Power Ranking All 124 College Football Teams After Week 3
Week 3 of the college football season is over, and teams are beginning to open up conference play.
So far this year, college football fans have been treated to some shocking upsets and dominating performances. This week, USC headed on the road and lost to Stanford, while Alabama went on the road and shut out the Arkansas Razorbacks in dominating fashion.
With another full slate of college football coming up this weekend, here are power rankings for all 124 FBS teams as they prepare for the fourth week of the season.
Massachusetts has had a rough time transitioning to the FBS division, as it is still looking for its first win of the year. Based on the remaining schedule, this could be shaping up to be a winless season for Massachusetts.
Right now, the only thing that Idaho seems to be doing okay is passing the ball. Overall the offense and defense have truly struggled, and the Vandals are still searching for their first win.
UNLV is another team that is not having issues scoring points, but the defense has been awful. At 0-3, the Rebels are in trouble as the schedule starts to pick up over the next few weeks.
After a week off, Tulane returns to the field to take on Ole Miss this week. Both sides of the ball desperately needed work, and we will see if the week off paid dividends for the Green Wave.
Through two games, UAB's defense has been taking a beating, and the offense cannot keep up. It will not get much easier for either side as the Blazers take on Ohio State this week.
The Memphis Tigers are off to an 0-3 start, and it doesn't look like they will be turning it around any time soon. In two of their three losses, the Tigers have given up over 30 points, so the defense needs to tighten up.
118. Southern Miss
After winning the Conference USA title last year, Southern Miss has started off 0-2 this year. It appears that the Golden Eagles are missing the leadership of Larry Fedora, who is now coaching at North Carolina.
Wyoming has lost some close games, but the fact remains it has yet to win one. While the offense has been strong, the Cowboys really need the defense to step up if they want to start winning these close contests.
Without Case Keenum, the Houston Cougars are struggling more than ever. In the three games they have dropped, the Cougars have only scored more than 13 points once and at times have looked lost.
115. Eastern Michigan
After a solid season in 2011, the Eagles are off to an awful start, as they have dropped to 0-3 and look to be taking a step back this year. It will not get much better as the Eagles head on the road to take on a frustrated Michigan State team.
While the Army rushing game can by potent, the Black Knights are still 0-2, and the defense has looked awful. If they hope to get things turned around, the defense must improve, and the passing game cannot be dead last in the FBS.
When it comes to the Pac-12, Colorado is by far the worst team in the conference. This past week's blowout by Fresno State may have been rock bottom for this program over the past few seasons.
For Navy, there is good news and bad news. First the bad news: Its loss to Penn State pushed it to 0-2 on the year. The good news is that VMI is next up on the schedule, and it is a game Navy should win handily.
111. New Mexico State
After a win in the opening week of the season, New Mexico State has seen its defense fall apart and give up at least 40 points in each of the last two games.
110. Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic earned a win in the first week of the season, but beating Wagner 7-3 is not something the program will hang its hat on. The Owls have not improved much from last year and could be in for a long season.
109. South Alabama
In their first season in the FBS division, the Jaguars defense has transitioned well, but the offense is struggling badly. This week they face a huge test as they head on the road to play Mississippi State.
108. Western Michigan
As expected, Alex Carder has had no problem getting the passing game on track. The struggle for the Broncos has been that the rushing game has not been a threat and the defense is giving up 24 points a game.
At 1-2, Troy has had some close games and could have easily seen the record be better. The passing game appears to be in midseason form, but the running game and defense must get things turned around quickly.
106. New Mexico
New Mexico is home to one of the worst defenses in the nation, but it does have a win under its belt. Until the defense gets things turned around, New Mexico will struggle to win games.
105. Colorado State
An opening-week win over Colorado was nice, but the Rams have since dropped two straight games, and in both losses the offense and defense have struggled for consistency. In order for the Rams to get back to winning, they need at least one group to get on track.
104. Bowling Green
Bowling Green is another offensively challenged team. Currently on the season the Falcons sit at 1-2 and have a road date with Virginia Tech up next on the schedule.
103. North Texas
While the performance against Kansas State was better, the North Texas Mean Green still have a way to go. This week against Troy, they must make sure that the defensive performance steps up.
The good news for Florida International is the offense looks like it is clicking early. The bad news is the Golden Panthers are 1-2 on the season because the defense is having a hard time getting things figured out. They will have their hands full with Louisville next week.
101. Arkansas State
While Arkansas State is 1-2, it has gone out and played at Oregon and at Nebraska. Despite the points given up by the defense, only time will tell if the Red Wolves can repeat as conference champions.
100. Texas State
Texas State is new to the FBS division, and it has arrived to mixed reviews. The offense and the defense have looked both good and bad at times, and the Bobcats have seen that result in a 1-1 record.
Akron beat Morgan State this week, but the Zips have dropped their two games against FBS opponents and still are struggling on both sides of the ball.
While the Bulls offense is off to a great start, they are truly struggling on the defensive side of the ball. Out to a 1-1 record, Buffalo has Kent State next up on the schedule as it hopes to go to 2-1.
97. Miami (OH)
Early on this year, Miami of Ohio should be thankful that it is 1-2. Through three games, the RedHawks have the 106th overall scoring defense and are 111th in terms of points scored. Something has to change if they hope to have a good season.
96. Kent State
At 1-1, Kent State has been inconsistent to say the least. This week the Golden Flashes have Buffalo on the schedule, and it is a game they should win before taking on Ball State.
Against New Mexico State, the Miners were able to score more than double the points they had scored in the first two weeks combined. If it can continue to get that kind of output, UTEP could surprise some people.
The rough schedule to start the season has not been kind to SMU. So far, the Mustangs have faced Baylor and Texas A&M and now will go up against TCU. It will be interesting to see if the early schedule wears the Mustangs out for conference play.
The defense is giving Marshall cause for concern. So far this year, the Thundering Herd have allowed an average of 40 points per game—and even worse was the fact that they gave up 24 to FCS Western Carolina.
92. Central Michigan
Central Michigan used to be known for its passing game, but it currently ranks as the 109th-best passing attack in the nation. For the past couple of years, the Chippewas having been falling fast in the MAC, and that may not change this year.
Rice has been involved in some high-scoring affairs, but unfortunately it has come out on the wrong side of those games two out of three times. With the defense giving up 43 points per game, it will be hard for the offense to keep up.
90. Boston College
Off to a 1-2 start, Boston College has been struggling to establish the run this year. With Clemson coming up on the schedule after a bye week, Boston College will likely see that start get even worse.
UTSA has taken advantage of an easy schedule so far and gone 3-0. Fans will not truly get an idea for how good this team is until it starts playing better teams, but for now the Roadrunners are undefeated in their first season in the FBS division.
While the Jayhawks are not going to be a team that strikes fear in the Big 12, they are showing signs of improvement. The defense held TCU to 20 points.
The Wildcats followed up an easy win over Kent State with an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. If the defense cannot get things straightened out, SEC play will not be kind to the Wildcats.
As the Orange prepare to head on the road this week to play Minnesota, Syracuse is going to be looking to air it out. Despite being 1-2, the Orange have one of the best passing games in the nation and should earn a road win.
Through two games this year, the Hoosiers doubled their win total from last year with two early W's. After losing to Ball State this past week, Indiana takes a week off before opening up conference play with a road game against Northwestern.
Earning a win over Virginia Tech is a great way for Pitt to get things turned around. The win moves the Panthers to 1-2 on the year and can give this team a reason to believe as the season goes on.
Temple is new to the Big East and still has one week before having to kick off conference play. Currently the Owls sit at 1-1 but head to Happy Valley for a rematch of last year's close game against Penn State.
James Franklin and Vanderbilt have not gotten off to the start that they were hoping for. The Commodores are currently 1-2 and head on the road to play Georgia. Things aren't any easier the following week when they play Missouri.
81. San Jose State
Over the past two weeks, San Jose State has gotten things turned around with two straight victories. To make it three straight, the offense will need to show up and try to keep up with San Diego State.
80. Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee is off to a 2-1 start. The bad news is that the Blue Raiders head on the road to play Georgia Tech in a couple of weeks, and the defense has been suspect.
79. Western Kentucky
Despite it being early in the year, the Hilltoppers have already gone on the road to Kentucky and come away with a huge win. With Southern Miss next up on the schedule, Western Kentucky could very well move to 3-1 on the year.
One of the biggest surprises so far is the 3-0 start that Minnesota has gotten off to. While the level of competition has not been that great, the Gophers have taken advantage and now shift their focus to Syracuse.
Louisiana-Lafayette is off to a good start this season but had the misfortune of having to play Oklahoma State after the Cowboys had just been blown out. With FIU next up, the Ragin' Cajuns should get right back on track.
A 54-2 win over Lamar was pretty impressive for a Hawaii team that only scored 10 points against USC. The schedule definitely picks back up as the Warriors take on Nevada, BYU and San Diego State the next three weeks.
75. Air Force
After getting the past week off, Air Force returns this week to take on UNLV. Despite the loss to Michigan, the Falcons have looked good so far this season and shouldn't have much trouble with the Rebels.
74. Louisiana Tech
The Louisiana Tech offense has come out swinging this year, and its 56 points per game is third-best in the nation. If the Bulldogs can keep up that kind of pace, they may take down Illinois this week.
73. San Diego State
Granted, it has been against lesser talent, but the San Diego State Aztecs have been picking up steam over the last two weeks and largely because of the offense. The run should continue through this week as they take on San Jose State before heading on the road to take on Fresno State.
Chris Ault has Nevada off to a great start this year at 2-1, and its only loss came by one point. As they head out to Hawaii for this week's game, the Wolf Pack could use some help from their defense, as they are giving up an average of 30 points per game so far.
Duke is off to a surprising 2-1 start, and with Memphis up next on the calender, the Blue Devils have a great chance of going 3-1. As long as the passing game keeps clicking, Duke could have a surprisingly good season.
70. Ball State
At 2-1, Ball State will be challenged this week as South Florida comes to town. While the Bulls aren't a great team, a win over could show that the Cardinals are moving in the right direction.
A 2-1 start for Illinois will be put to the test this week when it takes on Louisiana Tech. The Illini defense will go up against a Bulldogs offense that has been among the best in the FBS so far this year.
68. Northern Illinois
After losing by one point in the opener to Iowa, Northern Illinois has bounced back to win two straight heading into this week's game against Kansas. With the game at home and Kansas still looking to improve, the Huskies should have little problem moving to 3-1.
In the first week of the season, Toledo lost in overtime to Arizona, but it has bounced back for two straight wins. The schedule shapes up nicely as Toledo begins its run at a MAC title.
At 2-1, UCF has done a lot this year that it can build on. The Knights' only loss came against Ohio State on the road, and even in that loss they kept things close.
They face another big test after a week off as they take on Missouri.
Behind solid offensive and defensive performances, Tulsa has bounced back from an opening-week loss to win its last two, pushing it to a 2-1 record. The Golden Hurricane will have to play just as well this coming week as they prepare to take on Fresno State.
64. East Carolina
Despite some issues getting the running game going, East Carolina currently sits at 2-1. This week the Pirates have North Carolina on the schedule, and if they hope to move to 3-1, they need to create some running holes to help control the clock.
With a loss to his former team UConn, Randy Edsall and Maryland dropped to 2-1 on the season. While the loss may sting, the focus needs to immediately shift, as the Terrapins take on West Virginia this week.
Purdue was able to bounce back from its loss to Notre Dame with a win this past week and has it relatively easy this week playing Marshall. As long as the defense keeps playing the way it has early on this year, the Boilermakers will improve to 3-1.
Iowa has one of the worst offenses in the country, but its defense has carried it to a 2-1 record. This week the Hawkeyes take on Central Michigan, and advancing to 3-1 should be no issue.
60. South Florida
South Florida started off strong this year, but could last week's loss be the start of a downward slide like last year? Only time will tell, but the potential is there.
The Connecticut defense is getting the job done early, giving up only 10.3 points per game. If the Huskies defense keeps that up, there is no reason they cannot challenge for the Big East title.
58. NC State
Since the loss to Tennessee, NC State and Mike Glennon have turned things around quickly. The offense will get one final tune-up this week against Citadel before heading on the road to play Miami.
57. Miami (FL)
Miami rebounded well from its loss to Kansas State with a win over Bethune-Cookman. This week the schedule heats up as the Hurricanes take on Georgia Tech on the road, and this one could get ugly again.
56. Penn State
After an 0-2 start, Penn State finally earned its first victory of the season over Navy. The Nittany Lions have one nonconference game remaining against Temple before getting into conference play in the Big Ten.
It looked like the Golden Bears had a shot at an upset over Ohio State, but they saw that slip through their fingers late. With USC next on the schedule, things will get worse for coach Jeff Tedford before they get better.
54. North Carolina
After a loss to Louisville, North Carolina returns home to take on East Carolina. With a 1-2 start, the Tar Heels and new coach Larry Fedora could really use a win.
Another week and another loss, but at least this loss was to Alabama. Hopes were high for the Hogs this year, but since the issues with Bobby Petrino popped up, things have gone straight downhill.
You have to give Louisiana-Monroe credit for how it has opened the season. The Warhawks beat Arkansas and then took Auburn to overtime. The schedule doesn't ease up much, as they take on Baylor this week.
Now at 1-2, the Tigers finally earned a win but needed overtime to take down UL-Monroe. If Auburn hopes to have a shot at competing in the SEC, it must start to get things turned around.
This past week, Virginia lost its first game when it was dropped by Georgia Tech. Now at 2-1, the Cavaliers have a huge matchup this week as they take on TCU.
BYU had a great chance to take out Utah but was handed a tough loss. BYU just needs to bounce back and shake this tough loss off as the schedule begins to pick up.
49. Ole Miss
In its first real test of the year, Ole Miss got blown out at home against Texas. While the 2-1 start is great, fans are desperate to see this team start to compete on a weekly basis.
47. Wake Forest
Despite being 2-1, Wake Forest looked dreadful against Florida State and was completely dominated. This week the Demon Deacons will try to bounce back as they play Army at home.
46. Utah State
After a 2-0 start, Utah State came close to making it 3-0 but lost a tight game to Wisconsin on the road. The schedule isn't too bad over the next two weeks, so the Aggies should move to 4-1 before taking on BYU.
45. Washington State
Now at 2-1, the Cougars offense appears to be picking up steam. The Cougars take on Colorado this week but will have a huge test when they take on the Ducks in two weeks.
44. Arizona State
In its first big test of the year, Arizona State came up short in its loss to Missouri on the road. This week conference play gets under way, and with USC's loss, the Sun Devils have to believe they have a chance to win the division.
After losing its second game of the season and losing quarterback Jordan Wynn too, Utah appeared to be in trouble this past week against BYU. Instead, the Utes responded well and earned a huge win over their rivals.
In a rematch from last year, Missouri returned the favor and took down Arizona State. This week, Missouri faces another conference test as it takes on South Carolina.
41. Fresno State
Despite its loss at Oregon two weeks ago, Fresno State bounced back and ran it up on Colorado this past week. With back-to-back Pac-12 games out of the way, the Bulldogs now turn their attention to Tulsa.
40. Georgia Tech
After losing a close game in the first week of the season to Virgina Tech, the Yellow Jackets have bounced back to win two straight. With the offense in high gear, Georgia Tech could make some noise in the ACC this year.
39. Texas A&M
After losing a close game to Florida, Texas A&M took that anger out on SMU. Coming off a huge win, the Aggies now move on to playing South Carolina State, a game they should win easily.
38. Texas Tech
With conference play opening up this week, Texas Tech took care of the nonconference schedule, going 3-0. The offense is clicking and appears ready as the Red Raiders begin to go up against tougher competition.
The Bearcats are 2-0, and the level of competition takes a jump up after a week off as they take on Virginia Tech. Cincinnati's defense currently ranks sixth in the country, allowing just 8.5 points per game.
With a shot at making a big statement, Tennessee dropped a tough game at home against Florida. The Vols need to make sure this loss does not start a downward spiral.
After being thumped by LSU on the road, Washington returned home and took its frustrations out on Portland State. With conference play getting set to begin, the Huskies still have some question marks that could prevent them from challenging for the division.
Wisconsin did successfully rebound from its loss to Oregon State with a home win, but questions from that loss still remain. If the Badgers want a shot at a third straight Rose Bowl, they must get things figured out as they enter conference play following one last tune-up against UTEP.
33. Virginia Tech
The script for Virginia Tech continues. The Hokies have a lot of talent and appear to be ready for a good year, but the loss to Pitt was a huge blow, especially with Clemson coming up on the schedule in October.
One of the more surprising starts around college football is Northwestern going 3-0 and staring at 4-0 this week. With a hot start, the Wildcats will only need a couple of wins in their conference to ensure that they are bowling once again.
31. Oregon State
After an impressive win over Wisconsin, Oregon State had the week off. This week the Beavers head on the road to take on UCLA, and we will be able to learn a bit more about the kind of team they will be in 2012.
30. Iowa State
The Iowa State schedule has been a bit light early, but the Cyclones have taken advantage, going 3-0. Things pick up in a hurry as conference play opens after a bye week and they go head-to-head with Texas Tech.
29. Oklahoma State
After being blown out by Arizona, the Cowboys got on track this past week with a win. After a week off, their game against Texas could go a long way toward restoring confidence in this team.
This past week Rutgers earned a huge conference win, as it went on the road and took down South Florida. If the defense can continue to play at this level, the Scarlet Knights could be a team to watch in the Big East.
Tyler Tettleton has this team cruising to 3-0, and he looks like a dark horse for some postseason awards. Ohio could be in for a special season, as the schedule is soft and the talent is there.
Baylor continues to roll along without Robert Griffin III and is now 2-0. This coming week the Bears take on UL-Monroe, but as Arkansas found out, the Bears need to make sure they have all of their attention on the opponent at hand.
25. Boise State
After improving to 1-1, Boise State has a critical home game this week against BYU. A win over the Cougars would give the Broncos something to build on and make sure that they do not take a huge step back this year.
Nebraska returned home this week and picked up a win over Arkansas State. The win moved the Cornhuskers to 2-1, and with Idaho State on the schedule for this week, they are ready to go 3-1.
23. Mississippi State
Another team that is doing well and doing so quietly is Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are off to a 3-0 start and have already taken down Auburn. Based on the schedule, Mississippi State should have no issue being 5-0 heading into Tennessee.
Michigan has been underwhelming this year, especially with all of the preseason hype. It moved to 2-1 on the year last week and now heads to South Bend to play Notre Dame under the lights.
Arizona has also turned some heads this year, but its true test will come this week when it heads up to Eugene to take on the Ducks. If they can hang tough or even beat the Ducks, the Wildcats will gain instant credibility.
20. Michigan State
Michigan State was off to a great start this year, but the offense stumbled badly at home against Notre Dame. The Spartans need to shrug this off and get back to winning as conference play gets closer.
UCLA has been one of the surprise teams of the year so far, and with a 3-0 start, the Bruins appear to be heading towards a much improved season in 2012.
Louisville appears to be ready to defend its conference crown this year and is trying to ensure it wins it on its own. With a 3-0 start under its belt, Teddy Bridgewater has this team ready for conference play.
USC just cannot seem to get out of its own way. This past week USC lost on the road against Stanford, continuing a Trojan trend of dropping early games in its conference.
16. Ohio State
Very quietly Ohio State has gotten off to a 3-0 start, and it appears that Urban Meyer has helped this team turn a corner in its development. The Buckeyes should be 4-0 after this week before heading to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.
TCU improved to 2-0 this year and now will face Virginia. The Horned Frogs still have some time to iron out any of their troubles because the schedule doesn't start to pick up until late October.
14. Kansas State
Kansas State has cruised to 3-0, and with a win over North Texas, the Wildcats can now shift their attention to the Oklahoma Sooners. This is a huge game for the program, and a win could give it the inside track to a conference title.
This past week, the Gators went on the road and took down Tennessee in a huge matchup in the SEC. With the win, Florida moves one step closer to officially being back in the SEC hunt.
With a nice road win over Ole Miss, Texas moves to 3-0 and is showing signs of being back. The Longhorns will get a chance to prove that theory over the next three games when they play Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
11. Notre Dame
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame went on the road and earned a huge win over Michigan State. With one Michigan team down, the Irish have the Wolverines coming up next.
After a huge win at home over USC, Stanford looks extremely comfortable post-Andrew Luck. With this win Stanford is officially a contender in the Pac-12 race.
Clemson continues to roll, going 3-0, and now faces its first big challenge of the year: a road game against Florida State. A win over the Seminoles would shoot the Tigers up the rankings, but a loss could start a big fall like they saw at the end of 2011.
8. West Virginia
After an early week off, West Virginia got back to playing and took care of James Madison. With a 2-0 start, the Mountaineers take on Maryland next week before entering conference play.
7. South Carolina
South Carolina moved to 3-0 and plays SEC newcomer Missouri this coming week. As the schedule begins to pick up steam in October, the Gamecocks will be tested with a four-game stretch that includes Georgia, LSU, Florida and Tennessee.
Oklahoma was idle last week but has a huge test coming up against Kansas State. This is a big game for the conference race and could set the tone for the Sooners in 2012.
Now at 3-0, Georgia is off to a great start and gets back into conference play this week against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs will need to remain focused because after playing Vanderbilt, they have back-to-back games against Tennessee and South Carolina.
4. Florida State
Winning its first conference game of the year, Florida State moved to 3-0 and has a huge test coming up this week as Clemson—a team that beat it last year and continued its downward spiral—comes to town.
Oregon also has benefited from an easy nonconference schedule, but this week's game against Arizona could be very interesting. Look to get a better idea of what the Ducks are all about against the Wildcats.
LSU has had an easy nonconference schedule to kick off the year, but it has looked good and had an impressive win over Washington at home. Next week the Tigers make their first road trip and take on Auburn, which can always be tricky.
No one in the nation has two more impressive wins than Alabama. By beating Michigan and Arkansas, the Crimson Tide find themselves in the familiar position of being the best team early in the year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!