How would you rank all 14 teams in the SEC? Or all 10 in the Big 12? Here’s a full ranking of every team in every Power 5 conference.
We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season, but because Alabama hasn’t played anyone of note, it’s difficult to know what to think.
The question is how much of a benefit of the doubt you give the defending SEC champs? Do you look at Tua Tagovailoa’s numbers against Duke and New Mexico State and Southern Miss and accept them at face value? Or do you look at LSU, Georgia or Auburn and give them the nod based on strength of schedule?
There are no right answers. For now, we’ll play the long game, keep the Tide atop the SEC rankings and see what happens when we get into the thick of conference play.
But rest assured, the margin for error for Bama is razor-thin. LSU, which toppled Texas in Austin, keeps putting up points at a record pace. Auburn, meanwhile, has the two best wins of anyone in the country, beating Oregon in the season opener and then going to Texas A&M on Saturday and coming away with a win.
Georgia, on the other hand, seems to have the East in hand. Whether or not the Bulldogs are on a collision course to play Alabama again remains to be seen, but the way they took control in the second half against Notre Dame demands respect. — Alex Scarborough
6. Texas A&M
8. Mississippi State
10. South Carolina
11. Ole Miss
Ohio State and Wisconsin have separated themselves from the pack through Week 4 after the Badgers thoroughly defeated Michigan and the Buckeyes continued to roll through opponents.
Penn State and Iowa have shown promise, while the rest of the conference has shown weaknesses.
This week more than ever it seemed as though the conference is taking its order. — Tom VanHaaren
1. Ohio State
3. Penn State
5. Michigan State
The teams at the top of the Big 12 remain after Week 4, but there was one eye-opening result in the league: TCU’s loss to rival SMU was certainly a surprise, one that might signify how much work Gary Patterson’s group has to do this year.
Texas and Oklahoma State played a back-and-forth slugfest, and the Longhorns were finally able to keep Mike Gundy & Co. from winning in their backyard — a definite step Texas needed to take.
Baylor’s win over Rice was probably a little tighter than the Bears would have hoped, and West Virginia’s road win at Kansas gave the Mountaineers a 3-1 start and a win to start conference play.
Still plenty of movement to be had and plenty to learn about these teams in the coming weeks. — Sam Khan Jr.
3. Kansas State
4. Oklahoma State
5. Iowa State
7. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
One of the drawbacks to the College Football Playoff structure is how it has devalued conference titles. For a Power 5 program, a conference title is worth celebrating, but if it doesn’t lead to a trip to the playoff, it will come with a sense of disappointment. That’s the reality, and the Pac-12 has felt it more than any other conference — and that’s a shame because Pac-12 After Dark remains undefeated.
For viewers on a week-to-week basis, the Pac-12’s cannibalistic nature should be a good thing — it creates excitement and unpredictability. Where else can two perceived conference leaders (Utah and Washington) lose to teams (USC and UCLA) trending closer to a meltdown in the same week?
It’s long overdue to embrace the absurdity and stop worrying about how each week affects the playoff race. The Pac-12 is fun, and that’s good enough. — Kyle Bonagura
6. Washington State
8. Arizona State
12. Oregon State
Funny how much changes in a week. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was widely criticized last week for failing to go for it on fourth down with a chance to tie Penn State. But now? Narduzzi made a bold choice to call a trick play to beat No. 15 UCF, going with the “Pitt Special” on a pass from receiver Aaron Mathews to quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pitt has a tendency to underachieve and overachieve all in the same season. The Panthers outplayed Penn State and lost, then went full throttle at UCF and came out with the biggest win of the ACC weekend.
Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest retain the top three spots, though the Cavaliers had a far more difficult time against Old Dominion than anticipated.
Beyond that, the remainder of the ACC remains a picture so jumbled, a Florida State team that ranked last in the power rankings two weeks ago moves all the way up to No. 5. — Andrea Adelson
3. Wake Forest
5. Florida State
6. North Carolina
9. NC State
12. Boston College
13. Virginia Tech
14. Georgia Tech
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