A major week in college football began with all eyes on the SEC. So LSU and Ole Miss put on a show for the rest of the nation. The two came away with huge wins and put themselves right in the middle of all the College Football Playoff talk. Notre Dame and UCLA also came away with huge non-conference wins and are right in the thick of things. I think it is finally time to admit defeat on my preseason pick of Auburn in the national title game. My national champion pick is still undefeated but has looked a little shaky at time. I will often be wrong so, by all means, tell me how wrong I am and let’s see if anyone can predict the final four after just three weeks of the season. This is my fourth set of rankings and my fourth different combination of playoff-bound teams. A new teams sits at the top this week and we’ll see if they actually stay there this time.


Remember that the only system for these rankings is which team is better right now. Not which team will be better at the end of the season. I believe that the number one team would beat anybody at a neutral site while the number two team would beat anyone except for the top-ranked team. Got it? Good. On to the rankings!

1. Ole Miss Rebels 3-0 (Last week: 3): The Rebels of Oxford are on top of the world after rolling into Tuscaloosa to take down the Tide. Chad Kelly had a strong performance and the defense forced five turnovers in a strong showing in the SEC opener. If you are still averaging over 60 points a game after playing at Alabama, I think you’re doing something right. This week: Vanderbilt, 6:00 pm CST, ESPNU

2. Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0 (1): They still may be the best team in the nation but they sure didn’t look like it this past week. JT Barrett had to come in a bring the Buckeyes out of a shocking upset bid (#MACtion) but Cardale Jones was still named the starter this week. Urban Meyer has a great team but they have just over a month to figure some stuff out before their next challenge. This week: Western Michigan, 2:30 pm CST, ABC/ESPN2

3. TCU Horned Frogs 3-0 (4): Trevone Boykin busted back on to the scene with a huge performance against SMU. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, they needed every bit of it after a shaky game from the defensive side of the ball. There’s a lot of young talent there but they better be ready for the offenses of the Big XII. This week: at Texas Tech, 3:45 pm CST, FOX

4. UCLA Bruins 3-0 (5): Josh Rosen had the worst game of his young career but running back Paul Perkins picked up the slack and lead the offense for most of the night. The quality win came with a few rough spots though. Fabian Moreau and Myles Jack were added to the season-ending injury list that already include Eddie Vanderdoes. The defensive stars are falling like flies but Ishmael Adams has been reinstated this week and will be looked at to lead the team to a Pac-12 title. This week: at 22 Arizona, 7:00 pm CST, ABC

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 3-0 (6): Losing Malik Zaire and Tarean Folson hasn’t affected the Irish just yet. Deshone Kizer and CJ Prosise led the offense to a huge performance against a very good Georgia Tech team. The defense held a strong rushing attack most of the night before giving up two late touchdowns. This week: UMASS, 2:30 pm CST, NBC

6. Georgia Bulldogs 3-0 (9): Greyson Lambert apparently has everything worked out after picking a part another SEC defense. His 24/25 passing performance was added to Nick Chubb’s 189 yard rushing performance and made for an unstoppable offense. This week: Southern, 11:00 am CST, SEC Network

7. LSU Tigers 2-0 (13): Leonard Fournette is unstoppable. That’s a fact. Plus Brandon Harris looks like a capable quarterback and Kevin Steele’s defense has not missed a beat. This week: at Syracuse, 11:00 am CST, ESPN

8. Michigan State Spartans 3-0 (8): I’m still not fully sold on Sparty and another lackluster game against Air Force didn’t help. However, the win against Oregon still holds a lot of water and will be impressive until the end of the season. This week: Central Michigan, 11:00 am CST, BTN

9. Alabama Crimson Tide 2-1 (2): Alabama is still loaded with talent but has huge questions at the quarterback position. Even the coaches don’t know what to do and that is never a good sign. It’s safe to say that all eight teams ahead of Alabama could beat them but they have bounced back before and the SEC should expect nothing less. This week: Louisiana Monroe, 3:00 pm CST, SEC Network

10. Clemson Tigers 3-0 (12): Deshaun Watson finally struggled in a collegiate game but the atmosphere in Louisville on Thursday night was not easy. In the preseason, it was the only game I had Clemson losing this year. Now we will see if Watson plus the talented defense are the real deal. This week: Off before 5 Notre Dame

11. Baylor Bears 2-0 (10): Another team that I have yet to be impressed by. They have consistently dropped in my rankings and even though Seth Russell looks like the real deal, the defense could be in some trouble in the upcoming weeks. This week: Rice, 2:00 pm CST

12. Oklahoma Sooners 3-0 (12): The gap between the Sooners and TCU/Baylor is closing and they look like real contenders. They also have some issues on the defensive side of the ball but they showed they are fixable in their win against Tennessee. Plus, Baker Mayfield is the real deal and may be the nation’s best quarterback. This week: Off before 20 West Virginia

13. Florida State Seminoles 3-0 (15): I was down on the Seminoles to open the year but Everett Golson and Dalvin Cook made me a believer. They both had an off game against Boston College but the defense stepped in and took care of the win on Friday showing Florida State is still a complete squad. This week: Off before at Wake Forest

14. Oregon Ducks 2-1 (16): There are questions in Eugene about Vernon Adams Jr. and his injured finger but Jeff Lockie did not look awful last week. Plus he has Royce Freeman to hand the ball off to so it should help him settle in if he needs to. This week: 19 Utah, 7:30 pm CST, FOX

15. Texas A&M Aggies 3-0 (17): The Aggies struggled against a strong Nevada offense but Kyle Allen had his best game of the year and helped them to a comfortable victory. This week: vs. Arkansas in Dallas, 6:00 pm CST, ESPN

16. Northwestern Wildcats 3-0 (24): The Wildcats may actually be good. Really good. Their season-opening win against Stanford is looking better each week and a road win against Duke is not bad either. Justin Jackson was again the workhorse but this team. Who knows, maybe defense still does win championships. This week: Ball State,  7:00 pm CST, BTN

17. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2-1 (14): They dropped their first game of the year to a very good Notre Dame team. Justin Thomas didn’t look great through three quarters but nearly lead a late comeback on the road and showed some life that will help the rest of the season. This week: at Duke, 11:00 am CST, ESPN2

18. BYU Cougars 2-1 (18): Another team that faced a tough loss last week against one of my top five teams. BYU was just one point short of a road upset and another magical victory. Tanner Mangum is still their leader and should have a great year. I had the Cougars at 0-3 at this point but finishing 8-4 so they could still be in for a great season. This week: at Michigan, 11:00 am CST, ABC

19. Utah Utes 3-0 (22): The Utes are facing some issues at the quarterback position with an injury to star Travis Wilson. Devontae Booker is still in the backfield though and looks as good as ever after a 150-yard, two touchdown performance last week. This week: at 14 Oregon, 7:30 pm CST, FOX

20. West Virginia Mountaineers 2-0 (19): West Virginia is coming off an early bye week (Stupid Big XII) and will look to keep up their hot start against another Power 5 school. This week: Maryland, 2:00 pm CST, FS1

21. Wisconsin Badgers 2-1 (22): It is tough to get a good read on this team but Joel Stave has looked much improved in 2015 and the Badgers seem ready for any conference opponent. This week: Hawaii, 7:00 pm CST, BTN

22. Arizona Wildcats 3-0 (NR): Nick Wilson and Anu Solomon have lead a high-powered offense back into the rankings after a disappointing start to the season. A big 77-14 win was a nice tune-up for getting College Gameday this weekend. This week: 4 UCLA, 7:00 pm CST, ABC

23. Stanford Cardinal 2-1 (NR): This season sure did turn around quick. After what seemed like a devastating road loss to Northwestern, the Cardinal came up with a huge win at USC. The Trojans may have once again been overrated but Kevin Hogan had the game of his life and beat Cody Kessler in a very fun game. This week: at Oregon State, 9:00 pm CST Friday, FS1

24. Florida Gators 3-0 (NR): I know, it seems a little early but getting a huge road SEC win puts Florida in good position to have a chance at the SEC East this year. Jim McElwain is a great coach and may not be capable of miracles but that offense sure looks much better so far. This week: Tennessee, 2:30 pm CST, CBS

25. Memphis Tigers 3-0 (25): The Tigers are back in the 25 spot because I really like Paxton Lynch and they deserve to get credit somewhere. The team got a huge win last Saturday at a good Bowling Green team that even gave Tennessee some fits. This week: Cincinnati, 6:30 pm CST, ESPN 


I have a new system that helps me with these rankings. I put a lot of stats and numbers together that include every type of statistic, prioritizing consistency, strength of schedule and scoring. For instance, a running back who goes for 150-yard per game in the Big 10 is worth more than a MAC running back who goes for 350 in a game and then combine for 100 in the next two. Likewise, a back that rushes for 100 yards and three touchdowns will get more points than a running back that goes for 150 without any touchdowns. Some of the other major stats include QB rating, average yards per touch and turnovers.

1. Leonard Fournette, LSU RB

2. Nick Chubb, Georgia RB

3. William Fuller, Notre Dame WR

4. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss QB

5. Derrick Henry, Alabama RB

6. Cody Kessler, USC QB

7. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB

8. Trevone Boykin, TCU QB

9. Dalvin Cook, Florida State RB

10. Paxton Lynch, Memphis QB

Just missed the cut: UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson

Caleb Turrentine is a contributor and a show host at WVUA-FM. Follow him on Twitter, @CalebTurrentine.