College Football – Rankings & Playoff Picture Keeps Changing

Mississippi State

The interesting thing so far about this College Football season has been the ability of the top five or six teams so far – Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Alabama, Oregon and Texas A&M, to distance themselves through the rankings from the pretenders to the playoff spots, as LSU become the latest team to suffer a surprising loss which sets them back quite harshly.

Week 4 has been about a lot of teams having a bye. It started out with Auburn grabbing yet another win for the SEC, but coming away with a 20-14 win over Kansas State in Manhattan might not be enough to help them remain at number. Texas A&M have the more impressive win over a ranked team from earlier in the season and after demolishing SMU, it might be another chance for them to move on up.

This was also a weekend of former powers taking another major blow. Florida had a nice start to their visit to Alabama, but pretty quickly it was clear that the moment mistakes stopped happening on the offensive side for the Crimson Tide, there was no match in terms of talent on Will Muschamp’s team. Amari Cooper had an enormous day as Alabama rolled to a 42-21 win.

Michigan hit another low this season, losing 26-10 at home to Utah. While the Utes improve to 3-0 which should help them make a bid for the top 25, just like their fierce rivals BYU who got over a tricky hurdle in the form of Virginia, Michigan keep sinking as the end of the Brady Hoke era in Ann Arbor draws nearer.

No one of the title contenders had an easy weekend. Florida State played with Jameis Winston, which meant a much more difficult rivalry game at home against Clemson. They came back from behind to win 23-17 against the Tigers, something that might cost them the top spot on the AP Poll.

Oregon didn’t have it easy on the road against pass-happy Washington State but got another huge day from Marcus Mariota, eventually winning 37-31 to remain perfect. Oklahoma suffered from the same difficulties on the road against West Virginia, but a big third quarter and an overall huge day for Samaje Perine (242 rushing yards) gave them their first Big 12 win, 45-33 in Morgantown.

The big heroes of the weekend are Mississippi State, surely ranked for the first time after going 4-0 thanks to a 34-29 win in Death Valley over #8 LSU. It’s the first time the Bulldogs have beaten the Tigers since 1999 and their first road win against LSU since 1991. LSU had no running game, kept changing quarterbacks while Mississippi State had a special day from Dark Prescott and Josh Robinson, off to another flying start through the first month for the second time in three years.

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