A couple of teams moved up big time on my College Football Top 20 Rankings for Week 4. I’m somewhat different than the AP and USA Today College polls. Both polls have Clemson ranked second. I don’t.
Below, I get into why. I also write about the other 19 college football teams in my Top 20. Keep reading for my 2017 College Football top 20 Rankings for Week 4!
2017 College Football Top 20 Rankings Week 4
1. Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0
Alabama’s 42 to 23 win over the Colorado State Rams was just okay. The Crimson Tide was favored by 31. The fact that they only beat Colorado State by 19 points wouldn’t be such an issue if the Rams hadn’t scored 23 against Alabama’s defense. The Tide are thin at linebacker. We’ll see how they fair on the road against undefeated Vanderbilt this Saturday. The game should be much more competitive than what the spread implies.
2. Penn State Nittany Lions 3-0
I see no reason to drop the Nittany Lions below 2 on my College Football Power Rankings. Sure, Penn State played Georgia State in Week 3. But, the Nittany Lions beat Georgia State 56 to 0. Why is that important? First, the Lions were only favored by 37. Second, the Lions kept the Panthers from even scoring a field goal.
3. Oklahoma Sooners 3-0
Oklahoma took out Tulane 56 to 14. I thought the Sooners might bounce after their amazing win over Ohio State. They didn’t bounce at all. Oklahoma easily covered the 33-point spread. For the Sooners, it’s 3 wins and 3 covers in their first 3 games of the season. It doesn’t appear as if Oklahoma is going to take a step back any time soon.
4. Clemson Tigers 3-0
Why is Clemson at 4 on my College Football Top 20 even though they’re at 2 on both the AP and USA Today Coach’s polls? One reason. I never believed in Louisville. Not even when the Cardinals beat Purdue by 7 points as a -25.5 favorite. I didn’t believe it when Louisville beat North Carolina by 12 as a -11.5 favorite.
Clemson gets props for winning. They don’t get extra props for beating Louisville.
5. Washington Huskies 3-0
USC is skating on thin ice. I mean, the Trojans needed overtime to beat a Texas team that they were supposed to smash by over 17 points. Washington, in my estimation, is the best team in the Pac 12. The Huskies rolled over Fresno State 48 to 16. Demolishing opponents has become business as usual for Washington. That makes the Huskies elite.
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys 3-0
I was tempted to rank Oklahoma State in my Top 5. Tempted, but didn’t do it. Didn’t have the guts. If Oklahoma State trounces TCU, which is what I think they’ll do in Week 4, I might move them up all the way to 5. Heck, maybe, 4 or 3.
7. Michigan Wolverines 3-0
Michigan is only 1 and 2 against the spread this season. That’s not a bad thing because the Wolverines haven’t allowed a single opponent to score more than 17 points against it. The Wolverines’ offense hasn’t caught up with its defense. Think of what’s going to happen if the offense ever does catch up with Michigan’s D.
8. USC Trojans 3-0
I had half a mind to send the Trojans out of my Top 10 all together. From my perspective, USC isn’t a great football team. There’s no reason Texas should have hung with the Trojans at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in Week 3. Sure, I know USC pulled it out 27 to 24 in overtime. Eventually, the football’s not going to bounce USC’s way, though.
9. Wisconsin Badgers 3-0
Wisconsin’s defense is about as stout as any D I’ve seen this season. The Badgers held BYU to only 6 points in a 40 to 6 road victory. What you must love if you’re a Badger fan is how QB Alex Hornibrook completed close to 95% of his passes. Hornibrook was 18 of 19 for 256 yards and 4 TDs. Either BYU is really that bad, or Wisconsin finally has a legit QB.
10. Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-0
From unranked in my Top 20 to 10? Yep. That’s how impressive Mississippi State was when dominating LSU 37 to 7 as a 7.5 home dog. Mississippi State is undefeated. The defense allows 9.3 points per game. Opponents average 206 total yards per game versus Mississippi State.
After the Bulldogs beat Georgia and Auburn on the road in their next 2, I’ll make room for everyone else on the bandwagon.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies 3-0
Virginia Tech keeps rolling. The Hokies beat East Carolina 64 to 17 as a -27 favorite. I really liked the Hokies going into that game. Freshman QB Josh Jackson has been exceptional this season. He’s thrown for 829 yards and 8 TDs without a single interception. He’s also completing close to 65% of his passes.
12. Georgia Bulldogs 3-0
Georgia’s freshman quarterback Jake Fromm struggled against Samford. Don’t let the 42 to 14 score fool you. Fromm completed 8 of 13 for only 165 yards. Yes, Georgia didn’t need Fromm to be successful. Not when Nick Chubb can rush for 131 yards off 16 carries.
They’re going to need Fromm this Saturday. They can’t expect to beat Mississippi State by riding on Nick Chubb’s back.
13. TCU Horned Frogs 3-0
TCU’s defense did a fantastic job shutting down Arkansas’ offense in Week 3. The Razorbacks were good for 7 points in a 28 to 7 TCU win. Things get much tougher for TCU on Sep. 23. Whomever wins between TCU and Oklahoma State is the only team in the Big 12 that could challenge the Sooners.
14. Ohio State Buckeyes 2-1
It’s difficult to sing Ohio State’s praises after their 38 to 7 win over Army. One thing to note is that QB J.T. Barrett had a decent game. Barrett completed 25 of 33 for 270 yards. He threw 2 TD passes. Barrett should look awesome again this week. Ohio State battles UNLV. Yep. That UNLV. The one that lost to Howard straight up in Week 1.
15. Washington State Cougars 3-0
Undefeated Washington State must get their defense together to make a challenge in the Pac 12. So far, the Cougars have lived off QB Luke Falk’s awesome skills. Falk’s thrown 9 TD passes to 1 interception. He’s completing 77% of his passes. He’s thrown for 900 yards in 3 games. Even if Falk’s magic lasts, Washington State won’t win the Pac 12 unless the defense steps it up.
16. Miami Hurricanes 1-0
Miami finallhy got to play football against a fellow college football team. Okay, maybe Bethune-Cookman is a semi-college football team. The Canes didn’t cover the spread. It’s tough to cover a -50 spread. That’s true even if you’re playing against Bethune-Cookman.
17. Oregon Ducks 3-0
Oregon dominated Wyoming 49 to 13 as a -14 road favorite in Week 3. The Ducks’s defense is much better this season than it has been in years. That should give Oregon fans hope that they can stick with Washington and Washington State in the Pac 12 North.
18. Utah Utes 3-0
Utah is 3 and 0 straight up and against the spread. The Utes get a pass this week versus the Arizona Wildcats, a team they should score 60 points against. Stanford and USC, Utah’s 2 games after Zona in Tucson, should tell us more.
19. Vanderbilt Commodores 3-0
It’s a shame that undefeated Vanderbilt isn’t ranked in either the AP or the USA Today polls. The reason why is because Alabama faces one of the top teams in its conference this Saturday. If Bama squeaks by, instead of getting credit for beating a top SEC squad, everyone is going to wonder what’s wrong with Alabama.
Vanderbilt has an incredible defense. Kansas State was ranked until Vandy beat the Wildcats straight up 14 to 7. The Commodores allow an average of 4.3 points per game. Vandy could pose a challenge to Alabama’s awesomeness on Sep. 23.
20. Florida State Seminoles 0-1
The Seminoles finally get back onto the gridiron this Saturday. FSU is a big favorite over NC State. This is the game where we find out if Florida State can thrive without QB Deondre Francois. The key is for FSU to protect whomever ends up starting in Francois’ place. My money is on junior J.J. Constantino since the other 3 quarterbacks on the roster are freshman.