Last Word on College Football Top 25: Week 4

From Last Word on College Football, By Mike Loveall

Another exciting weekend in college football included a game-winning touchdown erased by instant replay, a decade long win streak coming to an end, and a game winning drive in the Rose Bowl. As conference play started in earnest this weekend, many teams have gained the early inside position on conference and divisional races. We are fully one-third of the way through this season.

How did the excitement change our view on the top teams in the nation?

Last Word on College Football Top 25: Week 4

Our top five remains largely unchanged. Alabama leads the way with all 16 first place votes, followed by Ohio State, Louisville, Michigan, Houston and Clemson. Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech moved them into a fifth-place tie with Houston.

The rest of the Top 10 includes Stanford, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Each of these teams have huge games coming up, with Stanford facing Washington and Wisconsin facing Michigan this weekend and Tennessee and Texas A&M set to face off in two weeks.

Washington, Florida State, Miami, Baylor, and Nebraska hold down spots 11 through 15 in this week’s poll. The Huskies fell three spots after going to overtime against Arizona.

The next five teams include Mississippi, Michigan State, Boise State, Utah and San Diego State. Ole Miss benefited from a thorough defeat of Georgia while Michigan State fell nine spots after losing to Wisconsin. Boise State and Utah both had close games, but survived to remain undefeated on the young season.

The last five in include Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Auburn. Florida dropped two spots and Arkansas six spots after losses to SEC foes in the Top 10. Texas and Oklahoma were both on byes before starting to Big 12 stretch. And Auburn needed another Les Miles clock mismanagement game to escape with a win against LSU.

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LAST WORD ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25: WEEK 4

Rank


 Team


Points


Previous


1.

Alabama-Thumbnail-1

ALABAMA (16)

400 1
Alabama showed no mercy to Nick Saban’s alma mater on Saturday. The Tide faces Kentucky next week before a critical four game stretch against Akransas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and LSU in October. -Mike Loveall


2.

2013_Ohio_State_Buckeyes_logo.svgOHIO STATE

381 2
The Buckeyes got a much needed bye week after their 45-24 win in Norman just a week ago. Ohio State will look to continue their win streak this week as they head back home to face Rutgers. –Rob Gritzer


3.

louisville-cardinals-logoLOUISVILLE

370 3
Lamar Jackson accounted for seven TDs in Louisville’s 59-28 defeat of Marshall. All eyes now turn to Saturday’s road trip to Clemson. – Jonathan Bailey


4.

Michigan_Wolverines_Logo.svgMICHIGAN

345 4
Michigan has still yet to be tested, though the game against Colorado now looks better. Next up? A Top 10 showdown with Wisconsin. -Yesh Ginsburg


5. (T)

2000px-Houston_Cougars_Logo_(1999-2012).svgHOUSTON

326 5
Houston took care of Texas State while preparing for Thursday’s revenge game against UConn. Last season’s only loss comes up after a short week, and once again there are health questions about Greg Ward, Jr. -Yesh Ginsburg


5. (T)

Clemson_University_Tiger_Paw_logo.svgCLEMSON

326 6
Everything seems to be clicking now for the Tigers. Thursday’s beating of Georgia Tech came just in time, as Clemson prepares to take on a strong Louisville team in the ACC’s biggest game of the season (so far). -Justin Gordon


7.

Stanford_plain_block_-S-_logo.svg

STANFORD

310 7
QB Ryan Burns justified the staff’s faith in him by leading the drive of his life to beat UCLA. Friday night, the Cardinal travels to Seattle to face Washington, in the game that will likely determine the winner of the Pac-12 North. – Donald King


8.

wisconsin-badgers-logoWISCONSIN

287 10
The Badgers put any doubters to rest this week as they upset #8 Michigan State 30-6. Wisconsin’s defense caused havoc for Tyler O’Connor. They intercepted him three times and held him to under a 50% completion percentage. This week, the Badgers will travel yet again to face the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. -Rob Gritzer


9.

UT_Volunteers_logo.svgTENNESSEE

255 11
A crucial win for Tennessee. The Vols ended a decade of disappointment against Florida and gained the inside track in the SEC East without three key defensive players and against the nation’s top defense. -Mike Loveall


10.

Texas_A&M_University_aTm_logo.svgTEXAS A&M

242 12
The Aggies stayed undefeated against the Razorbacks in SEC play with their win on Saturday. The defensive line continues to be dominant and the Aggies appear to get stronger as the game goes on. A road game at South Carolina comes next before they welcome the Vols to Kyle Field. -Matthew Atkinson


11.

University_of_Washington_Block_W_logo.svgWASHINGTON

235 9
The Huskies survived in OT in the desert in Week 4, setting up a huge matchup with reigning Pac-12 North King-of-the-Hill Stanford. RB Lavon Coleman appears to have supplanted Myles Gaskin as the main option at that position, and he’ll face a Stanford front seven that held UCLA to 2.3 yards per carry.  -Donald King


12.

FSU_text_logo.svgFLORIDA STATE

213 13
Dalvin Cook ran for a career best 267 yards in Florida State’s 55-35 road win over South Florida to help the Seminoles get back on track. Florida State will return home to host UNC on Saturday. -Jonathan Bailey


13.

Miami_Hurricanes_logo.svgMIAMI

189 16
The Hurricanes enter ACC play against Georgia Tech coming out of a bye week. With the Yellow Jackets recovering from a beating at the hands of Clemson, Miami has the opportunity for a quick start in moving into title contention in the Coastal. -Justin Gordon


14.

Baylor_University_Athletics_(logo).svgBAYLOR

188 17
Facing their first real test of the season, QB Seth Russell throws for 387 yards and four touchdowns and Ishmael Zamora caught eight passes for 175 yards, including a 89 yard reception in Baylor’s win against Oklahoma State. Baylor secures their third consecutive year with a 4-0 start. -Sean Garmer


15.

Nebraska_Cornhuskers_logo.svgNEBRASKA

173 19
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong threw for 246 yards and a touchdown while adding 132 rush yards as his Huskers upended Northwestern on the road 24-13. The prospect of a 7-0 start remains a possibility as Nebraska’s next three games are against Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. -John Bava III


16.

Ole_Miss_rebels_Logo.svgMISSISSIPPI

147 21
Unlike the last two occasions, the Rebels jumped out to big leads and had no problem holding the lead against Georgia. Ole Miss forced seven punts, stopped the Dawgs on fourth and eight, and grabbed a 53-yard pick-six. Ole Miss travels to Memphis for a revenge game this week. -Lauren Beasley


17. (T)

Michigan-State-logo-block-s.svgMICHIGAN STATE

106 8
The Spartans were surprisingly run off their own field on Saturday in a 30-6 defeat to Wisconsin. Quarterback Tyler O’Connor had a day to forget, tossing three interceptions in the loss. Next up on the schedule for MSU is a road game against Indiana. -John Bava III


17. (T)

bosu-15-mast-logoBOISE STATE

106 21
The Broncos had 435 yards in the first half in building a 31-7 halftime lead over Oregon State. They needed every bit of that offense with little production in the second half and survived two late Oregon State interceptions in a 38-24 win. The Broncos are now 10-3 against Pac 12 schools since 2006. -Tony Siracusa


19.

utah_utes_logo-svgUTAH

90 25
Utah played a complete game and continued USC’s September slumber with a last minute 31-27 victory. Next up for the Utes is a matchup with Cal. -Kate Pearson-Halyburton


20.

san_diego_state_athletics_logo_2013SAN DIEGO STATE

63 NR
The Aztecs are coming off a bye week. They head to South Alabama this coming weekend. Every week depends on the running attack with Donnel Pumphrey who has 599 yards rushing in just three games. -Tony Siracusa


21.

Texas_Longhorn_logo.svgTEXAS

60 NR
After a bye week, Texas looks ahead to their first Big 12 game of 2016 against Oklahoma State next week. Freshman QB Shane Buechele has excelled through three games, passing for 720 yards and seven TDs. –Brendan Dzwierzynski


22.

Florida_Gators_logo.svgFLORIDA

53  20
The Gators crumbled in the second half on the road in Knoxville in backup quarterback Austin Appleby’s first start. Florida needs to figure things out on the O-Line this week against Vandy before a showdown with LSU in two weeks. Florida is now 1-1 in SEC play. -Zach Jones


23.

Oklahoma_Sooners_logo.svgOKLAHOMA

53  23
After a disappointing non-conference season comes to a close, Oklahoma found its way to a perfect spot for a bye week. The Sooners now turn to the conference schedule and a date against TCU in Fort Worth this Saturday. -Jason Rhea


24.

arkansas-razorback-logo-2001ARKANSAS

42  18
After starting 3-0, the Arkansas Razorbacks are looking to contend in the SEC West. They dropped a key matchup against Texas A&M this week after losing the lead and momentum in the second half. Next week the Razorbacks host Alcorn State followed by a showdown with Alabama. -JW Gravley


25.

2000px-auburn_university_athletics_logo-svgAUBURN

38  NR
Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals to beat LSU but not before one of the wackier endings to a game this season. Gus Malzahn relinquished play calling duties for the first time at Auburn and it seemingly saved his job. Auburn is 1-1 in SEC play. -Zach Jones

Others Receiving Votes: Georgia (28), Arizona State (26), TCU (26), Western Michigan (19), LSU (12), Oklahoma State (10), Memphis (9), Colorado (8), Navy (7), North Carolina (7), UCLA (7), West Virginia (7), Virginia Tech (6), Iowa (6), North Dakota State (6), Troy (3).


 

While most of the movement this week was in the lower half of the poll, there are some huge matchups next week that promise to significantly shift the top of the polls. Stanford travels to Washington, Wisconsin travels to Michigan, and Clemson hosts Louisville as six of our top 11 teams play each other this Saturday.

It seems like every week is full of great matchups, and that’s because they are. That’s because it’s college football.

Previous LWOS Polls:
Preseason Top 25
Week 1 Top 25
Week 2 Top 25
Week 3 Top 25

About the poll: Sixteen Last Word on College Football writers submit ballots and points are awarded on a inverse-scale (a first place vote receives 25 points, a 25th-place vote receives 1 point).

Main Photo:


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