The Nittany Lions take a big step upwards in the CBS Sports ranking of all 130 FBS teams.
Penn State crashed the top five of the CBS Sports 130 in a major shake-up of our comprehensive ranking of every college football team in the FBS. The top four remained the same as last week with Alabama, Georgia, Oregon and Oklahoma all holding serve in Week 3, even if those results were in doubt for a moment on Saturday in the case of the Crimson Tide and the Sooners.
Not all of those movements were improvements as Clemson saw its stock fall severely after a narrow 14-8 win over Georgia Tech. The Tigers were in that No. 5 spot now occupied by Penn State; suddenly, they stand outside the top 10 for the first time in a long time at No. 11. UCLA also took a significant step back from No. 12 down to No. 24 after the thrilling 40-37 upset loss at the hands of Fresno State, which skyrocketed up the rankings from No. 62 to No. 23.
Other movements within the top of the rankings included five-spot bumps for No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 14 Michigan and No. 21 North Carolina, as well as a 14-spot leap for Michigan State to No. 19 after beating Miami on the road to improve to 3-0 on the season. For more on the Spartans and the most notable one-week adjustments in the CBS Sports 130 after Week 3 check out the biggest 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 26-130 on our rankings page.
- No. 23 Fresno State (+39): Jake Haener emerged as a Pac-12 After Dark legend for his gutsy performance in taking down UCLA late Saturday night. The Bulldogs also now have one of the better one-loss profiles in the country with two dominant wins, a close loss to Oregon and now a win against the Bruins.
- No. 33 West Virginia (+26): Our voters were too low on West Virginia heading into Week 3, which is why I think this move can be categorized as a correction. I understand why the Mountaineers were underrated because, in the first two weeks of the season, the teams between No. 20 and No. 50 can look very similar. Now with a quality win on the profile the Mountaineers will enter Big 12 play hoping to notch a few more to emerge as a solid top-20 team.
- No. 25 Kansas State (+19): There was a lot of doubt about how the Wildcats would fare without starting quarterback Skylar Thompson, but credit the Kansas State coaching staff for putting together a plan to help this offense move forward with Will Howard. Beating Nevada means more the week after the Wolf Pack beat Cal, but conference play will provide tougher tests for this 3-0 team.
- No. 19 Michigan State (+14): The Spartans didn’t just escape with a win at Miami. No, Michigan State proved with its play that this a team on a different tier than the Hurricanes right now, and that’s why we see continued confidence and rankings support for Mel Tucker’s squad, which was one of the bigger movers last week and again after Week 3.
- No. 24 UCLA (-12): Part of Fresno State’s explosion up the rankings is the belief that the Bruins are still pretty good. Some of our voters weigh head-to-head results more than others, and that approach requires a big move for the Bulldogs if you still think UCLA is one of the 25 best teams in the country.
- No. 37 Arizona State (-12): If BYU is one of the better teams in the country, then Arizona State will stack up wins in the coming weeks and climb back into that top-25 or top-30 range. But the quality of wins so far doesn’t warrant that consideration for a 2-1 squad at this point in the season when preseason projections become less and less meaningful.
- No. 31 Virginia Tech (-16): Maybe our voters were over their skis a little bit with Virginia Tech up at No. 15, and now, the Hokies find themselves behind a North Carolina team that it beat in Week 1 to surge up into that high ranking position. A fair assessment of both those teams is to place them in the 20s, probably, but as we mentioned with West Virginia that whole group from No. 20 to No. 50 is going to be pretty fluid for another couple weeks.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 130: Teams ranked 26-130