CFN's Week Three Power Rankings

CollegeFootballNews ranks all 119 Division One teams

Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Coaches | AP

1. USC (2-0)
W, Nebraska 28-10
next game: at Arizona  
It’s almost like USC was on the verge of exploding against Nebraska, but never did. Injuries, replacements, and outside distractions haven’t caught up to this team yet. Eventually a steady running game will have to kick in to get by Oregon, Cal, and Arizona State.

Ohio State (3-0)
W, Cincinnati 37-7
next game: Penn State
It’ll take a major upset for the Buckeyes to be pushed up until the showdown with Michigan. This was an unfocused team that was lousy in the first half against Cincinnati, and it still ended up winning by 30.

Auburn (3-0)
W, LSU 7-3
next game: Buffalo
All the Tigers have to do is hold serve at home and it’ll be smooth sailing up until the season finale at Alabama. However, it might take two wins over Florida to finish unbeaten and in the discussion for the national title.

 LSU (2-1)
L, at Auburn 7-3
next game: Tulane
If you thought LSU was a top five team before, there’s no reason to drop it after the nasty, somewhat controversial loss at Auburn. There needs to be more of a running game to get through the tough road games later on in the SEC season.

Michigan (2-0)
W, at Notre Dame 47-21
next game: Wisconsin
Let’s not read too much into the blowout over Notre Dame yet. Considering we thought the Irish was the most overrated team in all the polls, there’s still more to be seen out of this Wolverine team. It should have too much offense for Wisconsin, but the Badger D could provide a sneaky-tough test.

6. Florida (3-0)
W, at Tennessee 21-20
next game: Kentucky
Lost in the one-point win in Knoxville is how much better the Gators played than the Vols. Part one of the brutal road schedule is passed, but be careful for Kentucky this week. Urban Meyer had better have this team on letdown alert.

Texas  (2-1)
W, at Rice 52-7
next game: Iowa State
The offense got its mojo back against Rice playing a near-perfect game. Iowa State should be an interesting battle before the Oklahoma showdown. You heard it hear first: Texas will be fine up until the road trip to Nebraska.

Louisville (3-0)
W, Miami 34-7
next game: at Kansas State
Can Brian Brohm come back in time for the West Virginia showdown? Hunter Cantwell and the running game should be enough to get through the next 4-6 weeks, but let’s see how well the team plays away from Papa John’s and without its star backfield.

West Virginia (3-0)
W, Maryland 45-24
next game: at East Carolina
The sloppy play in the second half against Maryland was a bit concerning. The Louisville win over Miami was huge for the Mountaineers since it raised the overall profile of the Big East making the showdown on November 2nd bigger than ever.

Tennessee (2-1)
L, Florida 21-20
next game: Marshall
The Vols have no running game and needed a trick play to score a touchdown on the Gators. It would be nice to see the offense play a complete game again to prove the performance against Cal wasn’t a fluke.

Virginia Tech (3-0)
W, Duke 36-0
next game: Cincinnati
If you’re waiting to see just how good this team really is, you’ll have to wait two weeks for the Georgia Tech game. All of a sudden, the sate at Boston College on October 12th appears to be of major national significance.

12. Georgia (3-0)
W, UAB 34-0
next game: Colorado
What’s missing? Since South Carolina stinks, it’s not like Georgia has been tested yet. Really, how good is this team? The schedule sets up almost perfectly. Colorado is awful and at Ole Miss is a virtual gimme. That means Matthew Stafford will have had over four games of live action to get ready for Tennessee. Win that, and it’s a two game season vs. Florida and at Auburn.

13. Boston College (3-0)
W, BYU 30-23 2OT
next game: at NC State
No one has played three more fun games than BC. If you want battle tested, this team is it. It’s not a perfect team by any stretch, and it can be picked apart by a good offense, but QB Matt Ryan is starting to take on a very Brady-like quality. Tom, not Quinn.

14. Clemson (2-1)
W, at Florida State 27-20
next game: North Carolina
You could argue that the Tigers are a missed kick against Boston College away from being ranked in the top five. Don’t be the slightest bit shocked if this team turns out to be the ACC champ.

15. Notre Dame (2-1)
L, Michigan 47-21
next game: at Michigan State
Sorry Irish haters; it’s not over. With a joke of a schedule ahead, a win at Michigan State will mean a 10-1 record going into the showdown with USC. Imagine this: Michigan loses along the way, probably at Ohio State, and the Irish blows everyone out of the water. USC is 11-0 and ranked No. 2, Notre Dame beats the Trojans and leapfrogs the West Virginia – Louisville winner, and all the one-loss SEC teams, to play for the national title.

Oregon (3-0)
W, Oklahoma 34-33
next game: at Arizona State (Sept. 30)
This is a different team with Jonathan Stewart running the ball. Forgetting the controversy at the end of the Oklahoma game, the Ducks made the plays they had to in the hard-fought, gut-check win.

17. Arizona State (3-0)
W, at Colorado 21-3
next game: at California
Now we finally get to see how good this ASU team is. If it beats Cal at Cal, it’ll be time to believe.

18. California (2-1)
W, Portland State 42-16
next game: Arizona State
Fine, so technically, Cal should probably be ranked ahead of ASU since it’ll be the favorite and the likely pick to win next week’s battle. The Tennessee loss is still too fresh.

19. Nebraska (2-1)
L, at USC 28-10
next game: Troy
What the heck was that? The Huskers decided to put the offense on the shelf against USC with Zac Taylor only throwing the ball 16 times. That was as strange an offense game plan as it gets for such a showcase game.

20. Iowa  (3-0)
W, Iowa State 27-17
next game: at Illinois
The team isn’t quite at the time-to-worry-about-Iowa level yet. It needs to use the scrimmage against Illinois to get everything working, including the deep passing game, to be fully tuned up for make-or-break showdown with Ohio State in two weeks.

21. Missouri (3-0)
W, at New Mexico 27-17
next game: Ohio
Mizzou hasn’t played anyone yet, but the defense has given up three touchdowns in three games. Two came in garbage time with the outcome already decided, and one came on a broken tackle at the end of the first half in the blowout win over Ole Miss. The offense is as balanced and diverse as it’s been under Gary Pinkel.

22. Michigan State (3-0)
W, at Pitt 38-23
next game: Notre Dame
Drew Stanton and the offense is starting to peak at just the right time. A home win over Notre Dame would get everyone buzzing and mean a 5-0 start (with Illinois to follow) before the showdowns with Michigan and Ohio State.

23. Oklahoma (2-1)
L, at Oregon 34-33
next game: Middle Tennessee
Yup, OU loses and moves up the rankings. It was a bad, bad, bad missed call away from getting out of Oregon with a fantastic win. Paul Thompson is starting to look more and more like a real quarterback, but the defense had better find a groove in a big hurry or Texas will run amok.

24. Florida State (2-1)
L, Clemson 27-20
next game: Rice
Considering the team’s talent and the schedule, this has to be considered among the nation’s most disappointing teams. There’s no excuse for a Florida State offense to be this bad.

Penn State (2-1)
W, Youngstown State 37-3
next game: at Ohio State
Why does it seem like this team is this close to being completely mediocre? Maybe it’s because the offense struggled a bit too much early on against Youngstown State and was no big whoop against Akron and Notre Dame.

  1. TCU (3-0)
  2. Miami (1-2)
  3. UCLA (2-0)
  4. Georgia Tech (2-1)
  5. Boise State (3-0)
  6. Utah (2-1)
  7. Wisconsin (3-0)
  8. Pitt (2-1)
  9. Texas Tech (2-1)
  10. Maryland (2-1)
  11. Iowa State (2-1)
  12. Alabama (3-0)
  13. BYU (1-2)
  14. South Florida (3-0)
  15. Arizona  (2-1)
  16. Oregon State (1-1)
  17. Texas A&M (3-0)
  18. Minnesota (2-1)
  19. Arkansas  (2-1)
  20. Washington State (2-1)
  21. Rutgers (3-0)
  22. Purdue (3-0)
  23. South Carolina (2-1)
  24. UTEP (1-1)
  25. Hawaii (1-1)
  26. Tulsa (2-1)
  27. Wake Forest (3-0)
  28. Connecticut (1-1)
  29. North Carolina (1-2)
  30. Ole Miss  (1-2)
  31. Oklahoma State (3-0)
  32. Southern Miss (2-1)
  33. Baylor (1-2)
  34. Washington (2-1)
  35. Fresno State (1-2)
  36. Air Force (0-1)
  37. Central Michigan (1-2)
  38. Kansas State (3-0)
  39. Syracuse (1-2)
  40. Navy (3-0)
  41. Houston (3-0)
  42. Western Michigan (2-1)
  43. Toledo (1-2)
  44. Virginia (1-2)
  45. Akron (1-2)
  46. Kansas (2-1)
  47. Nevada (1-2)
  48. Colorado State (2-1)
  49. San Diego State (0-2)
  50. Kentucky (2-1)
  51. Colorado (0-3)
  52. NC State (1-2)
  53. Cincinnati (1-2)
  54. Vanderbilt (0-3)
  55. UAB (1-2)
  56. East Carolina (1-2)
  57. Wyoming (1-2)
  58. Troy (1-2)
  59. Ohio (2-1)
  60. Illinois (1-2)
  61. Memphis (1-2)
  62. UCF (1-2)
  63. Ball State (2-1)
  64. Indiana (2-1)
  65. San Jose State (1-1)
  66. Marshall (1-2)
  67. Tulane (1-1)
  68. Mississippi State (0-3)
  69. Rice (0-3)
  70. Stanford (0-3)
  71. Northern Illinois (1-2)
  72. Northwestern  (2-1)
  73. Idaho (1-2)
  74. Louisiana Tech (1-1)
  75. UNLV (1-2)
  76. Bowling Green (2-1)
  77. New Mexico (1-2)
  78. Kent State (1-2)
  79. UL Lafayette (0-2)
  80. Duke (0-3)
  81. Eastern Michigan (0-3)
  82. MTSU (2-1)
  83. Arkansas State (1-1)
  84. North Texas (1-2)
  85. SMU (1-2)
  86. Army (1-2)
  87. New Mexico State (2-1)
  88. Miami Univ. (0-3)
  89. FIU (0-3)
  90. Utah State (0-3)
  91. UL Monroe (1-2)
  92. Buffalo (1-2)
  93. Florida Atlantic (0-3)
  94. Temple  (0-3)


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