strong showing at Texas Tech. His one glaring miscue resulted in an ugly INT that was returned 95 yards for a score in the first quarter. Oklahoma State fell behind early in the second quarter, but Rudolph led a rally and they never trailed in the second half. He's not known for making plays with his feet, but he even rushed for a career-high 50 yards, including the game-winning 16-yard TD run in the final minutes.

RANK

5

Sam Darnold - USC

4

Points: 34

Week 5 stats: 15 of 29 for 164 yards, 1 INT, 2 rushing TDs, 1 fumble lost in 30-27 loss to Washington State.

Week 6 opponent: Oregon State

Darnold plummets to the lowest spot he's held in these rankings. Overall, he didn't play well vs. WSU, although he made an outstanding throw on fourth down late in the fourth quarter to keep USC alive. Injuries to the USC offensive line clearly took their toll on Darnold. His 164 yards are a career-low since he became the starter last season, and he lost a fumble to seal the loss to the Cougars in the final minutes. He should bounce back against an awful Oregon State defense, but for those who doubt him, the case against Darnold is getting stronger.

RANK

6

Luke Falk - Washington State

Points: 31

Week 5 stats: 34 of 51 for 340 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT in 30-27 win over USC.

Week 6 opponent: Oregon

Falk was the victor in his head-to-head matchup with Sam Darnold last week. It wasn't enough for him to surpass the USC star in the QB Power Rankings, but he nearly pulled even with him (the gap between the 2 QBs was 18 points in last week's rankings). And make no mistake -- outshining Darnold was big for Falk. He would have had even better numbers vs. the Trojans if not for some drops.

RANK

7

Trace McSorley - Penn State

Points: 14

Week 5 stats: 23 of 36 for 315 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD in 45-14 win over Indiana.

Week 6 opponent: Northwestern

Saquon Barkley is the star of the Penn State offense, and for good reason. However, McSorley is one heck of a complementary piece. Barkley, considered by many to be the Heisman front-runner, was held to 56 yards rushing by Indiana, the second-lowest total of his career vs. Power 5 teams, but McSorley kept the offense humming and accounted for 3 of PSU's 4 offensive touchdowns.

RANK

8

Jake Browning - Washington

Points: 12

Week 5 stats: 26 of 34 for 293 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD in 42-7 win over Oregon State.

Week 6 opponent: California

Washington started slow, taking a 7-0 lead into halftime, but Browning eventually took over against a porous Oregon State defense. He threw three second-half TD passes to WR Dante Pettis to put the Beavers away. A Cal team hungry for its first Pac-12 win should provide a tougher test for Browning this week.

RANK

9

Josh Allen - Wyoming

1

Points: 8

Week 5 stats: 14 of 24 for 219 yards, 3 TDs in 45-10 win over Texas State.

Week 6 opponent: On bye

Some folks are jumping off the Allen bandwagon thanks to his disappointing start to the season, but NFL.com Daniel Jeremiah -- a member of our voting panel for these rankings -- is not one of them after scouting the QB live over the weekend. It's going to be hard for Allen to climb into the top spots on this list since he won't get another showcase against top competition in the regular season (he won't play another Power 5 team), but he might be on the way to stopping any further slide after throwing a season-high 3 TDs vs. the Bobcats.

RANK

10

Jarrett Stidham - Auburn

NR

Points: 5

Week 5 stats: 13 of 16 for 264 yards, 2 TDs in 49-10 win over Mississippi State.

Week 6 opponent: Ole Miss

Stidham has settled into a nice groove after a bit of a bumpy start to the season. He's completed a sterling 83 percent of his passes in the last 3 games. He was touted as a likely breakout player heading into the season, and he's starting to play like one.

Dropped out of top 10 (previous ranking): Virginia Tech's Josh Jackson (9).

Also receiving votes: Clemson's Kelly Bryant (4 points), Virginia Tech's Josh Jackson (4 points), Notre Dame's Brandon Wimbush (2 points), Virginia's Kurt Benkert (2 points), Ohio State's J.T. Barrett (1 point), West Virginia's Will Grier (1 point), New Mexico State's Tyler Rogers (1 point), Western Kentucky's Mike White (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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