The top of the AP Top 25 college football rankings may have had little shuffling in Week 3, but a more interesting week than expected set the stage for an eventful Week 4 headlined by No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame. Here’s what you need to know about the latest poll:
Full AP Top 25
- Georgia (57)
- Michigan (2)
- Texas (3)
- Florida State (1)
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Oregon State
- Ole Miss
- North Carolina
- Washington State
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Should Georgia still be No. 1?
It depends on the criteria each voter uses at this point in the season. If I were still a voter — and I’m not — I would lean more on this year’s results and seriously consider ranking Notre Dame, Washington and Penn State as my top three, followed by Florida State and Texas. Those have been the teams, in a small sample size, that have performed the best this season when you measure the competition and performance. Georgia has putzed around a bit in the first three games, as have Ohio State and Michigan.
But if you voted Georgia at the top to begin the year, it’s understandable to keep it there. The style points weren’t great against South Carolina, but you play to win the game, right? Georgia turned it on when it had to, outscoring South Carolina 21-0 in the second half. If a voter wants to give deference to the two-time defending champion and wait for an actual loss before dropping them, that’s a defensible move. Besides, the poll’s just for fun; if Georgia loses on the field, the selection committee will drop the Bulldogs. (Well, probably.) — Emerson
Emerson: Georgia doesn’t look like the nation’s best team, but who does?
How will Week 4 impact the AP poll?
Week 3 offered plenty of intrigue, but it had zero matchups of teams ranked in the AP Top 25. In fact, there have been only three ranked matchups total in the first three weeks.
Week 4? There are six, headlined by the top-10 showdown in South Bend:
- No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame
- No. 24 Iowa at No. 7 Penn State
- No. 22 UCLA at No. 11 Utah
- No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon
- No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 13 Alabama
- No. 14 Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State
And that doesn’t even include No. 3 Florida State at Clemson, which is ranked in the coaches poll but the first team out of the AP poll.
The Pac-12 still has eight ranked teams, and six of them play each other. Meanwhile, Alabama gets a chance to right the ship and regain respect — and possibly a spot back in the top 10 — if it can fend off Ole Miss at home.
Though we are unlikely to learn much about No. 1 Georgia (vs. UAB) and No. 2 Michigan (vs. Rutgers), we could learn a lot more about the rest of the Top 25 in a week that has the potential to shuffle the rankings as much as any this season. — Brown
Behind the AP Top 25 ballot: Is anybody actually good? Next Saturday will tell us a lot
(Photo: Steve Limentani / ISI Photos / Getty Images)