Week 5 of the college football season is around the corner, and now it's time to get a look ahead to this weekend's updated power rankings.
A half dozen teams in the AP rankings took the L on Saturday, which means more change in the week to week polls.
But who really belongs in the national title conversation?
Forget the AP top 25 or the Coaches Poll or the College Football Playoff rankings: let's look at the real 10 best teams heading into this weekend.
College football power rankings for Week 5
In theory, team(s) in these rankings should beat the team(s) ranked lower and lose to the team(s) ranked higher on a neutral field
10. Utah. The front seven is still one of the most physical in college football, with more depth and experience rushing the pass off the edge, and arguably more athletic than last year. That power, combined with the Utes' proven stealth moving the ball behind Cam Rising and Tavion Thomas, and this team should be at the forefront of the Pac-12 chase all year.
9. Oklahoma State. The Cowboys got a week off at the right time with a date against Baylor coming up next Saturday. The same Baylor that held OSU inches shy of the goal line in the Big 12 title game. Spencer Sanders is playing confident football right now and the offense is coming off a 500-plus yard showing the week prior.
8. Tennessee. As expected, the Vols offense played in top gear as Hendon Hooker hit on 22 of 28 passes for 349 yards and 2 scores passing while leading the team in rushing with another score. And that was without top target Cedric Tillman. Two statement drives stick out: a 99-yard TD charge to close the 1st half, and a 73-yarder to open the 2nd. UT took control in the fourth quarter, driving 87 yards after forcing an Anthony Richardson fumble. Now come the really hard games.
7. Oklahoma. Brent Venables' project to rebuild the Sooners' defense took a step back after a loss at home to Kansas State, but OU still has the perimeter speed and power on the inside to keep this team well in the thick of the Big 12 chase and in the mix for a New Year's bowl, if not the College Football Playoff.
6. USC. Closer than expected on the road to Oregon State, but earning the narrow victory with a late touchdown drive and yet another takeaway shows that this team has matured already during the young season. Caleb Williams, stalled most of the night, helped engineer the winning drive with over 1 minute left and Southern Cal is playing elite defense, too.
5. Clemson. After all the over-analyzing of this offense since last season, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had his best outing, accounting for five touchdowns in an OT win at Wake. Clemson's secondary needs to start from scratch, but most DBs look bad against Sam Hartman. Good thing the Tigers are slowly but surely building some offensive momentum in a crucial division game that's one small step closer to the College Football Playoff.
4. Michigan. After rolling through a soft non-conference slate, the Wolverines got a test against Maryland's tempo offense. It eventually passed, forcing 3 turnovers on defense while lead back Blake Corum shredded the Terps for 243 yards on the ground and 2 scores. Michigan has a lot of power and speed, but as last season's College Football Playoff game against Georgia showed, there's still a gap between itself and the title contenders.
3. Ohio State. CJ Stroud threw 5 touchdowns and the Buckeyes scored on their first 4 drives while discarding Wisconsin at home in the Big Ten opener. Once again, the discrepancy between the kind of athletes Ohio State has on the field compared to its opponents is testament to its incredible recruiting success in recent years. The test is whether OSU can maintain that edge when facing a national opponent of its caliber.
2. Alabama. Another rout for the Tide over Vandy as Bryce Young hit on 4 touchdown passes, including 2 for Jacorey Brooks in another big win to open the SEC schedule. Apart from the Texas game, Alabama has been shooting fish in a barrel. Now comes the fun part: 3 straight against likely ranked conference foes: at Arkansas, vs. Texas A&M, and at Tennessee, three SEC upstarts that have made serious improvements this season.
1. Georgia. Seeing the Bulldogs hold a 12-10 lead over Kent State at home was unsettling, even if they pulled out the eventual 39-22 win. But there are concerns: namely three turnovers on offense, struggles in the red zone, and a few big plays allowed on defense, including a fake punt. Suddenly, college football's defending champs look mortal after getting showered in good headlines to start the year.