What changes in our top 25 NCAA college football rankings after Week 4 action? Here’s a look at who’s trending up and who’s trending down after the most recent slate of college football games.
Top 25 college football rankings | Week 4
Which teams lead the way in our Week 4 top 25 college football rankings?
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (–)
Alabama can keep breathing easy in the top spot after a 63-14 win over Southern Miss. Jahleel Billingsley has entered the fray for the offense, which feels a lot like Thanos getting another Infinity Stone. Can Matt Corral be a real-life Avenger next week, and exact revenge for Alabama’s 63-48 victory from last season?
2) Georgia Bulldogs (–)
In a matchup with possibly fraudulent SEC team Vanderbilt, Georgia won 62-0. Quarterback JT Daniels was once again efficient on offense, and the defense was stifling for a Commodores scoring unit that commanded no confidence. Nothing has changed for weeks in the top two. It’s Alabama, Georgia, then everyone else.
3) Oregon Ducks (+2)
It took a lot more thinking than expected to find a team that could take the No. 3 spot. I eventually settled on Oregon. The Ducks have a head-to-head win against Ohio State. And if they played Oklahoma right now, I think they’d win. There’s more than enough talent on that defense to make Spencer Rattler uncomfortable, and the offense is better than expected with Anthony Brown and CJ Verdell.
4) Oklahoma Sooners (-1)
Oklahoma struggled in Week 4, again. Granted, they were struggling against a West Virginia team that beat Virginia Tech, but Spencer Rattler once again looked inconsistent. He hasn’t yet sustained growth, his offensive line hasn’t been as steady as expected, and those factors are severely hampering Lincoln Riley’s offense. On the plus side, the defense looks like it’s starting to improve.
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (+2)
I don’t feel good about moving Ohio State up two spots, either. But had Texas A&M and Clemson won, this would be a lateral move for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has enough weapons to stay competitive no matter who suits up at quarterback. But three ranked battles in the final five games of the season will test this team’s resolve.
College football rankings | 6-15
How do teams 6-15 file into place after Week 4?
6) Cincinnati Bearcats (+2)
Cincinnati and Ole Miss both moved up two spots without playing a game this week. That’s as good a deal as you’re going to get in our Week 4 top 25 college football rankings. The Bearcats don’t feel like a top-five team just yet, but the potential is there if Desmond Ridder can be more consistent. The defense is as dangerous as advertised.
7) Ole Miss Rebels (+2)
Next week, it’s Ole Miss vs. Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Saturday, October 2. Do whatever you need to do to remember it. Circle it on your calendar, circle it again, set a Google reminder, paint it on the walls. This may very well be the biggest game of Matt Corral‘s career. He’s a budding favorite for QB1 with his raw traits. An upset-sealing performance against the Crimson Tide would cause pandemonium on the draft stage.
8) Florida Gators (+3)
After taking Alabama to the wire, the Gators handily beat a Tennessee team that has some talent. Florida’s 3-1 record may not draw the glamor that undefeated records do, but that one loss to Alabama is just as valuable as a win — because it very well could have been one. If Emory Jones can keep growing, this team could surprise some people.
9) Iowa Hawkeyes (+1)
Iowa is that solid team that we’re not going to get too excited about as a playoff contender. The Hawkeyes didn’t decisively beat a Colorado State team that has a Stone Age offense and a relative lack of NFL talent. The defense is great, but this is as far as Iowa rises until further notice.
10) Arkansas Razorbacks (+14)
Much like Iowa a couple weeks ago, the Arkansas Razorbacks leveraged a win against a top-flight opponent into a massive rise on our Week 4 top 25 college football rankings. Sam Pittman’s squad beat Texas A&M by double-digits. KJ Jefferson, Treylon Burks, and Ricky Stromberg anchored an impressive offense, while the defense allowed just 10 points.
11) Texas A&M Aggies (-7)
The Aggies lost to Arkansas, so it only makes sense that they drop below their surging SEC counterpart. Sure, Texas A&M was without starting quarterback Haynes King. But it’s not a certainty that he would’ve led them to victory against a talented Razorbacks defense. The Aggies could have several first-round NFL Draft picks, and yet, they’re falling down the board.
12) Boston College Eagles (–)
The Eagles can no longer enjoy the explosive connection of Phil Jurkovec and Zay Flowers with Jurkovec out long-term, but Boston College proved they didn’t need that tandem on Saturday, beating Missouri in overtime. Boston College isn’t just a product of two players — it’s a good team. And the ACC is vulnerable right now.
13) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (–)
Coastal Carolina beat UMass 53-3 this past week, further increasing their points per game average. This is going to be a common theme this year. The Chanticleers have no ranked teams on the schedule, so they’ll likely linger in our NCAA rankings. Perhaps Troy and Georgia State will provide more of a challenge.
14) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (–)
Notre Dame bested Wisconsin in the Jack Coan vs. Graham Mertz duel, but the outcome was more about Mertz imploding than anything. Wisconsin has a lot to figure out on offense, as they have almost no passing game to speak of. It made Notre Dame look good, but a matchup against Cincinnati next week will be more difficult.
15) Penn State Nittany Lions (–)
As expected, Penn State kept things moving against Villanova. The Nittany Lions remain undefeated, but they have four contests against top-25 opponents in the coming weeks. That’s a lot of chances to move up — or down.
College football rankings | 16-25
Our top 25 NCAA rankings for Week 4 continue with teams 16-25.
16) Clemson Tigers (-10)
The Clemson Tigers are 2-2, and they might not be done sliding in our top 25 college football rankings, even after Week 4. They play Boston College next week, Pittsburgh a couple weeks after that, and Wake Forest toward the end of the season. None of those games are going to be easy — especially with Clemson’s offense in its current state.
17) Texas Longhorns (-1)
Steve Sarkisian had the best game of his young head coaching career on Saturday. The Longhorns dominated Texas Tech 70-35 and proved that they belong in our Week 4 top 25 college football rankings. The offense was electric with Casey Thompson, Bijan Robinson, Xavier Worthy, and Jordan Whittington. They drop one spot simply because of Arkansas’ jump ahead.
18) Michigan Wolverines (-1)
The Wolverines didn’t do anything flashy on offense in their 20-13 against Rutgers, but the most important unit on their team — the defense — showed up. Star players Aidan Hutchinson and Daxton Hill kept the Scarlet Knights uncomfortable all day. That should only continue in Big Ten play, keeping them safe in our NCAA rankings.
19) UCLA Bruins (+1)
UCLA could have faltered against a Stanford team that beat USC a couple weeks ago. Instead, the Bruins took control late and won by double-digits, securing their spot in our NCAA rankings. Zach Charbonnet was once again productive, and when he couldn’t find running room, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson picked up the slack through the air.
20) Arizona State Sun Devils (-2)
Arizona State had little trouble beating the Colorado Buffaloes in Week 4, more or less maintaining their standing in our Week 4 top 25 NCAA college football rankings. Still, the team’s lack of notable wins to this point dilutes their stock a bit. Incoming matchups against UCLA and Stanford could change that — or confirm our doubts.
21) BYU Cougars (+1)
A late comeback by USF almost foiled BYU’s plans to stay within our top 25 college football rankings in Week 4, but the Cougars pulled out the victory anyway. Tyler Allgeier came to play on offense, and Baylor Romney put up impressive numbers in place of starting QB Jaren Hall. There isn’t much rising potential left on the schedule, but there are a few challenges on deck.
22) SMU Mustangs (N/A)
The top newcomers in our Week 4 top 25 college football rankings are the SMU Mustangs. SMU hasn’t scored less than 35 points so far this season, and quarterback Tanner Mordecai keeps lighting up the stat sheet week in and week out. Quarterbacks get all the buzz, but SMU has talent outside of him as well. They may be here to stay.
23) Michigan State Spartans (N/A)
The second newcomer in our Week 4 top 25 NCAA college football rankings could have been added last week. Michigan State recently knocked off the Miami Hurricanes. Then, against a confusing Nebraska team on Saturday night, the Spartans did what they needed to do to get the win. Kenneth Walker III was clutch in overtime, and that fight showed that MSU might not be an easy out this year.
24) Fresno State Bulldogs (N/A)
Time and time again this season, Fresno State has proven that it has more talent than your average Group of Five team. Jake Haener is a tough competitor at quarterback, with a dynamic talent in wide receiver Jalen Cropper. The Bulldogs boast a strong line anchored by tackle Dontae Bull, and on defense, Arron Mosby is a catalyst on the edge. Fresno State is legit, and their track record proves it.
25) Kentucky Wildcats (–)
Alright, so maybe Chattanooga wasn’t just a blip on the radar. The passing offense has grown anemic after a hot start behind Will Levis and Wan’Dale Robinson. Kentucky stays in our Week 4 top 25 NCAA college football rankings for now, but next week’s battle against Florida will be telling.
Teams moving out
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- USC Trojans
- TCU Horned Frogs
Teams closing in
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Baylor Bears
- Maryland Terrapins
- UTSA Roadrunners
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- NC State Wolfpack