While Saturday was an entertaining day of college football, and there are repercussions for some in this week’s rankings, it doesn’t compare to this week.
The week started with Notre Dame, who lost to Duke on Saturday, firing offensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, and LSU, after a narrow loss at Auburn, fired head coach Les Miles (114-34 and a national champion at LSU, but that’s another discussion for another day).
This weekend will be wild, with Louisville traveling to Clemson for a top five matchup, and two more top ten matchups of Wisconsin-Michigan and Stanford-Washington.
As we head into this crazy weekend as the calendar turns to the second month of college football, here are the updated power rankings:
1. Alabama (4-0, Last Week: 1st, AP Poll: 1st)
Last Week: def. Kent State, 48-0
This Week: vs. Kentucky
The Crimson Tide dominated coach Nick Saban’s alma mater of Kent State on Saturday, coming off of their win over Ole Miss, and heading into the resumption of SEC play against Kentucky. After this week it will be tougher for the Tide, as they face three straight ranked opponents before traveling to LSU.
2. Louisville (4-0, 2nd, 3rd)
Last Week: def. Marshall, 59-28
This Week: at #5 Clemson
Louisville’s offense continued to roll against Marshall, a week ahead of this Saturday’s showdown in Death Valley against Clemson, which will be the toughest defense the electric Cardinals offense has faced. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has accounted for an unthinkable 25 touchdowns in four games, including 12 on the ground (no other player at any position has more than seven rushing TDs), with 526 rushing yards ranking him sixth in the nation… as a quarterback.
3. Clemson (4-0, 3rd, 5th)
Last Week: def. Georgia Tech, 26-7
This Week: vs. #3 Louisville
The Tigers have had their share of issues early in the season, but with Auburn being their toughest game thus far, they’ve been able to work on some things. They won a little more comfortably at Georgia Tech than in previous weeks (besides the 59-0 South Carolina State game), but now face likely their toughest test all year against Louisville. The Tigers should have some help at home in one of the nation’s best atmospheres, but they are home underdogs for the first time since 2013.
4. Michigan (4-0, 4th, 4th)
Last Week: def. Penn State, 49-10
This Week: vs. #8 Wisconsin
The Wolverines dominated Penn State, and have won each game by 17 or more, with three of their four wins by 37 or more. This week, however, will be tougher when Wisconsin, fresh off their road win over Michigan State, comes to Ann Arbor. Michigan needs to take advantage of this test, because it is the only one of their three remaining games against ranked opponents that will come at home.
5. Ohio State (3-0, 5th, 2nd)
Last Week: idle
This Week: vs. Rutgers
The Buckeyes got to enjoy football with the rest of us this past weekend, and will host Rutgers this week as they open Big Ten play. Their conference slate features road tests with Wisconsin (Oct. 15) and Michigan State (Nov. 19), and home games against Nebraska (Nov. 5) and Michigan (Nov. 26).
6. Wisconsin (4-0, 10th, 8th)
Last Week: def. #8 Michigan State, 30-6
This Week: at #4 Michigan
While the Badgers’ win over LSU doesn’t look as strong now as it did at the time, the Badgers have a new signature win anyway, after a 24-point victory at Michigan State. That game was week one of a five-game gauntlet, which continues this week at #4 Michigan, before continuing over their next four weeks (idle, Ohio State, at Iowa, Nebraska). It will be very difficult for the Badgers to get through this stretch undefeated, but if they can it gets much easier in November as the race for the College Football Playoff heats up.
7. Houston (4-0, 6th, 6th)
Last Week: def. Texas State, 64-3
This Week: vs. Connecticut
Last year, with quarterback Greg Ward Jr. out injured, Houston suffered their only loss of the season at Connecticut. This year, Ward will be in the lineup as his Cougars face the Huskies on Thursday night. If revenge is on the minds of the Cougars, it could be a long night for Connecticut.
8. Stanford (3-0, 7th, 7th)
Last Week: def. UCLA, 22-13
This Week: at #10 Washington
The Cardinal scored late to take a 16-13 lead on UCLA, before scoring on a fumble return on the last play to win by nine. While the Cardinal survived the trip to Pasadena, they will have to play better if they want to stay unbeaten this weekend, as they travel to Washington on Friday. The Huskies, coached by former Boise State coach Chris Peterson, are a trendy team off to a good start, and could be quite the threat to the Cardinal’s playoff hopes.
9. Tennessee (4-0, 9th, 11th)
Last Week: def. #19 Florida, 38-28
This Week: at #25 Georgia
It was the best of games, it was the worst of games, when the Volunteers played Florida on Saturday. Okay, that was too easy, but it really was a tale of two halves, as Florida led the Vols 21-3 at the half, before Tennessee outscored the Gators 35-7 in the second half on their way to a win that should give them the inside track in the SEC East. Tennessee, who faces Georgia on Saturday in Athens, held Florida to 106 rushing yards in the win.
10. Florida State (3-1, 12th, 12th)
Last Week: def. South Florida, 55-35
This Week: vs. North Carolina
The Seminoles rebounded from their 63-20 loss at Louisville, using 38 first-half points on their way to a 20-point win at South Florida. Dalvin Cook leads the Seminoles with 495 rushing yards, and should have a good day on Saturday when the ‘Noles face a North Carolina team that ranks 120th in rushing defense. This week starts a stretch of seven straight conference games before Florida State’s regular season finale against Florida.
11. Baylor (4-0, 13th, 13th)
12. Washington (4-0, 15th, 10th)
13. Nebraska (4-0, 14th, 15th)
14. Miami (3-0, 16th, 14th)
15. Ole Miss (2-2, 22nd, 16th)
16. Texas A&M (4-0, 20th, 9th)
17. Michigan State (2-1, 8th, 17th)
18. North Carolina (3-1, 19th, unranked)
19. Oklahoma (1-2, 21st, unranked)
20. Boise State (3-0, 23rd, 24th)
21. Iowa (3-1, 24th, unranked)
22. Utah (4-0, unranked, 18th)
23. San Diego State (3-0, unranked, 19th)
24. TCU (3-1, unranked, 21st)
25. Virginia Tech (3-1, unranked, unranked)
Also Ranked in AP Poll: Arkansas (3-1, 20th), Texas (2-1, 22nd), Florida (3-1, 23rd), Georgia (3-1, 25th)
Fell from Rankings: LSU (2-2, LW: 11th), Georgia (3-1, 17th), Oklahoma State (2-2, 18th), Arkansas (3-1, 25th)