I don’t know about you, but Week 4 of college football made me feel like a fat kid in a candy store. There were a handful of close calls, exciting thrillers, bona fide beatdowns and heart-wrenching letdowns that once again took the college football landscape by storm. Here’s my updated College Football Top 25 Rankings heading into Week 5 and the month of October.
Please note the following rankings are not based on the AP, USA Today or BCS that will enter the equation later on in the season. Rather, they’re established weekly by your’s truly.
My Predictions Results: I went 21-2 in Week 1, 18-2 in Week 2, 20-3 in Week 3 and come off a 17-3 performance in Week 4 (76-10 Overall).
My three worst picks were West Virginia to upset LSU 21-18 (47-21, LSU), Texas A&M over Oklahoma State 47-40 (30-29, OKST) and Vanderbilt over South Carolina 33-30 (21-3, S. CAR).
My three best picks were Alabama to take care of business against Arkansas 34-21 (38-14, ALA), Virginia Tech over Marshall 31-17 (31-10, VT) and Florida to trump Kentucky 38-10 (48-10, FLA).
No. 25 Texas (Prev. Just Missed Cut): Fresh off a bye with a solid, unblemished 3-0 record, Texas should have its hands full the next three weeks with two elites from the state of Oklahoma at home and the red-hot Cyclones on the road. This Week: at Iowa State
No. 24 Notre Dame (Prev. 24): The Fighting Irish weren’t overly impressive in the 15-12 victory over Pitt, but a two-game winning streak, where the team allowed an average of just 12.5 PPG (points per game), bodes well for the team’s confidence moving forward. This Week: at Purdue
No. 23 Auburn (Prev. 23): The Tigers (3-1) enjoyed a tasty cupcake with Florida Atlantic, but they’ll have their paws full at South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida at Jordan Hare Stadium and back on the road against LSU in the next four games. Ouch. This Week: at No. 12 South Carolina
No. 22 Michigan (Prev. 21): Denard Robinson and Michigan (4-0) hit on all cylinders in a stellar 28-7 victory over San Diego State. The Wolverines look to show up big in the Big House facing the Golden Gophers, as they seek their teeth into Big Ten play. This Week: vs. Minnesota
No. 21 South Florida (Prev. 20): After handing the Irish in the opener, B.J. Daniels and the Bulls (4-0) defeated Ball State by 30, laid 70 on Florida A&M and rolled UTEP by four touchdowns. A trap game could be in the works on Thursday night, nonetheless. This Week: at Pittsburgh
No. 20 Florida (Prev. 18): John Brantley and the Gators (4-0) are averaging 40 points a game and allowing only 9 PPG. The offense will have to press on the gas with two of the top three best teams in the country on the schedule the next two weeks. This Week: vs. No. 1 Alabama
No. 19 TCU (Prev. 17): The Lizards (3-1) have lost a decent amount of their swagger, but the defense isn’t too shabby and the offense is really starting to get rolling. This Week: vs. SMU
No. 18 Baylor (Prev. 16): Speaking of swagger, K-State took whatever was left in Miami (FL) with a 28-24 upset. The ‘Cats will certainly have their paws full this Saturday, however, hosting rising Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III and Baylor (3-0). This Week: at Kansas State
No. 17 Arizona State (Prev. 19): Albeit they were left dazed and confused in the loss to the Fighting Illini, the Sun Devils (3-1) emerged, as expected, to the top of the Pac-12 South with a resounding 43-22 rout over USC—despite the fact the Trojans didn’t have a chance anyway. The test at Utah in two weeks will be for all the cards. This Week: vs. Oregon State
No. 16 West Virginia (Prev. 13): Geno Smith and the high-powered Mountaineers (3-1) played the Tigers a heck of a lot closer than the score indicated. The game-changing kick return TD sucked the life out of West Virginia. If that play hadn’t of happened, LSU wouldn’t have come close to putting up last-minute style points and ran away with the game. Still, a loss is a loss. Don’t count this program out from winning the Big East. This Week: vs. Bowling Green
No. 15 Arkansas (Prev. 12): Tyler Wilson and the Hogs (3-1) have had a tough past two weeks, surviving Troy by 10 points and enduring a ‘Bama beatdown, 38-14. Now they have to travel to College Station to take on a team that’s most likely filled with mix feelings of being pretty steamed after suffering a one-point heart-wrenching defeat to Oklahoma State and excited about joining the SEC. This Week: at No. 10 Texas A&M
No. 14 Florida State (Prev. 7): The AP certainly has no love for No. 22 FSU. Sure, the ‘Noles are 2-2, but they lost their star E.J. Manuel on the way to the loss to OU and were without many key players in the loss at Clemson. I expect them to bounce back after a bye. This Week: Idle
No. 13 Clemson (Prev. 22): Dabo Swinney and the battle-tested Tigers (4-0), now the favorites in the ACC Atlantic, will be put to the test on the road on Saturday. They’ve been very impressive and I love their enthusiasm. For the record, if there’s any team I feel would be the best fit to be the 14th member in the SEC, it’s Clemson. This Week: at No. 11 Virginia Tech
No. 12 South Carolina (Prev. 14): Good teams know how to win close games. The Gamecocks (4-0) are clearly a good team, but escaping Eastern Carolina 56-37, Georgia and Navy both by three points and Vandy 21-3 doesn’t make them Top 10-worthy. This Week: vs. No. 23 Auburn
No. 11 Virginia Tech (Prev. 15): The Hokies (4-0) are not only the front-runner in the Coastal division, but also the favorite to win the ACC, a threat to run the table and a dark horse national title contender. All of that could be in jeopardy come Saturday. This Week: vs. No. 13 Clemson
No. 10 Texas A&M (Prev. 8): The Aggies (2-1) technically haven’t proven anything, aside from beating SMU and Idaho by 58 points combined and coming oh-so close to knocking off OK-State, but with two Top 20 teams on tap in the next three weeks, along with a potential tough test on the road in Lubbock smack-dab in between, I’ll give A&M time to prove its worth. This Week: vs. No. 15 Arkansas
No. 9 Oregon (Prev. 9): Following a disappointing defeat of epic proportions to LSU, Quack Attack has bounced back, beating Nevada and Missouri State both by a whopping 49 points and Arizona by 25 in the desert. Oregon (3-1) now enjoys two back-to-back mini-byes (host Cal on Thurs, Oct. 6 and Arizona State on Sat, Oct. 15). This Week: idle
No. 8 Nebraska (Prev. 10): Taylor Martinez and the ‘Huskers avoided a potential trap game in Laramie, WY over Wyoming, 38-14. The Cornhuskers (4-0) suit up for the most marquee matchup of the week between Top 10 teams who are now conference foes on the road in Madison. This Week: at No. 6 Wisconsin
No. 7 Oklahoma State (Prev. 11): I must admit I wasn’t sold initially on OK-State (4-0), despite a lethal offense, led by perhaps the best quarterback-wide receiver combination in the nation in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. I’m buying and selling stock now. This Week: Idle
No. 6 Wisconsin (Prev. 6): The Badgers (4-0) have annihilated South Dakota, Northern Illinois, Oregon State and UNLV by an average of 40 points. But two of those teams have already lost to FCS teams…and one of those isn’t South Dakota. Nevertheless, Russell Wilson has panned out extremely well and could lead this team to the big stage, let alone an almost guaranteed Big Ten championship and a BCS bowl game. This Week: vs. No. 8 Nebraska
No. 5 Stanford (Prev. 5): The Cardinal (3-0) has lost many key pieces since thrashing Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. But this slightly under-the-radar national title contender, coming fresh off a bye, has the best player in college football and perhaps the greatest, most pro-ready NFL prospect at the position since Peyton Manning in Andrew Luck. This Week: vs. UCLA
No. 4 Boise State (Prev. 4): The Broncos (3-0) didn’t look great in their 41-21 conquest against the Golden Hurricane, but they didn’t look very shabby, either. This Week: vs. Nevada
No. 3 Oklahoma (Prev. 1): Missouri made things a little more interesting than I expected. Landry Jones and the Sooners (3-0) are clearly the favorite in the ever-diminishing Big 12 conference and the top team in the country as well in the minds of many. Two back-to-back, less-than-stellar, yet mildly impressive and hard-earned wins over Missouri and Florida State (who lost E.J. Manuel during the contest) leads to more questions and intrigue heading into October. This Week: vs. Ball State
No. 2 LSU (Prev. 3): I’m not going to say the Tigers weren’t impressive in their 47-21 triumph against West Virginia. However, it was very clear Les Miles and LSU (4-0) had style points on their minds, as they scored three TDs in the final 16 minutes of the game. The momentum was completely changed by Morris Claiborne’s 99-yard kick return for a touchdown, but that’s not to take anything away from the team or Claiborne—that’s what a lethal play on special teams can do for you. LSU’s defense is clearly one of the best in the nation, but the unit did give up 70 yards on the ground to a team that can’t really run the ball effectively and 533 total yards. This Week: vs. Kentucky
No. 1 Alabama (Prev. 2): The Crimson Tide rolled away with a statement in a 38-14 rout of Arkansas. Though unintended, it quickly sent an unsettling reality check to the number of Hogs fans that did plenty of trash talkin’ before the game and then had to eat their words afterword. This Week: at No. 20 Florida
Just Missed The Cut: Michigan State (3-1), Georgia Tech (4-0), Georgia (2-2), Mississippi State (2-2), Washington (3-1)
Verse Of This Piece: “People will be rewarded for what they say; they will rewarded by how they speak. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” —Proverbs 18:19-20