College football rankings: Takeaway from new AP poll, as ‘Big 3’ shaping up at the top

After a week in which he lost the bottom half of the top 25, there was a chance of fresh blood in the college football rankings.

And boy did they ever do that. Five teams are now in the top 25 not initially ranked, including the Kansas Jayhawks, who have been ranked for the first time since 2008 (more on the Jayhawks later). Additionally, there appears to be more parity at the bottom of the polls. Here are the latest 25 Best 25:

jihawk rock chalk

Dread, escape from it, KS always arrives.

The Jayhawks were finally ranked after their 14-11 win over Iowa State, showing more than anything that the Jayhawks aren’t just a good story – they just might be good. Good teams win ugly games, and Kansas won an ugly game against the Hurricanes that featured four missed field goals. The Jayhawk defense caught Iowa 16 yards off the ground and made enough plays to win the match.

Kansas is now ranked for the first time since I was in third grade, and the longest unranked streak goes to Illinois. College Gameday will be in Lawrence next week for (/check notes) KS Unbeaten vs TCU Unbeaten.

Welcome to 2022.

UCLA quietly looms

How many of you might guess UCLA is ranked? At number 18 though!

If you only knew the Bruins for nearly losing to South Alabama on a fake field goal earlier in the year, I wouldn’t blame you, but the Bruins are a legitimately strong team with a lot of momentum after beating Washington 40-32 on Friday night. The Bruins put on an offensive show, with RB Zach Charbonnet running for 124 yards and a touchdown, and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson throwing for three touchdowns and running for a touchdown that would make TikTok reels all over the world:

The Bruins also lead a dangerous defensive line with Laiatu Latu’s move to Washington harassing Washington QB Michael Penix all night. The Bruins have a huge game against the 11th seed in Utah next week, if they can get over the annoyance they can put them in the driver’s seat at Pac-12 – and set up a huge showdown with USC at the end of the year.

There is a huge gap between the top three teams and everyone else

One thing all college football fans have learned this season is that although the top 3 teams in the country all show flaws, they seem to be the top 3 in the country without any problem.

The gap in points between No. 3 Ohio and No. 4 Michigan (140) is greater than the gaps between No. Michigan and No. 5 Clemson and the gap between Clemson and no. 6 USC sum (115). While every top-three team has problems—Georgia nearly lost to Missouri—there is a lot that is known about those teams.

Let’s take Michigan, for example. Offensively they weren’t very good outside of Colorado State, Hawaii and Ocon. Michigan probably won’t be tested until they play in Ohio at the end of the year, so we’re really moving away from the Michigan theory.

Clemson has switched to an offensive form, and the defense remains one of the best in the country. However, we have seen the lows of Clemson and his friend’s attack are low. How consistent can tigers be?

USC has the same Michigan problem as it was tested only by the rowdy Oregon team. Defensively, they were not prepared to snuff; They are 57 in yards allowed in each game and 31 in points allowed in each game. Eventually, they will encounter a competent crime that may cause them problems.

Voters seem to have more confidence in those top three teams since they don’t stumble on their way to the college football game. Fourth team? We still don’t know.

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