College Football Power Rankings: Tennessee leaps into top 10 as Penn State, Florida State, Kansas join – CBS Sports

  • September 28, 2022

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One-third of the way through the season, we got a Saturday in which the nation’s best pass catcher, injured Jaxon Smith-Njigba, was nowhere to be found yet his quarterback, C.J. Stroud, still threw five touchdowns for Ohio State. It was a Saturday when one of the nation’s best defenses slumped at Clemson but a quarterback with doubters, D.J. Uiagalelei, soared.
Speaking of soared, one Cam Little, the Arkansas kicker, is flying low to the ground this week. Little would have potentially won a bar bet with his crucial field goal attempt against Texas but couldn’t win the game. Little boinked the potential game-winning kick off the top of the right goalpost. It gets more gut-wrenching: Little was the guy who put his arm around Mississippi State kicker Nolan McCord after he missed a game-tying field goal last year.
Nothing compares to the guts being wrenched at Missouri. Its All-America kicker, Harrison Mevis, missed a game-winning 26-yard field goal on the last play of the game. Then teammate Nathaniel Peat, a Stanford transfer, fumbled the ball through the end zone for what amounted to a walk-off touchback in overtime against Auburn. For at least another week, Tigers coach Bryan Harsin kept his job. The seat of Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz (13-14 in his third year), however, is getting warm.
While most of the nation was asleep, USC showed it had some guts. Trailing twice and playing awfully at Oregon State, the Trojans rallied for the game-winning drive with 73 seconds left at crazy Reser Stadium. Transfer Caleb Williams hit transfer Jordan Addison for the winner. This just in: The Trojans are for real.
The SEC East didn’t become one big pass through for Georgia. Kentucky, Tennessee — even Florida in a loss — look up to the task of challenging the Bulldogs in the future. Meanwhile, the Big Ten West is a mess — perhaps an absolutely wonderful one, depending how you look at it. Minnesota (4-0) is tied with Northwestern (1-3) and punchless Iowa (3-1) for the division lead, all at 1-0. A third of the way in, the Gophers are closer to the College Football Playoff than Oklahoma, which might be out of it after losing at home to Kansas State which had just lost at home to Tulane.
There are messes and there are messes. No team in the MAC has a winning record. The league’s combined record against Power Five teams is 2-19. It could be worse: the Mountain West is 1-15. Take a look at the top of the Pac-12 standings. If the league title game were held today, it just might be first-place USC and UCLA (tied with three others for second but still 4-0). How would that be for goodbye on the way out the door to the Big Ten?
No matter what happens atop the conference, how does one turn around Colorado? The hapless Buffaloes are the only team to face four FBS opponents that currently have a winning record. It shows: They are 0-4. Oh, and Coastal Carolina stuck its head in the door. At 4-0, the Chanticleers are becoming New Year’s Six bait. 
Out: Appalachian State, Miami, Florida, Texas, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh
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