College football Power Rankings after Week 3

by Ricardo Gutierrez - The top three teams are currently set in college football but plenty of movement in this week's Power Rankings.

11:14 PM ET ESPN staff College football's Week 3 didn't deliver the upsets that we grew accustomed to last week but Power Rankings still saw plenty of movement. Arkansas barely avoided a catastrophic loss to former coach Bobby Petrino and FCS Missouri State while Miami fell to Texas A&M in a bounce back performance by the Aggies. The two SEC West foes will now meet in Week 4 as both warmup for Alabama in the coming weeks. Appalachian State won on a Hail Mary as time expired -- though it wasn't enough to keep the Mountaineers in the Power Rankings this week -- and Oregon flew up the rankings following a big win over BYU in Eugene. Despite the movement throughout the rankings, the top three in college football remain on a level of their own. Georgia , Alabama and Ohio State all put stellar performances in blowout victories while Michigan , USC , Clemson and Oklahoma continued to vie for the coveted fourth College Football Playoff spot. Three weeks in and most teams are already a quarter of the way through the season, so what better time than now to check in on this week's Power Rankings. 1. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) South Carolina threw the kitchen sink at Georgia -- most notably pulling off a successful fake punt in the second quarter -- but it was no matter. The Bulldogs' defense picked up the slack, picking off Spencer Rattler and ending the threat before it got serious. From there, it was the Brock Bowers show, as the tight end solidified his All-American status by running for one touchdown and scoring two more off receptions in the 48-7 win. -- Alex Scarborough Up next: vs. Kent State (Saturday, noon ET, SEC Network/ESPN+) play 1:48 Brock Bowers goes off for 3 TDs in Georgia's blowout win Brock Bowers tallies three touchdowns in Georgia's huge 48-7 win vs. South Carolina. 2. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) Bryce Young would like to have his two interceptions back. But considering the 63-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe and after his heroics against Texas a week ago, he gets a pass. Alabama star linebacker Will Anderson was able to get his redemption, however. After committing four penalties at Texas, Anderson had a pick-six to reignite what had been a fading Heisman Trophy campaign. -- Scarborough Up next: vs. Vanderbilt (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network) 3. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) After trading touchdowns early on with Toledo , Ohio State pulled away behind quarterback C.J. Stroud and a wide receiver group that is finally getting whole. Preseason All-America selection Jaxon Smith-Njigba returned from injury, but three other wideouts -- Emeka Egbuka , Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr. -- eclipsed 100 receiving yards. Stroud was virtually flawless in the first half, completing 18 of 20 passes for four touchdowns. Ohio State finished with 77 points and 763 yards. The defense recorded its first takeaway but had some struggles against Toledo's Dequan Finn , a talented dual-threat quarterback. -- Adam Rittenberg Up next: vs. Wisconsin (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app) 4. USC Trojans (3-0) For the third straight game in the Lincoln Riley era, USC scored over 40 points and cruised to a double-digit victory, taking down Fresno State by a score of 45-17. Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison connected for a touchdown for the fifth time this season, while Williams added multiple rushing touchdowns as well, becoming the first USC players in the last 25 years to score multiple passing and rushing touchdowns. The USC defense had its usual moments of lapses and weak spots, but continued their usual havoc by forcing a fumble and an interception off quarterback Jake Haener , who exited the game with a lower leg injury. Travis Dye was the player of the game as he rumbled his way to 138 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown, but Austin Jones followed his lead and gave USC two 100-yard rushers on the night. -- Paolo Uggetti Up next: at Oregon State (Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network) 5. Michigan Wolverines (3-0) The Wolverines scored 50 or more points in each of their first three games for the first time in program history after a lopsided 59-10 win against UConn . Running back Blake Corum had five of Michigan's touchdowns and tied the school's single-game record for rushing touchdowns. Corum did it on only 12 carries for 71 yards. Meanwhile, new starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy had 214 pass yards on 15-of-18 passing, most of which came in the first half, as the Michigan backups were put in for most of the second half. It was a decisive and balanced win to put the Wolverines at 3-0 on the season. -- Tom VanHaaren Up next: vs. Maryland (Saturday, noon ET, FOX) 6. Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) The Sooners put together their best offensive game of the season in a 49-14 rout of Nebraska . The 49 points represented Oklahoma's highest point total in Lincoln in the history of the rivalry. Dillon Gabriel threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns (and added another score rushing) in a little more than a half of work, while Eric Gray added 113 yards and two more scores. Oklahoma freshman Jovantae Barnes got extended action too, rushing for a career-high 77 yards. Meanwhile, the Sooners' defense played aggressively and dominated up front, with four sacks and nine tackles for loss. -- Andrea Adelson Up next: vs. Kansas State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, FOX) 7. Kentucky Wildcats (3-0) The Wildcats started slowly, but quarterback Will Levis accounted for three second-half touchdowns to lead Kentucky to its first shutout since 2009, a 31-0 victory over FCS foe Youngstown State . Levis threw for 377 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had two interceptions. Coach Mark Stoops said he wants to see his team play better around Levis and that the Wildcats have to avoid the negative plays on offense. They had 10 penalties for 74 yards and also turned the ball over three times. -- Chris Low Up next: vs. Northern Illinois (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN app) 8. Clemson Tigers (3-0) Though the final score indicates the Tigers might have had an easy time against Louisiana Tech in a 48-20 win, there are definite areas where this team can improve. Once again, the offense was inconsistent in the first half and the banged-up defense gave up some uncharacteristic plays -- particularly in the secondary. The best player Clemson has going for it is Will Shipley , who had 139 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 221 yards and two scores and added another 62 yards on the ground. -- Adelson Up next: at Wake Forest (Saturday, noon ET, ABC/ESPN app) 9. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0) It took Arkansas 51 minutes to actually take the lead on Bobby Petrino and Missouri State . But after a disastrous start -- Missouri State led 17-0 just 20 minutes in -- the Razorbacks maintained their composure, reeled the Bears back in and eventually put them away. KJ Jefferson threw for 385 yards, Raheim Sanders rushed for 167, Bryce Stephens took a punt back for a touchdown and Arkansas eventually pulled away 38-27. Another woeful start like could be costly for the Hogs, but they survived this one. -- Connelly Up next: at Texas A&M (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app) play 2:36 No. 10 Hogs rally from behind to defeat Missouri State Arkansas falls to an early 17-point deficit but fights back to regain the lead with Bryce Stephens' 82-yard touchdown punt return to take down the Bears, 38-27. 10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0) In their final nonconference tuneup, Mike Gundy's Cowboys handled UAPB as they were supposed to. Spencer Sanders needed only 16 passes to throw for 242 yards and four scores, OSU sprung out to a 42-0 lead 20 minutes in, and Gundy got to empty the bench in an easy 63-7 win. After winning three nonconference games by a combined 13 points before catching fire later on, the Pokes have started this year on much stronger footing. Considering how things ended up in 2021 (they won 12 games), that's pretty encouraging. -- Connelly Up next: BYE 11. Tennessee Volunteers (3-0) All you really need to know about Tennessee's 63-6 demolition of Akron at Neyland Stadium is that the Vols had 416 yards of total offense -- at halftime. Hendon Hooker threw touchdown passes of 57 and 47 yards to Jalin Hyatt in the first half, and the Vols never looked back after building a 35-0 halftime lead. The Vols' top receiver, Cedric Tillman , suffered an injury in the first half that will need to be evaluated. -- Low Up next: vs. Florida (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) 12. NC State Wolfpack (3-0) Quarterback Devin Leary had his second lukewarm performance in three games, but the Wolfpack's defense asserted itself in different ways against previously undefeated Texas Tech . Aydan White had an 84-yard interception return for a touchdown to give NC State a 20-0 lead, C.J. Clark had two sacks and the D stifled Texas Tech's run game and third-down attempts. Wolfpack wide receiver Thayer Thomas threw his fourth career touchdown pass on a well-timed trick play from coordinator Tim Beck, while Leary finished with only 121 pass yards and no touchdowns in the 27-14 win. -- Rittenberg Up next: vs. UConn (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3) 13. Oregon Ducks (2-1) A decisive win at home against a ranked opponent was exactly what the Ducks needed to breathe enthusiasm back into the season. Their balanced offense (227 yards passing; 212 rushing) and strong run defense (61 yards allowed; 2.5 yards per carry) allowed this one to get out of hand early. Bo Nix was efficient through the air (13-of-18, 222 yards, two touchdowns) and on the ground (three touchdowns on nine carries) as the Ducks put this one to bed shortly into the second half. -- Bonagura Up next: at Washington State (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX) 14. Utah Utes (2-1) It took the Utes just a bit of time to get going on offense against San Diego State on Saturday, but once they did, they opened up a comfortable 21-0 lead on the Aztecs at halftime that turned into a dominant 35-7 finish. Since their disappointing loss to Florida in the season opener, the Utes have bounced back in loud fashion, outscoring their two opponents 108-14. Quarterback Cameron Rising threw for four touchdowns Saturday -- the most he's thrown in a game during his college career. -- Uggetti Up next: at Arizona State (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TBD) 15. Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) Editor's Picks College Football Playoff picks after Week 3 27m ESPN staff 2 Related The Nittany Lions represented the Big Ten in grand fashion Saturday with a 41-12 beatdown of Auburn . Penn State was the first Big Ten team to ever play at Jordan-Hare Stadium and took control of the game after leading 14-6 at the half. Freshman running back Nick Singleton was sensational with 124 rushing yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run, and has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his last two games. Penn State forced four turnovers to break the game open and outscored Auburn 17-0 in the third quarter. -- Low Up next: vs. Central Michigan (Saturday, noon ET, Big Ten Network) 16. Ole Miss Rebels (3-0) Hello, Zach Evans . One of the more underrated transfers of the offseason showed up with 134 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive 41-0 beat down of Georgia Tech on the road. While it's still hard to say where the quarterback competition stands between Jaxson Dart and Luke Altmyer , a dynamic run game led by Evans puts the offense on solid footing. -- Scarborough Up next: vs. Tulsa (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network) 17. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0) The Demon Deacons made it to their Clemson showdown unscathed, but not before surviving a major scare from Liberty , which exposed some warts in the defense. After taking a 20-5 lead, Wake Forest saw Liberty score 18 unanswered points before quarterback Sam Hartman , wide receiver Ke'Shawn Williams and the offense answered. Wake Forest scored 17 fourth-quarter points and stopped Liberty on a potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt after failing to secure an interception or a knockdown on fourth-and-4. Hartman overcame two interceptions to pass for 325 yards and three touchdowns, as Williams (129 receiving yards) and Jahmal Banks (two touchdowns) assisted. -- Adam Rittenberg Up next: vs. Clemson (Saturday, noon ET, ABC/ESPN app) play 1:27 Liberty falls to Wake Forest after 2-point conversion fails Liberty scores to get within one point, but Wake Forest's defense holds strong to deny the Flames the 2-point conversion. 18. Baylor Bears (2-1) The Bears started slow then methodically dismantled Texas State after a tough double-overtime loss to BYU last week. The Bears might have found a new backfield star in true freshman Richard Reese , who ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns, including a 52-yarder. The Bears' defense held the Bobcats to 268 yards, including 186 passing yards on 36 attempts, and allowed just 2.4 yards per carry on 34 rushes, as Texas State was the third straight opponent they've held under 90 yards rushing. It was a solid performance the Bears needed with Big 12 play starting next week at Iowa State. -- Wilson Up next: at Iowa State (Saturday, noon ET, TBD) 19. Washington Huskies (3-0) It didn't take long for coach Kalen DeBoer to make a difference in Seattle. The Huskies controlled their 39-28 win against No. 11 Michigan State from the start, as QB Michael Penix Jr . completed 24 of 40 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns. The defense allowed Michigan State to rush for just 42 yards on 29 carries. -- Bonagura Up next: vs. Stanford (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1) 20. Texas Longhorns (2-1) UTSA had energy, surprises and trick plays, but Texas had Bijan Robinson . In the end, the latter mattered more. The visiting Roadrunners took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter after a barrage of trickeration, but the Longhorns outscored them 34-3 from there. Jahdae Barron scored on a pick-six, and Robinson needed only 20 carries and one reception to gain 202 yards and score three times. The Texas defense did allow 408 yards against a persistent UTSA offense -- disconcerting considering how good it looked for much of the Alabama game -- but the Horns comfortably survived. -- Connelly Up next: at Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, TBD) 21. BYU Cougars (2-1) BYU celebrated its 5-0 record against the Pac-12 last year, and a win against Oregon would have been arguably more important than any of them. Instead, the Cougars fell flat -- falling behind 38-7 before losing 41-20 -- in a deflating defeat. QB Jaren Hall played fairly well, but the team's inability to run the ball or convert on fourth down (0-for-4) were both too much to overcome. -- Bonagura Up next: vs. Wyoming (Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET, TBD) 22. Texas A&M Aggies (2-1) The Aggies were outgained by Miami 392 yards to 264, had 16 first downs to Miami's 27, but in Jimbo Fisher's words, played "opportunistic, situational football." The Aggies' defense bent, but never broke and didn't allow a touchdown, and the special teams pinned Miami back, forcing them to start drives on their own 9-, 8- and 1 yard-lines. A win is a win, and A&M will take it after last week. But even Fisher says the Aggies need to get better on offense in a hurry. -- Wilson Up next: vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app) 23. Florida State Seminoles (3-0) When starting quarterback Jordan Travis and starting defensive end Jared Verse went down with injuries in the first half against Louisville , it felt like the ultimate disaster scenario for the Seminoles. But backup Tate Rodemaker led a come-from-behind victory, throwing two touchdown passes to Johnny Wilson in the fourth quarter to win 35-31. Just like the LSU game, Florida State did not make it easy. The Seminoles missed a field goal with 2:58 remaining, giving Louisville one final shot at the win. But Kevin Knowles II had a tiptoe interception on the sideline to preserve the win and get Florida State to 3-0 for the first time since 2015. -- Adelson Up next: vs. Boston College (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network/ESPN app) 24. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1) After the Tennessee heartbreak, the Panthers started a third-string quarterback (Nate Yarnell ) in a MAC stadium against a team that beat them last season. But they navigated the potential landmine with a relatively comfortable 34-13 win, fueled by a defense that never let Western Michigan 's run game get going (50 yards, 29 attempts). Pitt didn't ask too much of Yarnell, who was efficient, completing 9 of 12 attempts for 179 passing yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Israel Abanikanda had 133 rush yards and a touchdown, and Erick Hallett II recorded two interceptions for a stout defense. -- Rittenberg Up next: vs. Rhode Island (Saturday, noon ET, ACC Network/ESPN app) 25. Michigan State Spartans (2-1) Despite a fourth-quarter rally, Michigan State lost 39-28 against Washington in a game that wasn't really as close as the final score. The Spartans had 90 total yards in the first half and were down 29-8. The Michigan State defense struggled against Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr ., who finished the game with 397 pass yards and four touchdowns. Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne had 323 yards and three touchdowns, but the running backs for the Spartans had only 42 yards rushing. The 14 points in the fourth quarter weren't enough to get Michigan State ahead and Washington handed the Spartans their first loss of the season. -- VanHaaren Up next: vs. Minnesota (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)