LSU remains the surprise team of the season thus far after another victory over a ranked opponent. Texas scored its first marquee victory under Tom Herman in a steamrolling of USC, and Ohio State finished off its Urban Meyer-less stretch with a solid victory over TCU.
Here’s a look at New Arena’s Top 25 Poll for Week 4 of the 2018-2019 College Football season:
25. Boise State Broncos
Week 3 result: Lost to Oklahoma State 44-21
Up next: BYE
A disappointing loss in Stillwater hurts Boise’s chances of making a New Year’s Six Bowl, but the Broncos still have the potential to make noise. The difference in the game was Oklahoma State’s pass rush and special teams play. QB Brett Rypien was sacked seven times and Boise had two punts blocked that led to 14 points. The Broncos should still be favored in the Mountain West, but Fresno State and San Diego State will be very tough opponents.
24. Boston College Eagles
Week 3 result: Defeated Wake Forest 41-34
Up next: @ Purdue
Boston College may be a sleeper in the ACC. Behind stud running back AJ Dillon and improving QB Anthony Brown, the Eagles appear to be the second best team in the Atlantic behind Clemson. Facing an angry Purdue team on the road will be a good test for BC, and should they leave West Lafayette with a win the Eagles could set their sights on loftier goals within the ACC.
23. Texas A&M Aggies
Week 3 result: Defeated UL Monroe 48-10
Up next: @ Alabama
After three games it seems as if Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies headed in the right direction. A&M throttled UL Monroe — a nice response following a competitive loss to Clemson. For the second time in three weeks A&M will square off with a top-2 team in the nation. A win in Tuscaloosa would skyrocket the Aggies’ program, but even a hotly contested game could do wonders for their future.
22. Colorado Buffaloes
Week 3 result: Defeated New Hampshire 45-14
Up next: BYE
Their win over Nebraska in Lincoln doesn’t look as good following the Huskers loss to Troy, but the Buffaloes continue to look good early on. After taking care of New Hampshire with ease Colorado heads into their bye week undefeated and poised to threaten in the Pac-12 South. Colorado will have almost two weeks to prepare for UCLA and a Chip Kelly offense that doesn’t come close to resembling the potent attack he had at Oregon.
21. Miami Hurricanes
Week 3 result: Defeated Toledo 49-24
Up next: vs. FIU
The U has done a nice job the past two weeks following their devastating loss to LSU to open the season. With a string of lightweights (FIU, North Carolina, Virginia) and one massive underachiever (Florida State) accounting for their next four games, there is no reason to believe the Canes will not head into a potential showdown with Boston College at 6-1.
20. Wisconsin Badgers
Week 3 result: Lost to BYU 24-21
Up next: @ Iowa
Nobody suffered a worse loss than Wisconsin in Week 3. In falling to BYU at home the Badgers not only lose precious ground in the race for the College Football Playoff, but Wisconsin has set themselves up for a crucial, must-win game at Iowa. Iowa has only allowed 126 rushing yards through three games and will surely try to stifle the Badgers’ ground attack. A loss this week would be devastating for a team with dreams of the playoff.
19. Michigan Wolverines
Week 3 result: Defeated SMU 45-20
Up next: vs. Nebraska
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines will look to get off to a good start in Big Ten play as Scott Frost’s win-less Cornhuskers come to Ann Arbor. Thus far the Wolverines offense has been balanced but not overly explosive. With Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State all in the East with Michigan, it is paramount to win games against the lower-tier opponents. If Michigan has any chance of contending in the conference they must take care of business against a downtrodden Nebraska team.
18. UCF Knights
Week 3 result: Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence
Up next: vs. FAU
With their trip to Chapel Hill cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, the Knights will have two full weeks to prepare for FAU. FAU doesn’t appear to be as good as a year ago, but they offer a strong challenge nonetheless. With Boise State’s loss this past week the Knights have a clear path to a New Year’s Six Bowl for a second year in a row.
17. TCU Horned Frogs
Week 3 result: Lost to Ohio State 40-28
Up next: @ Texas
TCU put together a strong performance against Ohio State in Dallas. Although they weren’t able to hold onto their 21-13 lead, the Frogs should feel very confident coming out of this game. Aside from Oklahoma the Frogs will not play another team near the talent level of the Buckeyes. TCU proved they can play with anybody and should be a serious threat to win the Big 12. Even in a loss the Frogs may have improved their reputation nationally.
16. Oregon Ducks
Week 3 result: Defeated San Jose State 35-22
Up next: vs. Stanford
Justin Herbert had his first hiccup of the season — two interceptions — and the Ducks may have been caught looking ahead, but the team was still able to take care of business and stay perfect on the season. Oregon’s ceiling — and Herbert’s Heisman candidacy — will likely be determined this week. Oregon hosts a Stanford team that has throttled the Ducks the past two years. A victory here would not only give the Ducks a leg up in the Pac-12 North, but could also announce the team as a CFP contender.
15. Penn State Nittany Lions
Week 3 result: Defeated Kent State 63-10
Up next: @ Illinois
Following a harrowing win over Appalachian State in Week 1, the Nittany Lions have steamrolled their last two opponents by a combined score of 114-16. Trace McSorley was dominant this past week against Kent State and has his team geared up for a pedestrian Illinois squad. Penn State must be careful to not look ahead as they welcome Ohio State and Michigan State to Happy Valley in back-to-back games following their meeting with the Illini.
14. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Week 3 result: Defeated Louisiana 56-10
Up next: @ Kentucky
Nick Fitzgerald danced around the Louisiana defense all day in a trouncing of the Ragin’ Cajuns. Showing why the Bulldogs were a trendy pick to contend in the SEC, Fitzgerald threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns while also running for over 100 yards and four scores. Mississippi State have held each of their three opponents to 10-points or less, but will face a tougher task stopping a Kentucky offense that is averaging over 36 PPG.
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Week 3 result: Defeated Boise State 44-21
Up next: vs. Texas Tech
The Cowboys came to play again Saturday and manhandled a good Boise State team. Justice Hill averaged 8.2 YPC and QB Taylor Cornelius accounted for over 280 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. OSU’s defense sacked QB Brett Rypien seven times and limited the Broncos to only 34 rushing yards on 31 carries. The three toughest games remaining on their schedule — @ Oklahoma, vs. West Virginia, @ TCU — are the last three of the year, setting up the Cowboys nicely for a potential 9-0 start heading into the daunting trio of games.
12. West Virginia Mountaineers
Week 3 result: Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence
Up next: vs. Kansas State
The Mountaineers avoided a tricky game on the road against NC State due to Hurricane Florence, giving West Virginia an additional week to prepare for the always-physical Kansas State Wildcats. Led by QB Will Grier and a dynamic group of receivers, West Virginia ranks fifth in the country in passing yards. While the offense is prolific, the defense has also been rather stout — allowing just 15.5 PPG, good for 23rd in the nation. If the Mountaineers can limit Kansas State’s rushing attack they should sprint past the Wildcats and improve to 3-0.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies
Week 3 result: Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence
Up next: @ Old Dominion
The third ranked team to miss a game due to Florence, Virginia Tech faces a simple task in Week 4. Old Dominion shouldn’t challenge the Hokies in any facet of the game. The season-opening walloping of Florida State is looking less impressive by the week, so a Week 6 showdown with Notre Dame looms large as a litmus test for how good this VT team actually is.
10. Washington Huskies
Week 3 result: Defeated Utah 21-7
Up next: vs. Arizona State
The Huskies went into Salt Lake City and won a physical, defensive battle against the Utes. Quarterback Jake Browning was limited by Utah, but star RB Myles Gaskin finally broke loose for Washington, supplying 143 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Once again the Washington defense carried the team to victory — holding Utah to a mere 261 yards of offense. Washington will have to deal with an angry Arizona State team looking to avenge their controversial loss to San Diego State.
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Week 3 result: Defeated Vanderbilt 22-17
Up next: @ Wake Forest
A lot will be learned about this Notre Dame team over the next three weeks. There hasn’t been anything overly impressive about their three victories thus far, especially offensively. The Irish have held opponents to 16.7 PPG, good for 31st nationally, but have struggled to score points. Wake Forest has scored a combined 85 points over its last two games, and will surely look to put up points at home against the Irish. If Brandon Wimbush can’t limit his turnovers, the Irish may be in trouble.
8. Auburn Tigers
Week 3 result: Lost to LSU 22-21
Up next: vs. Arkansas
It’s hard to dock Auburn for losing to a very good team, even if it was at home. After overcoming a 10-point deficit early in the second quarter, the Tigers’ blew an 11-point advantage with only 18 minutes remaining. Losing to an LSU team that is not only in the SEC, but in the same division, is potentially catastrophic to their CFP chances. Luckily the next two weeks should serve as a nice reprieve from their tough beginning, as they face a terrible Arkansas team and a mediocre Southern Miss outfit at Jordan-Hare.
7. LSU Tigers
Week 3 result: Defeated Auburn 22-21
Up next: vs. Louisiana Tech
The Ed Orgeron-led LSU Tigers are the fastest rising team in the country. After starting the season ranked No. 25 and generally thought of as a good team with little chance of making serious noise, the Tigers have now knocked off two top-10 schools through three weeks. After three very winnable games in which LSU should be favored, the Tigers will have to go through a daunting stretch. Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama all travel to the Bayou in consecutive weeks. It is hard to imagine getting through that gauntlet unscathed, but at this point it seems foolish to doubt Orgeron’s men.
6. Stanford Cardinal
Week 3 result: Defeated UC Davis 30-10
Up next: @ Oregon
No team has an opportunity to make a bigger statement over the next two weeks than the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford travels to Eugene to take on the Ducks in the National Game of the Week. After sitting out this past week, Heisman candidate running back Bryce Love is expected back in time for the game. Without Love the Cardinal would be facing an uphill battle — with Love the Cardinal may be the team to beat. K.J. Costello may be the key to victory for the Cardinal as Oregon is likely to fill the box in hopes of limiting Love. If that’s the case, Costello’s ability to make plays through the passing game will be paramount to Stanford’s hopes of winning.
5. Oklahoma Sooners
Week 3 result: Defeated Iowa State 37-27
Up next: vs. Army
The Sooners avenged their lone regular season loss from a year ago, outlasting a game Iowa State group in Ames. In their first game without RB Rodney Anderson, the Sooners ran for 171 yards and one touchdown — led by quarterback Kyler Murray (77 yards, TD), and Trey Sermon (74 yards). Murray was spectacular throwing the ball yet again, accumulating 348 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Oklahoma appears to have barely lost a beat without Baker Mayfield in the fold.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
Week 3 result: Defeated TCU 40-28
Up next: vs. Tulane
The Buckeyes rallied from an eight-point deficit to defeat the Horned Frogs, capping off their three-game stretch sans Urban Meyer unblemished. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins continued to make a push for Heisman candidacy with a 24-of-38, 344 yards and two touchdown showing. With Haskins, J.K. Dobbins gashing opponents on the ground, and a returning Meyer, the Buckeyes appear poised for a run at the CFP.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
Week 3 result: Defeated Middle Tennessee State 49-7
Up next: @ Missouri
Georgia has been thoroughly impressive through three games, outscoring its opponents 135-24. Drew Lock and the Missouri Tigers are up next for Georgia in a matchup pitting one of the nation’s top quarterbacks against one of the nation’s best defenses. With three games separating the Bulldogs from a showdown with LSU, Georgia mustn’t overlook a Mizzou team brimming with confidence.
2. Clemson Tigers
Week 3 result: Defeated Georgia Southern 38-7
Up next: @ Georgia Tech
After quarterback Kelly Bryant left the game in the first half with a bruised chest, perhaps the most interesting story line heading into the Georgia Tech game will be the snap allotment given to Bryant and freshman sensation Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has all the talent in the world and is surely the future at quarterback, but is Dabo Swinney ready to give the reigns to the young gun?
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 3 result: Defeated Ole Miss 62-7
Up next: vs. Texas A&M
Ole Miss opened the game with a 75-yard touchdown pass, handing Alabama its first deficit of the year only 11 seconds into the contest. That deficit lasted for an incredible 70 seconds. Alabama led 28-7 after the first quarter, 49-7 at half, and by the time the final whistle mercifully blew, it was 62-7. The Crimson Tide are by far the best team in the nation. At this point, it seems unfathomable that they could possibly lose a game. But who knows, maybe Jimbo has an ace up his sleeve.
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