Not everyone was active in week 4, but there was plenty of action to go around, from the easiness teams like Alabama, Louisville and Michigan enjoyed, contrasted with the big ranked vs ranked wins teams like Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Tennessee had, which should mean a lot of changes in the 20-5 area of the rankings, including LSU, Florida and Georgia probably dropped from the top 25, or at least taking a very heavy hit.
When it comes to the top 7, the only thing I see happening is Louisville maybe moving up one spot instead of the inactive Ohio State. Yes, beating up on Marshall isn’t that impressive, but Lamar Jackson seems to be living up to the hype with every game that goes by, taking his touchdown count up to 25 this season with 7 against the Thundering Herd. Alabama won’t lose any first place votes after shutting out Kent State, and perhaps Michigan can take a one spot rise over Ohio State thanks to their utter dominating against Penn State, not letting their rivals make things difficult for them early on. Houston might actually fall down a place or two.
Further down the road, things get a bit more complicated:
Wisconsin will join the top 10 after the #11 Badgers won in Michigan State, their first win in East Lansing since 2002. The Aggies beat a #17 ranked Arkansas team to claim the title of “second best SEC West team for now” as everyone tries to keep up with ‘Bama. This should move them ahead in life. Michigan State, previously #8, will fall, and it won’t be surprising if the Cougars actually move back due to their unimpressive rivals since week 1.
Tennessee also have a shot, but it gets crowded at that point, so they’ll move up two spots, with Georgia, getting destroyed by Ole Miss, falling hard from #12. Out of the rankings? Voters tend to give big-name schools and especially SEC teams the benefit of the doubt, but that drubbing in Oxford was surprising. Two other SEC teams, LSU and Florida, will fall from the top 20 and maybe out of the rankings, which is especially true for the Tigers, already with two losses, this time to an unranked Auburn team. Nebraska after beating Northwestern and Utah after winning late against USC should also see a minor rise to their stocks.
Let’s say Georgia and LSU fall from the rankings, who gets in instead of them? TCU received the most votes outside the top 25 and crushed SMU 33-3, so they have a very good shot. Boise State probably have the best chance of all to make it into the top 25, following their road win in Corvallis over Oregon State. The Beavers aren’t much to be admired this season (or in general), but a non P5 team winning on the road against a Pac-12 team always impresses voters. Arizona State beat California 51-41 and are 4-0, but is it going to be enough for them? I think too many teams are ahead, including Iowa, who won at Rutgers, and North Carolina, who beat a previously impressive-looking Pitt.