- Clemson (3-0)
- Week 3: win @Syracuse 41-6
- Week 3 ranking: 1
- Breakdown: The absolutely terrifying thing for any other college football fan is that through three weeks, the Tigers defense has been far and away the strength of their team. Do I have to remind anyone about how many first round picks are on their offense? There is no way they will remain this pedestrian the entire season. I say pedestrian even after they dropped 41 points on the road.
- Week 4: vs. Charlotte, 9/21 7:30pm
2. LSU (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Northwestern State 65-14
- Week 3 ranking: 2
- Breakdown: The Tigers won a glorified scrimmage against an FCS opponent a week after their huge win over Texas. Joe Burrow did throw an interception, however. But does that really matter? He will need more big games to move up the Heisman power rankings but he’s still squarely in the conversation.
- Week 4: @ Vanderbilt, 9/21 12:00pm
3. Alabama (3-0)
- Week 3: win @South Carolina 47-23
- Week 3 ranking: 3
- Breakdown: The Bama haters will point poor officiating, but one bad call had little impact on who was going to win or lose that game. Their secondary is a bit suspect but the wide receivers are as good as any that Nick Saban has ever had as coach. With Najee Harris as the main staple in the backfield, the Tide offense is truly “catch me if you can”. I’m not sure there are any teams that can. Expect the explosive plays to continue.
- Week 4: vs. Southern Mississippi, 9/21 12:00pm
4. Georgia (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Arkansas State 55-0
- Week 3 ranking: 4
- Breakdown: There’s not a whole lot that needs to be said about Georgia’s 55-0 win over Arkansas State except that the Dawgs line continues to prove themselves as one of the nastiest in college football. Most experts and Las Vegas expect their successes to continue against Notre Dame
- Week 4: vs. Notre Dame, 9/21 8:00PM
5. Oklahoma (3-0)
- Week 3: win @UCLA 48-14
- Week 3 ranking: 5
- Breakdown: Hurts for Heisman. That’s what everyone in Norman and some around the country are singing. Meanwhile their defense had little trouble containing a struggling UCLA offense.
- Week 4: vs. Texas Tech, 9/21 12:00PM
6. Ohio State (3-0)
- Week 3: win @Indiana 51-10
- Week 3 ranking: 6
- Breakdown: Usually in Indiana-Ohio State games the Hoosiers are able to stick around for a while before the Buckeyes put them away late. That wasn’t the case this past Saturday. Does that mean Ohio State is better than they’ve been in years past? Is Indiana worse? Does it really matter? All that does matter is that Ohio State is 3-0
- Week 4: vs. Miami (OH), 9/21 3:30PM
7. Auburn (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Kent State 55-16
- Week 3 ranking: 7
- Breakdown: The Tigers offense exploded to the tune of their highest point outburst of the season. Sure it was against Kent State but any success is valuable experience for true freshman QB Bo Nix. Saturday marks his first true road game and it will be in the hostile environment of College Station. We will see if he can exert that similar poise he showed in the 4th quarter of their opening victory against Oregon.
- Week 4: @Texas A&M, 9/21 3:30pm
8. Utah (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Idaho State 31-0
- Week 3 ranking: 8
- Breakdown: It was much of the same during the Utes week 3 win over FCS’ Idaho State. Their first big test of the season is this Friday when they travel to USC. Will their offense be able to score enough points? That will be the question.
- Wee 4: @USC 9/20 9:00pm
9. Florida (3-0)
- Week 3: win @Kentucky 29-21
- Week 3 ranking: 12
- Breakdown: The Gators ability to rally around QB Kyle Trask after losing Feleipe Franks to win a game which felt like they’d lose the entire time is very impressive. Trask should be able to gain some confidence as the starter as Florida hosts Tennessee and Towson before a showdown with Auburn.
- Week 4: vs. Tennessee 9/21 12:00pm
10. Notre Dame (2-0)
- Week 3: win vs. New Mexico 66-14
- Week 3 ranking: 14
- Breakdown: The Irish looked worlds better in game two than in game one. Sure it was against New Mexico but the first one was against Louisville who isn’t that much better. Still, their season and program reputation are on the line Saturday night in Athens, Georgia. The Irish are 1-18 in their last 19 against top 5 opponents and only three of those losses have come by ten points or less.
- Week 4: @Georgia 9/21 8:00pm
11. Wisconsin (2-0)
- Week 3: bye
- Week 3 ranking: 15
- Breakdown: moving Wisconsin up 4 spots after not playing may seem a bit much. But their defense has been lights out and Jonathan Taylor has returned to Heisman form. Through two games, the Badgers have outscored opponents 110-0 and have not surrendered a point in their last 11 quarters.
- Week 4: vs. Michigan 9/21 12:00pm
12. UCF (3-0)
- Week 3: Win vs Stanford 45-27
- Week 3 ranking: 18
- Breakdown: Stop disrespecting UCF. How many more games do they have to win before they finally start getting the credit they deserve? They haven’t lost since Barack Obama was president and I’m sure many of you feel like that was quite a long time ago. On Saturday, they butchered Stanford in a game that frankly was not as close as the score indicated. It was over by halftime. Dillon Gabriel is legit at QB and he has tons of weapons to get the ball too. Another power 5 opponent awaits. Will anyone care if and when they win that?
- Week 4: @Pittsburgh, 9/21 3:30pm
13. Michigan (2-0)
- Week 3: bye
- Week 3 ranking: 9
- Breakdown: The more I think about Michigan, the more i dislike them. Their trip to Madison comes at the absolute worst team as their offense has been inept through two games. Shea Patterson needs to emerge as a threat through the air rather than just on the ground and the receiving core needs to stop waiting around for Donovan Peoples-Jones to come back. If he does not return this week, they are in serious trouble as Patterson has not yet shown the ability to win a game through the air and the Badger front seven is immovable.
- Week 4: @Wisconsin, 9/21 12:00pm
14. Texas (2-1)
- Week 3: win @Rice 48-13
- Week 3 ranking: 13
- Breakdown: A complete slaughtering of Rice has the Longhorns back on their winning ways. A Big 12 championship and College Football Playoff berth are still very much on the table for Sam Ehlinger and company.
- Week 4: vs. Oklahoma State 9/21 7:30pm
15. Oregon (2-1)
- Week 3: win vs. Montana 35-3
- Week 3 ranking: 16
- Breakdown: Oregon has outscored opponents 112-9 since their opening loss to Auburn. Most people around the country will give them a pass for the Auburn loss come playoff time but they can’t lose again. They’ll be labeled a fraud immediately if they lose to Stanford.
- Week 4: @Stanford, 9/21 7:00pm
16. Iowa (3-0)
- Week 3: win @Iowa State 18-17
- Week 3 ranking: 17
- Breakdown: Iowa won probably the biggest installment of the Cy-Hawk rivalry game ever. They bottled their cross-state rivals’ offense the entire night. The Cyclones have struggled a bit to start the season, but the Hawkeyes defense was able to make plays when the game mattered most.
- Week 4: vs. Middle Tennessee State 9/21 12:00pm
17. Penn State (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Pittsburgh 17-10
- Week 3 ranking: 11
- Breakdown: In their first game against a power 5 school this year, Penn State allowed Pitt to hang around at home. Have the absences of Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders now become issues? It certainly looked that way last Saturday.
- Week 4: bye
18. Texas A&M (2-1)
- Week 3: 62-3 vs. Lamar
- Week 3 ranking: 19
- Breakdown: The Aggies wasted little time getting on Lamar early and often following their loss to Clemson the week prior. A&M has one of the better defensive lines in the country and it will certainly be tested against Auburn who will want to run the football.
- Week 4: vs. Auburn 7/21 3:30pm
19. Washington State (3-0)
- Week 3: win @ Houston 31-24
- Week 3 ranking: 24
- Breakdown: Could the Cougs be a sneaky college football playoff threat? Only time will tell but traveling halfway across the country to play Houston is not an easy task. Neither is holding that high powered offense to just 24 points.
- Week 4: vs. UCLA 7/21 10:30pm
20. Washington (2-1)
- Week 3: win vs. 52-20
- Week 3 ranking: 21
- Breakdown: Is dropping 52 points on Hawaii a sign that the Huskies are back to being the legitimate team many of us envisioned they’d be heading into the season? Maybe not but its a good start. We will see how they fare against a BYU team fresh off a win against USC.
- Week 4: @BYU 9/21 3:30pm
21. Boise State (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Portland State 45-10
- Week 3 ranking: 22
- Breakdown: No problems for the Broncos dealing with Portland State. But their rush defense is going to be put to the test against an Air Force offense that pretty much exclusively runs option plays. Boise State is averaging opponents a little more than 100 yards on the ground through three games.
- Week 4: vs. Air Force 9/20 9:00pm
22. Kansas State (3-0)
- Week 3: win @Mississippi State 24-17
- Week 3 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: The cowbells were no match for Kansas State. The Wildcats’ road win over Mississippi State puts them in this week’s poll and knocked the Bulldogs from it. KSU is very experienced on offensive particularly on the O-line which will benefit them in every game they play from here on out. You don’t win in Starkville without the big boys leading the way.
23. Wake Forest (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. UNC 24-18
- Week 3 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: Wake has won five games in a row dating back to last year. None of those wins will blow you away but winning five in a row when your team is not filled with blue-chip prospects is still impressive. They’ll likely be favored in their next six games with a possible exception being a November trip to Virginia Tech. They could enter their November 16th showdown with Clemson unbeaten.
- Week 4: vs. Elon 9/21, 12:00pm
24. Virginia (3-0)
- Week 3: win vs. Florida State 31-24
- Week 3 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: I remember when Virginia beating Florida State would be a much bigger deal. Obviously FSU’s fall from grace is the reason its not, but the win does keep the Cavs in line for an ACC Coastal division title. While UVA might not be getting a lot of love nationally (they are ranked 21st in the AP, however) Bryce Perkins’ name is being tossed around as a potential NFL prospect at the quarterback position.
- Week 4: vs Old Dominion, 9/21 7:00pm
25. BYU (2-1)
- Week 3: win vs. USC 30-27 (OT)
- Week 3 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: BYU is good. How good is yet to be determined. They will get another opportunity to prove it this week against Washington. Zach Wilson is a good QB who has been called a “poor man’s Johnny Maziel” by people who have covered the team and broadcast their games. That win over USC was impressive considering the Trojans were coming off a big win over Stanford and were and are still playing for their coaches job.
- Week 4: vs. Washington 9/21 3:30pm
Featured photo: aseaofblue.com
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