College Football Power Rankings: Ohio State opens at No. 4 as Big Ten causes major shakeup

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Welcome back, Big Ten. It didn’t seem like a season without you. Not sure it will be a season with you, actually. You see, 76 teams have a seven-week head start.

Don’t look now, but Oklahoma State is a College Football Playoff contender. If you had not decided to play this fall Liberty — Liberty! — might have made it to the Power Rankings this week at 5-0.

Appreciate whatever place you’re slotted . Five conferences have slogged through these first weeks dodging COVID-19 along with related postponements, rescheduling and upsets. Oh, the upsets. There will be those too, Big Ten. Don’t think your nine-week dash is going to hold to form.

Five Big Ten teams make their debut with Ohio State (no surprise) head, shoulders and skyscrapers above everyone in the league at No. 4. Penn State slots in next as the Big Ten’s second-best team followed by Big Ten West contenders Minnesota and Wisconsin. No surprise but Michigan rounds out conference’s five selections.

Let’s take a look at this week’s complete Power Rankings, which also feature the first appearance by a Pac-12 team this season.

Editor’s note: Teams from the five conferences not yet playing in the 2020 college football season are eligible for the Power Rankings beginning this week. There will be 127 FBS teams playing this season, all but New Mexico State, Old Dominion and UConn.

Biggest Movers


Ohio State


North Carolina








Largest margin of victory in an ACC game (66). Opened the season scoring at least 37 points in the first five games for the first time in history. Trevor Lawrence is 30-1 as a starter, now with his first 400-yard passing game. His 365 passes without an interception was the second-longest streak in ACC history. 4-0



For the 161st time, Nick Saban won; for the 22nd consecutive time, Saban beat a former assistant; for the fifth time in six tries, he beat Georgia while at Alabama. It was emotional after Saban’s false positive COVID-19 test. But in the end, it was more of the same. In the Kirby Smart era, Alabama has outscored Georgia in the second half and overtime 71-17. On Saturday, it was 21-0 in the second half. 1 3-0



It’s hard to drop the Bulldogs after they smacked the Crimson Tide in the mouth, at least for a half. Georgia’s defense can still look itself in the mirror. The Dawgs still look like the SEC East frontrunners, and as of right now, should win the rest of their games. Stetson Bennett IV needs to clean up his judgement. The secondary can feel relieved. It won’t face another group of receivers like Alabama’s until a possible SEC Championship Game rematch. 1 3-0


Ohio State

Another example of what 2020 has done to college football, it’s elevated a team that has yet to kick off into playoff contention in late October. We all know why. The