College Football Power Rankings: TCU, Washington State get deserved spotlight

Coming out of Week 4, there isn't much room for B.S.

We won't make a case for Florida State, 0-2 for the first time since 1989 (a.k.a. since some guy named Brett Favre beat the Noles in the season opener).

We won't try to make a case for anyone but Penn State's Saquon Barkley being the best player in the country.

We will tip our hat to the West Coast. The Pac-12. It has four undefeated teams one-third of the way through the season. That ties the Big Ten and ACC for the most in the Power Five. We mention this because who would have thought the biggest game of the conference season might be this week: No. 6 USC at No. 15 Washington State?

We'll move Scott Frost up to the top of the list at Nebraska, though his UCF Knights remain just outside the Power Rankings. On the same day the AD-less Huskers struggled with Rutgers, UCF blasted Maryland for Frost's first Power Five win.

We will go to the mats defending Alabama's return to No. 1. What's wrong with the Tide? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Biggest Movers
10 TCU
7 Mississippi State
Rk
Teams
 
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Rcrd
1 Alabama The earthquake was centered in downtown Nashville but felt all around the Southeast and as far away as USC. Alabama won in a blowout, 38-3. And that was just the first downs. In beating Vandy 59-0, the Tide outgained the Commodores by 589 yards. 111-1
2 Clemson Boston College had 14 possessions: nine ended on punts, two on an interceptions, two to end halves and one touchdown. That's domination. For the Tigers' D, business as usual allowing 238 yards and getting six sacks. 112-1
3 Penn State Barkley is the Big Ten's best player playing for the Big Ten's best team. This year's Christian McCaffrey thrashed Iowa for 358 total yards on 43 touches. 110-2
4 Oklahoma The Big 12 is sliding back to Shootoutville. The two best teams in the league right now, OU and TCU, allowed the opposition a cumulative 989 yards and nine touchdowns on Saturday. Shocking that the Sooners struggled with Baylor. Baker Mayfield has the most touchdown passes (13) of any quarterback without an interception. 112-1
5 TCU Who else has gone on the (true) road twice and beaten Power Five teams, one of them ranked in the top six? The Frogs have. Sonny Cumbie might be the best play caller in the Big 12. 1010-3
6 Southern California That Cal defense is legit. Still, shouldn't Trojans everywhere be concerned Sam Darnold has thrown 14 interceptions in his last 10 games? 111-2
7 Washington It's not fair. The Huskies have won the last nine in the Colorado series by 187 points, the last four by 134 points. This is one Pac-12 champ game rematch we don't want to see. --10-2
8 Michigan Even when Wilton Speight was knocked out of the game, John O'Korn (remember him?) had enough to come back against Purdue. Michigan gets stronger as it gets colder because of that defense. --8-4
9 Ohio State J.T. Barrett threw five touchdown passes against a UNLV team that lost to Howard. Don't know what to say about that except that backup Dwayne Haskins threw two touchdowns against a UNLV team that lost to Howard. --11-2
10 Georgia The Dawgs are this week's second-best team in the SEC after throttling Mississippi State. You get an idea where this is headed. Georgia snapped it only 54 times and threw it only 12. Nick Chubb, Andre Swift and Sony Michel averaged 5.6 yards per carry, and the defense smothered the other Bulldogs. --12-1
11 Wisconsin The best team in the Big Ten West couched it for a weekend, watching the rest of the league take shape. Northwestern next. --12-1
12 Oklahoma State The Cowboys went from scoring 49 in the first half to Pittsburgh to being limited by a smart, fast TCU defense. TCU coach Gary Patterson had one of those (good) days as a defensive play caller limiting Mason Rudolph to "only" 390 total yards. 69-3
13 Louisville Lamar Jackson set the school total touchdown record against Kent State. It's getting to the point games against Kent should carry an asterisk. The Golden Flashes are the FBS's designated punching bag having been outscored 119-6 against FBS competition. 18-4
14 San Diego State Last week it was a power outage. This week at Air Force there was a 90-minute weather delay. What's next? Locusts? Aztecs stay the best Group of Five team with a 28-24 win at AFA. 210-2
15 Washington State Luke Falk, the nation's No. 1 passer, threw for five touchdowns and Mike Leach is off to his first 4-0 start in nine years. USC comes to town Friday in one of the biggest games of Leach's career. 69-3
16 Virginia Tech In a tune-up for Clemson this week, freshman quarterback Josh Jackson became the ACC's most efficient passer in an easy win over Old Dominion. Can the Hokies take the next step against the Tigers? 29-3
17 Auburn We suspect Gus Malzahn tried to hold it down, but this is Missouri. Auburn romped anyway, 51-14. Kerryon Johnson returned from a hamstring and scored five times despite rushing for only 48 yards. 210-3
18 NC State Good for Dave Doeren, who deserves every bit of the 27-21 upset at Florida State. The Wolfpack had lost 10 straight games to ranked teams. Now they have to be considered a factor in the ACC Atlantic. NC State gets both Louisville and Clemson at home. 88-4
19 Mississippi State That certainly was humbling. A week after smacking down LSU, the Bulldogs were limited to only three points and 280 yards by Georgia. Nick Fitzgerald threw for only 103 yards, ran for 47. 78-4
20 South Florida Seems so long ago but the Bulls took apart Temple on Thursday night. After forcing six turnovers, USF is tied for the national lead with 14 in that category. A top 10 rush defense has allowed 2.16 yards per run. --9-2
21 Utah Kyle Whittingham to Missouri? He'd be foolish to leave Utah where he can continue to chase Pac-12 championships. The latest example was a 30-24 win at Arizona. Former starter Troy Williams subbed for the injured Tyler Huntley in beating Arizona. 56-6
22 Florida Another reason why we love college football: Luke Freakin' Del Rio. The forgotten quarterback came off the bench to lead a comeback from 13 down in the fourth quarter to beat Kentucky by a point. "There was a coach around here for a long time who used to throw quarterbacks in here and there at the drop of a hat," Jim McElwain said. To whom could he be referring? 44-7
23 Kentucky Hey, it's only 31 in a row, Wildcats. Really, there are no excuses for allowing a Florida team all but out of it in the second half to come back. But that's part of the reason Kentucky lost the previous 30 in a row, isn't it? 67-5
24 LSU Danny Etling was bruised, battered and knocked out of the Syracuse game for a large stretch. Derrius Guice was limited to eight carries in a nine-point win over Syracuse. 19-3
25 Notre Dame Now that we have some context four weeks in, it's time to admit the Irish are good. ND gave up 485 yards to Michigan State but never trailed in a 20-point win on the road. 19-3
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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