Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Alex Scheer, College Football Analyst
Week 3 provided some clarity into how the rest of the season may play out. We watched upsets that leave us scratching our heads (I have words for you later, Maryland and Michigan State), and we watched absolute dominance as some teams began conference play. While the top 10 remains mostly unchanged, there was some definite movement in the bottom 15. Let’s dive into our Week 4 Power Rankings.
1. Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC)*Previous Rank: 1* : A name everyone in the nation should know at this point has to be Trevor Lawrence. With nearly 400 yards passing, the Tigers almost didn’t even need their defense this week, downing the Orangemen 41-6. There is no slowing them down as the host Charlotte next week.
2. Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC)*Previous Rank: 2* : Another week, another win, this time, a conference opener against South Carolina.Tua leads the nation in passing touchdowns (12), and with arguably the best receiving corps in the country, it's almost a lock for Alabama to be in the playoffs yet again.
3. LSU (3-0, 0-0 SEC)*Previous Rank: 3*: 52 points was extremely merciful compared to what the result could have been. After obliterating NWSU, LSU turns their attention to their first conference opponent of the year, Vanderbilt. Joe Burrow is gonna continue to put on a show.
4.Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) *Previous Rank: 5*: Did UCLA get the memo that there as football being played this weekend? Jalen Hurts had another great performance, and the Sooners keep marching on.
5. Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) *Previous Rank: 4*: I DON’T think Georgia is bad. I think Georgia’s competition is bad. While a conference win on the resume is good, it’s also bottom feeder Vanderbilt. Couple that with wins over Murray State (who just got blow out by MAC member Toledo, 45-0) and Arkansas State, we just don’t know enough about this Bulldogs team to *fairly* rank them. This weekend will be extremely telling.
6. Ohio State (3-0, 1-0 B1G) *Previous Rank: 6*: Ohio State is dominating everyone. Like, Indiana was supposed to make it a game, and it was… for like all of kick-off. Don’t look now, Buckeye fans, but this team may just be good enough to get back to the playoffs.
7. Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC)*Previous Rank: 7*: A come from behind win behind a second string quarterback that takes over for the season, where have we heard this story before? Kyle Trask looked pretty good against a decent Kentucky team, earning 19 points in the 4th to take the W.
8. Notre Dame (2-0) Previous Rank: 8*: Welcome to the air raid parry, Ian Book! 5 passing touchdowns over New Mexico was the tune up they needed as they take a week to prepare for their match-up with Georgia in Athens. How Good are the Fighting Irish? A Top 10 clash will definitely be telling.
9. Michigan (2-0, 0-0 B1G)*Previous Rank: 9*: Taking a week after the near disaster against Army is probably the best thing Michigan could have hoped for. Heading into Camp Randall this weekend, the winner of this game gets some traction on heading to the B1G Championship. Is Michigan legit? Is Wisconsin capable of going the distance?
10. Texas (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) *Previous Rank: 10*: We learned very little from the smashing of Rice, however, it shows Texas wasn’t concerned about the emotions of last week. Bring on the OSU Cowboys.
11. Wisconsin: (2-0, 0-0 B1G)*Previous Rank: 11*: Two Big Ten and two Top 15 opponents get it on in Madison this weekend as the Badgers host the Wolverines. Is Wisconsin going to stifle the Wolverines, or will they fall to the Wolverines for the third time in the last four years?
12. Utah (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12)*Previous Rank: 12*: Utah may very well be the last hope for the PAC-12 to make the playoffs. Four of the next six games are against ranked conference opponents, yet only one of them is on the road. Is it too early to think Utah could get back to a NY6 bowl game, or just maybe even the playoffs?
13. Auburn (3-0, 0-0 SEC)*Previous Rank: 13*: Welp, Kent State tried. Bo Nix didn’t have the big day we were all expecting, which might send up some red flags with the higher ups, but hey, a win is a win, right? Squaring off against Texas A&M will set the tone early on who might be primed to get to the SEC Championship Game.
14. Oregon (2-1, 0-0 PAC-12)*Previous Rank: 14*: Oregon is still in position to make a run at the PAC-12 Championship and a small shot at the College Football playoffs. It’s early, but who knows? The Ducks have a rank filled schedule, and if they can run the table, we may see them back in playoff talks.
15. Boise State (3-0, 0-0 Mountain West) *Previous Rank: 16*: Smashing Portland State was the way this team needed to respond after struggling the week before. Between BSU and UCF, the Group of 5 race is heating up to earn a long shot playoff bid, or a more-realistic New Year's 6 Bowl Game.
16. UCF (3-0, 0-0 AAC) *Previous Rank: 16*: Dillion Gabriel is for real. Dispatching Stanford 45-27, this team may be the best Group of 5 Team in the country. Stanford looked out of sorts in this game and UCF was complete in all aspects. At this point, UCF needs to win out, and they need to win out in a big way.
17. Washington State (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12) *Previous Rank: 18*: Anthony Gordon shines again, and helps the Cougars come back with a monster second half to put away Houston. This team is definitely on the rise, and will definitely contend with the top of the PAC-12.
18. Cal (3-0, 1-0 PAC-12) *Previous Rank: 19*: Can this team lose? There’s no reason for them to be 3-0, yet here we are. Call it luck, missed calls, whatever you have it, the Golden Bears face a non-conference test against Ole Miss this week.
19. Penn State (3-0, 0-0 B1G) *Previous Rank: 20*: Wow, an amazing defensive effort against in-state rival Pitt, and Penn State finds itself 3-0. Journey Brown was arguably the difference maker in the game, taking the rock 85 yards, all the way down the the Pitt 12 yards line, setting up the scoring play, 2 plays later. Big win for the 100th rivalry meeting and Penn State cracks our Top 20.
20. Texas A&M (2-1, 0-0 SEC) *Previous Rank:17*: Why did the Aggies drop after the drubbing of Lamar? Well, because it's Lamar. Not that a win should be punished, but because other teams had more quality wins than A&M did this weekend. But, on a positive note, they have a quality player more than capable of filling in the starting role that Jashuan Corbin vacated due to injury. Auburn comes to town this weekend, and the Aggies have a chance to make some serious noise in the SEC race.
21. Iowa (3-0, 0-0 B1G):*Previous Rank: 24*: What a thrilling contest we had in Ames this last week, where this defense looked GOOD. Iowa still hanging around as an undefeated, and should improve to 4-0 with Middle Tennessee St coming to town, right before a Top 25 showdown with Michigan. It’s going to be interesting to see just how far these Hawkeyes can fly.
22. BYU (2-1) *Previous Rank: N/R*: Knocking off a Top 25 team, at home is always cause for celebration. As fans stormed the field, it was the defense that made the biggest plays at the end of the game, and now this team looks poised to make some noise as the season trudges on. With 3 PAC-12 teams on the schedule, knocking off one more ranked opponent before traveling to Toledo next week would be a huge momentum boost towards a phenomenal season for the Cougars.
23. Kansas State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) *Previous Rank: N/R*: Soooooo a win against an SEC team on the road? This will be talked about for a LOOOOOONG time at Kansas State. The offense and defense played really well against this team (fumbling the ball away three times and still scored 31 points? To quote Keith Jackson “Woahhhh Nelly!”) KSU gets a bye and starts the conference slate in 2 weeks against Oklahoma State
24. Virginia (3-0, 0-0 ACC) *Previous Rank: N/R*: Virginia was trying to give this game away at the end of the fourth quarter, committing multiple penalties, until FSU decided to abandon the air attack with time running down. Virginia will have to play better if they want to be taken serious as an opponent. Against a better team, those penalties will be a dagger in the heart.
25. Memphis (3-0, 0-0 AAC) *Previous Rank N/R*: Honestly? Memphis wasn’t really on the radar all too much given that their best win was against a reeling Ole Miss. But, when Michigan State, Maryland and Mississippi State all lose, you can't really deny that this team is playing as one unit. The Tigers get a conference test this week as Navy rolls into town.
***Out of Rankings***