Week 3 absolutely delivered on its promise for a thrilling college football Saturday.
Louisville and Lamar Jackson got the party started early as the superstar quarterback’s touchdown total for 2016 increased to 18 in a historic beatdown against Florida State.
The SEC on CBS Game of the Week turned amazement into gripping drama as Alabama and Ole Miss exchanged blows over four hours in a back-and-forth Tide victory that highlighted their depth and defensive prowess up front.
Michigan State’s win at Notre Dame under the lights as a touchdown underdog has the Spartans trending up, joining Ohio State and Michigan not only in the top tier of Big Ten teams of the upper crust of college football. As for the Buckeyes, currently at No. 2 behind the Tide, no one looks better after winning big on the road at Oklahoma.
College football experts from CBS Sports — and for the first time this year, partner 247Sports — contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top-25 below, and 26-128 on our rankings page.
|24||San Diego State||3-0||34|
At No. 2, Ohio State leads the way for what has become a strong start to 2016 for the Big Ten. The CBS Sports 128 doesn’t look at the college football landscape through a 25-team lens, so here is a great chance to point out that the Big Ten doesn’t just have its teams as four of the top 12 in our rankings (OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin) but eight of the top 50.
- Nebraska (+16): After catching the wrong end of several thrilling finishes in 2015, Mike Riley’s Nebraska program has started this season with apparent good fortune and a 3-0 record that has us taking note. Though the oddsmakers had Nebraska listed as a favorite against Oregon, the victory still felt like a breakthrough moment for this group. In the wide-open Big Ten West, Nebraska should be taken as seriously as Iowa or Wisconsin.
- Florida State (-15): Florida State’s looked out of sorts on the back end of the defense, likely part a result of the first game without Derwin James and playing against a confounding offensive threat like Jackson. Florida State’s season isn’t over — at least according to Demarcus Walker — but it’s going to take much, much stronger performances to maintain title contention.
- Miami (+11): Many CBS Sports writers thought the Hurricanes might be on the verge to get nipped by the mountain air in Boone, North Carolina, over the weekend; instead, Mark Richt’s team flashed its superior athleticism early, took the lead and never looked back. The U is back (in the top 15 at least).
- Texas (-10): Credit this voting body for staying up until the end of Texas and Cal to make sure that the Longhorns did in fact a) lose and b) end up on the wrong end of another silly fumble controversy. Texas didn’t play well, but probably could have won that game with a few different breaks. Still a top 25 team, for sure.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 128: Teams ranked 26-128
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / CBS Sports 128 rankings: Louisville up to No. 3, Nebraska surges, FSU tumbles