Amway College Football Poll 2017: Complete Week 3 Rankings Revealed

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2017

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 09:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs with the ball during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

College football fans didn't have to wait long for season-altering results in 2017.

Quarterback play propelled Oklahoma and USC to marquee victories, while defense set the tone for Georgia and Clemson in their critical wins. 

With four games between ranked teams—including the Sooners' triumph in a top-five showdown with Ohio State—there was bound to be a shakeup in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Here is a look at the latest rankings, per the USA Today.

            

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1,497 points)

2. Clemson Tigers (1,386 points)

3. Oklahoma Sooners (1,385 points)

4. USC Trojans (1,308 points)

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (1,256 points)

6. Washington Huskies (1,173 points)

7. Michigan Wolverines (1,082 points)

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1,026 points)

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (962 points)

10. Florida State Seminoles (926 points)

11. LSU Tigers (920 points)

12. Wisconsin Badgers (919 points)

13. Georgia Bulldogs (830 points)

14. Louisville Cardinals (658 points)

15. Miami Hurricanes (551 points)

16. Virginia Tech Hokies (509 points)

17. Auburn Tigers (488 points)

18. Kansas State Wildcats (487 points)

19. Stanford Cardinal (372 points)

20. TCU Horned Frogs (271 points)

21. South Florida Bulls (249 points)

22. Washington State Cougars (244 points)

23. Tennessee Volunteers (219 points)

24. Utah Utes (182 points)

25. Florida Gators (134 points)

          

No team earned a more important win than Oklahoma's 31-16 blitzing of the Buckeyes in a game that was tied at three at the half.

The contest was billed as a battle between Heisman Trophy contenders at quarterback, but the difference in play at signal-caller was jarring. Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield showed zero signs of struggle in a hostile environment and finished 27-of-35 for 386 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

He also engineered two critical scoring drives in the third quarter after the Sooners fell behind. He then created breathing room with a touchdown pass to Trey Sermon early in the fourth.

He did enough to move atop the Heisman ballot for the Big Lead's Jason McIntyre:

On the other side, Ohio State's J.T. Barrett finished 19-of-35 for 183 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. He consistently stared down receivers and failed to match Mayfield's big plays down the stretch.

Ohio State made the College Football Playoff last season even though it failed to win a Big Ten championship in part because it went on the road and won a prime-time nonconference game against the Sooners. Oklahoma flipped the script this season in a game that will reverberate into the playoff discussion come December if the Sooners are fighting for a top-four spot.

Speaking of clutch quarterback play, Sam Darnold looked the part of early Heisman contender with 316 passing yards and four touchdowns in USC's 42-24 victory over Stanford in its Pac-12 opener.

The Trojans never trailed against the Cardinal and put their closer-than-expected season opener against Western Michigan well in the rearview mirror.

"We got to him a couple of times, but a couple of times he'll slip out and make a play with his arm, he's that good," Stanford coach David Shaw said of Darnold, per Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "He made three big-time throws, throws that other guys don't make, and we give that to a great player. If you're in great position and he puts it in perfectly, there's nothing you can do."

Meanwhile, Clemson passed its first significant test as defending champions with a hard-fought 14-6 win over Auburn thanks to its strong defense. Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham went 13-of-24 for a mere 79 yards while his team averaged 0.9 yards per carry (42 rushes for 38 yards).

Two touchdown runs by Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant were more than enough given his team's stellar defense.

Auburn lost to an excellent defense, but fellow SEC representative Georgia won thanks to its unit. The Bulldogs—and plenty of their fans—went into Notre Dame and escaped with a 20-19 win by flummoxing the Fighting Irish's offense throughout.

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 09: Richard LeCounte III #2 and J.R. Reed #20 of the Georgia Bulldogs tackle Chris Finke #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the fourth quarter of a game at Notre Dame Stadium on September 9, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Geo
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Quarterback Brandon Wimbush didn't throw for a touchdown, and the running game amassed 55 yards on 37 carries (1.5 yards per attempt). Rodrigo Blankenship's field goal gave Georgia the lead with less than four minutes remaining, and the defense stymied Notre Dame's final two tries in a head-turning road win without injured quarterback Jacob Eason.

The upcoming week's slate of games doesn't feature the same depth Saturday's did, although Clemson's trip to Louisville stands out.

The Tigers will need another strong performance from their defense to counter Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson. Clemson won last year's contest 42-36 in a battle between Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the latter is no longer there for the defending champs.

Jackson is still leading the way for Louisville, and Saturday is an opportunity to make another Heisman statement the season after he won the trophy.

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