Week 3 of the college football season could be summarized in a single word.
While it was light on meaningful upsets, it delivered in drama. And perhaps more importantly, it gave us valuable intel about many teams near the top of the weekly rankings and beyond.
More specifically, it’s forcing us to ask a simple question as we exit the first month of the regular season.
Is anyone actually any good?
Maybe, just maybe, that’s a tad harsh and a bit early to wonder such things out loud. Still, one major takeaway from Week 3 is that every team, including Alabama, can be beaten. And Ohio State, Clemson, and Oklahoma simply don’t look like themselves just yet.
As we enter Week 4, here are your updated CFB power rankings.
As per usual, lots of movement.
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50. Oregon State (Last Week Unranked)
49. Appalachian State (Last Week No. 45, Down 4)
48. Troy (Last Week No. 47, Down 1)
47. UAB (Last Week No. 44, Down 3)
46. Rutgers (Last Week Unranked)
Greg Schiano has made this program competitive, as that much is clear. A game at Michigan in Week 4 will tell us how far this group has come. The Scarlet Knights are a heavy chalk, as expected.
45. Stanford (Last Week Unranked)
44. Nevada (Last Week No. 28, Down 16)
43. Miami (Last Week No. 31, Down 12)
42. West Virginia (Last Week Unranked)
41. SMU (Last Week No. 43, Up 2)
Undefeated. That’s the good news for SMU, although Week 3 provided a scare. A win at TCU next week could surge this team close to or even in the Top 25.
40. Baylor (Last Week No. 46, Up 6)
39. Wake Forest (Last Week Unranked)
38. Indiana (Last Week No. 30, Down 8)
37. Memphis (Last Week No. 50, Up 13)
36. Texas (Last Week No. 37, Up 1)
Obliterating Rice in Week 3 doesn’t heal the wounds from a blowout loss against Arkansas, but it is a good sign. After Texas Tech, the Longhorns play at TCU and Oklahoma. Huge stretch.
35. TCU (Last Week No. 29, Down 6)
34. San Diego State (Last Week Unranked)
33. Oklahoma State (Last Week No. 41, Up 8)
32. USC (Last Week No. 34, Up 2)
31. Maryland (Last Week No. 38, Up 7)
Quietly, Maryland is unbeaten and moving its way up the rankings. A Week 5 matchup at home against Iowa could have a ton of steam.
30. Arizona State (Last Week No. 25, Down 5)
29. Fresno State (Last Week Unranked)
28. LSU (Last Week No. 27, No Change)
27. Virginia Tech (Last Week No. 16, Down 11)
26. Kansas State (Last Week No. 35, Up 9)
25. North Carolina (Last Week No. 26, Up 1)
The offense just dropped 59 points and 699 yards on Virginia. With the way the schedule shakes out, UNC could be a problem in the ACC. Lots of winnable matchups.
24. Kentucky (Last Week No. 21, Down 3)
A 28-23 win over Chattanooga was, well, sub-optimal. Chalk it up as a letdown. After South Carolina, Kentucky gets Florida, LSU, and Georgia in consecutive games. We’ll soon find out if it was a letdown or not.
23. Michigan State (Last Week No. 36, Up 13)
Michigan State is one of the biggest risers of the week. Sparty whooped Miami by 21 points on the road, and I really love what I have seen from this offense. Plus, the schedule shakes out well over the next month.
22. Liberty (Last Week No. 20, Down 2)
Beating Old Dominion in Week 3 doesn’t tell us much. But back-to-back road games at Syracuse and UAB likely will. Stay tuned.
21. UCLA (Last Week No. 9, Down 12)
Woof. The Bruins’ dream start came undone against Fresno State in Week 3, and a lot of positive momentum was halted. I’m curious to see how this team bounces back at Stanford next weekend.
20. Auburn (Last Week No. 24, Up 4)
The loss stinks (so did the officiating in Penn State-Auburn, by the way). But I thought Auburn actually played a competitive game in a brutal environment. Even in defeat, the Tigers move up.
19. Iowa State (Last Week No. 18, Down 1)
After a brutal loss to Iowa, the Cyclones rebounded. Up next? A pretty interesting test against Baylor. We’ll learn a lot about this offense against a team that has looked solid thus far.
18. Arkansas (Last Week No. 23, Up 5)
This could be the week Arkansas morphs into a serious contender in the SEC. With Texas A&M coming to town, the Hogs are positioned to really jump up these rankings with a win.
17. Wisconsin (Last Week No. 19, Up 2)
The good news? With Penn State’s victory, Wisconsin’s Week 1 loss is aging well. The Badgers can validate their place in the rankings with a win over Notre Dame in Week 4.
16. Coastal Carolina (Last Week No. 13, Down 3)
Buffalo nearly bounced Coastal Carolina out of the top 25, although the Chanticleers stayed alive. I’m not sure we’ll know just how good this team is until October, when it plays at Arkansas State, at App State, and against Troy.
15. BYU (Last Week No. 33, Up 18)
I love watching this team play football. No team jumped up the rankings more than BYU, which is 3-0 against the Pac-12 this season. And looking at the schedule, we have to start considering the possibility of this team going undefeated.
14. Notre Dame (Last Week No. 14, No Change)
The Irish are unbeaten, but each week they are playing with fire. If they do that this week against Wisconsin, it likely won’t go well. A big test is upcoming on a neutral field.
13. Michigan (Last Week No. 13, No Change)
The competition hasn’t been superb, but the Wolverines have been dominant. With road games at Wisconsin and Penn State on the horizon, we’ll soon figure out what it means.
12. Texas A&M (Last Week No. 11, Down 1)
The offense came to life in Week 3, at least partially, although it did so against New Mexico. Playing with a backup quarterback, the Aggies have a massive test at Arkansas on Saturday.
11. Clemson (Last Week No. 5, Down 6)
What is wrong with this team? Specifically, what is wrong with this offense? The Tigers barely slipped past Georgia Tech as a huge chalk, and they have scored two offensive touchdowns against Power Five opponents this year.
10. Ohio State (Last Week No. 8, Down 2)
National Championship Odds: (+1200) at DraftKings
The final score, a 41-20 win over Tulsa, told one story. The actual game told another. Ohio State led by only seven points deep into the fourth quarter. While the Buckeyes stay in the top 10 (barely), all is not well.
9. Ole Miss (Last Week No. 15, Up 6)
National Championship Odds: (+7500) at DraftKings
Quarterback Matt Corral dropped seven touchdowns on Tulane, and Ole Miss looks like a balanced force. The Rebels have a bye next week, then head to Alabama for one of the most anticipated games of the year.
8. Florida (Last Week No. 12, Up 4)
National Championship Odds: (+6000) at DraftKings
Although the Gators lost, I bumped them up the rankings for the effort. It is rare to see Alabama’s defense look vulnerable, and Florida did a lot of really good things. That is not good news for Tennessee, which heads to Gainesville on Saturday.
7. Cincinnati (Last Week No. 7, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+6000) at DraftKings
The Bearcats got plenty of help from Indiana, although they stayed unbeaten. I also loved how this team responded in the second half. After a bye, Cincinnati heads to Notre Dame for its most important game
6. Oklahoma (Last Week No. 6, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+1000) at DraftKings
The Sooners once again looked out of sorts against Nebraska, although they remain unbeaten. With tricky games against West Virginia and Kansas State on tap, things have to improve in a hurry.
5. Penn State (Last Week No. 10, Up 5)
National Championship Odds: (+3000) at DraftKings
What a win. While we don’t know how good Auburn is just yet, Penn State has one of the better resumes in CFB. If the offense can put up enough points, the Nittany Lions can compete with anyone.
4. Iowa (Last Week No. 4, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+5000) at DraftKings
Kent State gave Iowa some issues in the first half, although the Hawkeyes were largely in control. As the schedule ramps up, the offense has to as well. An early October game against Penn State might be one of the best games all season.
3. Oregon (Last Week No. 3, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+2000) at DraftKings
The Ducks blasted Stony Brook, as expected. I don’t expect Arizona to be much of a threat in Week 4, and UCLA’s loss really does open things up in the Pac-12. This could be a special season.
2. Georgia (Last Week No. 2, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+330) at DraftKings
While many top contenders struggled in Week 3, Georgia wasn’t one of them. The Bulldogs blasted South Carolina and might be the best team in college football. The schedule kicks into gear come October.
1. Alabama (Last Week No. 1, No Change)
National Championship Odds: (+175) at DraftKings
It wasn’t an Alabama-like win, but it was a win on the road in a hostile setting. In beating Florida, Alabama remains the No. 1 ranked team in college football. But the Crimson Tide also doesn’t look like the unconquerable force we thought they were. Stay tuned.