The third week of the college football season is in the books. There were plenty of good games to watch and some matchups had College Football Playoff implications. So who set themselves up well to make the College Football Playoff?
Note: These rankings only take into account what has happened on the field. Teams will be moved accordingly based on the teams they beat. Teams who played a lower level of competition will not be in these rankings yet, but will have their chances to prove themselves in the coming weeks.
1. LSU Tigers (3-0)
LSU had a daunting task playing at Auburn this week, but they got a game-winning field goal as time expired to secure the victory. The win has gives LSU two wins over top 10 teams, which means they have the best CFP resume by far. It’s still early, but the Tigers have set themselves up well for the CFP committee and for the rest of the season.
This week: vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
2. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0)
The Bulldogs took on Middle Tennessee this week and came away with a 49-7 win. It’s not a great resume-building win, but the Blue Raiders will likely make a bowl game at season’s end. Georgia adds this to their wins over Austin Peay and South Carolina. They looked so good against the Gamecocks, and got some help from teams losing ahead of them, that they secure the second spot after week 3.
This week: at Missouri Tigers
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)
After winning three games, Ohio State will welcome Urban Meyer back to the sidelines this week. The Buckeyes’ wins over Oregon State and Rutgers have almost no effect, but this week Ohio State beat TCU in Dallas. The defense gave up big plays, but also impressed with two touchdowns, showing they’ll be tough to beat in the Big Ten.
This week: vs. Tulane Green Wave
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0)
The Fighting Irish have looked really sloppy the last few weeks. This week they held on to beat Vanderbilt 22-17. Their case to the CFP committee is still carried by their win over Michigan in week 1. The defense has been great, while the offense has problems. If they want to get to the CFP they’ll likely have to grind out every game.
This week: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
First Four Out
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0)
This is where these rankings are different than everywhere else. Preseason rankings and hype aren’t filtered in. Oklahoma State is on this list because they got a big win over Boise State. They won handily, 44-21, and ended Boise State’s CFP hopes. The Cowboys still have a lot to prove, but through three weeks they have one very good win.
This week: vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
6. Clemson Tigers (3-0)
After getting a good win over Texas A&M last week, Clemson had another cake walk against Georgia Southern this week. The game won’t do anything to change the minds of people on the committee, but playing teams like this could hurt if they have one loss and other teams looking to make the CFP have better non-conference wins. For all intents and purposes though, Clemson is fine.
This week: at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0)
Alabama is yet to play a great team, but have dominated the competition. Their two decent wins are over Louisville and Ole Miss. The win over Louisville isn’t as good as originally thought, as the Cardinal struggled to beat WKU this week. Ole Miss is a solid team, but has a bad defense. If these were power rankings, Alabama would be ranked number one, but they still need to do more to catch the eye of the CFP committee.
8. Kentucky Wildcats (3-0)
The Wildcats had no problems with Murray State (FCS) this week, winning 48-10. That is not the reason they are on this list though. Their win in week 2 at Florida is still the only reason they are on this list. Florida was ranked in the top 25 and have seemingly figured some things out with their win over Colorado State. Kentucky will be tested in the next few weeks.
This week: vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Next Four Out
9. Stanford Cardinal (3-0)
Stanford beat UC Davis this week, which was all but assured as soon as they took the field. The rest of Stanford’s wins have been thrown out of whack. The win over USC looks worse after the Trojans got trounced in the second half at Texas. Positively though, San Diego State upset Arizona State with a backup quarterback in. The Cardinal drop a few spots, but they’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve their case starting this week.
This week: at Oregon Ducks
10. Oklahoma Sooners (3-0)
The Sooners will be without starting running back Rodney Anderson for the rest of the season, but they still picked up a win over Iowa State. This paired with their win against Florida Atlantic has made the Sooners look really good. They still don’t have a really big win, but have played well.
This week: vs. Army Black Knights
11. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)
Unfortunately, West Virginia’s game this weekend against NC State was canceled due to weather. It would have been a great chance to see quarterback Will Grier against some solid competition for the first time this season. The Mountaineers got a decent win over Tennessee, but the Volunteers will likely struggle the rest of this season. Their other win is over Youngstown State.
This week: vs. Kansas State Wildcats
12. Auburn Tigers (2-1)
Auburn lost to LSU this weekend, but still has one of the best wins of the season. They beat Washington in week 1 and only lost to LSU on a last-second field goal. The Tigers still have a daunting schedule, but the win over Washington will help their resume along the way.
This week: vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
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