Everything from #4 to #40 is a mix of dumpster fires and unknowns and the only two teams playing solid football on every snap are Ohio State and Georgia. If you told me today that UW was 3rd or Alabama was 20th at the end of the season I would believe you. This should be a really fun year of college football.
01. Georgia (4-0) SEC (N/A) Even with the closer score they still never punted and the game was never in doubt. Week 1 win over O****n continues to be best win of any team in CFB.
02. Ohio State (4-0) B10 (N/A) Continues to blow out everyone not named Notre Dame.
03. Alabama (4-0) SEC (+2) That near loss to Texas still drags them down.
04. Tennessee (4-0) SEC (+3) This week's beneficiary of what I like to call the "Florida is ranked so that their next opponent can get a quality win on the resume" effect but with a road win at Pitt they have one of the better resumes of all 4-0 teams.
05. Michigan (4-0) B10 (-2) They're up here mostly on talent alone. Maryland looked like the better team for much of the day. I'd be shocked if they can hold onto a top 10 spot for the season but a quality win over a should-have-been-ranked Maryland team is still a quality win.
06. USC (4-0) P12 (+3) Oregon State showed that the Trojan offense can be stopped. A difficult road win deserves credit.
07. Clemson (4-0) ACC (+3) That Wake Forest game looked bad for both teams. If Clemson can't figure out how to play defense they're going to drop 2-3 games this year.
08. Washington (4-0) P12 (+4) MSU getting demolished by Minnesota puts a damper on the big non-conference win but no one has looked like they belong on the same field with UW yet.
09. Penn State (4-0) B10 (+2) Two power 5 road wins is enough to be a firm top-10 team at this point in the season but teams that they should easily handle have been way too close for comfort.
10. Florida State (4-0) ACC (+9) A strong early schedule with road wins at LSU and Louisville makes their AP/Coaches poll snub a head scratcher. Look for them to debut in the national polls this week.
11. Kansas (4-0) B12 (+5) A big win over Duke (yes, Duke) puts them firmly top 15. Their defense isn't going to do them any favors this season but they can score enough to be in every game.
12. Kentucky (4-0) SEC (-6) The Northern Illinois score mandated a second look over their schedule. They were an early beneficiary of the "Florida is ranked so someone else can get a boost" factor. This is a shaky ranking but there aren't many teams that should be above them right now.
13. Utah (3-1) P12 (+10) This is a pretty big jump but after watching Florida (Utah's loss) take Tennessee to the wire and how well Utah has handled everyone else it seems like the Utes are a pretty good team.
14. NC State (4-0) ACC (+6) Just quietly beating their opponents every week by a safe margin. Not dominant but not close either.
15. Oklahoma State (3-0) B12 (+2) Spent the week off and is still a pretty big unknown. Scratching my head at how Central Michigan hung 44 on them.
16. Oklahoma (3-1) B12 (-12) Kansas State bit them at home but they still have the talent to finish in the top 10 this season. This was a tough team to rank. Kansas State lost to Tulane and then beats Oklahoma on the road. How do you reconcile that?
17. Arkansas (3-1) SEC (-4) It took a final play score for A&M to take them down so they don't drop too far with the loss. A&M won't jump them in the rankings, though, because that Appalachian State loss looks worse every day.
18. Oregon State (3-1) P12 (+4) If USC is a true top 10 team then the Beavers get a ton of credit for hanging with them (and stopping their offense which was leading the nation in a lot of categories). So they move up 4 spots with a loss because this isn't the AP poll and I actually look at the games behind the records.
19. Maryland (3-1) B10 (New) Going into the Big House is always tough. Going in there and making Michigan look like the inferior team for 3 quarters is significantly tougher. This Maryland team will hover on the fringes of the polls for most of the season but looks good enough to be in the 20-25 range by EOY.
20. Ole Miss (4-0) SEC (-12) SEC teams shouldn't beat Tulsa by only one score at home. Their schedule is one of the worst out there. Only UCLA has a schedule I respect less. This team may be a fraud in the rankings which precipitates the 12 place drop.
21. Wake Forest (3-1) ACC (-3) Tough loss against Clemson but they took them to overtime. If there weren't so many other 3-1 or 4-0 teams that look slightly better I would have kept them at 18.
22. Syracuse (4-0) ACC (New) Three Power-5 wins and a blowout win at UConn puts Syracuse in the rankings. All of their opponents are likely conference bottom dwellers though. Their ceiling is 9-3 and their floor is 6-6. Trying to strike a balance between where I think a team will finish the season and where they are now with the rankings is difficult. For now, Syracuse is just barely in.
23. Minnesota (4-0) B10 (New) Managed to make Michigan State look even worse than UW did. The rest of the schedule is junk but they blew out everyone. The only ranked team on their entire schedule is Penn State. Look for them to finish 10-2 or better and then get destroyed in the Big 10 championship game.
24. O****n (3-1) P12 (New) Begrudgingly back in my rankings because WSU can't close out football games. Look at the list below and tell me who you'd put above them though?
25. Baylor (3-1) B12 (New) Edging Iowa State in this week's Worst Officiated Game is not impressive. But of the 3-1 teams on the bubble they have the best loss (@BYU 26-20) which is enough to be in.
Dropped: Iowa State, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Washington State
AAC - 0
ACC - 5
B10 - 5
B12 - 4
CUSA - 0
Indy - 0
MAC - 0
MWC - 0
P12 - 5
SEC - 6
SUN - 0
On the outside looking in:
XX. Iowa State (3-1) B12
XX. Kansas State (3-1) B12
XX. BYU (3-1) IND
XX. Texas Tech (3-1) B12
XX. Washington State (3-1) P12
XX. LSU (3-1) SEC
XX. Iowa (3-1) B10
XX. North Carolina (3-1) ACC
XX. Duke (3-1) ACC
XX. Auburn (3-1) SEC
XX. Pittsburgh (3-1) ACC
XX. UCLA (4-0) P12
XX. Rutgers (3-0) B10
XX. Indiana (3-1) B10
XX. Coastal Carolina (4-0) SUN
XX. California (3-1) P12
XX. Texas A&M (3-1) SEC
XX. Tulane (3-1) AAC
XX. Mississippi State (3-1) SEC
XX. TCU (3-0) B12
XX. Cincinnati (3-1) AMR