College Football Power Rankings: Louisville, not Oklahoma, makes biggest gain

We have ourselves a Heisman Trophy race. It looks a lot like last year's if you glance at this week's Power Rankings.

Oklahoma vaulted up to No. 2 thanks to what was arguably a career game from quarterback Baker Mayfield. He torched Ohio State for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the Sooners' biggest nonconference road win in 54 years.

No. 8 Louisville needed every bit of Lamar Jackson's 525 yards of total offense to hold off North Carolina.

Only seven Power Five teams are worse at running the ball than No. 18 UCLA. That's why the Bruins needed QB Josh Rosen's nine touchdown passes through two games. 

Through three weeks of play, the game is already on pace to set new records for accuracy (61.1 percent completion percentage) and passing yards (238.6).

Biggest Movers
8 Louisville
8 Ohio State
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Alabama This was a sucker's bet to take Fresno and the points. Saban used a 41-10 win to play some depth, particularly at quarterback as Tua Tagovailoa made his debut. Let's not read too much into it now but somewhere ahead there is one hell of a quarterback battle looming. -- 11-1
2 Oklahoma I've never seen a staff so blissfully stunned after a win. Well, everyone at Oklahoma except Lincoln Riley. OU's new coach was calm and steady. Oklahoma announced itself into the national championship race with a win for the ages in Columbus. 7 12-1
3 Southern California Stanford had won the last three meetings and seven of the last nine before the Trojans reasserted themselves as kings of the Pac-12. Y'all can calm down about Sam Darnold. He now has 14 touchdown passes in his last four games after four scores against the Cardinal. -- 11-2
4 Clemson The Tigers look like they should be playing in the SEC. Their 11 sacks are the most by a Power Five team. The defense harassed Jarrett Stidham and Auburn all night sending a message that a return to the playoff isn't a longshot. 2 12-1
5 Penn State Yes, please, we want more saltiness from James Franklin. After beating Pittsburgh, Penn State's coach crowed, "I know last year beating us for them was like the Super Bowl. This was just like beating Akron for us." Oh, snap. -- 10-2
6 Oklahoma State In an easy Friday win at South Alabama, Mason Rudolph passed Brandon Weeden to become the Pokes' career-leading passer. In this Year of the Quarterback, Rudolph is an industry leader averaging 10.3 yards per pass. 4 9-3
7 Washington Dante Pettis returned his seventh kick for a score -- his second punt return TD of the season -- in a laugher over Montana. Go ahead and sleep on the Huskies. Most everyone did last season. 3 10-2
8 Louisville If Lamar Jackson would just understand he can't actually make every play on the field, he'd be even better. For now, he is your Heisman leader coming 7 yards short of going 400 passing, 100 rushing against North Carolina. 8 8-4
9 Michigan Based on what we've seen so far, Michigan might someday soon be considered the Big Ten favorite. There are three months to go but that defense with one returning starter is turning into something special. 2 8-4
10 Ohio State The Bucks will not face another opponent that has Oklahoma's team speed and skill players the rest of the season. That says a lot about Ohio State, the Big Ten and Oklahoma. Lots of introspection in Columbus this week. 8 11-2
11 Georgia So Brian Kelly was upset at a reporter in the postgame. Big deal. It happens. BK's viral surliness took away from Georgia's huge intersectional win at Notre Dame. With Jake Fromm as a game manager, a reliable running game and an intimidating defense, there are great things ahead for the Dawgs. 7 12-1
12 Wisconsin Sometimes sluggish, sometimes powerful on Saturday, the Badgers let FAU hang around longer than it should. The D contributed five sacks and 10 tackles for loss in a 31-14 win. -- 12-1
13 Florida State We'll pick up with evaluating the Noles on Sept. 23. Saturday's Louisiana-Monroe game was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. This week's Miami game has been moved to Oct. 7. 6 6-6
14 Auburn AU has lost consecutive games to Clemson by a total of 14 points. That might be the difference between Gus' Bus being the second-best program in the SEC and Clemson establishing itself as a national power. 6 10-3
15 LSU A 45-10 win over Chattanooga revealed little. The Tigers committed 11 penalties against an inferior opponent. Only eight teams have more penalties than LSU's 21. 1 9-3
16 South Florida The Bulls did not play their game at UConn due to Irma. Their next eval will come Friday against Illinois. The Illini are the Bulls' best nonconference case for the CFP Selection Committee. 1 9-2
17 Kansas State The Big 12 just got a whole lot more exciting. Oklahoma comes to Manhattan on Oct. 21. From here, it looks like one of the games of the year. The Wildcats chugged on Saturday beating Charlotte 55-7. -- 7-5
18 South Carolina In the SEC's conference opener, Missouri blew and early 10-0 lead and Deebo Samuel returned another kick for a touchdown. Time to consider the Cocks in the SEC East. 6 8-4
19 UCLA In a takedown of Hawaii, Josh Rosen had more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (three). Through two games he is tied for the national lead with nine TD passes. 6 6-6
20 Washington State You want to talk rally? The Cougars scored 37 points in the last eight minutes of regulation and overtime to complete a furious comeback. There was no Big Foot sighting. 6 9-3
21 Stanford I thought the Cardinal were more physical than that. They got pushed around the Coliseum by a USC intent on ending a three-game Stanford winning streak. The 623 yards were the most given up by David Shaw at The Farm. 8 9-4
22 Maryland The Terps scored nine touchdowns Saturday. Florida State has seven points this season. The 63 scored against Towson are the most in 63 years at Maryland. 2 4-8
23 Miami (Fla.) The Canes didn't travel to Arkansas State because of Irma. We can only hope they're able to host Toledo on Saturday. 2 10-2
24 TCU What a weekend for the Big 12. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas and West Virginia all won. That's not counting the Frogs posting the second-most impressive league win -- dominating Arkansas on both sides of the ball to win by three touchdowns in Fayetteville. 2 10-3
25 Virginia Tech Hokies were able to break a sweat against Delaware, 27-0. Greg Stroman broke the Blue Hens' will late in the first with a punt-return touchdown. Stroman because the first Hokie to do that in three consecutive seasons. 1 9-3
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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