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Post-Week Three College Football Power Rankings

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
1. Alabama Crimson Tide -- There is still plenty of tough SEC opponents to evade en route to another shot at a National Title, but the Tide look nearly unstoppable. This could be the best offense Nick Saban has had since arriving in Tuscaloosca a decade ago.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes -- With balance and depth throughout their lineup, the Buckeyes may be the biggest threat to Alabama in the entire country. New QB Dwayne Haskins has played like a serious Heisman threat, and the return of Urban Meyer on the sideline should only help OSU.
3. Georgia Bulldogs -- Middle Tennessee was no match for Georgia this weekend, as the Bulldogs rolled to a decisive 49-7 victory. A tough road game against Missouri looms, but UGA still looks like the overwhelming favorite in the mediocre SEC East.
4. Clemson Tigers -- The Tigers are the overwhelming favorites in the ACC right now, and a close road win against Texas A&M should boost their resume. With that being said, Clemson does not play a ranked team the rest of the way, with the lone exception being Boston College. That could certainly hurt their Playoff chances down the line.
5. LSU Tigers -- Despite entering the year with serious questions about their offense and the future of the program, LSU is currently the only team in the nation with two Top 10 victories to their name. Four ranked opponents still await, but the Tigers have clearly alerted the conference that they are ready to contend for a conference title.
6. Oklahoma Sooners -- The Sooners have not played the most difficult schedule in college football (their opponents are a combined 2-6) but their offense has still looked lethal. The loss of back Rodney Anderson for the season hurts, but OU is still the favorite in the Big 12.
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- They aren't blowing out opponents, but Notre Dame has still looked quite strong en route to a 3-0 start. Defensively, new coordinator Clark Lea has possibly even been an improvement over Mike Elko, now with Texas A&M.
8. Stanford Cardinal -- Even though reigning Heisman runner-up Bryce Love has not been up to his usual tricks, the Cardinal still look like quite the Playoff threat. QB K.J. Costello continues to improve, and the defense has been resurgent following a tough 2017.
9. Penn State Nittany Lions -- After a narrow win against Appalachian State to begin the season, the Nittany Lions have not missed a beat, posting totals of 51 and 63 points. A scary late September and early October stretch should decide whether PSU is ready to truly contend for a Big Ten title, or simply a pretender at this point.
10. Auburn Tigers -- Auburn was unable to get the job done at home this Saturday, losing in a thriller to LSU. However, the Tigers still remain a very real threat in the SEC West, with a veteran QB and a defensive front as good as anybody's in the country.
11. Washington Huskies -- After losing their season opener to Auburn, Washington has looked strong the last two weeks. They went into Salt Lake City and overpowered a good Utah team, guided by a defense that has been terrific all year long.
12. West Virginia Mountaineers -- The Mountaineers' game with NC State was cancelled this past week, which may not be a bad thing for WVU, who would've had to go on the road against a strong Wolfpack squad. Opening Big 12 play against Kansas State should be a breeze for WVU, who continues to look superb offensively.
13. Mississippi State Bulldogs -- With Alabama, LSU and Auburn getting most of the attention in the SEC West, Mississippi State has slid into their usual spot as the division's dark horse, but they should not be overlooked. New head coach Joe Moorhead has the offense chugging along, and the defense could be one of the nation's most underrated units.
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys -- This was supposed to be a rebuilding season in Stillwater, but that certainly has not been the case early on. The 'Pokes looked wonderful in a home victory against one of the best Group of Five teams in the entire country, Boise State. They look like they could start the season 9-0 before they hit the bulk of their schedule, which will feature three straight games against ranked opponents.
15. UCF Knights -- The reigning "National Champions" have yet to face a big-time opponent, but that hasn't stopped UCF from impressing. Big-armed QB McKenzie Milton has been absolutely terrific, and the defense appears like they have moved on quickly from their heart and soul, former linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
16. Virginia Tech Hokies -- Virginia Tech's season-opening beatdown of Florida State looked extremely impressive at the time, but the win has soured over time. FSU doesn't look like a threat in the conference whatsoever, meaning VT still is searching for a signature win. Even so, with how weak the ACC Coastal looks, the Hokies should be in a good spot.
17. Wisconsin Badgers -- Despite playing in front of their home crowd, Wisconsin looked flat and unmotivated in a bad loss to BYU. Even so, the Badgers are a tentative favorite in the Big Ten West, thanks to losses by a number of teams in the division, namely Nebraska, Purdue and Northwestern.
18. TCU Horned Frogs -- TCU did come up short this past Saturday against Ohio State, but their performance was actually very impressive, as they competed with Ohio State for nearly the entire 60 minutes. QB Shawn Robinson has the offense rolling, and the Horned Frogs could make the case for the best defense in the Big 12, despite an off-showing against the Buckeyes.
19. Oregon Ducks -- New head coach Mario Cristobal has Oregon off to a hot 3-0 start, but none of their victories have been against Power Five competition, and they looked underwhelming this past weekend against San Jose State. Even so, a battle with Stanford awaits, and a win there would likely assert the Ducks as the favorite in the wide-open Pac-12.
20. Texas A&M Aggies -- A&M was unable to get a signature win over Clemson at home two weekends ago, but the fact the Aggies gave the Tiger such a challenge will actually likely earn them more respect with the Playoff Committee. The question is: can they compete this weekend with Alabama, but actually come out on top?
21. Michigan Wolverines -- The Wolverines have recovered nicely from their loss to Notre Dame on the season's first week, but pounding Western Michigan and SMU isn't going to silence any doubters of UM and Jim Harbaugh. This Saturday's meeting with Nebraska and Scott Frost will really tell us what this Wolverines' squad is actually capable of in 2018.
22. Iowa Hawkeyes -- Quietly, Iowa has been playing superb football to open up 2018 3-0, which included a solid non-conference win over arch rival Iowa State. The defense will have to play well once again this weekend, as the collision with Wisconsin could end up deciding the division.
23. Miami Hurricanes -- Much like Michigan, Miami has done a pretty fine job recovering from a rough performance the first week of the season. The defense has been strong and the offense has its moments, but is veteran QB Malik Rosier really the guy to lead this team to an ACC Title? It is something Mark Richt has to consider as the schedule heats up.
24. Michigan State Spartans -- MSU still remains a factor in the Big Ten despite a non-conference loss on the road to Arizona State, but things will not be easy. The offense, expected to be one of the best in the Mark Dantonio era, has been flat and lacking big plays. Unless that changes, any hopes of returning to Big Ten Title conversations are unrealistic.
25. Missouri Tigers -- With Florida and Tennessee still clearly rebuilding, Missouri looks ready to be Georgia's biggest challenger in the SEC East. QB Drew Lock has picked up right where he left off in 2017, with 11 touchdowns early on. The Tigers have already beat two strong non-conference foes in Wyoming and Purdue.

Others to Consider
Duke Blue Devils
Boise State Broncos
Boston College Eagles
Kentucky Wildcats
Texas Longhorns
BYU Cougars
Colorado Buffaloes
Syracuse Orange

1 comment:

Mike McGowan said...

Iowa in the top 25 -- wait until the Cyclone fans read this one!

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