Week 4 did not disappoint. Six games involving ranked teams sorted out the national picture — a bit — one-third of the way through the season.
With its second loss, based on history, Clemson is out of the playoff race after falling to Florida State. No two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff. Only one (LSU, 2007) has played for a championship in the BCS era (since 1998).
Georgia retains the No. 1 spot because it is, well, Georgia. However, no team has accomplished more than Florida State, which has beaten LSU and Clemson. The Seminoles beat the Tigers in Death Valley for the first time since 2013.
Michigan hasn’t played anybody. And by anybody, I mean the combined record of opponents East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green and Rutgers is 8-8. By anybody, I mean compared to Florida State, Texas and Ohio State. That explains the drop from to fifth.
The Pac-12 has four College Football Playoff possibilities in the top 12: Washington, Oregon, USC and Utah. If one or two stay hot, the Pac-12 could rule the CFP in its final season. It is already ruling the game as the nation’s best conference with seven teams in the Power Rankings.
Alabama has a chance to be … something. The Crimson Tide found something of an identity against Ole Miss: defense, a running game and just enough from quarterback Jalen Milroe.
|Grounddawg Day. Another outmanned opponent (UAB), another blowout win, Georgia’s 21st in a row. It doesn’t get any more difficult this week with quarterback-challenged Auburn (56 yards passing vs. Texas A&M) coming to town.||—||4-0|
|Go ahead and say it: FSU is back. The win at Clemson proves it. Keon Coleman made the plays. Clemson’s Garrett Riley didn’t, um, make the calls. The path is becoming clear for the Seminoles. Between now and Nov. 11, they play one ranked team.||3||4-0|
|In previous years, the Baylor game wouldn’t have been a trap — it would have been a trap door. The Longhorns took care of business, 38-6, setting up a Big 12 showdown with … Kansas.||—||4-0|
|It’s a New (Ryan) Day. The Ohio State coach’s rant seemed like a 12th Man in the Buckeyes’ comeback win at Notre Dame. QB Kyle McCord came of age on the road in a top-10 game.||5||4-0|
|Jim Harbaugh returned to the sidelines and nothing changed vs. Rutgers. The defense gave up its second TD (in four total games) in the Big Ten opener. The point differential (104) is more than 48 teams have scored this season. J.J. McCarthy is the nation’s most accurate passer (79.8%). The first game against a ranked opponent is still six weeks away (Penn State).||3||4-0|
|Michael Penix Jr. has to be the early Heisman Trophy favorite. Washington’s QB threw four more touchdown passes in a rout of Cal. He now has a nation-leading 16. The 45 first-half points were the most in 20 years for the Huskies.||2||4-0|
|Bo Nix for Heisman? Oregon’s QB became the first player in FBS history to account for at least 55 TDs at two different schools. The Ducks might have made the biggest statement of the day. Dan Lanning had another kind of statement.||3||4-0|
|As definitive a Big Ten win as there has been this season. The Nittany Lions shut out Brian Ferentz and Iowa, the first skunking of a top 25 opponent since 1999. That virtually assures Penn State be undefeated traveling to Ohio State on Oct. 21.||1||4-0|
|The Legend of 10 Men was born Saturday night. Sam Hartman was set to become a legend after leading a 96-yard TD with 8 ½ minutes left. Then Day and McCord went legend to punch it in with a second left — against 10 ND defenders. Yikes.||3||4-1|
|The Trojans rolled up 535 yards, 42 points, eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss against Arizona State. And yet, something seemed to be missing. The Sun Devils hung around until the fourth quarter. Colorado might not be as forgiving this week.||2||4-0|
|For the fourth straight year, the Golden Boot (Arkansas rivalry) was decided by three points. The Tigers and Jayden Daniels (four TD passes) woke up scoring 31 points in the last 31 minutes against the Razorbacks.||1||3-1|
|The Utes continue to amaze. They’re off to a 4-0 start despite their starting QB Cam Rising (knee) not yet seeing the field. Coach Kyle Whittingham put it on the defense against UCLA. They responded with seven sacks and a pick six.||1||4-0|
|Bama is back! Well, at least for a week. Lane Kiffin was held to his fewest points (10) against an SEC opponent at Ole Miss. Milroe isn’t perfect, but he’s the best Bama has at QB. The Crimson Tide looked like an 8-4 team last week. Upgrade that to 9-3 after Saturday.||3||3-1|
|It was name-your-score time against UConn, one of the worst teams in the FBS. A pissed-off Notre Dame comes to town this week. A win would make the Blue Devils 5-0 for the first time since 1994.||4||4-0|
|The Cougars are off to their first 4-0 start in six years. Cam Ward has thrown the most passes in FBS this season without a pick (141). Washington State broke Oregon State’s seven-game winning streak in the series. How did Wazzu get left out in realignment?||NR||4-0|
|The Sooners look like they might be a complete team. In Cincinnati’s first Big 12 game, OU shut down to the Bearcats, who were held without a TD for the first time since the 2022 semifinal loss to Bama. Dillon Gabriel is on track for his best season. Texas in two weeks looms large.||8||4-0|
|Nice rebound from Florida with a 31-point rout of UTSA. Joe Milton rushed for an 81-yard score on the first play of the game. Is that enough to make up for the Gators debacle? We’ll find out. South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama are next.||—||3-1|
|While the higher ups search for a future, the present on the field isn’t that bad. The Beavers remain ranked after a three-point loss at Wazzu. Oregon State’s 21-3 rally in the fourth quarter fell just short. DJ Uiagalelei has a rushing TD in seven straight games.||4||3-1|
|Lane Kiffin is now 0-5 against Kiffin. No popcorn, no hype. Kiff just can’t get over on his former boss. The Rebels must now reevaluate who they are after being held 10 points.||4||3-1|
|The Tar Heels are 4-0 for the first time since Mack Brown was at UNC the first time (1997). A 9-0 start looks likely with Drake Maye continuing to chase a Heisman after beating Pittsburgh.||—||4-0|
|Not much to learn the last two weeks against Bethune-Cookman and Temple. The ACC season opens in two weeks against Georgia Tech.||—||4-0|
|Do you believe? This is the week where humble had better take over after getting drilled at Oregon. It’s about to get a lot tougher for Coach Prime with USC, UCLA and Oregon State coming up over the next five weeks.||11||3-1|
|The Tigers could be 5-0 when they face LSU at home on Oct. 7. They’ve gotten by the last two weeks beating Kansas State by three and Memphis by seven.||—||4-0|
|In beating BYU, the Jayhawks have started 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1915. Devin Neal leads the Big 12 in rushing TDs (five).||1||4-0|
|Hard to believe the Wildcats are 4-0 for the third consecutive year. That hasn’t happened since 1909-11. Corner Maxwell Hairston had two, count ’em, two pick sixes against Vanderbilt!||NR||4-0|
Out: UCLA, Clemson