College Football Power Rankings after Week 3

The biggest games of Week 3 were a success, with no loss for any team among the top 10.
The No. The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide was mortally wounded in their trip to Swamp. However, the Florida Gators made sure they got them to the last seconds. But the reigning champion and reigning juggernaut of college football proved once again why it is the best.

Auburn was the first Big Ten campus to visit the SEC in over 90 years, but it couldn't win the conference a win. The Penn State Nittany Lions took the field in front of a crowd of white-clad fans. The win pushed the Nittany Lions to the top of the Power Rankings, making them the most influential team of the week.

Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia got what they wanted from their unranked opponents, but held on to win in the end while Georgia and Oregon won as expected.

Although the Power Rankings may not have moved much towards the top, the second half of rankings saw a lot of changes after a few close calls and upsets. After 3-0 seasons, Michigan State and Kansas State rise to the top. However, Miami and Kentucky drop out after Saturday's poor performances.

Now that Week 3 is over, it's time for college football's Power Rankings.

Although it wasn't quite close to the end, Alabama did what it needed to to escape the Swamp alive. In a thrilling game, the Crimson Tide defeated Florida 31 to 29. This exposed some of the Tide’s weaknesses, including a poor defense, an inept offensive line and too many penalties. The most concerning aspect of the game was the performance of the front seven. They slowed down in the second quarter and were unable to stop the run. Coach Nick Saban and Pete Golding, Ole Miss's defensive coordinator, have a lot to do. -- Alex Scarborough

Play 2:12 Bama barely makes it out of the Swamp in 31-29 thriller Bryce Young throws three touchdowns in the first quarter, but Florida rallies in the fourth quarter after a failed two point conversion.

It was Stetson Bennett who set a school record by throwing five touchdown passes in a 56-7 win over UAB. JT Daniels was the Dawgs' quarterback on Saturday. He passed for 303 yards with three touchdowns, leading Georgia to a victory over South Carolina 40-13. Bennett made an appearance in the second quarter, after Daniels had completed a touchdown pass on their previous possession. He was intercepted. The Dawgs won with ease their SEC opener thanks to Daniels and a formidable Georgia defense. Chris Low

The Hawkeyes can be a contender for the playoffs if their offense is on point. They gained 440 yards and scored 30 points against Kent State. That was more than enough for an Iowa defense, which sacked Dustin Crum seven time (Lukas van Ness and Joe Evans had two each). Riley Moss recovered Bryan Bradford's fumble in Iowa's end zone, with Iowa leading 16-7 at the half. KSU was defeated at the end. Iowa won with Tyler Goodson running for 153 yards and one touchdown in each quarter. -- Bill Connelly

Although it took the Ducks some time to win over Stony Brook, they will happily accept a 48-7 victory to complete their nonconference schedule without a loss. After starting QB Anthony Brown completed 14 of 18 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, Mario Cristobal was able get important game reps to Ty Thompson (6 for 9, 82 yard, 2 TD) as well as Jay Butterfield (2for 3, 22 yards). The Oregon defense gave up a touchdown drive of 75 yards in the first quarter and only allowed 169 yards the remainder of the game. Kyle Bonagura

The Nittany Lions have won the road and home games by one score. Few teams have had their first three games as tested more than the Nittany Lions. Quarterback Sean Clifford was able to complete only four of 32 passes and found wide receiver Jahan Dotson (78 receiving yards, touchdown, pass, punt return, 22-yard pass). PSU's defense was not perfect against Tank Bigsby or the Auburn run game at times, but Temple transfer Arnold Ebiketie kept the defense on its feet with five tackles as well as three quarterback hurries. -- Adam Rittenberg

In the first half, Cincinnati was unable to get any offensive momentum against Indiana. Desmond Ridder was frustrated by the Hoosiers defense. He was only 10-of-19 for just 94 yards and one intercept. The Bearcats gained some momentum from a late targeting penalty against Indiana, which allowed Cincinnati to reduce the score to 14-7 at halftime. This seemed to be a turning point as Cincinnati scored 28 points to win the second half. Although it wasn't a very pleasing win for Cincinnati, they remain 3-0 and beat 38-24 a strong Big Ten team on their road trip. -- Tom VanHaaren

Play 1:49 Cincinnati Bearcats Vs. Indiana Hoosiers : Full Highlights Cincinnati Bearcats Vs. Indiana Hoosiers : Full Highlights

New Mexico was defeated 34-0 by the Aggies. The defense held the Lobos at bay throughout the game. New Mexico ended the game with 122 total offense yards and no touchdowns. This included 33 passing yards by Terry Wilson, New Mexico's quarterback. It was a disappointing day. Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada threw over 270 yards and scored three touchdowns. Running back Isaiah Spiller ran over 100 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. After a disappointing 10-7 win against Colorado, this was a positive bounce-back victory for the Aggies. -- VanHaaren

Although it wasn't the Game of the Century, the Sooners displayed some defensive muscle when the offense was not quite sharp, Lincoln Riley said. There was an incredible play-of-the-year-worthy interception by D.J. Graham of Adrian Martinez stopped a Nebraska drive at 3. The Sooners had 10 tackles, five sacks, and Martinez was held to just 34 yards on 17 carries. This is 50 yards less than his 2021 rushing average. The Huskers were held to 95 yards total rushing by them. Riley was happy with the way Riley controlled the game, despite the fact that Spencer Rattler did not make many big plays. -- Dave Wilson

Florida was just one point away from winning overtime against Alabama. Although that may seem to be an exaggeration of what actually happened, it's true that many people didn't expect the Gators would give up on the Tide -- especially when they trailed 21-3 in the first half. Florida dominated Alabama's ground game, running for 258 yards and four touchdowns. This allowed them to gradually chip away at the lead. They were able to tie the game with a 2-point attempt. Although the Gators lost 31-29, Dan Mullen, the Gators coach, said that they could build on this game with the ultimate goal of seeing Alabama in Atlanta for the SEC championship. -- Andrea Adelson

Although it took nearly two hours due to weather delays and the fact that this was not supposed to be a much of a game, Clemson survived a tough, frustrating Georgia Tech test. The Yellow Jackets outgained the Tigers by 309-285 and held a Clemson offense of just 4.3 yards per pass. Clemson's defense held firm on a last-minute goal line stand. James Skalski made a shuffle pass for Dylan Deveney on fourth and goal. The safety was the final stop. Clemson held onto the ball in the most impressive fashion possible, though this could have ended in disaster in 17 different ways. Connelly

Quarterback Matt Corral was in exclusive company at Ole Miss Saturday night during the Rebels' 61-21 demolition of Tulane. That company didn't include any Mannings, believe it not. Corral had seven touchdowns at the end of the third quarter. This was equal to Arnold "Showboat", Boykin's 1951 school record for total touchdowns. Corral ran four touchdowns in the game, and also threw three touchdown pass. Ole Miss led by a score of 40-21 at the half-time break. Lightning caused a delay of nearly two hours in the start of the game. -- Low

Brian Kelly, Fighting Irish coach, knew that his team would experience growing pains this season due to a rebuild offensive line already dealing with injuries. Kelly doesn't seem to be too worried about his offense's inconsistent play during a 3-0 win. In a 27-14 win, Jack Coan was sacked four more times by the Purdue Boilermakers. The Irish averaged 3.5 yards per run and the Irish averaged 3.5 yards per rush. After Blake Fisher (knee), and Michael Carmody(ankle) were both injured in their first two games, the Irish were starting Tosh Baker, their third-team left tackle. With next week's match against No. 1, the Irish will have little time to improve. 18 Wisconsin at Soldier Field, Chicago is coming quickly. -- Mark Schlabach

Surprisingly, this game went into the fourth quarter before Ohio State could win the game. At halftime, the Buckeyes had only seven points against Tulsa. After trading scores, they were down seven in the fourth quarter. Garrett Wilson made a touchdown catch to give the Buckeyes the lead. The game was too close to call and full of mistakes for Ohio State. TreVeyon Henderson (a true freshman runningback) broke the school's single-game rushing record. He ran for more than 270 yards and three touchdowns during the win 41-20. Although Ohio State won the game, 40-21, there are still many things to do. -- VanHaaren

The Cyclones won their early winnings and left Las Vegas with a comfortable 48-3 win against UNLV. Iowa State was able to allow just 121 yards total in the game, which served as a great bounce-back from last week's disappointing loss to Iowa. Quarterback Brock Purdy was 21-of-24 passing for 388 yards with three touchdowns. Breece Hall ran 100 yards on 21 carries. Bonagura

The Razorbacks were ranked for the first time since 2016. They assured that they would remain in the polls for another week. Georgia Southern took an early 14-0 lead over the Razorbacks and they remained cruising at 45-10. KJ Jefferson completed 13 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns, and the Eagles were nearly outgained (633-233). KJ Jefferson also made the most of his 23 passes. He completed 13 of his passes for 366 yards and three scores. Treylon Burks and Warren Thompson both had 60-yard third quarter strikes. This was a straightforward game and the focus now shifts to Week 4 with Texas A&M. Connelly

The Chanticleers managed to escape one of their most difficult road trips this season and won the first ever win against a Mid-American Conference school. Coastal Carolina, which was averaging 50.5 point, still racked-up 456 yards but struggled to distance itself from the Buffalo Bulls. At the half they were tied at 14. A 28-17 lead was short-lived. To close the gap to 28-25, Buffalo ran a 16-play, 2-minute scoring drive of 92 yards. However, the Chanticleers strong running game made the difference. Shermari Jones averaged 9.3 yards a carry (16 carries and 149 yards) for Coastal. Heather Dinich

Northern Illinois was held to just 18 yards passing and 90 rush yards by the Wolverines defense in the first half. After the first quarter, Michigan led 35-3. The offense looked more balanced with Cade McNamara's 191 yard passing touchdown. In the 63-10 victory, the Wolverines had 373 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. With 1,076 yards of rush yards, the ground game has been very impressive in the first three games. -- VanHaaren

Play 2:09 Michigan wins with 8 rushing touchdowns in win Michigan defeats Northern Illinois with eight rushing touchdowns. This is a huge win.

Provo is a great place to live. The Cougars are coming off an 11-1 season last year and have been able to secure membership in the Big 12 after three consecutive wins against Pac-12 opponents. In their 27-17 victory against No. 17, the Cougars were unbeaten. 19 Arizona State was won by Jaren Hall, the quarterback. He completed 15 of 27 passes for 217 yards with two touchdowns, and two interceptions. BYU has a chance of making it 5-0 against Pac-12, with games against Washington State (USC) later in the year. Bonagura

The positive vibes that UCLA won against LSU two week ago didn't last. UCLA lost to Fresno State 40-37 last week after not playing in the Rose Bowl. UCLA led 37-33 with 54 seconds remaining. It didn't last. Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener was hurt from a hit on their previous drive. He led the Bulldogs to a 6-play, 75 yard drive. The Bulldogs won the game with a 13-yard touchdown passing to Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds remaining. Although it was a disappointing loss for UCLA the Bruins remain the favourite in the Pac-12 South. Bonagura

On Saturday night, North Carolina looked at times like a nationally-ranked team and the Tar Heels looked lost. They had Sam Howell and his five touchdown passes were sufficient to beat Virginia in a thrilling 59-39 victory at home. Howell had four scoring tosses with North Carolina, which raced to a lead of 24-7 in the first quarter. Then, the team trailed 28-24 at halftime, before pulling away for its second consecutive blowout win after losing to Virginia Tech in the season opener. -- Low

To earn its third win of the season, the Spartans displayed a great performance against Miami's ranked opponent. The Spartans won their first three games against Miami in 2015, the first time they have done so since 2015. Payton Thorne, Michigan State's quarterback, threw four touchdowns. Since 2015, when Connor Cook did it, he is the Spartans' first quarterback to throw for four touchdowns consecutively. D'Eriq King was the Miami quarterback, and the defense allowed him to pass for more than 300 yards. But that doesn't show how the defense performed. The Spartans defense held Miami to just 17 points with two interceptions. -- VanHaaren

The Badgers had an open week in the early part of their season before facing Notre Dame in Chicago. The Badgers' passing game is still a top priority. They average 175.5 yards per game and have not allowed a passing touchdown in their two previous contests. If Wisconsin fails to improve its efficiency on third down (36.4 percent conversions) and in the red zone (4 touchdowns on 10 opportunities), then a defense that is once again nationally-ranked will not be sufficient. Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal will return to the field after being positive for COVID-19. He missed the first two games. -- Rittenberg

Bryan Harsin's team managed the White Out and the raucous atmosphere at Beaver Stadium fairly well, but Penn State's increased competition proved too much. The defense of the Tigers was unable to stop Penn State's tight ends and wide receivers. Although quarterback Bo Nix made some great back-shoulder throws but couldn't rally the team, an odd fade pass call on fourth and goal was not successful. Tank Bigsby, with 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns, will continue to be a problem for the SEC, but Auburn needs to show more support. -- Rittenberg

No. 24 Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1)

In a 27-17 defeat to BYU, Arizona State demonstrated that it is not yet ready to be a major Pac-12 program. Of course, other conference members are faring much better. ASU could have had a major moment if it won against BYU. Instead, the Sun Devils were penalized 16 times for 121 yards and fumbled four times. They were behind in the first half and couldn't overcome a 14 point deficit at halftime. Bonagura

No. No.

With a convincing win over Nevada, Kansas State moves to 3-0. After three quarters, the Wildcats and Wolfpack tied at 17. But the Kansas State rushing attack began to roll in quarter four. The Wildcats defense won comfortably with three rushing touchdowns and shut out Nevada. The Kansas State is off to an undefeated start. However, the win over Stanford in Week 1 is getting better. -- Shea Carlson