Polls & Rankings

CFN Week 3 College Football Rankings No. 1 To 128


The CFN Week 3 Rankings. Based on head-to-head as well as talent, here’s the latest ranking of all 128 teams.


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews

It might not seem right, and it’ll all end up correcting itself as the season goes on, but if you don’t go by what’s actually happened on the field so far – taking into account all the upsets – then the rankings are wrong.

For example, at the immediate moment, since there are no other variables involved that matter in this instance, you have to rank Boise State ahead of Louisiana-Lafayette – since the Broncos beat the Ragin’ Cajuns – who beat South Alabama, who beat Mississippi State, who beat South Carolina, who beat East Carolina, who beat NC State.

Central Michigan – like it or not – has to be ahead of Oklahoma State, Pitt, and Penn State at the moment, too.

If you don’t do it this way, then there’s no point in playing the games.

And then there’s the Iowa problem. This is a better team than most of the FBS teams, but it just lost at home to an FCS team. A great FCS team in North Dakota State, but an FCS team. In that case, it’s about looking at how good the team appears to be – and assuming the Bison would roll most of the other bottom half FBS teams, too.

Hopefully that makes some semblance of sense.

The rankings change up wildly each week depending on what happens, and in the end, it’ll all get sorted out. So to take into account the first three weeks, here you go.

Based on looks, talent, and what’s happened so far, here we go with the Week 3 CollegeFootballNews.com Rankings 1 to 128.

CFN Week 3 College Football Top 25 Rankings

1. Alabama (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 1
Final Score: Alabama 48, Ole Miss 43
Up Next: Kent State

The defense might have shown some holes, and it took way too much to put away a flawed Ole Miss team, but with the thumping of USC and the explosiveness shown in Oxford, this is the still the best team in college football – maybe. Others are more deserving, but for now, the Crimson Tide are still in the top spot. But …

2. Ohio State (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 3
Final Score: Ohio State 45, Oklahoma 24
Up Next: Rutgers

The Buckeyes should be ranked No. 1A. They ripped through two bad opponents to start the season, but the demolition of Oklahoma in Norman was impressive. However, the Sooners might just not be that great, and Houston might have been even stronger in its opening week win. Even so, there’s no argument whatsoever if you want to put the Buckeyes in the top spot. No beef either if you want to boost up …

3. Louisville (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 8
Final Score: Louisville 63, Florida State 20
Up Next: Marshall

The Cardinals should be No. 1 considering they technically have the best win by anyone this year, blasting away on the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles. Put any of the top three teams in a bag, pick one out, and you probably have the team that belongs in the top spot.

4. Michigan State (2-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 18
Final Score: Michigan State 36, Notre Dame 28
Up Next: Wisconsin

This is way too high based off one win over a team that lost to a Texas team that lost to Cal, but for about 50 minutes, this looked like the same type of Spartans that rolled to a Big Ten title last year. Call this a placeholder spot until we see what happens against Wisconsin next week.

5. Michigan (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 4
Final Score: Michigan 45, Colorado 28
Up Next: Penn State

The Wolverines looked mortal for a while against a decent Colorado team, but blowing out UCF the week before might be better than originally thought. Michigan State gets the higher nod because of the tough road win at Notre Dame, but the Wolverines could certainly be No. 4.

6. Stanford (2-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 16
Final Score: Stanford 27, USC 10
Up Next: at UCLA

This was fun beating Kansas State and USC, but playtime is over. Beat UCLA and Washington on the road over the next two weeks, and it’s time to really and truly believe the Cardinal are for real.

7. Florida State (2-1)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 2
Final Score: Louisville 63, Florida State 20
Up Next: at South Florida

1) Louisville might just be that amazing, 2) that was a gassed-looking Seminole team playing three games in 12 game, and 3) none of that should matter and FSU should be better than 63-20. There’s too much talent to be that bad.

8. Wisconsin (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 5
Final Score: Wisconsin 23, Georgia State 17
Up Next: at Michigan State

It’s okay, everyone. Relax. Wisconsin appeared to take the week off not playing Corey Clement on his gimpy ankle and with the defense not showing off anywhere near the intensity it needed to until it mattered. The LSU win doesn’t seem so great now, but the Badgers could move into the top five with a win over Michigan State.

9. Washington (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 9
Final Score: Washington 41, Portland State 3
Up Next: at Arizona

There’s something to be said for being almost flawless over three weeks. The Huskies get to go on the road now to push the defense a wee bit against Arizona, but the big tests are coming soon.

10. Clemson (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 10
Final Score: Clemson 59, South Carolina State 0
Up Next: at Georgia Tech

At Georgia Tech, and then Louisville. If you don’t like that Clemson isn’t getting any respect after blowing up South Carolina State, relax. It might change in a big way over the next two weeks.

11. Florida (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 17
Final Score: Florida 32, North Texas 0
Up Next: at Tennessee

Oh that’s just great. Just when it seems like the Gators are looking razor-sharp defensively and ready to rock Rocky Top next week, QB Luke Del Rio gets hit with a knee injury. With the way this D is playing, that might not matter.

12. Houston (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 12
Final Score: Houston 40, Cincinnati 16
Up Next: at Texas State

Don’t be fooled by the final score. Houston struggled and sputtered way too much until it dialed up the defensive pressure. Okay, so the Cougars belong in the top ten somewhere. They’ll be there soon.

13. Tennessee (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 13
Final Score: Tennessee 28, Ohio 19
Up Next: Florida

It’s almost as if Tennessee is trying to make things hard on itself. It’s 3-0, but it’s not looking the part of a dominant force ready to take over the SEC East. Now it gets to play Florida without Luke Del Rio – the Vols can’t ask for too many more breaks.

14. Nebraska (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 22
Final Score: Nebraska 35, Oregon 32
Up Next: at Northwestern

That was a nice, nice win over a dangerous Oregon team that’ll push hard for the Pac-12 title. With Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue coming up, watch out for the 7-0 Huskers going into the Wisconsin game.

15. Ole Miss (1-2)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 19
Final Score: Alabama 48, Ole Miss 43
Up Next: Georgia

Here’s the deal, Ole Miss. You’ll get the respect and credit for giving Alabama a world of problems, and you’ll catch a break because you also lost to Florida State. But you’d better beat Georgia at home next week.

16. LSU (2-1)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 15
Final Score: LSU 23, Mississippi State 20
Up Next: at Auburn

Krusty is coming … Krusty is coming … Krusty is coming. The unwavering belief that at some point LSU will show up and play like it’s supposed to isn’t going away. This just isn’t pretty – this ranking is a gift.

17. Texas A&M (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 21
Final Score: Texas A&M 29, Auburn 16
Up Next: Arkansas

Now the attention is going to come. It’s been a strong start to the year with nice wins over UCLA and Auburn along the way, but now comes the real fun with at South Carolina, Tennessee, and at Alabama to see just how good the Aggies really are.

18. Arkansas (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 23
Final Score: Arkansas 42, Texas State 3
Up Next: Texas A&M

Pinkie-swear promise, Arkansas. You beat Texas A&M, and the ranking love will come pouring out after beating TCU on the road two weeks ago and blowing away a Texas State team that beat an Ohio team that gave Tennessee a tough time.

19. Miami (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 37
Final Score: Miami 45, Appalachian State 10
Up Next: at Georgia Tech (Oct. 1)

You’re absolutely right. Miami just destroyed an Appalachian State team on the road that came within a fumble recovery of beating Tennessee. Now it’s time for a Power 5 win. Beat Georgia Tech in two weeks, Canes, and then then get the job done against Florida State. Then the ranking will go through the roof.

20. Georgia (2-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 25
Final Score: Georgia 28, Missouri 27
Up Next: at Ole Miss

It’s a young team with a young quarterback that now has a nice win over North Carolina and an SEC comeback road win over Missouri on the resume. With a trip to Ole Miss next and Tennessee to follow, now we see how good these Dawgs really are.

21. Oregon (2-1)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 14
Final Score: Nebraska 35, Oregon 32
Up Next: Colorado

Kick the extra points next time and you’ll come up with a stronger outcome. The offense is still fun, but if Royce Freeman is out for any appreciable length of time, it’s going to be a huge problem.

22. San Diego State (3-0)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 40
Final Score: San Diego State 42, Northern Illinois 28
Up Next: at South Alabama

The defense isn’t quite playing up to snuff yet, but Donnel Pumphrey has been magnificent for a nasty team that’s the real deal. Don’t like this ranking? Too bad, because you have to do it this way since you have to give some respect to …

23. California (2-1)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 44
Final Score: California 50, Texas 43
Up Next: at Arizona State

The Bears still can’t tackle, and they did everything possible to try to screw up the Texas game, but they pulled it off. The offense has been incredible with Davis Webb at the helm, and at the moment, you have to put Cal behind San Diego State and ahead of …

24. Texas (2-1)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 7
Final Score: California 50, Texas 43
Up Next: at Oklahoma State

Oh Texas. All you had to do was use that supposedly terrific secondary to come up with a stop or two, and use that ground game to keep rumbling, but you couldn’t do it. Now you have to be ranked behind Cal and ahead of …

25. Notre Dame (1-2)

CFN Week 2 Rank: 11
Final Score: Michigan State 36, Notre Dame 28
Up Next: Duke

Don’t be stunned if the Irish go on a bit of a run with Duke, Syracuse and NC State up next before hosting Stanford. The playoff dream is gone, but the Irish can still make a ton of noise.

CFN Week 3 College Football Rankings: No. 26-128

26. UCLA (2-1)

27. North Carolina (2-1)

28. Oklahoma (1-2)

29. Virginia Tech (2-1)

30. Boise State (2-0)

31. Toledo (3-0)

32. Central Michigan (3-0)

33. Oklahoma State (2-1)

34. Auburn (1-2)

35. USC (1-2)

36. TCU (2-1)

37. West Virginia (2-0)

38. Pitt (2-1)

39. Arizona State (3-0)

40. Texas Tech (2-1)

41. Missouri (1-3)

42. Iowa (2-1)

43. Georgia Tech (3-0)

44. Penn State (2-1)

45. Western Michigan (3-0)

46. Minnesota (2-0)

47. Baylor (3-0)

48. Kansas State (1-1)

49. Utah (3-0)

50. Colorado (2-1)

51. BYU (1-2)

52. Maryland (3-0)

53. Cincinnati (2-1)

54. South Florida (3-0)

55. Air Force (2-0)

56. Indiana (2-0)

57. Western Kentucky (2-1)

58. Georgia Southern (3-0)

59. Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1)

60. South Alabama (1-2)

61. Mississippi State (2-1)

62. South Carolina (2-1)

63. East Carolina (2-1)

64. North Carolina State (2-1)

65. Wake Forest (2-0)

66. Appalachian State (1-2)

67. Troy (2-1)

68. Vanderbilt (1-2)

69. Oregon State (1-1)

70. Washington State (1-2)

71. Louisiana Tech (1-2)

72. Middle Tennessee (2-1)

73. Boston College (1-2)

74. Navy (3-0)

75. Utah State (2-1)

76. Arizona (1-1)

77. Connecticut (2-1)

78. UCF (1-2)

79. Army (3-0)

80. Southern Miss (2-1)

81. Syracuse (1-2)

82. Memphis (2-0)

83. Tulsa (1-1)

84. Northwestern (1-2)

85. Nevada (2-1)

86. Duke (1-2)

87. Kentucky (1-2)

88. Illinois (1-2)

89. Purdue (1-1)

90. Akron (2-1)

91. Marshall (1-1)

92. Rutgers (2-1)

93. Colorado State (2-1)

94. Virginia (0-3)

95. UNLV (1-2)

96. Bowling Green (1-2)

97. Texas State (1-1)

98. Ohio (1-2)

99. San Jose State (1-2)

100. Arkansas State (0-3)

101. Temple (1-2)

102. Tulane (1-2)

103. Ball State (2-1)

104. Wyoming (2-1)

105. Northern Illinois (0-3)

106. Iowa State (0-3)

107. UTEP (1-2)

108. Georgia State (0-3)

109. Florida Atlantic (1-2)

110. UTSA (1-2)

111. SMU (2-1)

112. Kansas (1-2)

113. Fresno State (1-2)

114. New Mexico State (1-2)

115. New Mexico (1-2)

116. Hawaii (1-3)

117. Miami University (0-3)

118. Old Dominion (1-2)

119. ULM (1-2)

120. Rice (0-3)

121. Eastern Michigan (2-1)

122. Idaho (1-1)

123. Massachusetts (0-2)

124. Charlotte (1-2)

125. FIU (0-3)

126. North Texas (1-2)

127. Kent State (1-2)

128. Buffalo (0-2)