Ohio State also is the top-ranked team in the NCAA College Football Power Rankings after squeaking by Northern Illinois 20-13 on Saturday to improve to 3-0 on the season. The Buckeyes offense sputtered for the second straight game as they managed just 298 yards of total offense and turned the ball over five times against the Huskies.
Ohio State is still projected to reach the College Football Playoff series, according to Brian Bennett of ESPN, despite registering game scores of just 68 and 56 against Hawaii and Northern Illinois, respectively. The good news is that the Buckeyes will have the opportunity to right the ship against Western Michigan (1-2) at home on Saturday. The Broncos broke through the win column this past week with a 52-20 victory over FCS Murray State.
Western Michigan’s two losses have been to then-No. 5 Michigan State (37-24) and Georgia Southern (43-17). The Broncos FPI ranking is 107.
Here is the rest of the Week 4 schedule for ranked teams.
1. Ohio State: See above.
2. Michigan State (3-0): The Spartans moved up one spot in the power rankings after defeating Air Force 35-21 last week. Michigan State has looked good in all three of their victories and should continue that trend against Central Michigan (1-2).
3. Mississippi (3-0): The Rebels moved up 12 spots in power rankings after pulling off a 43-37 upset over then No. 2 Alabama. Ole Miss and their high powered offense, which is averaging a FBS high 64.0 points a game, will host Vanderbilt (1-2) on Saturday.
4. TCU (3-0): The Horned Frogs have played uninspired ball the past two weeks, allowing 508 yards and 37 points in their victory over SMU last week. TCU will need to step up its play this week if they want to remain in title contention, as the Horned Frogs travel to Texas Tech (3-0) on Saturday. The Red Raiders have the second most-efficient offense in FBS.
5. Notre Dame (3-0): The Fighting Irish looked very good in their 30-22 victory over then-No. 14 Georgia Tech and moved up three spots in the power rankings. Notre Dame hosts Massachusetts (0-2) this week.
6. LSU (2-0): The Tigers moved up eight spot in the power rankings after defeating their second ranked opponent with a 45-21 over then No. 18 Auburn. LSU travels to Syracuse (3-0), which hasn’t looked all that good in their victories, on Saturday.
7. Baylor (2-0): The Bears were off last week and will get Rice (2-1) at home in Week 4. Baylor is averaging 61.0 points a game while the Owls is averaging 40.0 points.
8. Georgia (3-0): The Bulldogs (3-0) have the third most efficient offense in FBS and have tallied 134 points this season. Georgia will host FCS Southern (2-1) on Saturday.
9. UCLA (3-0): The Bruins dropped two places despite earning a 24-23 victory over then-No. 19 BYU. UCLA travels to Arizona (3-0) on Saturday.
10. Oregon (2-1): The Ducks, coming off a 61-28 victory over Georgia State, will host No. 19 Utah (3-0) on Saturday.
T11. Oklahoma (3-0): The Sooners moved up five places in the power rankings following their 52-38 man-handling of Tulsa. Oklahoma is off this week.
T11. Alabama (2-1): The Crimson Tide dropped nine spots following their surprising loss to Ole Miss. Alabama should get back on track this Saturday as they host Louisiana-Monroe (1-1).
13.Texas A&M (3-0): The Aggies dropped four spots even though they dominated Nevada 44-27. Texas A&M will play Arkansas (1-2) in Dallas.
14. Clemson (3-0): The Tigers defense has been spectacular but they really haven’t been challenged. Clemson is off this week.
15. Florida State (3-0): The Seminoles recorded their first road shutout since 2003 with a 14-0 victory over Boston College. Florida State is off this week.
16. Arizona (3-0): The Wildcats moved up six spots after tallying 77 points against Northern Arizona. Arizona are averaging 54.0 points this season but get their first true test when they host UCLA on Saturday.
17. Northwestern (3-0): The Wildcats are one of the biggest surprises this season. Northwestern has given up just 16 points this season heading into their game at home against Ball State (2-1).
18. Utah (3-0): The Utes have a tough matchup with Oregon on Saturday. Utah has not played particularly well in their last two games.
19. USC (2-1): The Trojans fell 13 spots following their 41-31 loss to Stanford. USC travels to Arizona State (2-1).
20. Georgia Tech (2-1): The Yellow Jackets suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Notre Dame on Saturday. Georgia Tech travels to Duke (2-1), which looked really bad in their loss to Northwestern, on Saturday.
21. Stanford (2-1): The Cardinal moved back into the rankings with their upset victory over USC. Stanford played a nearly flawless game against USC and will attempt to duplicate that performance at Oregon on Friday.
22. Oklahoma State (3-0): The Cowboys moved into the top 25 for the first time this season after ripping through Texas-San Antonio 69-14. Oklahoma State travels to Texas (1-2).
23. West Virginia (2-0): The Mountaineers moved down one spot in the rankings without playing as they were idle last week. West Virginia hosts Maryland (2-1) on Saturday.
24. BYU (2-1): The Cougars dropped six spots after surrendering a 10-point fourth quarter lead to UCLA. BYU travels to Michigan (2-1) on Saturday.
25. Wisconsin (2-1): The Badgers have won two straight easy games since losing their opener to Alabama. Wisconsin hosts Hawaii (2-1) on Saturday.
[Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images]