Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Ohio State will soar in new college football rankings with Colorado dropping out

At the conclusion of Week 4, which featured six games between AP Top 25 opponents, some changes in the college football rankings are to be expected. But while there is plenty of movement in and out of the top 25, the most significant result of the day will create one of the biggest moves in the top 10.

Ohio State left the Notre Dame faithful in South Bend, Indiana, stunned Saturday night with a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds for a 17-14 win. No team in the top 10 had a more impressive victory than the Buckeyes, and given what we’ve seen from Alabama, it’s looking likely that coach Ryan Day’s squad jumps Texas after picking up the best win out of any top 10 team. Ohio State had yet to be challenged like it was at Notre Dame, and the resolve and toughness shown in battling back for a victory will surely lead to some significant shake up in the top five. 

The other ranked matchups will create AP Top 25 fallout, too. There will be a notable bump up for Washington State after a 38-35 win against Oregon State in a battle of Pac-12 unbeatens. Further down in the rankings, we’re projecting an arrival of some basketball schools as Kentucky and Kansas both improved to 4-0, and in doing so, made some modern program history. Teams like Missouri, UK and KU were already showing up on some ballots after Week 3 and will be easy picks for voters looking to round their own top 25 after a chaotic Week 4. But will a team like Maryland or Syracuse make a jump after reaching that 4-0 mark? 

There will also be the debate as to whether Colorado should still be ranked after its punishing loss at Oregon, which is a fate that ultimately lies in the hands of those voters who were the highest on the Buffaloes heading into the weekend. 

Here’s how we expect the new AP Top 25 to look on Sunday after Week 4 action: 

1. Georgia (Last week –1): It took a couple possessions for the Bulldogs to find their footing on offense, but once they did, they cruised to a 49-21 victory over UAB. That wasn’t quite enough to cover the 40-point spread, but it was certainly enough to maintain a hold on the No. 1 spot and net Kirby Smart an SEC record through 100 games.

2. Michigan (2): There won’t be a rush to award more first-place votes to Michigan after a 31-7 win against Rutgers, but not even the early 7-0 deficit will bounce the Wolverines from the No. 2 spot.  

3. Ohio State (6): The Buckeyes announced their presence in the national championship conversation with Saturday night’s win at Notre Dame, and the fact that it did not come with an overwhelming offensive performance speaks to how the Buckeyes are built to win in different ways. 

4. Texas (3): Avoiding a potential letdown at Baylor is a good sign for Texas, which was led by its defense in a 38-6 win against the Bears. The Longhorns remain the undisputed team to beat in the Big 12 and shouldn’t see too much change in their AP Top 25 ranking. 

5. Florida State (4): Not so much of a drop as a reshuffling for the Seminoles following an epic overtime win at Clemson. Florida State stormed back from an early 10-point deficit to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Tigers and cement their status as the frontrunner in the ACC. Jordan Travis also passed Chris Weinke as the program’s leader for career touchdowns scored with 82; he broke the record in overtime on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman. But with Ohio State jumping up, there is a slight bump down for the Seminoles.  

6. USC (5): The Trojans had their hands full with Arizona State, but eventually pulled away for a 42-28 victory. Those voters who stayed up to late enough watch all of the Pac-12 showdown might come away with some questions about the USC defense, but not enough to drop them more than one spot to make room for the surging Buckeyes. 

7. Penn State (7): No moves after taking care of business against Iowa, shutting out the Hawkeyes 31-0. Winning gritty was a theme on Saturday, and the Nittany Lions did their part to make Iowa pay for four turnovers and an offensive performance that did not net 100 yards. 

8. Washington (8): In a 59-32 win over Cal, the Huskies exploded out of the gate, scoring 45 points in the first half to put the game out of reach before the teams hit the locker room for halftime. The Golden Bears got some garbage time points, but Michael Penix’s blistering performance should be enough to keep the Huskies entrenched in their spot in the top 10. 

9. Oregon (10): Though the Ducks ran it up on Colorado early, the 42-6 final is not the kind of eye-popping score that will have voters rushing to jump Oregon up into the top five. There will be upward movement after a ranked win, but the victory did not stray too far from pregame expectations.  

10. Utah (11): For all the pregame consternation of Cam Rising’s status, this is a team that will ride its defense straight into Pac-12 title contention. The two-time reigning league champions bottled up UCLA and improved to 4-0 with a 14-7 win at home. 

11. Notre Dame (9): We’re projecting that voters will have a soft spot for how close the Fighting Irish were to being victorious against Ohio State on Saturday night, plus the fact that there are other one-loss teams in the top 15 provides a soft landing spot for arguably the best one-loss team in the country. 

12. LSU (12): Holding on for a win against Arkansas after an upset scare preserves LSU’s place in the SEC West title race, but it does not generate a lot of voter confidence worthy of a move up.  

13. Alabama (13): Nick Saban turned the offense back over to Jalen Milroe and saw more production than the week before, but the Crimson Tide’s 24-10 win against Lane Kiffin probably leaves Alabama around the same spot as last week.  

14. Washington State (21): This is a massive jump for the Cougars, but AP voters had a lot of respect for Oregon State, and Washington State handled the Beavers’ best effort in a 38-35 win. Now at 4-0 with victories over Oregon State and Wisconsin, Wazzu wants to add its name to the growing list of realistic Pac-12 title contenders. 

15. Oklahoma (16): In one sense, Oklahoma passed a test with a two-touchdown win in its first road conference game, but the inconsistencies in the offensive production throughout the first four games is something to track. Voters will see a 20-6 win at Cincinnati and raise an eyebrow considering this is a group that has put 73 points and 66 points on the scoreboard against FBS opponents this year, but that will likely limit upward movement in the rankings more than it might hurt the Sooners’ standing. 

16. North Carolina (17): UNC didn’t look its best early, but a 21-point second quarter fueled a 41-24 win at Pittsburgh that should not result in any significant movement.

17. Duke (18): The Blue Devils left no doubt in a road trip to UConn, getting up 27-0 at halftime and winning by 34 points. Up next, a visit from Notre Dame in Durham.  

18. Miami (20): There was never any upset alert or concern about Miami as it went up to Temple and thumped the Owls 41-7 to improve to 3-0.  

19. Oregon State (14): There could be more of a drop for the Beavers, but I think climbing back into the game for a field goal loss on the road at Washington State will keep Oregon State inside the top 20.  

20. Ole Miss (15): A 3-1 record with a defeat at Alabama is not the kind of profile that’s going to get bounced all the way out of the rankings, even with the projected influx of 4-0 teams from outside the top 25.  

21. Tennessee (23): The Volunteers shut out the Roadrunners 31-0 in the first half, got shutout 14-0 in the third quarter and then scored the game’s final two touchdowns for a 45-14 rebound win.

22. Florida (25): Voters will likely see a check-mark win for the Gators and not pay much mind to what happened in the game itself (22-7 over Charlotte). Florida went 1 of 9 on third down and scored its fewest touchdowns against a non-Power Five opponent (one) since 1988. Trey Smack stepped in as a new starting kicker to hit all five of his field goals, including a 54-yarder.

23. Missouri (NR): It was a tougher test than Mizzou likely wanted, but the black-and-gold Tigers powered past Memphis 34-27 to remain undefeated on the season.

24. Kansas (NR): The Jayhawks are now 4-0 after a double-digit win against a BYU team that just beat Arkansas. Going 4-0 is not something that has happened often for this program. Kansas had some decent representation on ballots over the last couple of weeks since beating Illinois, and though last week’s scare against Nevada may have shaken confidence, voters will have the Jayhawks as a ranked team on Sunday. 

25. Kentucky (NR): We’ve reached some unprecedented territory for Kentucky football as the Wildcats have started 4-0 for a third consecutive season. Three 4-0 starts in a row hasn’t happened for Kentucky since 1909-11, bringing even more of a spotlight to how Mark Stoops has raised the standard for football at UK.

Projected to drop out: No. 19 Colorado, No. 22 UCLA, No. 24 Iowa 

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