College Football Rankings Week 4: Alabama Punished, Notre Dame Rewarded?

College football rankings for Week 4 are going to punish Alabama and reward Notre Dame. The college football rankings for Week 3 had Alabama as the No. 2 team in the nation, even nabbing a first-place vote in the Coaches Poll. After an ugly loss to Ole Miss at home on Saturday, September 19, the school is likely to fall out of the top five now.

Despite the projected drops in the Week 4 AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll, a report from CBS Sports still predicts Alabama will make the College Football Playoff this year. It’s a bold prediction after Alabama lost for the second-straight season to Ole Miss, making it also worth noting that the site had picked Auburn to win the SEC this year. Auburn lost to LSU on Saturday, further damaging a possible run by the Tigers.

The highly ranked USC Trojans also lost on Saturday, forcing the school to give up its high standing (No. 6 in AP Top 25, No. 7 in Coaches Poll) for the Week 4 college football rankings. USC lost to Stanford, a team that some experts had winning the Pac-12 this season. It shouldn’t cost the Trojans too many spots in the major polls, but Stanford wasn’t ranked this week.

As for the schools that are about to be rewarded for strong play through the first three weeks, the prime candidates are TCU, Michigan State, Notre Dame, UCLA, and LSU. TCU was ranked No. 3 in both major polls and beat SMU 56-37 on Saturday. It stands to reason that the team could easily jump up to No. 2 in Week 4. No. 4 Michigan State also won at home, beating Air Force 35-21 to continue its successful season.

Having a week off does No. 5 Baylor no favors, and Georgia beat an unimpressive South Carolina team this week. The door is now open for the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish to move up after beating No. 14 Georgia Tech. Though the score was close, a lot of voters tend to support Notre Dame when given a chance. No. 10 UCLA also beat a ranked team in No. 19 BYU to improve to 3-0 on the season. That should move the Bruins further up the top 10.

Further down the rankings, No. 13 LSU (3-0) beating an undefeated Auburn team could actually bump the Tigers past the No. 12 Oregon Ducks (2-1) when the new polls come out. It would also be difficult for voters to explain having Alabama ahead of undefeated LSU, even if it is early in the season. Other 3-0 schools that could move up in the Week 4 college football rankings are Oklahoma, Missouri, Ole Miss, Utah, and Arizona. Will Ole Miss beating Alabama put the school in the top 10?

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