The Alabama Crimson Tide continued to lead the way in the Associated Press' Week 4 Top 25 poll released Sunday, with the likes of the Clemson Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners in hot pursuit.
The Crimson Tide garnered 45 of 61 first-place votes, while the Tigers seized 15 and the Sooners took one. Here is a rundown of the Top 25:
4. Penn State
6. Oklahoma State
10. Ohio State
12. Florida State
13. Virginia Tech
14. Miami (Fla.)
17. Mississippi State
18. Washington State
21. South Florida
22. San Diego State
It was not surprising Alabama remained at No. 1 after it cruised past the Colorado State Rams 41-23 on Saturday, but there was more intrigue surrounding the subsequent spots.
Oklahoma entered the week ranked second following its upset win over the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Sooners continued to roll behind the dominant play of quarterback Baker Mayfield, beating the Tulane Green Wave 56-14.
With Mayfield lighting up the scoreboard on a weekly basis, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted that he made a sound decision to return to school:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Returning to school is paying off for Baker Mayfield, says @nfldraftscout https://t.co/sOfeJkAj0M2017-9-14 14:17:45
As good as Mayfield and Oklahoma looked, Clemson was nearly as dominant against a far better opponent, resulting in the Tigers moving from third to second.
The Tigers went into hostile territory and throttled the Louisville Cardinals, who were ranked 14th, 47-21.
With Kelly Bryant under center, Clemson hasn't missed a beat following the departure of quarterback Deshaun Watson to the NFL, but its key to success has been a defense that limited reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to 50 percent passing and just 3.8 yards per carry.
The USC Trojans were ranked fourth last week, but there was a significant difference between their performance and those of the formerly No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions and No. 6 Washington Huskies.
The Trojans barely survived the Texas Longhorns with a 27-24 double-overtime win at home, while the Nittany Lions and Huskies crushed lower-level opponents.
PSU quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-0 trouncing of the Georgia State Panthers. Much of the credit for his success went to the offensive line, as PFF College Football pointed out:
PFF College Football @PFF_College
Penn State QB Trace McSorley carved apart the Georgia State secondary when kept clean from pressure on Saturday. https://t.co/zWPs4lu5yw2017-9-17 12:31:03
Like McSorley, Washington quarterback Jake Browning fired on all cylinders Saturday, throwing for 255 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-16 win over the Fresno State Bulldogs.
The Huskies have been overshadowed this season, but last season's Pac-12 champions and College Football Playoff semifinalists may be in line to repeat those feats should the Trojans stumble.
Among other teams inside the Top 10, Ohio State bounced back from its loss to Oklahoma with a 38-7 win over the Army Black Knights, while the Michigan Wolverines were less than impressive in beating the Air Force Falcons 29-13.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys continued to prove they have one of the most dynamic offenses in college football by beating the Pittsburgh Panthers 59-21 behind quarterback Mason Rudolph's 497 yards and five touchdowns.
Teams moving in the wrong direction included the LSU Tigers, who looked listless in a 37-7 road loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs and fell to 25th.
The Kansas State Wildcats and Stanford Cardinal dropped out of the Top 25 after road losses to the Vanderbilt Commodores and San Diego State Aztecs.
The Tennessee Volunteers and UCLA Bruins fell out as well, with Mississippi State, San Diego State, the Utah Utes and the Oregon Ducks replacing them.