If you have been advised that Duke, Kentucky and Kansas have been all 3–0, you would possibly assume that it’s mid-November and basketballs are flying into hoops.
Oh, however no! The Blue Devils, Wildcats and Jayhawks are a mixed 9–0 within the sport of football. Indiana is 3–0, too, and so is Syracuse, Maryland, Tulane and Rutgers! It’s a smorgasbord of not-so-football faculties taking part in effectively in football, and it is an incredible factor for the game. In truth, two of those groups meet subsequent week, when the Dukies journey to Lawrence, Kansas.
Meanwhile, the tremendous convention that’s the Big Ten took it on the chin in a couple of non-conference bouts. The Orange beat Purdue, Washington drubbed Michigan State, Oklahoma pounded Nebraska and FCS Southern Illinois shocked Northwestern, plus the Hoosiers wanted additional time to beat Western Kentucky. The Salukis grew to become the primary FCS group to get a win over the Power 5 this yr, and so they walked away with a $550,000 assure verify, too.
Speaking of underdogs, the Green Wave acquired to three–0 by profitable at Kansas State, and the Pac-12 acquired two wins over top-25 groups on the identical day for the primary time since… 2013! That’s a stat to have fun and marvel at if you happen to’re out West (it speaks to the convention’s decade-long disappointments within the sport).
Marcus Freeman lastly acquired his first win as Notre Dame’s coach (on try No. 4), Hugh Freeze’s determination to go for the win on a two-point conversion failed (Liberty dropped his first sport) and Bryan Harsin’s tenure on the Plains took extra of a flip for the worst (Penn State rolled the Tigers).
But sufficient, let’s get to our Top 10. Following colleague Pat Forde’s lead, we’re rewarding these groups which have via three weeks performed the very best in opposition to the very best competitors. If your group did not “play no one,” effectively then your group most likely is not making our Top 10.
OK, to the rankings we go!
1. Georgia (3–0)
Last sport: Beat South Carolina 48–7
Next sport: Kent State (Saturday)
Georgia seems to be morphing into this system that resides in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Not solely do the Bulldogs have a juggernaut protection, however they now seem to have an equally environment friendly and explosive offense. In their two Power 5 video games this yr, the Dawgs scored 49 and 48 factors. Against South Carolina, they did not have a rusher end with greater than 40 yards, however that they had 4 rushers end with at the least 32 yards. And quarterback Stetson Bennett missed on simply seven passes, throwing for 2 TDs and 284 yards. UGA has outscored its first three opponents 130–10.
2. Ohio State (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Toledo 77–21
Next sport: Wisconsin (Saturday)
There are higher resumes in faculty football, sure. But the Buckeyes did decide up a key victory over Notre Dame and so they’ve been dominant the final two weeks over Group of 5 foes. QB CJ Stroud had the identical quantity of incompletions (5) on Saturday as he did landing passes. Three Ohio State receivers eclipsed the 100-yard mark, too.
3. USC (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Fresno State 45–17
Next sport: at Oregon State (Saturday)
The Transfer Portal Trojans have not missed many beats this season. And though they have not performed any actual high quality competitors, they’re steamrolling them: Rice, Stanford and Fresno. Behind QB Caleb Williams, the offense is buzzing. They’ve scored 66 factors, 41 factors and 45 factors. The new faces in LA—quarterback, coach, working again, receiver—seem like becoming in fairly properly.
4. Penn State (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Auburn 41–12
Next sport: Central Michigan (Saturday)
Through three weeks, the Nittany Lions have two Power 5 street victories, which is healthier than most. Penn State received at Purdue to open the season on a Thursday night time after which rolled over Auburn on the Plains. Sean Clifford is stable and coach James Franklin’s protection has been salty. Ten of Auburn’s 12 drives ended on downs, with a turnover or punt.
5. Alabama (3–0)
Last sport: Beat UL-Monroe 63–7
Next sport: Vanderbilt (Saturday)
Nick Saban entered the locker room after final week’s win over Texas with a message for his group: apply is tough and the sport is simple. Whether apply was arduous or not, the sport certain was straightforward. The Tide walloped the identical program that beat Saban in his first season in Tuscaloosa in 2007. QB Bryce Young threw two picks but in addition tossed three touchdowns.
6. Arkansas (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Missouri State 38–27
Next sport: Texas A&M at Arlington (Saturday)
We know, we all know. The Hogs struggled in opposition to former coach Bobby Petrino and his Bears. Missouri State opened with a 17–0 lead after which led 27–17 earlier than Arkansas stormed again with a 21-point fourth quarter. Arkansas stays in our Top 10 principally due to its stable win over Cincinnati. We’ll know far more about Sam Pittman’s group after subsequent weekend’s sport in opposition to the Aggies.
7. Oklahoma (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Nebraska 49–14
Next sport: Kansas State (Saturday)
The Sooners cracked into our rankings after thumping the Huskers on the street, their first sport in opposition to a Power 5 opponent this season. Although Nebraska doesn’t qualify as a high quality victory, Oklahoma’s dominance is sufficient. QB Dillon Gabriel threw for 230 yards and ran for 55 and Brent Venables’s protection suffocated Nebraska within the first sport for the reason that firing of Scott Frost. OU compelled a turnover or a punt on 11 straight Nebraska possessions.
8. Kentucky (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Youngstown State 31–0
Next sport: North Illinois (Saturday)
Mark Stoops and his football college pushed apart the FCS Penguins and acquired a pleasant day from QB Will Levis (377 yards and two TDs). Youngstown had 9 first downs, was 0-for-10 on third down and did not crack the 200-yard mark. Are the ‘Cats for actual? We’ll discover out fairly quickly. They traveled to Ole Miss on Oct. 1, a sport that’s shaping as much as be a gathering of undefeated, top-15 squads.
9. Tennessee (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Akron 63–6
Next sport: Florida (Saturday)
Are the Vols again? Maybe. They’re definitely taking part in higher than they’ve in years. Their street win at Pitt is sufficient to get them into our Top 10, however the true checks come over the following three weeks: Florida, at LSU and Alabama. Imagine what a Bama-Tennessee conflict in Knoxville will probably be like if the Vols can handle to beat LSU and the Gators? It’s been a protracted whereas since a Vols-Tide sport has held some relevance.
10. Kansas (3–0)
Last sport: Beat Houston 48–30
Next sport: Duke (Saturday)
Gasp! The Jayhawks within the Top 10? Have we had an excessive amount of to drink? Did we get up in 2007? Three weeks into the season, Kansas has received street video games over a Power 5 group (West Virginia) and a soon-to-be Power 5 group (Houston). Coach Lance Leipold now has received the identical quantity of street video games this season (two) because the final 5 KU head coaches mixed to win of their tenure on the college.
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