1. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (4-0) (LW: 1)
It was business as usual in Athens. The Bulldogs coasted to a victory, while some other SEC teams were mauling each other.
2. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (4-0) (LW: 2)
This Wolverines defense is scary good. This season will be Michigan’s best opportunity to win the National Championship, especially since this year’s “elite” teams don’t seem as threatening as in years past.
3. USC TROJANS (4-0) (LW: 3)
Boy oh boy, the Trojans can really put up points. If you ask me, anything except an appearance in the National Championship would be a disappointment for this team – that’s how good Caleb Williams is.
4. TEXAS LONGHORNS (4-0) (LW: 5)
Texas stayed hot, as they poured it on against Baylor, coasting to a 22-point victory.
5. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (4-0) (LW: 4)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Noles got the job done on the road at Clemson, ending their 7-game losing streak against the Tigers. Florida State never led in regulation, and needed OT to come out on top – but this win was big for multiple reasons. First, this was a big win for FSU’s goal to get to the ACC Championship. The main reason that this win was important is simple – Florida State won’t be “back” if they continued to lose to Clemson every year. Still though, I don’t think they were the better team on Saturday.
6. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (LW: 7)
A shaky start to Kyle McCord’s career feels like it was long ago after the young signal caller seized a signature win. It wasn’t a picturesque performance, but McCord got the ball on his own 35-yard-line, down 4 points, with 86 seconds left on the road in a HOSTILE environment, and came out with the win. That’s all that matters. Talk about a confidence booster going into the bye week. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this offense explode when they return to action on October 7th.
7. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (4-0) (LW: 8)
Some say Iowa has the best defense in the Big Ten. Penn State took exception to that. Penn State gave up only 76 yards, and 24 of those came on Iowa’s first drive of the game. That is astonishing. They would go on to shut the Hawkeyes out, while posting 31 points for a huge win in the annual “White Out” game – which is quite a spectacle in itself.
8. WASHINGTON HUSKIES (4-0) (LW: 9)
The Huskies continue to make some noise. Especially on offense. Penix and company hung 59 on California this week as they will try to win the PAC-12 before the conference landscape goes under a major change. Penix could also win a Heisman before that happens – he is my current front-runner, with Caleb Williams at a close 2nd. The two will face off on November 4th, so mark that date on your calendar.
9. OREGON DUCKS (4-0) (LW: 10)
The Ducks put on a masterclass in exploiting a team’s weaknesses. Travis Hunter’s injury left Colorado with a big hole to fill – on both sides of the ball – but I didn’t think the Ducks would go out and win by 36 while allowing only 6 points.
10. NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (LW: 6)
That was just a brutal loss. Multiple opportunities to seal the win weren’t seized, and as a result, the Irish found themselves trailing with 1 second left. But still, Notre Dame was a few inches away from being vaulted into the main National Championship conversation. We aren’t even halfway through the season; they can still climb into that conversation.
11. LSU TIGERS (3-1) (LW: 11)
LSU took care of business against Arkansas, who seemingly always plays the Tigers tough. Things have settled down since the season opening loss to FSU and the Tigers have their sights set on Atlanta. Or farther.
12. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (3-1) (LW: 13)
It seems like no matter what is going on with the offense, the Tide’s defense will give them a chance to win. They did just that on Saturday, allowing only 10 points to Ole Miss in a 14-point victory.
13. UTAH UTES (4-0) (LW: 12)
The Utes gutted out a 14-7 win over UCLA. They are still without Cameron Rising, walking a tight rope each week.
14. NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (4-0) (LW:16)
The ACC is much more competitive this season and the Tar Heels are part of that. They handled Pitt on the road, as they look to keep rising up the rankings.
15. OKLAHOMA SOONERS (4-0) (LW: 17)
The Sooners had an interesting performance on Saturday. It wasn’t as much as a slugfest as you would expect by looking at the 20-6 final score. These teams combined for 800 yards, with the Sooners racking up 426. One clear takeaway is that Venables has definitely improved this team from last year – which was expected, but not guaranteed. So, the Sooners are moving in the right direction.
16. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (4-0) (LW: 22)
Cameron Ward went OFF on Saturday. Washington State turned some heads went they took down then-ranked Wisconsin. They have everyone’s attention now after #15 Oregon State came to town and Ward proceeded to hang 404 yards and 4 TD’s on a defense that had only given up 33 points through 3 games.
17. DUKE BLUE DEVILS (4-0) (LW: 19)
Here’s a true dark horse who keeps impressing. Duke managed another double-digit victory, as they extended their record to a shocking 4-0.
18. MIAMI HURRICANES (4-0) (LW: 20)
The Hurricanes cruised to victory at Temple, once again putting up 40+ points. Miami was a question mark team coming into the year. The Canes are answering those questions with victories.
19. OREGON STATE BEAVERS (3-1) (LW: 14)
A ferocious comeback fell short for the Beavers. It was a tough came for DJ Uiagalelei, especially since his counterpart just went to town in their Top 25 matchup.
20. MISSISSIPPI REBELS (3-1) (LW: 15)
Ole Miss has been trying to claim the crown in the SEC West, but you can’t do that unless you beat Bama – which the Rebels did not do on Saturday.
21. FLORIDA GATORS (3-1) (LW: 23)
You would have liked to see the Gators win by more than 15 – and put up more than 22 – but a win is a win. They won’t get away with that kind of performance against Kentucky this Saturday, however.
22. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (3-1) (LW: 25)
The Volunteers put the loss in the Swamp in their rear-view, as they thumped UTSA 45-14.
23. MISSOURI TIGERS (4-0) (LW: NR)
Here’s a bit of a surprise. The Tigers are 4-0 and have a victory against a Top 15 opponent under their belt after they dispatched Kansas State two weeks ago. They take on Vanderbilt this week, which means we should see a Top 25 matchup when they host LSU on October 7th.
24. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (4-0) (LW: NR)
The Jayhawks are once again in the rankings! Devin Neal is a big reason why. He’s averaging 98.5 yards per game on the ground and has found the end zone 5 times. Their QB is no slouch either, as Jadon Daniels has a QBR of 173.0.
25. KENTUCKY WILDCATS (4-0) (LW: NR)
Devin Leary has been a serviceable QB for the Wildcats. He saw some success in his time at NC State. However, he needs to clean up the turnovers if this team wishes to remain undefeated after this weekend.