A bit of chaos was injected into to college football in Week 4.
Oklahoma State lost to TCU. Florida State dropped a game at home to N.C. State after a couple of weeks off due to the recent hurricanes. Clemson struggled against Boston College, while Alabama laughed off threats that Vanderbilt was emerging as an SEC contender.
So who benefited the most? Check out below!
1. Alabama — SEC, 4-0
LW: 2 — Result: W, 59-0 at Vanderbilt
So I mentioned last week that I wasn’t a huge fan of what appeared to be Alabama clearly sleepwalking against Colorado State. Well yeah, Alabama didn’t sleepwalk this week.
After a week of hearing about how Vanderbilt could potentially give them a fight, Alabama showed why they have been college football’s premier program for the past decade. The Crimson Tide defense responded in a big way after being relatively disappointing last week, and Alabama scored one of the most impressive wins of the year by anytime.
Close games are fun (looking at you Penn State and Oklahoma), but sometimes it’s great to see one of the top teams prove they are among the best by destroying a team that they are supposed to beat.
2. Clemson — ACC, 4-0
LW: 1 — Result: W, 34-7 vs. Boston College
That score looks impressive, but make so mistake, Clemson struggled for the majority of this game. It was tied at seven apiece entering the fourth quarter until Clemson finally woke up and scored 27 unanswered to close the game.
Maybe it was some hangover after all the hype of last week’s Louisville game, but regardless, Clemson should not be struggling this much against a team like Boston College.
3. Penn State– Big Ten, 4-0
LW: 4 — Result: W, 21-19 at Iowa
Now this was a thrilling ending.
Iowa scored with under two minutes left to take the lead in Kinnick Stadium, but Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley led his team back down the field and he threw a game-winner to Juwan Johnson in order to steal the game away from the Hawkeyes. Great effort from Iowa, but better poise from Penn State to keep it together and get the W.
4. Oklahoma — Big 12, 4-0
LW: 3 — Result: W, 49-41 at Baylor
This was awkward for a long time. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield trash talked Baylor before the game, saying he was Baylor’s daddy and well… Baylor nearly made him regret those words. Oklahoma walked away with the win, but really poor performance against a team that lost to Liberty and UTSA.
5. Washington — Pac-12, 4-0
LW: 8 — Result: W, 39-10 at Colorado
Like last year, Washington’s Jake Browning struggled heavily against the Buffs defense. Didn’t matter, as Washington’s defense more than held up their end of the bargain, and running back Myles Gaskin rushed for 202 yards to power the offense.
6. USC — Pac-12, 4-0
LW: 6 — Result: W, 30-20 at Cal
Different week, same USC. They looked very mediocre for three quarters, but they turned it on as the clocked ticked into the fourth quarter to pull away and get the win. USC did have some injuries on offense that definitely made an impact on what they were able to do, but they really need their version of Alabama’s Vanderbilt game or Clemson’s Louisville game; they need to take a lesser opponent and just crush them to show that they are an elite squad.
7. Michigan — Big Ten, 4-0
LW: 7 — Result: W, 28-10 at Purdue
Purdue led this game at half, and had a real opportunity after Michigan starter Wilton Speight got knocked out of the game.
Nevertheless, backup John O’Korn stepped in for Michigan and provided a steady force on offense as the defense finally ate Purdue alive in the second half. An impressive performance by O’Korn, but it could leave Michigan in a weird spot as a quarterback battle go loom in the future.
8. Georgia — SEC, 4-0
LW: 11 — Result: W, 31-3 vs. Mississippi State
This was one of the most impressive tackling performances by any team that I’ve seen over the past couple of years. Mississippi State couldn’t get anything going on offense, and even when they did, the Georgia defense swooped in and brought the ball carrier down — hard — on the first attempt. True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm also looked like a potential star.
At least for now, it looks like the SEC finally has a great No. 2 team to slide in behind Alabama in the rankings.
9. Ohio State — Big Ten, 3-1
LW: 10 — Result: W, 54-21 vs. UNLV
Ohio State took a 44-7 lead by half to put this one away quickly… as they should have.
Those clamoring to see backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins got their wish, too, as Haskins play in relief of J.T. Barrett after Barrett had already scored five touchdowns on the day. Haskins impressed and things look good for his future, but for now, it still looks like this is Barrett’s gig unless things really go sideways in Columbus.
10. Wisconsin — Big Ten, 3-0
LW: 12 — Result: BYE
Wisconsin had a BYE this week. They play next week at home against Northwestern in ABC’s noon game.
11. Virginia Tech — ACC, 4-0
LW: 13 — Result: W, 38-0 vs. Old Dominion
After Florida State’s loss to N.C. State, Virginia Tech has now solidified themselves as the No. 2 team in the ACC.
As they should have, Virginia Tech blew out Old Dominion on Saturday, but things get a little more difficult next week when they face Clemson at home.
12. TCU — Big 12, 4-0
LW: 15 — Result: W, 44-31 vs. Oklahoma State
TCU head coach Gary Patterson is a wizard and there is nothing you can do to convince me otherwise. Oklahoma State’s offense had looked unstoppable in recent weeks, but the Frogs were able to grind Oklahoma State to a halt — at least by Big 12 standards — in order to walk away with the big victory in Stillwater.
13. Oklahoma State — Big 12, 3-1
LW: 5 — Result: L, 31-44 vs. TCU
Obviously it is difficult to predict the future, but Oklahoma State is still a great team. However, this looks like the one loss that could completely come back to haunt them, as the Pokes have always had that one loss in recent seasons that seem to upend their efforts at contending. (Central Michigan… Iowa State…)
If it’s any consolation, they get Texas Tech next game. That should be a good way to get their offense back on track.
14. Auburn — SEC, 3-1
LW: 16 — Result: W, 51-14 at Missouri
Their offense looked great!… but it was against Missouri, and Missouri has been far from a defensive powerhouse this season. I mean, they fired their coordinator after two games this season.
I still like the potential that Auburn’s offense has, but that’s what they been for the past few seasons: potential. I think this squad with Jarrett Stidham at the helm is the closest they’ve been to actually reaching that potential, but they need to prove it consistently in order to show that they really have things figured out.
15. Miami — ACC, 2-0
LW: 18 — Result: W, 52-30 vs. Toledo
After a couple of weeks off due to troubles from Hurricane Irma, Miami finally got back on the field against Toledo. Toledo did actually put up a strong fight as Miami showed a bit of rust, but Miami was eventually able to put things together with a big 28-point fourth quarter. Those big fourth quarters seems to have been a theme on Saturday.
16. Utah — Pac-12, 4-0
LW: 17 — Result: W, 30-24 at Arizona
Utah walked away with the win, but things could get dicey in the coming weeks as starting quarterback Tyler Huntley went down in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Utah still has experienced backup Troy Williams to fall back on, but Williams isn’t nearly the game changer that Huntley has the potential to be.
17. Washington State — Pac-12, 4-0
LW: 20 — Result: W, 45-7 vs. Nevada
Washington State has usually been good for a stinker in these games since their resurgence under Mike Leach. That didn’t happen at all here, as Washington State jumped out to a quick 35-0 lead in the second quarter.
Washington State gets USC in a Friday night game in Pullman in what could really but a statement game for either team. They both need a win over a big team.
18. Louisville — ACC, 3-1
LW: 23 — Result: W, 42-3 vs. Kent State
This was a good response after getting blown out by Clemson last week. Even against a lowly team, Louisville needed to get a win on the board where they showed that they were really a Top 25 team, and that’s what happened.
Next week, a chance to do the same against a much better, conference opponent: NC State.
19. San Diego State — MWC, 4-0
LW: 24 — Result: W, 28-24 at Air Force
A week after Air Force game Michigan a run for their money, the Academy did the same thing this week with another ranked team in San Diego State. SDSU was coming off a big victory against Stanford last week, and it was certainly the kind of game that could be called a “trap” game after that win. However, Rashaad Penny — the same man that powered the Aztecs last week — scored three touchdowns to keep the New Year’s Six dream alive.
20. Memphis — AAC, 3-0
LW: 21– Result: W, 44-31 vs. Southern Illinois
Not exactly the performance they wanted after upsetting UCLA last week. They got the win, but trailing at half and being forced to comeback is making me cast my doubts on if they can really be the top team in the AAC and the Group of 5 as a whole.
21. South Florida — AAC, 4-0
LW: NR — Result: W, 43-7 vs. Temple
South Florida opened the season ranked in the main preseason polls, but they have vastly underachieved so far, sneaking away with wins in their first three games.
“Sneaking” didn’t happen here. They dominated Temple, with the defense pulling down four picks to help set up very easily opportunities for the offense. There are still some things to work on, as quarterback Quinton Flowers missed some chances throwing the ball, but overall, this was exactly the win that new coach Charlie Strong desperately needed.
22. West Virginia — Big 12, 3-1
LW: NR — Result: W, 56-34 at Kansas
Don’t forget about West Virginia! Their Week 1 loss to Virginia Tech threw them off the national radar for a bit, but they have recovered with three consecutive wins. Former Florida quarterback Will Grier threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday against Kansas, and now West Virginia has a week off before they head to TCU.
23. Florida — SEC, 2-1
LW: 25 — Result: W, 28-27 at Kentucky
So is Florida going to be like last year’s Tennessee team where they keep absurdly pulling wins out of their behinds for the first half of the season? Because if so, it makes for some awful three hours of football, but some fantastic and extremely entertaining finishes.
Poor Kentucky… they could have easily had this one, but they have now lost 31-straight to Florida.
24. Duke — ACC, 4-0
LW: NR — Result: W, 27-17 at North Carolina
Not only is Duke 4-0, but their win over North Carolina was their biggest over the Tar Heels since 1989. Some guy named Steve Spurrier was the head coach for Duke then, I heard that guy turned out to be pretty good.
We will see how good Duke really is next week. They get Miami at home, and a win there would really put them on the radar as an ACC sleeper.
25. Mississippi State — SEC, 3-1
LW: 14 — Result: L, 3-31 vs. Georgia
Everything that the Mississippi State offense was against LSU last week was completely turned on its head this week against Georgia. The good news is that even with a difficult schedule remaining, it’s hard to see Nick Fitzgerald having this bad of a game against anyone else, except maybe Alabama.
DROPPED FROM THE RANKINGS: Florida State (10), Vanderbilt (19), Colorado (22)