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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Weekly Rankings

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 4 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

The top 25

1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0)
I won’t say anything nice until Saban does – it could be a while.
2. L.S.U. (3-0, 0-0)
The Tide have stolen the Tigers’ thunder.
3. Oregon (3-0, 0-0)
Gone unnoticed has been the Ducks’ defense on third down.
4. Florida State (3-0, 1-0)
There was a time, I recall, when Wake gave the Seminoles fits.
5. Georgia (3-0, 1-0)
Bulldogs came out a bit flat before stepping on the gas.
6. West Virginia (2-0, 0-0)
Geno Smith and Co. continue to rack up the yardage.
7. Stanford (3-0, 1-0)
The best win under David Shaw – one of Stanford’s best ever.
8. Texas (3-0, 0-0)
Folks, I know it’s early, but this offense could be good.
9. Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0)
Sooners with a huge date with Kansas State on Saturday.
10. Notre Dame (3-0, 0-0)
A tenure-defining win for Kelly, though N.D. can’t rest.
11. Clemson (3-0, 0-0)
Are the Tigers ready to play Atlantic spoilers once again?
12. South Carolina (3-0, 1-0)
Did every quarterback on the roster play against U.A.B.?
13. U.S.C. (2-1, 0-1)
Not as big an upset, but loss hurts worse than 2007 version.
14. Florida (3-0, 2-0)
This team’s mental toughness can’t be overestimated.
15. Ohio State (3-0, 0-0)
All’s well that ends well, even if Buckeyes almost blew it.
16. Michigan State (2-1, 0-0)
A painful loss, but it has no impact on Rose Bowl hopes.
17. U.C.L.A. (3-0, 0-0)
Mora’s guys were far too sloppy, even in a 31-point win.
18. Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0)
A good reminder: Bulldogs can’t take any team lightly.
19. Kansas State (3-0, 0-0)
See above: Wildcats take on the Sooners on Saturday.
20. Ohio (3-0, 0-0)
Thanks to late stand, the B.C.S. dream remains alive.
21. Arizona (3-0, 0-0)
Offense can score, but can defense slow down the Ducks?
22. T.C.U. (2-0, 1-0)
Only 20 points, but Frogs left at least 14 points on the field.
23. Boise State (1-1, 0-0)
One win down, another 10 to go for the Broncos.
24. Louisville (3-0, 0-0)
Not overly surprising to see a young team relax with big lead.
25. Utah (2-1, 0-0)
Once, twice, three times… eventually, the Utes survived.

The Rest

26. Nebraska (2-1, 0-0)
27. Oregon State (1-0, 0-0)
28. Wisconsin (2-1, 0-0)
29. Utah State (2-1, 0-0)
30. Rutgers (3-0, 1-0)
31. Michigan (2-1, 0-0)
32. B.Y.U. (2-1, 0-0)
33. Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0)
34. Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1)
35. Louisiana Tech (2-0, 0-0)
36. Missouri (2-1, 0-1)
37. Tennessee (2-1, 0-1)
38. Iowa State (3-0, 0-0)
39. Baylor (2-0, 0-0)
40. Northwestern (3-0, 0-0)
41. Nevada (2-1, 0-0)
42. Oklahoma State (2-1, 0-0)
43. Arizona State (2-1, 0-0)
44. Cincinnati (2-0, 1-0)
45. South Florida (2-1, 0-1)
46. N.C. State (2-1, 0-0)
47. Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0)
48. U.C.F. (2-1, 0-0)
49. Iowa (2-1, 0-0)
50. Northern Illinois (2-1, 0-0)
51. Virginia (2-1, 0-1)
52. Texas A&M (1-1, 0-1)
53. Air Force (1-1, 0-0)
54. Tulsa (2-1, 1-0)
55. Purdue (2-1, 0-0)
56. California (1-2, 0-0)
57. Auburn (1-2, 0-1)
58. Louisiana-Monroe (1-1, 0-0)
59. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1)
60. Toledo (2-1, 1-0)
61. Washington (2-1, 0-0)
62. Fresno State (2-1, 0-0)
63. San Jose State (2-1, 0-0)
64. Western Kentucky (2-1, 0-0)
65. Pittsburgh (1-2, 0-1)
66. Penn State (1-2, 0-0)
67. Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1)
68. Minnesota (3-0, 0-0)
69. Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1)
70. Illinois (2-1, 0-0)
71. East Carolina (2-1, 1-0)
72. Connecticut (2-1, 0-0)
73. Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1, 1-0)
74. San Diego State (2-1, 0-0)
75. Ball State (2-1, 1-0)
76. Arkansas (1-2, 0-1)
77. Western Michigan (1-2, 0-0)
78. Duke (2-1, 0-0)
79. Syracuse (1-2, 0-0)
80. S.M.U. (1-2, 0-0)
81. Miami (Fla.) (2-1, 0-0)
82. Bowling Green (1-2, 0-1)
83. Southern Mississippi (0-2, 0-1)
84. Arkansas State (1-2, 0-0)
85. Marshall (1-2, 0-0)
86. Washington State (2-1, 0-0)
87. Navy (0-2, 0-0)
88. Miami (Ohio) (1-2, 0-0)
89. Troy (1-2, 0-1)
90. Maryland (2-1, 0-0)
91. Temple (1-1, 0-0)
92. Army (0-2, 0-0)
93. Mississippi (2-1, 0-0)
94. Hawaii (1-1, 0-0)
95. Florida International (1-2, 0-0)
96. Kansas (1-2, 0-0)
97. UTEP (1-2, 0-0)
98. New Mexico State (1-2, 0-0)
99. North Texas (1-2, 0-0)
100. Rice (1-2, 0-0)
101. Boston College (1-2, 0-0)
102. Buffalo (1-1, 0-0)
103. Kentucky (1-2, 0-0)
104. Indiana (2-1, 0-0)
105. Kent State (1-1, 0-0)
106. Central Michigan (1-1, 0-0)
107. Colorado State (1-2, 0-0)
108. Texas State (1-1, 0-0)
109. Houston (0-3, 0-0)
110. Texas-San Antonio (3-0, 0-0)
111. Tulane (0-2, 0-1)
112. New Mexico (1-2, 0-0)
113. Wyoming (0-3, 0-0)
114. U.A.B. (0-2, 0-0)
115. Akron (1-2, 0-0)
116. Middle Tennessee (2-1, 1-0)
117. U.N.L.V. (0-3, 0-0)
118. Eastern Michigan (0-3, 0-1)
119. Idaho (0-3, 0-0)
120. Florida Atlantic (1-2, 0-1)
121. South Alabama (1-2, 0-0)
122. Memphis (0-3, 0-0)
123. Colorado (0-3, 0-0)
124. Massachusetts (0-3, 0-0)

Dropped out of top 25

Virginia Tech No. 14 (No. 33)
B.Y.U. No. 17 (No. 32)
Tennessee No. 20 (No. 37)

New in top 25

Arizona No. 23 (No. 30)
Louisville No. 24 (No. 27)
Utah No. 25 (No. 36)

Three noteworthy jumps

Fresno State 23 spots (No. 86 to No. 63)
Notre Dame 14 spots (No. 24 to No. 10)
Florida 11 spots (No. 25 to No. 14)

Three noteworthy tumbles

Wyoming 31 spots (No. 81 to No. 113)
Arkansas 29 spots (No. 47 to No. 76)
Virginia Tech 19 spots (No. 14 to No. 33)

Previous rankings

Week 3 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 2 rankings Alabama, No. 1
The preseason list is on the right sidebar.

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Comments

  1. michael says:

    uc berkeley is #56? really? This is the best two-loss team in the country? Good on ‘ya for at least recognizing that UNR is a near-top-40 team though, at any rate.

    Also, #63 San Jose State’s offense put up more points, and their defense allowed fewer points, than did #13 Southern California’s against #8 Stanford. San Jose State put up more yards vs. Stanford (288) than USC (280); actually, USC had the same total ofence against Stanford as Stanford had against San Jose State. Just an interesting thing to note…

    in fairness, 63 is probably higher than just about anybody in the country has them right now. but i still think it’s too low.

    Watch them lose to SDSU next week and i’ll feel dumb.

  2. michael says:

    also, offense. sorry.

  3. Greg says:

    Norte Dame is 3-0

  4. jtt says:

    Louisiana tech should be at least 34 and past wisconsin, as they actually have an offense that is better than any non-bcs in years. Their defense is holding back at least half of their playbook for the big 3. I expect them to be at least in the top 30 if they defeat illinois in any fashion this week, top 25 if they dominate.

  5. Brandon says:

    Paul, think you meant Uf jumped 11 spots, 25 to 14

  6. BobJ says:

    USC has enormous talent at several skill positions, but Stanford shoved around the OL and DL. The lack of depth showed when a reserve center had to play following an injury to starter Khaled Holmes, with disastrous results. Given the normal amount of banged up players as the season goes on, I would not be surprised if USC loses two or three more times this year.

  7. DMK says:

    Clemson is a TD better than Auburn.

    #11 is too generous, I think. We’ll find out in a few days.

  8. 31southst says:

    Not a Northwestern fan but you have to give them credit for 3 BCS wins so far. Certainly a better resume than #40 overall.

  9. SB says:

    Paul, I have respectfully (but loudly) disagree with Wisconsin jumping up from 35 to 28 by playing some of the worst B1G football in their near-loss to Utah State. They can really count only on luck on the missed FG yet that was good enough to bump them up that much?

    In full disclosure, I am an NU alum and the lack of poll votes can be attributed to, in my opinion, the feeling of “Oh, NU is going to go back to being their old selves again.” I obviously think they belong in the top 25 but no worse than 30.

  10. ctya says:

    Northwestern drops a spot while Wisconsin jumps up to 28? Very weird.

  11. Look at TEAMS not LABELS says:

    @31southst

    Not a Northwestern fan either, but I think the #40 ranking is generous considering that they’ve beaten #69 Vandy (at home in a game were weather played a part), #79 ‘Cuse (fortunate to get this win as well), and #101 Boston College (this may be too high a ranking for BC).

    Don’t get caught up on the “AQ” (which is what you meant when you used “BCS”) and instead look at the actual resume of teams played.

    NU, even sitting at 3-0 right now, will struggle to reach bowl eligibility. And that’s with the “Big” “Ten” being down this year.

  12. NOT a Big East fan...but... says:

    Louisville and (maybe) Cincy are too low.

    Both teams look good and Louisville may end up being REAL good.

  13. ctya says:

    @Look at TEAMS not LABELS

    NU still has games against South Dakota, Indiana, Penn State, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Four of those games are at home. You know that bowl eligibility = 6 wins, right?

  14. Look at TEAMS not LABELS says:

    @ctya

    You do know that Iowa and @Penn State won’t be close, right?

    South Dakota, Indiana, @ Minny, Illinois will be toss ups.

  15. SB says:

    @Look at TEAMS not LABELS

    Using your logic, where does Wisconsin stand?

  16. Look at TEAMS not LABELS says:

    @SB

    At the moment, behind NU. But #40 is still generous for either team.

  17. ctya says:

    @Look at TEAMS not LABELS

    Uhhh . . . I’m LOOKING at those TEAMS and not SEEING what you’re SEEING

  18. Look at TEAMS not LABELS says:

    @ctya

    You will.

  19. Burnt Orange says:

    Have seen parts of all three NW games. The Vandy game was a nice win and the others are not that great. Still they are 3-0 and you have to give them some credit for winning close games. Using Paul’s methodology, they are ranked about right. Not saying it will happen but with South Dakota, Indiana, PSU, and Minnesota coming up, they have a chance to be 7-0 going into Nebraska. In fact, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Minnesota and NW go into their game undefeated. ( How is that Greg Davis offense working out for you Iowa – do you love the wide receiver screen – bet you did not know there were so many creative ways to throw the ball horizontally ).

  20. Look at TEAMS not LABELS says:

    @SB, @ctya – [waves]

    * * *

    And it begins.

    I think NU will lose on the road to Minny and if it does it will be game two of a six-game skid. The season finale against the only FBS team in the state worse than NU will be for bowl eligibility.

    Note that I never wrote that NU would not become bowl eligible but rather that it would struggle to become bowl eligible. 6-6 with a win in your last regular season game would qualify, I think, as struggling. As would 6-6 with a victory over the Gophers in lieu of the Illini, or 7-5, if NU managed to win in Minnesota in addition to Illinois.

    Please check in here when/if NU is 5-6 heading into Thanksgiving.

  21. NOT a Big East fan...but... says:

    Check the comment on: September 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    * * *
    Louisville and Cincy still looking good.

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