College Football Week 3 Rankings and Analysis

This week’s edition of my college football rankings and analysis shows very little change with only 4 Top 25 ranked teams losing last week in USC, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Kentucky. The majority of these week’s ranked teams played lowly FBS programs and irrelevant FCS teams.

 

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0; Last Week: 1)

Alabama easily handled Arkansas St 57-7 after Tua Tagovailoa threw for over 175 yards and 3 TDs in just the first quarter. Accompanying the Heisman candidate was the Harris running back duo, Damien and Najee, who combined for 196 yards on 25 carries. The dominant Crimson Tide defense once again handled their business. This is a game Alabama should have dominated and they did just that. They have Ole Miss on their slate for Week 3 which means Bama will be 3-0 at the end of this weekend.

 

2. Clemson Tigers (2-0; Last Week: 2)

In the best game of this past weekend, Clemson almost lost to Texas A&M with the Aggies’ quarterback Kellen Mond throwing for 430 yards and 3 TDs. Luckily for the Tigers, A&M was not able to convert a game-tying 2 point conversion to force overtime. And if Tee Higgins didn’t absolutely Moss the A&M cornerback, the Aggies may have actually pulled out a win against the number two team in the nation. The Tigers take on Georgia Southern next weekend for an easy victory.

 

3. Georgia Bulldogs (2-0; Last Week: 3)

This one personally hurt me. Did I think South Carolina should have beaten Georgia? No I did not. Did I think they could compete? Absolutely. Boy was I wrong. After the first half, it was only 20-10 so the Cocks were in this game for a little bit. The second half was a different story with the Dawgs ending up winning 41-17 behind 272 rushing yards including 64 and a touchdown from Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift. The defense meanwhile held South Carolina to 56 rushing yards and kept Jake Bentley uncomfortable in the pocket all game long. The Bulldogs have Middle Tennessee at home this weekend. The Dawgs will be out and ready to feast.

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0; Last Week: 4)

Can I start off by saying Rutgers is an actual joke for an FBS team let alone the Big 10. The Buckeyes won 52-3 behind 233 yards on 20/23 and 3 TDs by Dwayne Haskins who continues to showcase his talent in a crowded Heisman race. Even their backup Tate Martell went a perfect 10/10 throwing and a touchdown against the Scarlet Knights defense. Hopefully the Buckeyes get tested this week against 15 TCU.

 

5. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0; Last Week: 6)

Kyler Murray continues to impress me as Baker Mayfield’s successor throwing for 306 yards and 3 TDs along with 69 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in a 49-21 win over Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins. Some bad news for the Sooners: their star running back Rodney Anderson is done for the season after suffering a knee injury. Will the Sooners falter in their quest to win the Big 12? Who knows but behind Kyler Murray’s dual threat ability, I think they should be fine in a down year for the conference.

 

6. Wisconsin Badgers (2-0; Last Week: 5)

What does Wisconsin have to do to get some love from the voters? They have dropped two spots in two weeks after outscoring opponents 79-17 in that span. The Badgers beat New Mexico 45-14 this week behind Jonathan Taylor’s MONSTER game. The Heisman frontrunner in my opinion rushed for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Lobos. If Taylor can continue to put together performances like this, the Big 10 doesn’t stand a chance. BYU doesn’t stand a chance this week. And voters, show this Badger team some love. Please.

 

7. Auburn Tigers (2-0; Last Week: 7)

Auburn put Alabama State in a casket last week after winning 63-9. The Tigers had two running backs rush for over 100 yards and neither of them was Kam Martin. After rushing for 80 yards on 22 carries against Washington in Week 1, the running back only had 7 carries against Alabama State. Were the Tigers saving him for more of a challenge? Is he in Gus Malzahn’s dog house? Who knows but this is a very dangerous Auburn team with this lethal run game. They have a tough test against LSU this week.

 

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0; Last Week: 8)

So Wisconsin can crush two terrible teams and drop a spot, but Notre Dame beats Ball State by 8 points and sit in the same spot? This goes to show that there is still a bias for the Fighting Irish. Brandon Wimbush threw not one… not two… but THREE interceptions against the Cardinals. At this point, Notre Dame is looking a lot like a pretender this year. Luckily for them, their half of the ACC conference is an absolute joke. Maybe former LaSalle High School and Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur, son of former Eagles offensive coordinator and now-Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, can pull of an upset in South Bend.

 

9. Stanford Cardinal (2-0; Last Week: 10)

This is a team I fully believe should be ranked ahead of Notre Dame at the moment. They stomped USC this week 17-3 behind Bryce Love’s 136 yards and a touchdown. The defense picked off JT Daniels twice in their victory. I have nothing else to say. Voters, do better. And UC Davis, get ready for Bryce Love to run all over you.

 

10. Washington Huskies (1-1; Last Week: 9)

Jake Browning and company took care of a week North Dakota team 45-3. They get a Utah team next week who competed with Michigan State in Week 1.

 

11. Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0; Last Week: 13)

Was Penn State way off during Week 1 or is Pitt just that bad? After an overtime victory against Appalachian State, they buried Pitt into the turf 51-6. Miles Sanders ran wild against the Panthers to the tune of 118 yards on 16 carries. With Kent State on the table next week, the Nittany Lions should feast.

 

12. LSU Tigers (2-0, Last Week: 11)

I want to start this off by saying Nick Brossette is legit and can keep the Heisman race interesting. After 125 yards in Week 1, the running back ran for 137 yards in a 31-0 victory over SE Louisiana. They have a huge game against Auburn this week in what I believe will be the best game of the week.

 

13. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0; Last Week: 12)

24-3. 62-17. These are the final scores of the Hokies’ first two games against Florida State and William & Mary, respectively. There aren’t many huge names on this Va Tech team but they know how to play together and win. Watch out East Carolina. The Hokies are coming for you.

 

14. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0; Last Week: 14)

Will Grier is a legitimate first round talent in next year’s NFL draft and is one of three premier quarterback prospects along with Mizzou’s Drew Lock and Oregon’s Justin Herbert. In a 52-17 victory over Youngstown State, Grier threw for 332 yards and 4 touchdowns after 429 yards and 5 touchdowns against Tennessee. He is in my top two in the Heisman race. Their game against NC State this week has been postponed to a later date.

 

15. TCU Horned Frogs (2-0; Last Week: 16)

TCU is a team that flies under my radar year in and year out. Is it because they never have those big name Heisman competitors? I don’t know but they took care of business against SMU 42-12. Let’s hope they give Ohio State a good game this week.

 

16. Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0; Last Week: 18)

Good news for the Bulldogs: Nick Fitzgerald has returned after a one-game suspension. The bad news: he did not look very good throwing the ball (11/27, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT). However, the quarterback ran for 159 yards and running back Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and 2 TDs. Either way, the Bulldogs beat Kansas State 31-10 and are going up against Louisiana-Lafayette this week.

 

17. Boise State Broncos (2-0; Last Week: 20)

Brett Rypien is a very good quarterback. After throwing for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns in their season opener, Rypien launched 3 TDs and 362 yards against the putrid UConn Huskies on the way to a 62-7 win. UConn, stick to basketball. Boise State, keep doing your thing and good luck against your first real opponent of the year in the 24th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

 

18. UCF Golden Knights (2-0; Last Week: 19)

UCF is still undefeated after shutting out South Carolina State 38-0. I’m sorry but UCF is no longer interesting to me without Shaquem Griffin and quality competition. But Golden Knights, keep thinking you’re the defending national champions. Or don’t. UNC is terrible and should be another easy win.

 

19. Michigan Wolverines (1-1; Last Week: 21)

I really wish Michigan lost this week so I could continue to bash on Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Then again it was only Western Michigan, so don’t get your hopes up Michigan fans. You’re still not going to compete in the Big 10 with Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State in your path. They play the same SMU team that got humiliated by TCU last week.

 

20. Oregon Ducks (2-0; Last Week: 23)

I like this Oregon team a lot. Justin Herbert can play with any quarterback in college football and proved it after throwing for 250 yards and 4 TDs against Portland State and like Auburn had two running backs rush for over 100 yards in Tony Brooks-James and CJ Verdell. The Ducks may be overlooked in the Pac-12 behind Stanford and Washington but I assure you, they can compete with both of them. Oregon gets San Jose State this week at home. Mr. Justin Herbert, give us a show please.

 

21. Miami Hurricanes (1-1; Last Week: 22)

77-0 win against Savannah State. Let’s see how bad they can beat Toledo this week.

 

22. USC Trojans (1-1; Last Week: 17)

USC did not play well this week. JT Daniels looked very uncomfortable all game against Stanford. The running back couldn’t get anything going. It’s not looking too hot for the Trojans with Stanford, Washington, and now Oregon being ranked above them. Saturday night is a rematch with Texas from the 2006 Rose Bowl aka the best college football game of my generation headlined by Vince Young, Reggie Bush, and Matt Leinart.

 

23. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0; Last Week: NR)

Our first team to jump into the Top 25 rankings this week, Herm Edwards and his Sun Devils defended their home turf last week against former 15th ranked Michigan State and pulled out a 16-13 win. Arizona State is another team looking to compete in a stacked Pac-12 this year with five teams that are currently ranked in the Top 25 as well as two tough opponents in Arizona and Utah. They’ll take on the Aztecs of San Diego State this weekend.

 

24. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0; Last Week: NR)

Gone are the days of gunslinger Mason Rudolph who now is Ben Roethlisberger’s backup in Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, the Cowboys are still scoring an absurd amount of points scoring 58 and 55, respectively, in their first two weeks of the season. They beat South Alabama 55-17 this week behind 428 yards from Rudolph’s replacement Taylor Cornelius. Let’s see how they fare against 17 Boise State Broncos this week.

 

25. Michigan State Spartans (1-1; Last Week: 15)

Why is Michigan State still ranked? They almost lost to Utah State in Week 1 and then lost to Arizona State last week. If they’re playing this bad against Pac-12 opponents, I cannot wait to see how they play against their Big 10 Conference counterparts. Brian Lewerke is a good quarterback but outside of him, the Spartans are not a scary team and will be unranked before long.

 

Fell Out of Top 25:

South Carolina: Lost to Georgia 41-17

Florida: Lost to Kentucky 27-16 (prior to this UK win, Florida had beaten them 31 straight times)

 

My Heisman Race:

will grier.jpg

  1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
  2. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
  3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
  4. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
  5. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
  6. Drew Lock, QB, Mizzou
  7. Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
  8. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
  9. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
  10. Nick Brossette, RB, LSU

 

 

Pictures courtesy of:

Jonathan Taylor: Yahoo Sports

Will Grier: Sports Quotient

 

 

Mike Johnston

Glenside, PA

University of South Carolina ’21

Twitter: @mjohnston0880

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