Sconnie Sports Talk

NCAAF Rankings: Post-Week 4


With no major upsets this past week in college football, and teams starting or approaching conference play, it was a relatively quiet week on the gridirons of America. That is usually what is expected out of September play, but the past few weeks have been so exciting that it has tricked me into thinking every week will carry that weight. Alas, here are some rankings after another week.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes: They’re back. The Buckeyes’ thromp 38-12 of Western Michigan was an overall strong showing, and puts them in a deserving #1 spot. I said last week that I needed to see Cardale Jones improve significantly for the #1 spot to leave TCU. Jones improved, however only slightly, but TCU played so erratically that they found themselves a clear exit from #1. Coupled with Michigan State not showing its best effort, the Buckeyes find their way back up. Jones threw numerous short passes and was even called for intentional grounding once in the game, despite a strong start in which he threw for touchdowns on the first two drives. An undefeated Indiana team awaits him next week in Bloomington.

Shilique Calhoun was a force last week against Central Michigan for the Spartans.

2. Michigan State Spartans: The Spartans 30-10 win over Central Michigan might seem like a cakewalk, but in reality it was just Shilique Calhoun’s successes that screamed #2 team in the nation. Calhoun’s 2.5 sacks and blocked field goal helped numb Connor Cook’s meager 143 yards passing in a game in which he should have dropped at least 250. With standout tackle Jack Conklin getting injured mid-game, the Spartans are going to have to learn to adapt if they want to hold onto this elite standing. Three more weeks until Michigan.

3. Baylor Bears: While other teams in the top five had some faulty and unnecessary errors on Saturday, the Bears played exactly like a team of this caliber should: dominant and confident. Seth Russell threw for six touchdowns, helping rack up over 700 yards on offense in a steamroll victory of 70-17 over Rice. Running the ball was equally as strong, as Shock Linwood was able to put up 158 yards of rushing. Baylor is red hot, and should be exhilirated by the chance to open up Big 12 play. But, a date on the road with a Texas Tech team that nearly upset TCU will cause a little extra precaution coming from Waco.

4. Ole Miss Rebels: Vanderbilt is not that good, but that does not justify Ole Miss’s effort in this 27-16 victory. Chad Kelly’s 321 yards may sound good, but what does not is the fact that three red zone possessions ended in field goals, which is pathetic for a top five team playing at home. Luckily, the Rebels’ defense was particularly strong in this one, especially a blocked punt by Cale Luke. Ole Miss needs to pick it up next week, when they travel to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators.

The UCLA Bruins looked dominant last Saturday night in Tucson.

5. UCLA Bruins: Unfortunately for the Trojans fans on this side of Los Angeles, there is an element of cringing at the understanding that the Bruins are scary good. To go into the desert on College GameDay and command a statement win against the Arizona Wildcats is a feat that absolutely does not go unnoticed. Josh Rosen’s 19/28 with 284 passing yards night as a true freshman in his first road start sends a statement to the Pac 12, and especially the Pac 12 South, to watch out for the boys of Westwood. While an Arizona State team that got flooded by USC this past weekend dawns up next on the Bruins schedule, it should be a week of ease for Rosen and UCLA to start off this Pac-12 season.

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Another week, another key victory for the Irish. This time, it was a 62-27 home thrashing of the Massachusetts Minutemen in the friendly confines of South Bend. DeShone Kizer threw for over 200 yards, and Brian Kelly has a 4-0 team for the second straight year. The Irish should be glad they have the preparation now, as a date with Clemson next Saturday will shake up the college football world.

7. TCU Horned Frogs: The curse of being put at #1 in my rankings must have flooded Fort Worth, as the Horned Frogs prepared for Texas Tech. In a game that the Horned Frogs should have clearly lost, Aaron Green’s lucky tipped pass with 23 seconds left saved the day. While Trevone Boykin threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns, it clearly was not enough on the road, and the Red Raiders made the Horned Frogs pay. TCU should be happy to escape with this one, and will look for another win in its fourth consecutive game against an opponent from the state of Texas next week against the Texas Longhorns.

It was a lively day at Sanford Stadium in Athens as the Georgia Bulldogs beat Southern, 48-6.

8. Georgia Bulldogs: A 48-6 win over Southern this past weekend was nothing out of the ordinary for the Bulldogs. Nick Chubb’s 131 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown keep him on the Heisman watch, and Greyson Lambert set an NCAA record for accuracy by going 24/25 for 330 yards. Chubb’s backup, Sony Michel, even got a touchdown for himself, helping share some distribution around in the backfield. Get ready for next weekend, when the Alabama Crimson Tide come into Athens hungry to steal one from the Bulldogs the way the Ole Miss Rebels stole from them.

Utah’s Britain Covey celebrates a touchdown in Eugene, Oregon, last Saturday against the Ducks in the Utes’ big win.

9. Utah Utes: Maybe Oregon just is not as good this year and the Utes exposed that, but a team that goes into Autzen Stadium and wins 62-20 is unheard of in recent years. Remember that Oregon team that went all the way to the national championship with Marcus Mariota and then lost to Ohio State? That was last year. Eugene’s atmosphere has changed dramatically, and so has Salt Lake City’s. The defense held Royce Freeman to just 77 yards, and quarterback Travis Wilson led the charge for the Utes in a clear statement showing. With the two Los Angeles teams having been ranked in the Top 10 at various points this season, the Pac 12 South is rising up in America’s toughest conferences.

10. LSU Tigers: Two words: Leonard Fournette. When last week, and Fournette’s 228 rushing yards that went along with it, ended, thoughts were that this was an extreme for the year, and that Fournette would be more controlled by defenses. Nope. Going into Syracuse caused Fournette to be the first LSU running back to put up more than 200 yards in consecutive games, as his career-high 244 yards piled up towards a 34-24 victory. As long as this man cannot be stopped, there is no reason why LSU should stop climbing up rankings.

Christian Kirk of the Texas A&M Aggies catches the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

11. Clemson Tigers

12. Florida State Seminoles

13. Alabama Crimson Tide

14. Texas A&M Aggies

15. USC Trojans

16. Oklahoma Sooners

17. Wisconsin Badgers

18. Northwestern Wildcats

19. Stanford Cardinal

In an image characteristic of the game, the Oklahoma State Cowboys fought through numerous Longhorn obstacles to steal a victory in Austin.

20. Mississippi Bulldogs

21. Oklahoma State Cowboys

22. Michigan Wolverines

23. Florida Gators

24. West Virginia Mountaineers

25. California Golden Bears


Week 5 – Key Matchups

West Virginia at Oklahoma

Alabama at Georgia

Arizona at Stanford

Ole Miss at Florida

Mississippi State at Texas A & M

Notre Dame at Clemson

Iowa at Wisconsin


All images are courtesy of Getty Images.