College News & Analysis

College Football: Week 3 top 25 rankings

2RT0124 Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) passes against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

• Texas jumps to No. 4: After upsetting third-ranked Alabama, the Longhorns move all the way up into the top five.

• Alabama falls out of the top 10: Conversely, the Crimson Tide’s loss drops them to No. 13 in this ranking.

• Colorado continues its rise: Following a commanding 22-point victory over Nebraska, the Buffaloes move into the top 20.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Week 2 of the college football season saw a few close calls for some ranked teams — such as Utah, Oregon and North Carolina. Others, like Wisconsin, Texas A&M and Tulane, weren’t as lucky, as each suffered their first losses of the season. The week was capped with then-No. 11 Texas announcing itself to the college football world with a 34-24 upset over then-No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Here’s how I view the top 25 teams in the country heading into Week 3. Please note that these are not the same as PFF’s power rankings.


1. Georgia Bulldogs (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 1st)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Georgia is the defending back-to-back national champion and therefore deserves to be regarded as the king of college football until proven otherwise. However, the Bulldogs haven’t had too difficult a time defending their crown so far. They defeated an FCS school in UT Martin and a school outside the top 100 of PFF’s power rankings in Ball State.

While South Carolina is far from a legitimate threat to dethrone Georgia, the Gamecocks are still a top-50 team in our power rankings and will allow us to get a better look at what this year’s Bulldogs are capable of. 

2. Michigan Wolverines (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 2nd)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. Bowling Green Falcons

Like Georgia, Michigan has also faced two weaker opponents in East Carolina and UNLV and are only this high due to its accomplishments in the past (back-to-back Big Ten championships and playoff appearances) and expectations for this season. Unlike the Bulldogs, the Wolverines should have another cakewalk in Week 3 against Bowling Green. It’s the final game of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s three-game suspension.

3. Florida State Seminoles (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 3rd)

Week 3 Matchup: at Boston College Eagles

Florida State followed its 45-24 statement victory over then fifth-ranked LSU with a 66-13 drubbing of Southern Miss on Saturday. Jordan Travis has picked up right where he left off in 2022 with an 86.8 passing grade that’s 14th among Power Five quarterbacks. Next up for the Seminoles is both their first conference opponent and their first true road game against Boston College.

4. Texas Longhorns (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 4th)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. Wyoming Cowboys

Texas pulled off an upset over third-ranked Alabama in the biggest game of Week 2, beating the Crimson Tide 34-24. However, it shouldn’t have been a shocker if you read or watched our Week 2 preview

Now, the Longhorns have their highest ranking since 2009, the year they made it to the national championship game. This might finally be the year Texas is back.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 6th)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The sluggish offense Ohio State displayed in Week 1 against Indiana looked better this past weekend against Youngstown State, as the Buckeyes beat the Penguins 35-7. After catching a combined five passes for 34 yards against the Hoosiers, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka proved this week why we consider them the two best receivers in the country. They combined for 12 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns against Youngstown State. Next up is a team with a star receiver of its own, Western Kentucky and Malachi Corley.


6. USC Trojans (Record: 3-0, AP Ranking: 5th)

Week 3 Matchup: Bye

USC cruised to a 56-10 victory over Stanford to head into its bye week with a 3-0 record. 

The rest of the season will become a lot more difficult for reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and the Trojans though. Six of their final nine games come against currently-ranked opponents.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 7th)

Week 3 Matchup: at Illinois Fighting Illini

The Drew Allar era at Penn State has gotten off to a roaring start. The sophomore has earned an 88.5 passing grade so far, a top-15 mark among Power Five quarterbacks. This week will be his toughest opponent yet, a road game against Illinois that features a superstar along its defensive line in Jer’Zhan Newton.

8. Washington Huskies (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 8th)

Week 3 Matchup: at Michigan State Spartans

Washington’s offense has been just as electric as last season’s, as the Huskies currently field the Power Five’s fourth-most efficient offense in terms of expected points added per play. They travel to Michigan State this week who just suspended its head coach, Mel Tucker, amidst an investigation of sexual harassment.

9. Utah Utes (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 12th)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. Weber State Wildcats

Utah has weathered the storm better than anyone else this season. The Utes have played two Power Five opponents, Florida and Baylor, without star quarterback Cam Rising and star tight end Brant Kuithe. Utah won both contests and now gets an easier matchup against an FCS foe in Weber State.

10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Record: 3-0, AP Ranking: 9th)

Week 3 Matchup: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

Speaking of weathering the storm, Notre Dame had to literally do that this past weekend. Its game against NC State was delayed by nearly two hours early in the second quarter due to the weather and lightning in the area. Once resumed, the Fighting Irish pulled away for a 45-24 victory.

Offensive tackle Joe Alt has proven why many, including myself, consider him the best offensive lineman in the country. His 87.6 grade is fifth among FBS tackles and he’s only given up one pressure on 80 pass-blocking snaps.


11. Oregon Ducks (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 13th)

12. LSU Tigers (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 14th)

13. Alabama Crimson Tide (Record: 1-1, AP Ranking: 10th)

14. Tennessee Volunteers (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 13th)

15. Duke Blue Devils (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 21st)

16. Ole Miss Rebels (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 17th)

17. Colorado Buffaloes (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 18th)

18. Oklahoma Sooners (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 19th)

19. North Carolina Tar Heels (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 20th)

20. Kansas State Wildcats (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 15th)

21. Miami (FL) Hurricanes (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 22nd)

22. Oregon State Beavers (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 16th)

23. Clemson Tigers (Record: 1-1, AP Ranking: NR)

24. Arkansas Razorbacks (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: NR)

25. UCLA Bruins (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 24th)

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