With the vast majority of top college football teams facing cupcake opponents in Week 4, there weren't many shakeups atop the newest AP Top 25 rankings.
Both Alabama and Oregon managed to remain in national championship position, and a host of other undefeated teams are following closely.
Although there wasn't a single Top 25 upset this week, there is no question that some teams were more impressive than others. Here is the newest poll courtesy of the Associated Press, along with Bleacher Report's official rankings.
Much to nobody's surprise, Alabama is still the king of the mountain following its win over Texas A&M last week. The Crimson Tide weren't exactly dominant against a pesky Colorado State team in winning 31-6, but 'Bama was never in danger of suffering a monumental upset.
With No. 2 Oregon idle, a few other teams had a golden opportunity to show what they can do. Clemson had a tricky matchup against previously undefeated NC State on Thursday night, but Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Tajh Boyd was able to lead the Tigers to a 26-14 triumph.
Ohio State scored a massive 76-0 win over FCS product Florida A&M. It didn't do much to improve the Buckeyes' standing, but the emergence of quarterback Kenny Guiton could provide head coach Urban Meyer with quite the quandary.
Braxton Miller led Ohio State to an undefeated record last season, but Guiton has filled in admirably during his absence, setting the Buckeyes' single-game passing touchdown record with six on Saturday.
In his postgame interview, Meyer made it clear that he's committed to using Miller as long as he's healthy—despite Guiton's emergence (per Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com):
He is our starting quarterback. Our backup quarterback has earned some time. I can’t begin tell you how. I’ve been going through scenarios in my mind, and I don’t know what it is. I’m going to see how we practice this week, but Braxton is our starting quarterback.
Stanford had the toughest matchup of all the title-contending teams, but the Cardinal rose to the occasion at home after a couple weeks of less-than-impressive performances against inferior opponents. Stanford upended then-No. 23 Arizona State in a hard-fought, Pac-12 matchup by a score of 42-28. The Stanford running game was dominant, which bodes well for its chances against Oregon down the line.
There were a lot of question marks surrounding LSU heading into the season, particularly about quarterback Zach Mettenberger, but Mettenberger and the Tigers have managed to answer the bell. Although Mettenberger didn't maintain his Heisman pace on Saturday, LSU was extremely impressive in defeating SEC rival Auburn by a score of 35-21 before a raucous crowd at Tiger Stadium.
LSU has all the makings of a team that could potentially find its way into the national title conversation, but it has its work cut out for it with games against Georgia and Alabama forthcoming.
The rest of the Top 25 slate largely featured top-flight programs beating up on lower-level FBS as well as FCS schools, but Michigan survived yet another scare. The Wolverines needed a late goal-line stand to avoid losing to Akron at home last week, and it took a late field goal to get past winless UConn on Saturday by a 24-21 score.
Quarterback Devin Gardner has struggled mightily with turnovers over the past couple weeks, but Michigan has a much-needed bye week, which should allow it to regroup and prepare for the Big Ten schedule.
In addition to that, one-loss Notre Dame continued to show what it is made of with a gritty 17-13 win over Michigan State to hand the Spartans their first loss. This contest featured two of the best defenses in college football, but the Irish had just enough offense, and they were able to keep their BCS hopes alive despite losing to Michigan a couple weeks ago.
All told, Week 4 was one of the blandest weeks of college football in recent memory, as very few ranked teams were pushed to the limit. The top teams were able to pad their statistics and resumes prior to Week 5, which promises to be far more interesting.
With so many marquee matchups on the horizon, the polls are certainly due for some big changes in the near future.
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