PFF’s Top 25 teams in college football

Gordon McGuinness, Steve Palazzolo and Mike Renner use PFF's data to rank the top 25 teams heading into Week 3.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

PFF’s Top 25 teams in college football


Our top three remain the same, while two previously unranked teams crack the top 25 for the first time this season. Have we been harsh on anyone? Let us know in the comments or on twitter.

1. Ohio State (Previous ranking: 1)

Two wins from two and no real reason to consider dropping them at this stage. Incredibly talented on both sides of the ball, they take on the Northern Illinois Huskies this week, looking to move to 3-0 on the year.

2. Alabama (2)

Like Ohio State, we simply can’t find a reason to drop Alabama any lower than two at this stage. They have another big test this weekend, taking on Chad Kelly and Ole Miss.

3. Baylor (3)

Like the two above them, Baylor continue to impress and, with a quarterback who has looked good to go along with their defense, hopes are high for a big year.

4. USC (5)

They get a one spot bump thanks to Auburn struggling but if Cody Kessler (+3.2) and Ju Ju Smith-Schuster (+5.1) continue to link up as well as they have been, they’ll start to edge closer to the top three.

5. Michigan State (7)

They handed Oregon their first loss, and looked good doing so. If there’s a concern it’s in the defensive backfield, where four defensive backs have graded at -1.5 or lower, but the defensive line has been dominant.

6. UCLA (6)

Josh Rosen (-2.9) wasn’t as impressive as he was in Week 1, but this defense if legit. The worry this week is that they’ll fall victim to the BYU later game heroics, but the mismatch of the UCLA defensive line against the BYU offensive line should prevent it from reaching that point.

7. Florida State (9)

Everett Golson had some struggled early on, but running back Dalvin Cook is proving to be opposing defenses worst nightmare. Tough to bring down, he propelled them to the win last week when the Seminoles needed to rely on him.

8. TCU (10)

The offense clicked better this week, with Trevonne Boykin (+3.7) looking much better as a passer. SMU will represent a tougher challenge this week, and it’s on the quarterback to maintain his performance from a week ago.

9. Ole Miss (13)

Chad Kelly has this offense rolling early in the season, but don’t forget about the Ole Miss defense. That defensive line was unstoppable against Fresno State, and they have a shot against Alabama this weekend.

10. Clemson (12)

They are 2-0, and have but up 40 points or more in their opening two games, but now we reach the point where the schedule gets a little bit more challenging. They get the opportunity to impress on prime time against Louisville tonight though.

11. Georgia (14)

Winning on the road against Vanderbilt was a solid way to show what they have, and now the Nick Chubb powered offense will be looking to force as many missed tackles as possible when South Carolina travel to Athens on Saturday.

12. Oklahoma (15)

Baker Mayfield (+2.5) had a solid game against the Tennessee Volunteers, but it was the defense that stood out the most. At linebacker Devante Bond (+4.6) and Dominique Alexander (+3.4) were the stars, with Bond registering two sacks, two hits and two hurries.

13. Auburn (4)

Jacksonville State shouldn’t have been on the verge of a historic upset last weekend, and the fact that it was even close causes Auburn to plummet. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson has struggled, and they need him to step up in a hurry, or next time they won’t be so lucky.

14. Georgia Tech (17)

It’s tough to ignore a team who have put up over 60 points in each of their first two games, regardless of the opponent. Next up they take on a Notre Dame team who have lost their starting quarterback, making an upset more likely than many believe.

15. Texas A&M (15)

As good as the Myles Garrett (+9.0) led defense is, there is some concern on offense, where just two players have graded at +1.0 or higher through two weeks.

16. Oregon (11)

Marcus Mariota graded negatively just twice all season in that offense. Vernon Adams Jr. has graded negatively in each of the first two weeks. That’s not ideal for a team that has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and is currently being held back by their quarterback.

17. Notre Dame (8)

Defensive lineman Sheldon Day (+8.1) and linebacker Jaylon Smith (+4.8) have been the stars on defense, but we’re more than a little bit concerned about the loss of Malik Zaire (+5.3). That being said, the offensive line is playing well and wide receiver Will Fuller (+4.7) is having a great start to the 2015 season.

18. Arizona (18)

Just two players on offense have a grade of +1.0 or higher, but the defense still boasts stars even while Scooby Wright is out. Will Parks (+8.8) has started the season well at safety with four defensive stops through two weeks.

19. LSU (Unranked)

Were we foolish to leave LSU out last week because we hadn’t seen them yet? It certainly seems it after an impressive performance defensively against a solid Mississippi team. This week they take on Auburn, where their offensive will have to improve in a hurry if Leonard Fournette (+1.8) is to have much room to work with.

20. Wisconsin (21)

They bounced back from the loss to Alabama with a big win over Miami (Ohio) and will like their chances of doing that same against the Troy Trojans this week. There’s no shame in losing to a Crimson Tide team that are in the top three in the country, and the Badgers are proving that they are still a solid team despite the loss.

21. Oklahoma State (23)

Still on course to be undefeated by the time they play Texas, the Cowboys haven’t blown anyone away yet. A big win over Texas-San Antonio this week would give them a boost heading into the game in Austin.

22. BYU (24)

If all they had to throw was a Hail Mary or two at the end of the game, Tanner Magnum (-5.1) would be fine, but he’s struggled for the most part. Unless he can turn that around, they’ll struggle to be in positions for late game heroics against UCLA.

23. Utah (25)

Going on the road to Bulldog Stadium to take on Fresno State won’t be easy, but Utah have looked solid enough in their opening two games. Get passed this test on Saturday and they get the opportunity to make some noise against Oregon next week.

24. Mississippi State (20)

Dak Prescott (-4.3) continues to struggle as a passer, something which definitely contributed to the loss to LSU last week. They get the opportunity to get things back on track against Northwestern State this week, before taking on Auburn on September 26th.

25. Temple (Unranked)

Wins against Penn State and Cincinnati have given them a nice early season boost, and now the schedule cools off somewhat. Get through this next five game stretch and they’ll be playing Notre Dame on Halloween to stay undefeated.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • CAPTAIN ATLANTA

    So exactly why would it be an upset if the #14 Jackets, beat the #17 Irish?

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think Gordon is using the #8 ranking for the Irish but even then it wouldn’t be an upset since the current betting line of most of the sportsbooks has the Jackets favored by 2 1/2 points.

  • Alex

    “Baylor continue to impress and, with a quarterback who has looked good to go along with their defense.”

    You mean the QB who threw 3 picks vs Lamar? And the defense that gave up 31 points to Lamar?

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