Another weekend of college football is behind us, and boy was it a fun one!
As most teams get ready to face conference opponents for the next two months, the overall landscape of college football becomes clearer. Let’s take a look at how our Stadium Rant voters see the post-Week Four college football rankings.
Breakdown by conference: SEC (7), ACC (5), Big 12 (4), Big Ten (4), PAC 12 (4), Independent (1)
1. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0)
Last Week: 39-22 Win vs Kent State
Is it fair to say Georgia looked bored on Saturday? I think so. This team will certainly have the juice for the remaining eight games on their regular season schedule.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0)
Last Week: 52-21 Win vs Wisconsin
The Ohio State offense has finally rallied into form. This is the best offense in the country. I doubt they will be held under 40 points for the rest of the year.
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)
Last Week: 55-3 Win vs Vanderbilt
Alabama had no problem handling the Commodores on Saturday. This weekend’s matchup against Arkansas will tell us if this team is closer to the squad we saw against Texas, or the team we saw the other three weeks of this early season.
4. Michigan Wolverines (4-0)
Last Week: 34-27 Win vs Maryland
After cruising through the easiest non-conference schedule in the country, Michigan survived its first test of the season. Blake Corum is a workhorse of a running back, and as long as JJ McCarthy can protect the ball, this Wolverine team has a high ceiling. I don’t, however, think Michigan is on the same tier as the top three teams in our rankings.
5. Clemson Tigers (4-0)
Last Week: 51-45 Win at #21 Wake Forest
Clemson went on the road and beat a quality Wake Forest team in a shootout of a game. DJ Uiagalelei threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns in the best performance of his career. The depleted Tigers secondary, on the other hand, gave up six passing touchdowns. Clemson may be the cream of the crop in the ACC, but I do not see them on the same tier as Georgia, Ohio State, and Alabama.
6. USC Trojans (4-0)
Last Week: 17-14 Win at Oregon State
The USC offense could not get anything going on Saturday. With that said, the mark of a good team is finding ways to win when you don’t have your A game. That is what the Trojans did on Saturday.
7. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0)
Last Week: 33-14 Win vs Central Michigan
This Penn State team has slowly climbed the rankings every week of the season. They have a very balanced offensive attack and a physical defense to match. A trip to Ann Arbor in two weeks will show us who these Nittany Lions really are.
8. Utah Utes (3-1)
Last Week: 34-13 Win at Arizona State
I do not have Utah ranked as high as some of my colleagues, but I can see why the Utes are regaining some hype. Cameron Rising is a trustworthy quarterback and this defense has allowed just three touchdowns over the last three weeks. An October 15th meeting against USC will have major implications in deciding the Pac-12 South.
9. Kentucky Wildcats (4-0)
Last Week: 31-23 Win vs Northern Illinois
Kentucky created third-quarter separation against Northern Illinois as Will Levis threw for 303 yards and four touchdowns. I still do not completely trust Levis in big situations. That will be tested this weekend in Oxford.
10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0)
Last Week: BYE
I still do not have a great read on this Oklahoma State team. What I do know is they have a fourth-year starting quarterback and a very experienced defense. That alone will pay dividends in a very wide-open Big 12 conference.
11. Tennessee Volunteers (4-0)
Last Week: 38-33 Win vs #20 Florida
Hendon Hooker had a Heisman performance on Saturday. The fifth-year quarterback totaled 461 yards and three touchdowns. The Volunteers still have Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky on their schedule, so they certainly have the opportunity to play themselves into the College Football Playoff conversation.
12. NC State Wolfpack (4-0)
Last Week: 41-10 Win vs UCONN
Devin Leary finally got on track against one of the worst teams in the country. NC State is one of the better teams in the ACC, but we will truly get a gauge of how good this team is against Clemson this weekend.
13. Ole Miss Rebels (4-0)
Last Week: 35-27 Win vs Tulsa
Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss were able to stave off a frisky Tulsa team to end their non-conference schedule. The Rebels will look to use their defense and rushing attack to become a surprise contender in the SEC West.
14. Oregon Ducks (3-1)
Last Week: 44-41 Win at Washington State
Oregon had one of the best comeback victories of the weekend in Pullman. Bo Nix and the Ducks put up 29 fourth-quarter points to overcome a 34-22 deficit with under four minutes remaining. Oregon’s secondary issues are something to keep an eye on going forward.
15. Oklahoma Sooners (3-1)
Last Week: 34-41 Loss vs Kansas State
The Oklahoma Sooners suffered the first loss of the Brent Venables era on Saturday. The problem for the Sooners? Venables calling card, the defense. Oklahoma gave up 511 yards, including 277 yards on the ground.
16. Baylor Bears (3-1)
Last Week: 31-24 Win at Iowa State
Baylor picked up a great victory on Saturday in Ames. Iowa State is a very stingy team, especially at home. The Bears have a great chance to end up in Dallas for the Big 12 Championship Game in December.
17. Washington Huskies (4-0)
Last Week: 40-22 Win vs Stanford
Washington came out and handled the Stanford Cardinal in what looked like a letdown spot on paper. Michael Penix Jr is a changed player and has played like one of the better quarterbacks in the Pac-12.
18. Texas A&M Aggies (3-1)
Last Week: 23-21 Win vs #10 Arkansas
The Aggies rode a few key mistakes from Arkansas to a two-point win over their SEC West rival. A&M has bounced back nicely after the loss to Appalachian State, however, their offense limits the ceiling of this team.
19. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1)
Last Week 21-23 Loss vs #23 Texas A&M
The Razorbacks had a few too many self-inflicted wounds to beat Texas A&M on Saturday. KJ Jefferson is a clear difference-maker at the quarterback position, but sometimes he tries to do too much. I still think this Arkansas team is an eight or nine-win bunch.
20. BYU Cougars (3-1)
Last Week: 38-24 Win vs Wyoming
BYU bounced back from their loss against Oregon to beat Wyoming by two scores. Jaren Hall passed for 337 yards and four touchdowns. In my mind, Hall is a top-ten quarterback in college football. This allows the Cougars to compete in every game they play this season.
21. Florida State Seminoles (4-0)
Last Week: 44-14 Win vs Boston College
The Florida State Seminoles are 4-0 for the first time since 2015. Mike Norvell has this program moving in the right direction, though, a three-game stretch against Wake Forest, NC State, and Clemson may cause some problems.
22. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-0)
Last Week: 34-7 Win at Michigan State
Minnesota went into East Lansing and dispatched the Spartans. The Golden Gophers sport a very balanced offensive attack with veteran quarterback Tanner Morgan and elite running back Mo Ibrahim. This team may be the top dog in the Big Ten West.
23. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1)
Last Week: 45-51 (OT) Loss vs #5 Clemson
Wake Forest lost to the fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday. Sam Hartman is one of the top quarterbacks in the country and has a bevy of wide receivers to feed. This defense, however, lags far behind.
24. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-1)
Last Week: 45-24 Win vs Rhode Island
The Panthers rode running back Israel Abanikanda to 196 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday. Pat Narduzzi’s defense has looked a bit suspect which is certainly a surprise. If he can right that unit this team can compete for an ACC title.
25. Kansas State Wildcats (3-1)
Last Week: 41-34 Win at Oklahoma
After an incredibly disappointing home loss to Tulane, Chris Klieman and Kansas State bounced back with the victory of the weekend on Saturday. The duo of Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn is one of the most potent in the nation.