Tomorrow’s top 25 today: Oklahoma overtakes Clemson while Penn State, Oregon, climbs the college football rankings

College Football offered fans a smorgasbord of results, outcomes and highlights in Week 3 presented in Saturday’s games. While this week reminded fans why they love the sport, it’s also the kind of week that gives AP Top 25 voters a headache as they try to fill out the latest college football rankings, which are released Sunday .

How much boost should Oregon get after its dominant win over a top-ranked BYU team? Should Michigan State fall all the way from 11th to outside the rankings after tanking against Washington? Arkansas avoided an upset against Missouri State, but did the Razorbacks look like a top-10 team when Bobby Petrino’s side marginalized them on his return to campus? Should Florida fall out of the rankings after being fielded by a South Florida team that has been one of the worst in the nation for the past two or more seasons? Perhaps most interestingly, which unranked teams should be in the top 25, and should absolutely incredible Ave finishes be a bonus point when it comes to ranking the best teams in the country?

Luckily, there are some decisions that will be easy, and we’re confident in predicting them here in our weekly updated college football rankings projection. Penn State will be one of the most notable climbers after its win in Auburn, not only because of the program’s biggest non-conference win since joining the Big Ten, but also because of the form it has shown in the win. Given Saturday’s events, it looks like the Nittany Lions are much closer to Ohio and Michigan states, both still in the top four after dominant wins, then the rest of the pack in the Big Ten.

Oregon and Washington also provided some positive headlines for the Pac-12 with off-conference wins as they raised the league’s profile with wins against opponents who ranked in the top 12 teams in last week’s rankings. The Ducks are somewhat constrained by their only loss (despite coming to No. 1 in Georgia), while the Huskies’ cap is limited only by the fact that they didn’t finish in a single ballot as a top-25 team en route to the weekend were taken into account.

Here’s what we think the new AP Top 25 will look like Sunday when the new college football rankings are released.

1. Georgia (Last week – 1): It was more than 11 quarters before Georgia finally allowed an opponent to reach the end zone, but it happened. Still, in a dominant win over South Carolina, the Bulldogs showed no signs of being anything but the best team in the country.

2. Alabama (2): An early offensive blast was predictable, but the way the Crimson Tide unleashed it in a 63-7 win over ULM suggests the narrow win over Texas had plenty of motivation.

3. State of Ohio (3): It was nice to see both Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming bounce back from Ohio State’s offense, which was relentless and methodical in all four quarters in a 77-21 win over Toledo. It was also a good game to bring CJ Stroud back into the Heisman Trophy spotlight with 367 yards and five touchdowns on 22 of 27 passes.

4.Michigan (4): An injury to Cade McNamara is the biggest headline of the Wolverines’ 59-0 win over UConn as another losing opponent offers little resistance to the reigning Big Ten champions. Next up is the Conference opener against Maryland, which should provide a decent test for Michigan’s defense but won’t exactly be a popular surprise pick given the way Jim Harbaugh’s side operate on both sides of the ball.

5. Oklahoma (6): Last week, Oklahoma and Clemson were separated by less than 100 voting points, so we’re predicting a slight rise after the Sooners’ impressive 49-14 win in Nebraska. The Cornhuskers may have been wild in terms of expectations following Scott Frost’s sacking, but the rounded road win would be impressive against any Power Five opponent. Oklahoma got out early and drove the rest of the way, conceding just one touchdown on Nebraska’s first drive of the game and another in garbage time with the contest decided.

6. Klemson (5): The Tigers’ defense is strong enough to win the ACC, but until the offense becomes a little more explosive and consistent, it will be difficult to consider Clemson as one of the best teams in the country. A 48-20 win over Louisiana Tech only draws more attention to those offensive issues that could cost the Tigers a place in the leaderboard.

7.USC (7): The Trojans are currently in action against the State of Fresno.

8. State of Oklahoma (8): No big changes for the Cowboys after a 63-7 win over FCS Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

9. Kentucky (9): A 31-0 shutout against Youngstown State puts renewed focus on Kentucky’s defense, which was a key element in Florida’s win last week and has conceded under 17 points in all three wins so far this season.

10. Arkansas (10): There may not be an obvious candidate ahead of the Razorbacks in the rankings, but some voters will dock Arkansas because they need a 21-point fourth quarter to escape Bobby Petrino’s angry bid with Missouri State. The 38-27 win is enough to avoid a total breakdown in the rankings for now as Arkansas’ attention turns to Texas A&M on the road in Week 4.

11. Tennessee (15): An unbeaten record and an away win against a top-tier opponent give the Volunteers a profile that will make them a contender to soar after some upheaval. The 57-point win over Akron is just window dressing for what’s already brewing when it comes to the Tennessee hype heading into next week’s SEC on CBS Game of the Week against Florida.

12.Pennsylvania (22): The final ranking will be made up of several different places in the 60+ AP Top 25 choices, but ultimately we think this is a 3-0 team with two away wins against Power Five opponents. Throw in the big SEC on the CBS stage and the one-sided nature of the 41-12 win in Auburn, and it’s likely that the Nittany Lions will be one of the more significant climbers in the rankings.

13. Washington (NR): It feels like in just three games, Michael Penix and Washington were able to provide all the offense Huskies fans were looking for last season and be just as successful against a top team like Michigan State as they were against Kent State and Portland State suggest this is one of the better teams in the Pac-12.

14. Utah (14): Utah took care of business against San Diego State, left no doubt with a three touchdown lead at halftime and rode to a comfortable win. The loss to Florida remains a weight dragging down the Utes’ rank cap, but the product on the field is otherwise still strong enough to hold their position in the polls.

15. NC state (16): The Wolfpack defense held Texas Tech at bay in an impressive 27-14 home win to improve to 3-0.

16.Oregon (25): Bo Nix and the Ducks found a quick foothold after a tough season-opener loss to Georgia. According to 247Sports’ Matt Prehm, Oregon’s first-team offense scored on 13 straight drives after being held without a touchdown in the opener against the Bulldogs. That was seven straight goals in the win over Eastern Washington and six straight goals in the 41-20 win over BYU.

17.BYU (12): The Cougars were undermanned at wide receiver and along the defensive line, but that doesn’t excuse the ease with which Oregon moved the ball in the Ducks’ 21-point win. BYU’s drop in the rankings is limited thanks to the win over Baylor, and the Bears should stay close to where they were before after a 35-point win over Texas State.

18.Texas A&M (24): A quarterback swap from Haynes King to Max Johnson didn’t produce dramatically different results on offense, but the Aggies defense strengthened in a 17-9 win over Miami. Key to the game was how Texas A&M forced field goals when Miami had chances, a habit that will be needed even more in the upcoming games against Arkansas and Mississippi State.

19. Baylor (17): The halftime result was far more concerning than the finals, but a slow start after a road loss in overtime at BYU isn’t enough of a warning sign to lead to major changes in the rankings. The end result is in line with pre-game expectations and that’s all that matters to some voters.

20. Ole Fraulein (20): AP voters won’t adjust much after a 42-0 win at Georgia Tech, but the result should raise eyebrows in the SEC as the Rebels appear to be shaping up as a truly dangerous team headed into conference play.

21.Texas (21): Texas trailed 17-7 in the first half with 9:38 left to beat UTSA 34-3 in the rest of the game and go 2-1. West Virginia is next up before the schedule gets much tougher. Bijan Robinson had a 78-yard touchdown run as part of his 183-yard rushing and three points in the evening.

22. Guard Forest (19): There have been plenty of upsets for ranked teams and not all are treated equally, but the 37-36 win over Liberty will elicit some reactions from voters who may have been a little lower for the Demon Deacons.

23. Pittsburgh (23): Except for the third row quarterback, Pitt maintained his ranked status with a 34-13 win over Western Michigan.

24. Miami (13): The Hurricanes offensive didn’t reach the end zone against Texas A&M, and although Miami was never out of the game. The lack of success in passing attack made it difficult for Miami to really threaten an upset against Texas A&M. Based on the opponent, the environment and the scoring, it wasn’t a bad loss, but voters will have a hard time arguing on their ballots for a top 15 or even a top 20 finish given Miami’s only wins against Bethune- Cookman and Southern Miss come .

25. Florida (18): While Florida’s almost-upset USF will result in a drop in the rankings, beating Utah so early in the season still carries enough weight to keep the Gators in the top 25.

Expected absence: Michigan State (No. 11) Tomorrow’s top 25 today: Oklahoma overtakes Clemson while Penn State, Oregon, climbs the college football rankings

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