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College Football: Power Ranking All 124 Teams

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2017

College Football: Power Ranking All 124 Teams

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    Upsets continue to be a theme through the first four weeks of the college football season.

    This past weekend, Oklahoma dropped a big game at home against Kansas State, and Rutgers took down Arkansas in Fayetteville. We also got to see a huge game between Florida State and Clemson that went back and forth until the Seminoles grabbed control late.

    With another exciting week of college football in front of us in which more teams are kicking off conference play, here is a look at the power rankings for all 124 college football teams. We will count down Nos. 124-51 and then take a deeper look at the top 50.

124 to 80

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    124. Massachusetts 

    123. Idaho

    122. Tulane 

    121. Memphis

    120. Southern Miss

    119. Houston

    118. UAB

    117. Eastern Michigan

    116. Army

    115. Navy

    114. Colorado 

    113. Wyoming

    112. UNLV

    111. New Mexico State

    111. Florida Atlantic 

    109. South Alabama

    108. Colorado State

    107. Bowling Green

    106. North Texas

    105. Florida International

    104. Texas State

    103. Akron

    102. New Mexico 

    101. Troy

    100. Western Michigan

    99. Arkansas State

    98. Buffalo 

    97. UTEP

    96. Miami (OH)

    95. SMU

    94. Marshall

    93. Rice

    92. Kent State

    91. Boston College

    90. Kansas

    89. Syracuse 

    88. UTSA

    87. Kentucky

    86. Central Michigan

    85. Temple

    84. Vanderbilt 

    83. Indiana 

    82. Middle Tennessee 

    81. Pittsburgh

    80. Louisiana-Lafayette 

79 to 51

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    79. Hawaii

    78. Air Force

    77. San Diego State

    76. Western Kentucky 

    75. Illinois  

    74. UCF

    73. San Jose State

    72. East Carolina 

    71. Duke

    70. Maryland 

    69. Nevada

    68. Tulsa

    67. Minnesota 

    66. Ball State

    65. Iowa

    64. Auburn 

    63. Northern Illinois  

    62. South Florida 

    61. Connecticut 

    60. Penn State

    59. Cal

    58. North Carolina 

    57. Louisiana-Monroe

    56. Toledo 

    55. Virginia

    54. BYU

    53. Utah

    52. Washington State

    51. Missouri 

50. Arkansas

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    Arkansas continued its free fall with its third loss in a row, the latest a home defeat against Rutgers, 35-26.

    The Razorbacks will be hard pressed to halt their skid anytime soon with road games against Texas A&M and Auburn next on the schedule.

49. Fresno State

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    At 2-2, Fresno State has gotten off to a better start than it did last year. Despite the 2-1 start, Fresno State dropped its game to Tulsa last week, moving the Bulldogs to 2-2.

    Early on this year, the Bulldogs have been much more effective on offense and have begun to get things turned around on defense.

    With San Diego State coming up this week, the Bulldogs will see how far they have come this year.

48. Georgia Tech

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    After looking good the past couple of weeks, Georgia Tech welcomed Miami this past weekend and suffered a heartbreaking loss in overtime.

    Now at 2-2, the Yellow Jackets have a week to regroup before taking on Clemson. This week against Middle Tennessee will allow them to get back on track and, more specifically, give the defense a chance to get on the same page before their schedule picks up.

47. Washington

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    Washington had this past week off, and it is a good thing because the Huskies are about to enter the toughest part of their schedule.

    This week the Huskies take on No. 8 Stanford in a huge game in the Pac-12 North. That matchup is followed by a trip to Autzen Stadium to take on rival Oregon, which is the No. 2-ranked team in the nation.

    After this two-week stretch, the Huskies will know where they stand in the Pac-12 North pecking order and if they are ready to make that next step.

46. NC State

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    NC State has been the beneficiary of an easy schedule early in the year. Currently, the Wolfpack are 3-1 and are about to take on Miami in their first conference game of the year.

    While the offense has looked fairly good this year, the defense has stood out and carried them early on.

    With Miami and then Florida State coming up on the schedule, this team has a chance to turn some heads or go unnoticed if it is unable to rise to the challenge.

45. Ole Miss

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    Ole Miss had a big letdown a couple of weeks ago when Texas came into the Rebels' house and blew them out. This past week the Rebels returned to action and took things out on Tulane, winning 39-0.

    The win pushed Ole Miss to 3-1 on the year, and it looks vastly improved over last year.

    This week the Rebels take on Alabama. When going up against the Tide on the road, the Rebels will be looking to see how they stack up against the nation's best and see how far they have come early in 2012.

44. Utah State

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    Two weeks ago Utah State lost a two-point game on the road to Wisconsin. While the loss was tough, the Aggies rebounded this week with a 31-19 win over Colorado State.

    For the past two years, Utah State has been getting better and better, and it shows with the Aggies' current 3-1 start to this season.

    Their game against UNLV this week should allow them to go to 4-1, but the challenge will come the following week when they take on BYU.

43. Miami (FL)

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    Coming into the year, the talk around Miami was about the defense and hoping that the offense could get up to speed. So far, the offense is cruising along in midseason form, and it is the defense that could use some improvement.

    With a huge win over Georgia Tech on the road this week, Miami improved to 3-1 and turned some heads around the ACC.

    Coming up, the Hurricanes play NC State before heading on the road to play Notre Dame in a highly anticipated game in South Bend.

42. Purdue

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    After a crushing loss to Notre Dame, Purdue returned to action and took out all of its frustrations on Eastern Michigan a couple of weeks ago. Now that the Boilermakers have a week of rest under their belts, they should be more than ready to take on Marshall this week.

    Early on this year the Boilermakers offense has looked strong, and as long as that trend continues, they should have a chance to make some noise once they start up conference play.

41. Wake Forest

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    Just a week after being blown off the field by Florida State, Wake Forest returned home and took out Army, 49-37. While a win is a win, the Demon Deacons were largely unimpressive and did not look good on the defensive side of the ball.

    This week they stay at home to play another 3-1 team, Duke. If the Demon Deacons are hoping to not see their season blow up before their very eyes, they need to focus on the Blue Devils and take care of business.

40. Louisiana Tech

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    Louisiana Tech has started the year 3-0 and earned a huge road win over Illinois this past week. 

    Early on this year, the Bulldogs offense is humming along and has put up over 50 points in each of the three games this year. How far this team will go comes down to the execution of its defense and if it is able to slow down some of the better offenses left on its schedule.

39. Arizona State

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    Arizona State had a strong performance this past week as it defeated Utah. Throughout the game, the Sun Devils defense looked strong, and the offense was able to put up 37 points. 

    Coming up, they have back-to-back road games that will test how far this team has come. The Sun Devils head on the road to play Cal and then finish up against Colorado.

    If they can keep up this balancing act of offense and defense, Arizona State could challenge USC in the Pac-12 South.

38. Tennessee

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    While the schedule has been favorable, Tennessee is off to a 3-1 start. Despite losing to Florida at home, the Vols have won the games that they were supposed to early on this year.

    So far Tyler Bray and the offense have come out looking strong, but the defense has been questionable.

    The next four weeks are going to be brutal but will tell a lot about this Tennessee team. Starting this week, the Vols play Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina consecutively.

37. Cincinnati

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    Through the first four weeks of the season, Cincinnati has only played two games and sits at 2-0. After getting this past week off, things begin to pick up, as it will take on Virginia Tech in a huge game.

    Much like the rest of the Big East, the Bearcats' schedule is soft and will allow them to run off a lot of wins.

    Looking at the rest of the schedule, the only teams remaining that could give them a run are Virginia Tech, Louisville and Rutgers.

36. Texas Tech

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    Very quietly the Red Raiders have started the season out 3-0. After defeating New Mexico, Texas Tech had this previous week off and now returns to open up conference play on the road against Iowa State.

    While the offense has been strong as expected, the defense has looked surprisingly good as well, only giving up 30 points total this year.

    Texas Tech must make sure it earns a win this week because the Red Raiders' next five games are all against current Top 25 teams.

35. Texas A&M

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    With a win this past week, Texas A&M moved to 2-1 on the year as it prepares to take on Arkansas this week.

    So far this year, the Aggies have only been tested once, and that was by Florida, a game they lost. With the SEC schedule beginning to pick up, Texas A&M needs to make sure that it finds the balance it showed against weaker opponents before the Aggies get deeper into conference play.

34. Oklahoma State

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    Currently at 2-1, Oklahoma State got this past week off and now returns to play at home against No. 12 Texas. After losing two huge pieces to their offense from last year, the Cowboys have plugged in new additions and currently have the highest-scoring team in the nation at 62.3 points per game.

    With conference games the rest of the way, Oklahoma State will have to continue to stay on an offensive tear if it hopes to win the conference again because its defense continues to be suspect.

33. Wisconsin

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    Wisconsin may be the most deceiving 3-1 team in the nation. While the record may be good, Wisconsin has scratched out wins over Utah State and UNLV, and both games were at home.

    This week the Badgers head on the road to open conference play against Nebraska, and it could be a rude awakening. Unless the Badgers offense gets on track and shows some consistency, this team will not be returning to California for a third straight Rose Bowl.

32. Iowa State

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    Iowa State is off to a 3-0 start, but two of the wins have come over unimpressive talent.

    This week, the Cyclones get conference play under way with a big-time test from Texas Tech. During this game, the Iowa State defense will be put to the test, and its ranking will be challenged, as it is currently the ninth-best defense in the nation. 

    While the defense is in good hands, we will see if Steele Jantz can help the offense keep pace with the Red Raiders.

31. Arizona

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    Arizona's time as one of the nation's undefeated teams is over. What the Wildcats didn't expect was to walk into Autzen Stadium and leave with zero points.

    Throughout the game against the Ducks, the Wildcats continually found themselves in the red zone, yet they blew opportunity after opportunity.

    If Arizona is hoping to be a threat in the Pac-12, it must put points up when inside the 20.

30. Michigan

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    At 2-2, Michigan has beat two lesser opponents and lost both games it has played against Top 25 talent. 

    This past week against Notre Dame, Michigan's offense and Denard Robinson were exposed, as the Wolverines gave up the ball six times, including four Robinson interceptions.

    With out-of-conference games done with, the Wolverines now must get things turned around as the Big Ten schedule awaits them.

29. Virginia Tech

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    After being embarrassed by Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech got back to action and took care of business against Bowling Green 37-0.

    The Hokies have a few more weeks to get things straightened out before they take on Clemson and then eventually Florida State, two games that will shape the rest of their season. 

    As long as the offense can continue to play at a high level like it did this past week, the Hokies will return to form and take a run at winning the ACC.

28. Ohio

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    The Ohio Bobcats are 4-0 and sailing along this year. Behind an offense led by Tyler Tettleton and a defense that is making big plays in key situations, the Bobcats look like a strong team this year. 

    One thing Ohio has going for it, other than its current record, is a seemingly easy schedule that lies ahead.

    If the Bobcats can continue to execute on both sides of the ball like they have so far this year, Ohio could be looking at a chance of going undefeated.

27. UCLA

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    All signs pointed to a 4-0 start for UCLA and Jim L. Mora, but Oregon State came to town this past weekend and ended those plans.

    Despite losing to Oregon State, the Bruins are still off to an impressive 3-1 start and take on Colorado away from home this weekend.

    Mora has done a nice job of improving this team on both sides of the ball, and while the loss may hurt, the Bruins are on their way to having a much stronger season than many people expected them to.

26. Northwestern

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    Don't look now, but the Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start, and with Indiana coming up this week, Northwestern is likely heading for a 5-0 start to the season. 

    Despite having Dan Persa move along and graduate, the Wildcats offense almost appears to be better this year, and the defense has certainly improved.

    If the Wildcats keep playing this well, they will definitely be in a bowl game and could bring their losing streak in the postseason to an end this year.

25. Baylor

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    This past week, Baylor had its shot at the up-and-coming Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, and it almost got shocked itself, squeaking out a 47-42 win. 

    Now at 3-0, Baylor is much like Northwestern, as it lost a playmaking quarterback and yet it is transitioning well to not having him in the program any more.

    The next three games will tell the story for Baylor, as the Bears have West Virginia, TCU and Texas all coming up on the schedule.

24. Boise State

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    Boise State is coming off a win over BYU, and while it wasn't pretty, a win is a win. The Broncos now improve to 2-1 and head on the road to take on New Mexico this week.

    Early on this year, the concern has been the lack of offensive power. So far the defense has stood tall, but the offense is the question mark, as you really see how much of an impact Kellen Moore had last year.

    New Mexico should provide the Broncos with a chance to get things on track.

23. Rutgers

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    Another team to turn some heads this year has been Rutgers. Early in the year, the Scarlet Knights find themselves at 4-0 and winning some big games.

    The past two weeks, Rutgers has gone on the road and defeated conference opponent South Florida and then stunned Arkansas.

    With big wins early in the year, the Scarlet Knights are humming along and may be a team to keep your eye on as they make their way through the Big East schedule.

22. Nebraska

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    The Cornhuskers got back on track this past week as the offense erupted and scored 73 points against Idaho State.

    With the record at now 3-1, Nebraska will begin its conference schedule against Wisconsin. With the game at home, the Badgers are prime for the picking, and Nebraska should have little issue with taking care of them based on the way Wisconsin has played of late.

21. Mississippi State

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    Dan Mullen and Mississippi State have done a great job early on this season and are off to a 4-0 start. So far this season, the Bulldogs have earned wins over Jackson State, Auburn, Troy and South Alabama and are getting back into conference play this week.

    Over the past couple of seasons, Mullen has struggled to have this team compete during conference play, so it will be interesting to watch and see if he has helped the Bulldogs turn the corner this year.

20. Michigan State

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    Michigan State may be 3-1, but things are far from comfortable in East Lansing.

    With the loss of Kirk Cousins to the NFL, the Spartans offense has been struggling mightily. While Le'Veon Bell is doing his best rushing, Andrew Maxwell has been average at best in his first year under center.

    After struggling with Eastern Michigan this past week, it will be interesting to see how the Spartans stack up against Ohio State this week.

19. Louisville

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    Louisville has moved through its out-of-conference schedule and has gone 4-0. This coming week, the Cardinals are taking on Southern Miss before they begin the defense of their conference title.

    In his second year, Teddy Bridgewater is doing a great job leading the offense and has it looking like it did not miss a beat in the offseason.

    If Bridgewater is able to continue to grow and perform at his current level, Louisville could end up in a BCS game as the Big East champions.

18. Oregon State

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    The Ducks have company in the state of Oregon, as the Beavers have jumped out to a 2-0 start on the year. This past week Oregon State went down to California and left with a huge road win over UCLA. 

    No team has been more surprising early this year than Oregon State, and it continues to impress.

    This week the Beavers travel to Arizona to take on a Wildcat team that is licking it wounds from its loss to the Ducks and will be desperate for a home win.

17. Oklahoma

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    With a game against Kansas State at home, the Sooners had a chance to earn a huge win in the conference and give themselves an inside track to the Big 12 title. Instead, the Wildcats came into Norman and left with a huge road victory.

    Going forward, the Oklahoma offense needs to get things figured out. One of the big question marks was the defense, but it has played relatively well this year. Unless the offense can put some more points up on the board, the Sooners will continue to struggle.

16. Clemson

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    Things looked to be going well at the half for Clemson, and the Tigers had a 10-point lead in the second half before Florida State kicked it into the next gear and ran away with a huge win.

    For Clemson, the loss is devastating, as it actually costs the Tigers two games in the ACC to Florida State. While the Tigers have the talent to run the table and keep the heat on the Seminoles, they will look back at this as a game they should have won.

15. USC

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    USC bounced back this week from its loss at Stanford to upend Cal at home. With the win, USC moves into its bye week and will have time to get ready for back-to-back road games against Utah and Washington.

    The bye week should allow the Trojans to get healthy and get back to focusing on winning the conference and seeing if they can sneak into the national title game.

14. TCU

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    At 3-0, the Horned Frogs are off to a great start this year. Through three games, TCU has given up a total of 13 points, and the offense has been solid, which has made it look like a very well-balanced team.

    This week the Horned Frogs head on the road to take on Southern Methodist, which will be a good test before they get back into conference play.

    It will be interesting to see how the Horned Frogs do once they start playing some of the stronger teams in their conference.

13. Ohio State

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    Ohio State remains an interesting story. One week the Buckeyes look good, the next they struggle with UAB.

    This past week the Buckeyes struggled through a game with the Blazers, but Braxton Miller came to the rescue with an outstanding performance.

    Urban Meyer has done a great job so far with Ohio State and appears to have it heading in the right direction. After a weak nonconference schedule, Big Ten play will show us what this team is all about.

12. Texas

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    After a big road win over Ole Miss, Texas had this past week off.

    For the Longhorns, the offense has developed really well and has helped take some of the pressure off their defense. With the pressure off, the defense has the ability to play more aggressively knowing that it has an offense that can compensate if it gets burned on a play.

    This week Texas heads on the road to play Oklahoma State, and a win could go a long way toward showing that this program is back and ready to compete for a conference title.

11. Florida

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    Going into the bye week, the Gators are now 4-0 and looking good so far in 2012.

    This past week, Kentucky came to the Swamp and left with a 38-0 loss that has people wondering if the Gators are for real this year.

    The measuring stick for the Gators will truly happen when they return to play in two weeks and take on LSU. A win over the Tigers will truly turn some heads.

10. Notre Dame

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    Don't look now, but the Irish are 4-0 and have secured wins over both big Michigan teams in back-to-back weeks.

    This past week, the Notre Dame defense was able to force six turnovers and bottle up Denard Robinson all game long.

    With the win, Notre Dame enters the bye week with time to rest up and prepare for Miami and Stanford next up on the schedule.

9. Stanford

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    One week after beating USC, Stanford had a bye and gets back to action against Washington this week. If the Cardinal are able to play the way that they did against the Trojans, they will be a serious threat to win the conference.

    Behind a strong rushing attack and a defense that has played surprisingly well, Stanford is playing much better than anyone expected after Andrew Luck headed to the NFL.

    The schedule isn't too bad, so the Cardinal still have time to improve and prepare for their game with Oregon in November.

8. Kansas State

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    As Kansas State heads into a bye this week, the Wildcats can take with them the memory of a huge win on the road over Oklahoma.

    During the game in Norman, the Wildcats were able to establish their running game, and behind the leadership of Collin Klein, they were able to score at critical times during the game.

    At 4-0, the Wildcats get some time to rest up and now have the inside track in the Big 12 after beating Oklahoma.

7. West Virginia

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    The West Virginia offense is already in midseason form, and the Mountaineers are now 3-0.

    While the offense has been impressive, the defense has left something to be desired, as it gave up 21 points to Maryland this past week.

    This coming week the Mountaineers will get their first taste of Big 12 play as Baylor comes to town to kick off their conference schedule.

6. South Carolina

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    The Gamecocks earned a big conference win this week by taking out Missouri and moving to 4-0. One of the most impressive parts about the win was that Connor Shaw missed his first pass of the game and then didn't throw another incompletion the entire game.

    With Kentucky up next, South Carolina only has a little bit of time before the meat of its schedule begins.

5. Georgia

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    The Bulldogs got back into conference play this past week and earned another win, this time over Vanderbilt.

    As long as the offense keeps humming along, the Bulldogs will be a dangerous team to go up against, but the difference this week was the performance of their defense.

    Mark Richt has the Bulldogs off to a hot start, and with the Vols coming to town next week, Georgia has its sights set on 5-0.

4. LSU

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    A win over Auburn is nice, as LSU remains undefeated and heads home for another out-of-conference game, but the way that the Tigers won will raise some concerns.

    Not surprisingly, the Tigers defense has carried the load this year and is as good as the squad that won the SEC last year.

    For now, it appears that LSU and the Crimson Tide are on a collision course for November, but LSU must make sure it brings a better effort to that game than it did against Auburn.

3. Florida State

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    When the Seminoles were going at it against the Clemson Tigers, it looked like they were going to fold and fail to deliver on high expectations once again.

    Luckily for the Seminoles and their fans, the offense woke up, punched the gas and took over the game.

    With a win over Clemson, the Seminoles look like a team that could very well live up to the hype, but they must make sure that they do not have a letdown this coming week against South Florida.

2. Oregon

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    Finally tested, the Ducks passed and move to 4-0. Coming up this week, the Ducks head on the road for the first time and take on the new-look Washington State Cougars. It will be interesting to see how Marcus Mariota plays in his first road game.

    What the Arizona game showed the nation is that while the Ducks are known for their offensive abilities, the defense is as good as it has ever been.

    If the defense continues to play this well, Oregon could be headed for big things.

1. Alabama

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    With Florida Atlantic out of the way, Alabama gets back to playing SEC football as it takes on Ole Miss.

    Early on this year, the Tide have looked strong on both offense and defense and have earned wins over Michigan and Arkansas. 

    With how strong the Crimson Tide have looked, all signs point to being undefeated when they take on LSU in November, which would be a real treat for all college football fans.

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