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College Football Top 25: It's Still Early

It's still too early to start thinking about the College Football Playoff picture, but some of these early season matchups will end up being a factor in who ends up as the top four teams when the regular season is all said and done. There was plenty of exciting moments this past weekend, so without anything further, let's get into the new Top 25.

1. Georgia (4-0)

Previous: 1

Last game: 49-21 over UAB

Next up: at Auburn on Saturday, September 30 at 3:30 p.m.

While they are still the team to beat and have taken care of business so far, the Bulldogs haven't entirely wiped off the rust and have lost tons of talent to the NFL. They "only" beat UAB by 28 points as 40 points, and they would normally beat those teams by plenty more. In all seriousness, though, as long as Georgia wins games, they won't move from this top spot. Their biggest tests don't come for several weeks, when they play Florida, Missouri, Ole Miss, and Tennessee back-to-back-to-back-to-back starting October 28. The only team I see challenging them might be Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

2. Michigan (4-0)

Previous: 2

Last game: 31-7 over Rutgers

Next up: at Nebraska on Saturday, September 30 at 3:30 p.m.

Michigan took the first two quarters to get it going, as they only led 14-7 at the half. But the Wolverines took care of business, scoring 31 straight points on Rutgers after the Scarlet Knights scored on their first drive via a 69-yard touchdown pass.

3. Texas (4-0)

Previous: 3

Last game: 38-6 over Baylor

Next up: vs. 24 Kansas on Saturday, September 30 at 3:30 p.m.

The Longhorns faced a bit of a hangover from their win over Alabama for three quarters of the game last week before scoring 21 unanswered points. That momentum carried into this week's game at Baylor, as they have outscored opponents 59-6 over the last five quarters. Next week, it's another big test, facing a ranked Big 12 opponent in Kansas.

4. Florida State (4-0)

Previous: 4

Last game: 31-24 over Clemson (OT)

Next up: Bye week, then vs. Virginia Tech on Saturday, October 7 at TBD

It took overtime, but Florida State was able to outlast Clemson. Jordan Travis has been playing very well thus far and is a Heisman contender. But there are certain areas of concern for the Seminoles, and they are lucky to have escaped Death Valley with a win. They are going to be tested when they face Duke next month. For now, they head on their bye week.

5. Ohio State (4-0)

Previous: 5

Last game: 17-14 over Notre Dame

Next up: Bye week, then vs. Maryland on Saturday, October 7 at TBD

Kyle McCord led the Buckeyes to a gritty road victory over the Fighting Irish on Saturday. It certainly wasn't always pretty, as it took the final play to do it, but you have to praise a quarterback when he leads an impressive last-minute drive. If Notre Dame holds on, the script is completely flipped on how we view both teams. Good teams win games; great teams win the close ones—especially tough road games.

6. Penn State (4-0)

Previous: 7

Last game: 31-0 over Iowa

Next up: at Northwestern on Saturday, September 30 at noon.

Penn State's defense is legitimate and was nearly flawless in shutting out a then-ranked Big Ten opponent on Saturday. While Iowa certainly shot itself in the foot multiple times, the Nittany Lions' defense has that kind of impact. Not only was the defense a huge factor, but Drew Allar continues to impress, and the Hawkeyes' defense is nothing to scoff at, putting up 31 points. To be as honest and unbiased as possible, Penn State has looked like the team to beat in the Big Ten so far this season. The only reason I am ranking them below Michigan and Ohio State right now is based on a recent history of being unable to get by those two teams. While James Franklin tells his guys to go "1-0" each week and not look ahead, Penn State traveling to play Ohio State at the Shoe on October 21 is circled on both fanbases' calendars. It will be a litmus test of sorts for Allar to see if he truly is the missing piece for the Nittany Lions' CFP hopes.

7. Utah (4-0)

Previous: 9

Last game: 14-7 over UCLA

Next up: at 18 Oregon State on Friday, September 29 at 9:00 p.m.

The Utah defense looked impressive in a hard-fought 14-7 win over UCLA. The Utes held the Bruins to only nine yards rushing and only 234 yards of total offense. The matchup against Oregon State on Friday is a big test for their defense. A big story will be whether or not Cam Rising will be able to go as he continues to recover from an ACL tear he suffered in the Rose Bowl against Penn State.

8. Washington (4-0)

Previous: 10

Last game: 59-32 over Cal

Next up: at Arizona on Saturday, September 30 at 10:00 p.m.

This Washington team has looked very dangerous and is certainly a team to beat in the PAC-12. Michael Penix Jr. is leading the country in passing yards (1,636) and passing touchdowns (16) so far and is currently hanging right with USC's Caleb Williams in the Heisman race at +400 odds. Circle the Washington-Oregon game on October 14 on your calendars.

9. Oregon (4-0)

Previous: 11

Last game: 42-6 over Colorado

Next up: at Stanford on Saturday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m.

The Deion Sanders-led Colorado hype train stops here. Let me be frank: if you watched the Buffaloes barely squeak one out against Colorado State last week and thought they ever had a chance against Oregon, you weren't paying attention. I get it; the Buffs only had a single victory last year and beat the National Championship runners-up to begin the season. Keep in mind that TCU is also nowhere near the same team that made the CFP final last year. But they were without their best player on both sides of the ball, Travis Hunter, and even with him, they had no chance. Yes, they are better than a one-win team, but they aren't "there" yet to keep up with Top 10 teams like Oregon. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 216-53 through four weeks. They will make for one hell of a shutout when they head to Washington on October 14.

10. USC (4-0)

Previous: 6

Last game: 42-28 over Arizona State

Next up: at Colorado on Saturday, September 30, at noon.

The offense was as dominant as ever, but the Trojans' defense has looked shaky. Giving up 28 points to an Arizona State team playing with their backup quarterback and coming off getting shut out by Fresno State is not ideal, to say the least. I fully expect USC to crush Colorado on Saturday, though, behind Williams, who is coming off five total touchdowns.

11. Notre Dame (4-1)

Previous: 8

Last game: Lost 17-14 to Ohio State

Next up: at 17 Duke on Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.

I feel like I should drop the Irish farther than this, even though they nearly beat a top team. The big issue is that they only had ten defensive players on the field for the game's final two plays. Ultimately, that led to Ohio State getting an easy run into the end zone, as Chip Trayanum ran right up the middle where that extra defender would've been. That's just something that cannot happen as a defense. If we ranked teams based on dumb mistakes, Notre Dame would be number 1.

12. Alabama (3-1)

Previous: 13

Last game: 24-10 over Ole Miss

Next up: at Mississippi State on Saturday, September 30 at 9:00 p.m.

13. LSU (3-1)

Previous: 12

Last game: 34-31 over Arkansas

Next up: at 23 Ole Miss on Saturday, September 30 at 6:00 p.m.

14. North Carolina (4-0)

Previous: 16

Last game: 41-24 over Pitt

Next up: Bye week, then vs. Syracuse on Saturday, October 7 at TBD

15. Oklahoma (4-0)

Previous: 17

Last game: 20-6 over Cincinnati

Next up: vs. Iowa State on Saturday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m.

16. Washington State (4-0)

Previous: Unranked

Last game: 38-35 over Oregon State

Next up: Bye week, then at UCLA on Saturday, October 7 at TBD

17. Duke (4-0)

Previous: 18

Last game: 41-7 over UConn

Next up: vs. 11 Notre Dame on Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.

18. Oregon State (3-1)

Previous: 14

Last game: Lost 38-35 to Washington State

Next up: vs. 7 Utah on Friday, September 29 at 9:00 p.m.

19. Miami (4-0)

Previous: 20

Last game: 41-7 over Temple

Next up: Bye week, then vs. Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 7 at TBD

20. Missouri (4-0)

Previous: 21

Last game: 34-27 over Memphis

Next up: at Vanderbilt on Saturday, September 30 at 4:00 p.m.

21. Florida (3-1)

Previous: Unranked

Last game: 22-7 over Charlotte

Next up: at Kentucky on Saturday, September 30, at noon.

22. Tennessee (3-1)

Previous: 24

Last game: 45-14 over UTSA

Next up: vs. South Carolina on Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.

23. Ole Miss (3-1)

Previous: 15

Last game: Lost 24-10 to Alabama

Next up: vs. 13 LSU on Saturday, September 30 at 6:00 p.m.

24. Kansas (4-0)

Previous: Unranked

Last game: 38-27 over BYU

Next up: at 3 Texas on Saturday, September 30 at 3:30 p.m.

25. Louisville (4-0)

Previous: Unranked

Last game: 56-28 over Boston College

Next up: at NC State on Friday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Main Image Credit: From Getty Images


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