SPORTS College Football Power Rankings: Oklahoma State, Fresno State, Arizona...

College Football Power Rankings: Oklahoma State, Fresno State, Arizona storm into top 25 off major wins


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Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

The top eight in the Power Rankings remain unchanged this week. In that sense, Separation Saturday didn’t separate much.

But if you look close, change was afoot. Oklahoma dropped from view after a Bedlam loss at Oklahoma State. Missouri went from controlling its own destiny in the SEC East to figuring out what went wrong at Georgia. LSU is the Power Rankings’ best and first three-loss team following a showdown loss at Alabama.

Ten weeks into the season, the Pac-12 is still accounting for itself well with five ranked teams. There is especially good news for all Fischermen and women in the desert.

The separation isn’t over. (Well, like we said, it’s barely started.) This week includes four games between ranked opponents. The Big Ten East will be cleared up, or not, with Michigan visiting Penn State. Tennessee is at Missouri in an SEC East battle for bowl position. Utah will try to complicate the Pac-12 race going to Washington. (Likely to be unranked this week, USC will try to do the same at Oregon.)

Georgia’s strength of schedule with increase down the stretch playing three consecutive ranked teams — Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Whether any test the two-time reigning champion Bulldogs remains to be seen.

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Georgia can play any way you want: defense, offense, big plays, special teams. The Dawgs broke open a halftime tie with Mizzou to win going away. If the CFP Selection Committee can’t see this is the No. 1 team in the country, they deserve to have their iced tea spiked with truth serum. 9-0


Ohio State

This game will be remembered for using a form of the good old-fashioned fumblerooski pulled on the Buckeyes by Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights hung in well into the second half before Ohio State, playing a lot of conventional football, bashed Rutgers by 19. 9-0



Connor Stalions has resigned. The Fightin’ Stalions move on. Does that mean Saturday’s Purdue win was legit? We’ll leave that for the NCAA, Big Ten and private investigators to figure out. Michigan’s season officially opens this week with a trip to Penn State. 9-0


Florida State

Pat Narduzzi’s defense hung in as long as it could against the Noles. But Pittsburgh’s offense was no match for FSU, which shut down the Panthers. 9-0



It’s this kind of result that will be used against the Huskies by the committee given the lack of defense shown in a shootout with USC. Washington needed every bit of Dillon Johnson surpassing 100 yards rushing for the first time (256 total) in dropping half a hundred on the cratering Trojans. 9-0



The only reason the Ducks are this low is because of the head-to-head with Washington. Oregon would have to be the Pac-12 Championship Game favorite against the Huskies. For the ninth time this season, the Ducks scored at least 35 points. For the third time, they scored at least 55 in whipping Cal. Bo Nix bolstered his Heisman Trophy chances with a season-high 386 yards. 8-1



Both coaches should take no glory from the result. Texas blew a 17-0 lead. Kansas State’s Will Howard carried it from the shotgun — a pet peeve – on a late fourth-and-1 play and got stoned. K-State’s kicker missed a chip shot then was not allowed to kick the game-tying chip shot in overtime. Instead, the Horns survived after a fourth-down stop. 8-1



Bama concerns were jettisoned like an eaten chicken wing at a Denny Chimes tailgate. Jalen Milroe grew up before our eyes rushing for four touchdowns with no turnovers against LSU. If the Tide keep playing like this, it would be a pick ’em against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. 8-1


Ole Miss

Give Texas A&M credit for hanging in. Give Lane Kiffin room to riff after hanging on against the Aggies. “I didn’t even know who we played, but thanks for reminding me,” Kiffin told a reporter. He was referring to Georgia this week, one of the biggest games in school history. 1 8-1


Penn State

The Nittany Lions tuned up for Michigan with a surprisingly easy win over Maryland. Now, it’s up to James Franklin to finally against break through against a top team. Beating the Wolverines would go a long way toward mitigating an ugly trend. 1 8-1



Was that really a showdown for second place in the ACC? Virginia Tech didn’t show much fight as the Cardinals solidified their spot in the ACC Championship Game in a 31-point win. 2 8-1


Oregon State

This ranking would suggest that the Beavers are the nation’s best two-loss team. A case can be made. After beating Colorado, Oregon State has two top 20 wins (at the time of kickoff) — Utah and UCLA. It’s only losses are to Washington State and Arizona by a total of six points. 4 7-2



Consecutive losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State have dropped the Sooners out of the CFP race and most likely the Big 12 race. The Cowboys played like it was their last game ever. The Sooners, not so much. 4 7-2



Bryson Barnes threw four touchdown passes against Arizona State. That matched his season total coming into the game. The end of the Pac-12 can’t come fast enough for the Sun Devils. The 55-3 loss was their worst ever in the league. 3 7-2


Oklahoma State

How ’bout them Cowboys? The last Bedlam was possibly the best Bedlam for the Pokes. Mike Gundy said fans would remember the 27-24 win for the rest of their lives. How did this team lose to South Alabama? NR 7-2



The Tigers were game; they just couldn’t win the game. An interception by 320-pound defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse drove a stake through the Tigers’ hearts. A New Year’s Six bowl is still a possibility. 4 7-2



Let’s hand Big 12 Coach of the Year to Lance Leipold right now. After winning at Iowa State, the Jayhawks have reached the seven-win mark for the first time since 2008. 1 7-2



The less written about the Vols’ 56-point win over UConn, the better. One note: QB Nico Iamaleava continued his epic NIL quest completing 5 of 9 for 86 yards in mop up duty. 2 7-2


North Carolina

All the Tar Heels needed to solve their defensive problems was Campbell, an FCS team and the pride of the CAA nicknamed the Camels, who were 95th in total defense. Hey, progress is progress. 3 7-2



With Air Force’s loss, the Green Wave now are the favorite to grab the CFP’s New Year’s Six berth. The last three wins haven’t been pretty — by one score each over North Texas, Rice and East Carolina. At this time of year, it’s, “Just win, wavy.” 4 8-1


Fresno State

With three games to play, the Bulldogs are in position to face Air Force in the Mountain West Championship Game. There is a long way to go after a win over Boise State, but you’ve got to like Fresno’s chances against San Jose State, New Mexico and San Diego State to finish the season. NR 8-1


James Madison

There are seven 9-0 teams remaining. JMU is one of them. Curt Cignetti deserves mention as national coach of the year. After the first quarter, the Dukes went on a 35-7 run against Georgia State. Shame on the committee for not ranking JMU last week. 1 9-0



In their first year in the big time — Conference USA membership! — the Flames are laying waste to the league race. Only five teams have scored more touchdowns than Liberty (47). Only two of its games have been decided by a single score. 2 9-0



Despite three losses, the Tigers deserve to be ranked. They have a Heisman Trophy worthy QB (Jayden Daniels), an elite offense and a road win over a ranked team. If Daniels doesn’t get hurt in the fourth quarter against Bama, who knows? 9 6-3



The Wildcats have arrived in Year 3 under Jedd Fisch. Arizona smothered UCLA and is bowl eligible for the first time since 2017. The win was the third straight over a ranked team. Who in the entire country has done that? Not Georgia. Certainly not Michigan. NR 6-3

Out: Notre Dame, Air Force, UCLA


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