Six games between ranked teams headlined a superb Week 4 in college football, creating significant movement inside the Top 25 of our CFB Power Rankings.
Georgia and Michigan are still unbeaten,, and there are a handful of teams within striking distance of the No. 1 spot.
For now, we’re keeping the respective No. 1 and No. 2 teams where they are. After that, there’s plenty of movement to account for.
College Football Power Rankings Index
|6||Penn State||⬇️ 1|
|7||Ohio State||⬇️ 1|
|11||Oregon State||⬆️ 3|
|15||Ole Miss||⬆️ 2|
|17||North Carolina||⬆️ 3|
|22||Washington State||⬆️ 3|
|29||Kansas State||⬇️ 11|
|32||Fresno State||⬆️ 10|
|39||Wake Forest||⬇️ 4|
|44||Texas A&M||⬇️ 3|
|46||James Madison||⬇️ 3|
|47||Mississippi State||⬇️ 14|
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NCAA Football Teams Ranked 1-10
Once again, Georgia started slow. And once again, the Bulldogs eventually picked it up.
Kirby Smart’s team ultimately beat UAB 49-21. Tight end Brock Bowers shone, which has become the norm. Although no facet of Georgia’s game has been particularly dominant yet, the defending national champions keep taking care of business.
Georgia hits the road for the first time next week to take on Auburn.
The Wolverines allowed a touchdown to Rutgers almost immediately after the game began. From there, it was another sluggish first half for Michigan. But the 31-7 final score proves they somehow brought it all together.
The Wolverines are 4-0, and the roster is filled with talent. But something just feels slightly off. A road trip to Nebraska is next.
On the road, Texas looked like one of the best teams in the country. While Baylor has regressed, a convincing win is exactly what the Longhorns needed.
Quarterback Quinn Ewers continues to impress, and Texas enters a key stretch unbeaten. The Longhorns will play Kansas at home before a massive matchup against Oklahoma. What a game that could be.
4. Ohio State
The Buckeyes won in thrilling fashion, scoring a touchdown with only a second left to beat Notre Dame.
Lost in the chaos, Ohio State’s defense has been superb this year. While QB Kyle McCord wasn’t superb, he made a handful of key throws when he needed to. And the fact that Marvin Harrison Jr. appeared to avoid major injury on a scary play is also big.
After a bye, the Buckeyes play Maryland.
5. Florida State
The Seminoles’ first lead over Clemson came in overtime, and it’s the only lead that mattered.
Florida State stayed unbeaten with a massive win over the Tigers. Although it wasn’t dazzling, it’s a massive development in the ACC. FSU has a bye, and then the Seminoles will play three straight winnable road games after that.
Now, the schedule opens up.
The Huskies were up 14-0 over Cal before the offense hit the field. Yes, it’s been that kind of year. From there, Washington cruised.
Michael Penix Jr. was productive as always, and the offense continues to thrive. While the competition hasn’t been exceptional, this team looks like a real problem for others moving forward.
The Huskies head to Arizona in Week 5 before a bye.
CFB bet of the day: Washington Wins Pac-12 (+250)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit
7. Penn State
The Nittany Lions didn’t need much offense against Iowa, although Penn State delivered a complete effort in a Week 4 win. QB Drew Allar was solid when called upon, and the running game did enough work against a really good defense.
Penn State has games against Northwestern and UMass before a huge tussle at Ohio State.
Well, that was ugly.
The Trojans played a tight game against an injured (and bad) Arizona State team. Caleb Williams was excellent, as per usual, but the ASU defense struggled.
Is this a sign of things to come or an unmotivated blip on the road? Maybe next week’s game against Colorado will show us, although it will likely take a bit longer than that.
That’s how you make a statement.
Oregon absolutely walloped Colorado, which perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise given the point spread. Still, the Ducks were excellent on both sides of the ball, and QB Bo Nix is in the Heisman odds mix through the first month.
Next up? A road trip to Stanford.
Without starting quarterback Cam Rising, Utah has delivered three Power Five wins. After beating UCLA at home, thanks to a solid serving of defense, the Utes kicked off the Pac-12 schedule in earnest.
The defense played a superb game. And if Rising can come back healthy, this group has a real shot at the Pac-12.
NCAA Football Teams Ranked 11-25
The Sooners won ugly against Cincinnati, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is looking more and more like a complete team.
12. Washington State
What a win for the Cougars. Washington State bested Oregon State at home, and Wazzu surges in the rankings as a result.
13. Notre Dame
Heartbreaking. There is no other way to describe Notre Dame’s last-second loss to Ohio State. Now, a tricky road trip to Duke awaits.
It wasn’t pretty, but LSU conquered Arkansas in a thriller. Now, the Tigers have tough back-to-back road trips at Ole Miss and Missouri.
The offense wasn’t electric, but Jalen Milroe made a couple of brilliant throws against Ole Miss. Alabama isn’t “back” just yet, although this was a start.
BET: Alabama Wins the SEC (+380)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit
16. North Carolina
Much like last year, North Carolina keeps moving right along. A double-digit win at Pitt was a positive step in the 2023 season.
The Blue Devils demolished UConn 41-7 to move to 4-0. Over the next four weeks, Duke will play both Notre Dame and Florida State.
The Hurricanes are unbeaten, although the schedule has been, well, kind. That will change shortly with games against North Carolina and Clemson on the horizon.
19. Oregon State
The Beavers fell on the road to a good team, but they battled back valiantly in that game. Now, Oregon State will get a crack at Utah at home.
It wasn’t pretty, but Missouri ultimately prevailed against Memphis. The Tigers move to 4-0, and they can add another win soon with Vanderbilt on deck in Week 5.
After beating BYU, the biggest game of KU’s season is here. Kansas travels to Austin to take on the Longhorns in one of the most meaningful games of Week 5.
22. Ole Miss
A strong start didn’t last, and Ole Miss wasn’t able to keep up with Alabama. Despite all the chatter, Lane Kiffin wasn’t able to conquer Nick Saban in perhaps his best chance yet.
The loss at Utah keeps looking better and better, although a road trip to Kentucky won’t be easy. Running back Trevor Etienne looks like a star.
The Vols recovered from a tough loss against the Gators with a convincing win over struggling UTSA. A critical stretch for the Vols is here. They’ll play South Carolina, Texas A&M and travel to Alabama next.
Quarterback Michael Pratt is back, and that’s huge news for the Green Wave. With a winnable path remaining, Tulane has a chance at a massive bowl game.
NCAA Football Teams Ranked 26-50
- Fresno State
- Kansas State
The Buffaloes finally lost, and it was never close. The injury to Travis Hunter could prove costly over the next few weeks, and a matchup against USC in Week 5 will be a massive challenge.
- Texas A&M
Liberty is unbeaten, and head coach Jamey Chadwell has them rolling. This is a team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
- Air Force
- James Madison
- West Virginia
The Hawkeyes plummet in the latest rankings thanks to an offense that still looks broken. Iowa heads home to take on Michigan State next.
- Georgia State
How We Create NCAA Football Power Rankings
Everyone has a different formula, which is exactly how it should be. It’s also why Power Rankings vary wildly depending on where you look.
Depending on when you find them, the format and strategy can change, but the overall goal remains constant; rate teams appropriately. Here’s how I like to tackle it.
In the Preseason, Keep Your Head on a Swivel
The coaching carousel, conference realignment, recruiting and transfer portal make handicapping football teams an incredible challenge early on.
To do so, one must keep track of the many movements around the sport in order to have a comfortable understanding of each roster. From there, it comes down to returning talent and how all the new pieces will factor in.
Data is Paramount
Power Rankings are a mix of science and art, but results must drive all decisions. Often, we are hesitant to rank teams appropriately because of reputation.
Alabama will have a much easier climb into the top three than NC State, even when the reputations are similar. The goal should be to use strength of schedule metrics along with results and other key details to form fair, accurate rankings.
It Can Never Be Simply About Wins & Losses
Not all teams and conferences are created equally. A fair ranking will take into consideration factors beyond final scores.
A five-loss team in the best conference can be a considerably better football team than a one-loss team with a cozy path. It is here that results can sometimes lie, and the rankings need to tell the full story.