College Football Rankings 2017: Latest Polls, Predictions for Week 4 Standings

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans makes a pass during the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Well, that was fun. 

Week 3 of the college football season included some truly epic contests. There was Florida winning on a final-play miracle pass down the field, or USC overcoming Texas in overtime. Clemson hammered Louisville, while Mississippi State shocked LSU in one of many upsets.

Will Week 4 deliver the same amount of intrigue?

Below, we'll take a look at the updated rankings and break down some of the big matchups and storylines that should impact next week's standings.

             

Associated Press Poll

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

1. Alabama (3-0)

2. Clemson (3-0)

3. Oklahoma (3-0)

4. Penn State (3-0)

5. USC (3-0)

6. Oklahoma State (3-0)

7. Washington (3-0)

8. Michigan (3-0)

9. Wisconsin (3-0)

10. Ohio State (2-1)

11. Georgia (3-0)

12. Florida State (0-1)

13. Virginia Tech (3-0)

14. Miami (1-0)

15. Auburn (2-1)

16. TCU (3-0)

17. Mississippi State (3-0)

18. Washington State (3-0)

19. Louisville (2-1)

20. Florida (1-1)

21. South Florida (3-0)

22. San Diego State (3-0)

23. Utah (3-0)

24. Oregon (3-0)

25. LSU (2-1)

         

Amway Coaches Poll

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

1. Alabama (3-0)

2. Clemson (3-0)

3. Oklahoma (3-0)

4. Penn State (3-0)

5. USC (3-0)

6. Washington (3-0) 

7. Oklahoma State (3-0)

8. Michigan (3-0)

9. Ohio State (2-1) 

10. Wisconsin (3-0)

11. Florida State (0-1) 

12. Georgia (3-0)

13. Virginia Tech (3-0)

14. Miami (1-0)

15. TCU (3-0) 

16. Auburn (2-1)

17. South Florida (3-0) 

18. Washington State (3-0)

19. Mississippi State (3-0) 

20. Louisville (2-1) 

21. Utah (3-0)

22. Florida (1-1) 

23. LSU (2-1)

24. Oregon (3-0)

25. San Diego State (3-0)

         

Week 4 Analysis

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Mason Rudolph #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates after a touchdown by Dillon Stoner #17 (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pen
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Several matchups should affect next week's rankings. Let's start with a battle in the Big 12, when Oklahoma State hosts TCU.

This one should be fun. Oklahoma State has one of the most explosive offenses in college football, led by quarterback Mason Rudolph, who already has 1,135 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and just one interception in three games. TCU has a sturdy defense, though it looked a bit suspect in giving up 36 points against SMU.

That's trouble against an Oklahoma State offense averaging 54 points per game. Or one that scored on all seven of its first-half possessions against Pitt and "became the first offense since Texas Tech in 2005 to have four different receivers finish with 100 or more yards receiving in a single game, as Jalen McCleskey (162 yards), James Washington (124), [Marcell] Ateman (109) and Dillon Stoner (100) all hit the 100-yard threshold," per Jake Trotter of ESPN.com.

If there's a threat to Oklahoma in the Big 12, it appears to be Oklahoma State. TCU isn't a pushover, but Rudolph is playing at a different level right now. Either way, one of these teams will get a bump in the rankings after this contest, while the other should slide a bit, but the Cowboys are the safe pick.

The week's other premier matchup between Top 25 teams comes from the SEC, where Mississippi State face Georgia. The former Bulldogs are fresh off of annihilating LSU. The latter Bulldogs have a Week 2 win over Notre Dame under their belts.

Quarterback play could be the difference in this one. Nick Fitzgerald is a two-way threat, while Jake Fromm has had an up-and-down start to his season. Georgia will want to establish its running game early behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but if Mississippi State can throttle them on the ground, Fromm will need to step up through the air. 

Fitzgerald is the better bet to carry his offense on his back. He's already thrown for 543 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 240 rushing yards and another five scores on the ground. He'll be a handful for Georgia to deal with, though they'll have their home crowd behind them. The scene is set for a tight matchup and one team to climb up the rankings, with Georgia ultimately earning the win.

A pair of Pac-12 teams, meanwhile, should be on upset alert. USC survived Texas this past weekend, but up next is a tough matchup against 3-0 California. Washington, meanwhile, gets undefeated Colorado. Do not be surprised if one of those teams falls in a major upset.

San Diego State also has a tough matchup against an Air Force team that gave Michigan fits. Look for their stay in the Top 25 to be brief. In general, however, Week 4 doesn't seem likely to feature many upsets. Expect next week's rankings to largely resemble the ones released on Sunday.