With Week 4 in the books, here’s my top 25.
1. Clemson (4-0)
Believe it or don’t, the champs were tied with Boston College heading into the fourth quarter. But the Tigers scored four fourth-quarter touchdowns to blow out the Eagles and stay lookin’ good.
2. Alabama (4-0)
A most impressive trip to Nashville for the Tide, who spanked previously undefeated Vandy by a jaw-dropping 59-0 score. The way the SEC looks right now, there could be a lot of wins like this for Bama.
3. Oklahoma (4-0)
It was anything but smooth sailin’ cross the plains for the Sooner Schooner at Baylor, which dropped 41 points on Oklahoma. But the Sooners dropped 49 of their own, escaping with a classic Big 12 win.
4. TCU (4-0)
On the road at previously unstoppable Okie State, the Frogs turned in a sensational performance on both sides of the ball. Stifling D might be their thing, but they’ve also got 191 points in four games.
5. Penn State (4-0)
Penn State’s offense struggled against an Iowa defense that came to play. But the Lions won — in thrilling fashion — because Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley are two of the best players in America.
6. Wisconsin (3-0)
Badgers were off this weekend, but they’re ready to unleash their offensive attack on the Big Ten when conference play starts next weekend. Good luck trying to stop Jonathan Taylor, Northwestern.
7. Georgia (4-0)
Looks like no one knew how good Georgia actually was. The Dawgs won the battle of the Bulldogs behind another great effort from freshman quarterback Jake Fromm: 9-for-12 for 201 yards and two TDs.
8. USC (4-0)
Not sure anyone can consider a 10-point win over Cal “impressive,” but USC is still undefeated. The offense is slowing a bit, though, after a high-scoring start. Sam Darnold has nine TDs and seven INTs.
9. Virginia Tech (4-0)
Since the tremendously entertaining season-opening win against West Virginia, the Hokies have won their last three games by a combined score of 129-17. Josh Jackson is so good, you guys.
10. Michigan (4-0)
The Michigan offense is not good. But the Michigan defense is good enough for the Wolverines to win any game this season. It held upstart Purdue to 10 yards in the second half on Saturday. Ten!
11. Oklahoma State (3-1)
Okie State’s Playoff train derailed against TCU and the Frogs’ great defense. Mason Rudolph still mustered nearly 400 passing yards, though, and this is still an obviously high-powered offense.
12. Washington (4-0)
I finally had to rank the Huskies, who finally scored an impressive win on the road at Colorado, beating the Buffs by four touchdowns. UW rushed for 254 yards and came away with three interceptions.
13. Miami (2-0)
The Canes have scored 93 points in their first two games, including 52 this weekend against Toledo — who Miami was losing to, 16-10, at halftime. Mark Walton: 204 rushing yards on only 11 carries!
14. Ohio State (3-1)
If the Buckeyes could play Army and UNLV every week, their offense would have no problems at all. Ohio State had seven different guys catch a touchdown pass this weekend, a Big Ten record.
15. West Virginia (3-1)
The good: Will Grier is still slingin’ and led a third straight 56-point-plus output for West Virginia. The bad: The Mountaineers gave up 34 points to Kansas, which I didn’t think was humanly possible.
16. Louisville (3-1)
The Cards blew out Kent State, getting a respite after three Power Five opponents to open the season. And this time the defense showed up, allowing just three points.
17. Duke (4-0)
Trailing at North Carolina well into the fourth quarter, the Dukies stayed undefeated, sealing Saturday night’s rivalry win with a late pick six. Duke welcomes in undefeated Miami on Friday.
18. Washington State (4-0)
It’s been more than a decade and a half since Wazzu was 4-0. The Fightin’ Leaches are predictably piling up points and could legitimately stage an upset of USC in their next game.
19. Auburn (3-1)
Auburn was the latest to take a turn beating up on my alma mater, crushing Mizzou by a 51-14 score. Kerryon Johnson — great name for a running back — had 18 carries. Five of them were touchdowns.
20. North Carolina State (3-1)
The Wolfpack went into Tallahassee and knocked off a preseason national-title favorite, a remarkable accomplishment. Also, how good is Bradley Chubb? He was a one-man wrecking crew vs. the Noles.
21. USF (4-0)
Another week, another blowout win for the Bulls. They rushed for 312 yards in the 43-7 destruction of Temple. The end-of-season USF-UCF game is actually looking pretty great right now.
22. Utah (4-0)
The Utes got a test from Arizona, which was within three points late in the third quarter. But a pick six effectively sealed the deal and kept Utah undefeated heading into an interesting Stanford-USC stretch.
23. Iowa (3-1)
The Hawkeyes didn’t beat highly ranked Penn State, and you can argue they lost in the most heartbreaking of fashions. But boy did that defense look good all night against an incredible offense.
24. Notre Dame (3-1)
After smoking Michigan State in East Lansing, ND has looked great against every opponent not named Georgia, and the Dawgs are proving to be a terrific loss at this point.
25. Florida (3-1)
The Gators still can’t score and needed a few different miracles to avoid losing to Kentucky for the first time in 30 years. But somehow, in the weird SEC, Florida’s gonna win 10 games again, aren’t they?
Others receiving votes:
San Diego State (4-0)
The Aztecs avoided disaster and came back to beat Air Force. Rashaad Penny had himself a day with three touchdown runs, including a 54-yard game-winning scamper in the fourth quarter.
The Knights knocked Maryland off its pedestal as one of the kings of the Big Ten East. Seriously, though, what a performance, UCF going on the road and clubbing a Big Ten team 38-10.
Mississippi State (3-1)
You’d like to say Mississippi State isn’t for real after getting dominated by Georgia. But getting dominated by Georgia seems to be an excusable offense these days.
Stanford’s losses to USC and San Diego State are looking all right, and its win over UCLA — a 58-34 throttling — showcased Bryce Love as one of the country’s best players: 263 yards!
Vandy’s bubble got burst pretty darn good against Bama — plenty of other teams can commiserate. But the Dores have still allowed just 13 points in their other three games.