Utah ascends to No. 1 spot in college football Power Rankings after Week 4

Utah takes over the No. 1 spot in the college football Power Rankings after its Week 4 shellacking of Oregon at Autzen Stadium.
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The season still feels like it’s just getting started, but except for the few teams who had an early bye week, the regular season is already a third of the way over. We have enough games now that we can really begin phasing out preseason expectations from our analysis.

Some results still require considering preseason projections. For example, Alabama’s Week 1 victory over Wisconsin still seems like a decent win more so because of what was expected of Wisconsin before the season than its three wins since then (though the Badgers have won all three of those handily).

But by now, we have some context around most of the meaningful results of the season. And that gives them greater significance. It also explains the new No. 1 squad in this week’s Power Rankings.

•​ NADKARNI: Three thoughts on this week's AP Top 25 | Complete AP poll

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1. Utah Utes

PREVIOUS: 18

RECORD: 4-0

Next week: Bye week

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2. UCLA Bruins

PREVIOUS: 3

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Arizona 56–30 Next week: Saturday vs. Arizona State

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3. Ohio State Buckeyes

PREVIOUS: 2

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Western Michigan 38–12 Next week: Saturday at Indiana

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4. Michigan State Spartans

PREVIOUS: 1

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Central Michigan 30–10 Next week: Saturday vs. Purdue

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5. Ole Miss Rebels

PREVIOUS: 4

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Vanderbilt 27–16 Next week: Saturday at Florida • BECHT: Most important takeaways from Week 4

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6. Baylor Bears

PREVIOUS: 5

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Beat Rice 70–17 Next week: Saturday vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington, Texas)

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7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

PREVIOUS: 6

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat UMass 62–27 Next week: Saturday at Clemson

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8. Georgia Bulldogs

PREVIOUS: 9

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Southern 48–6 Next week: Saturday vs. Alabama

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9. Florida State Seminoles

PREVIOUS: 10

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Bye week Next week: Saturday at Wake Forest

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10. Oklahoma Sooners

PREVIOUS: 11

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Bye week Next week: Saturday vs. West Virginia • STAPLES: How big Week 4 games were decided

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11. TCU Horned Frogs

PREVIOUS: 7

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Texas Tech 55–52 Next week: Saturday vs. Texas

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12. LSU Tigers

PREVIOUS: 8

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Beat Syracuse 34–24 Next week: Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan

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13. Clemson Tigers

PREVIOUS: 12

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Bye week Next week: Saturday vs. Notre Dame

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14. Alabama Crimson Tide

PREVIOUS: 13

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat Louisiana-Monroe 34–0 Next week: Saturday at Georgia

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15. Texas A&M Aggies

PREVIOUS: 15

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Arkansas 28–21 in OT Next week: Saturday vs. Mississippi State • BAUMGAERTNER: Another bitter loss for Ark.

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16. Wisconsin Badgers

PREVIOUS: 19

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat Hawaii 28–0 Next week: Saturday vs. Iowa

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17. Northwestern Wildcats

PREVIOUS: 17

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Ball State 24–19 Next week: Saturday vs. Minnesota

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18. Stanford Cardinal

PREVIOUS: 20

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat Oregon State 42–24 Next week: Saturday vs. Arizona

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19. USC Trojans

PREVIOUS: 21

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat Arizona State 42–14 Next week: Bye week

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20. Florida Gators

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Tennessee 28–27 Next week: Saturday vs. Ole Miss • STAPLES: Florida extends streak over Tenn.

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21. West Virginia Mountaineers

PREVIOUS: 25

RECORD: 3-0

Last week: Beat Maryland 45–6 Next week: Saturday at Oklahoma

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22. Oklahoma State Cowboys

PREVIOUS: 23

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Texas 30–27 Next week: Saturday vs. Kansas State

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23. Michigan Wolverines

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat BYU 31–0 Next week: Saturday at Maryland

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24. Mississippi State Bulldogs

RECORD: 3-1

Last week: Beat Auburn 17–9 Next week: Saturday at Texas A&M

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25. California Golden Bears

RECORD: 4-0

Last week: Beat Washington 30–24 Next week: Saturday vs. Washington State

Dropped out: Oregon, Arizona, Georgia Tech, BYU
Next five: NC State, Houston, Duke, Oregon, Iowa