Notre Dame has continued to check all the boxes you'd like to see from a national championship contender. The Fighting Irish's latest move is knocking Ohio State down a peg and jumping up to No. 2 in the CBS Sports 127 following their latest impressive win.
Beating Clemson in double-overtime is going to garner some attention from the CBS Sports 127 voters, a collection of CBS Sports and 247Sports experts tasked with ranking the entire FBS landscape, but following that up with a solid performance avoiding the letdown at Boston College was an affirming moment in Notre Dame's season. It's not just that the Irish won on the road in a tricky spot on the schedule but how they looked on the field, particularly on offense. Ian Book is playing the best football of his career at the perfect moment for Notre Dame's pursuit of an ACC championship and spot in the College Football Playoff, and it's gotten the attention of our voters.
Notre Dame had already gotten to that No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25, but our voters were still holding on to Ohio State as the second-best team in the land last week. The margins between those teams at the top behind Alabama are razor-thin, so it's possible that the Buckeyes could take that spot right back with another game under their belt.
Elsewhere in the rankings, we see Northwestern making a move up after remaining undefeated with a win at Purdue, and Colorado making a big jump after its win against Stanford. Meanwhile, the fall for Penn State continues after a loss at Nebraska, as the team we ranked in the top 10 at the beginning of the Big Ten season now barely cracks the top 100. For more on the biggest risers and fallers in this week's balloting, check out the Mover's Report below.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-127 on our rankings page.
- No. 35 Colorado (+31): The Buffaloes look pretty good! Karl Dorrell and his squad were the better team against Stanford and appear to be much more of a threat to the rest of the Pac-12 South than preseason projections suggested. That's great news for Colorado, on its third head coach in as many years, and not great news for programs like UCLA and Arizona that may have penciled in this game as a win.
- No. 27 West Virginia (+15): A stellar defense continues to anchor West Virginia's success, and the Mountaineers are rising in our rankings after a dominant 24-6 win against TCU. The victory included some impressive work from running back Leddie Brown, rolling up 156 rushing yards on 24 carries against the Horned Frogs.
- No. 26 Tulsa (+14): A hard-fought second half comeback against SMU has propelled the Golden Hurricane to the edge of our top 25. Tulsa is 4-1 with its only loss coming in a close and competitive game against Oklahoma State, and with the SMU win on the profile, this is now a threat to compete for a spot in AAC Championship Game.
- No. 21 Northwestern (+5): There was some validation with Saturday's win at Purdue, bringing into focus Northwestern's role as one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten West. The adjustment was major compared to others listed here but it was one of the biggest moves near the top of the rankings.
- No. 36 Arkansas (-6): Not a major step back but one that comes with giving up a six touchdowns and 356 passing yards to Florida's Kyle Trask. The Razorbacks have already exceeded expectations with wins against Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee, but now that the bar is raised, our voters would like to see how they fare against LSU, Missouri and Alabama before leaving them as a top-30 or top-40 type of team.
- No. 81 Louisville (-8): What has been bad has gotten worse for the Cardinals. Both Javian Hawkins and Tutu Atwell were among the key players out for Saturday's loss to Virginia and the weekend brings news that Hawkins is opting out for the rest of the season to get ready for the NFL Draft.
- No. 86 Florida State (-17): The youth movement is on for Mike Norvell and Florida State as the remainder of the season will be played with an eye on getting key experience for players that will be back in 2021. Transfers, opt-outs and injuries have left Florida State in a spot where it looked outmatched against NC State, which is saying something.
- No. 97 Penn State (-45): Speaking of what was bad getting worse, the Nittany Lions are in free fall and our voters have done more than sell the last of their stock. They are actively shorting Penn State. This could be an overreaction from how Penn State held our confidence even in the face of an 0-2 start, but at 0-4, it's time to move on from the idea that this is one of the better teams in college football in 2020.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 127: Teams ranked 26-127