WEEK 3: COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25 RISERS AND FALLERS


News just broke that one of the more fun college football rivalries in recent years is coming to an end. Let us all take a moment to pay our respects to the end of the Bedlam Series. For those unfamiliar with the rivalry, The Bedlam series is held every year between in-state and Big 12 rivals, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. A rivalry dating back to 1908 and is one year younger than the state of Oklahoma itself. Dating back to the days when it was the Oklahoma A&M Aggies and not the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The series has been rather lopsided; Oklahoma taking 90 of the 116 meetings between the schools. The series has been featured on College Gameday seven times and has been littered with outstanding performances of late such as Heisman trophy winners Sam Bradford’s five-touchdown performance in 2008, Baker Mayfield's 2017 six-touchdown performance, Richaun Woods's 2001 performance with eight receptions 129 yards and the game-winning touchdown. The 119-year-old rivalry is coming to an end due to conference realignment, with Oklahoma set to join the SEC in 2025. Anytime there is conference realignment, college football rivalries are the ones to take the hit. The Backyard Brawl, Kansas-Missouri Border War, and Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, all annual rivalries are gone due to conference realignment, now we can add Bedlam to that list.


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Now a look at this past week in college football and how it affected the top 25 rankings this week. To start, we will look at a team outside the top 25, Appalachian State. College Gameday went to Boone this past week, after their week 2 upset of Texas A&M, to take on fellow Sun Belt opponent Troy. They followed their upset win with a final-second Hail Mary to beat Troy 32-28. It was one hell of a game. There were some rumors that Gameday would be traveling to Lawrence for the first time after its strong start to the year and defeat of Houston at Houston. Sadly, that did not come to fruition, but for those interested, the Jayhawks do have an ACC matchup this week against the undefeated Duke Blue Devils. This next week Gameday will be in Knoxville when #11 Tennessee takes on #20 Florida for the seventh meeting on gameday between these SEC East rivals and the fifth time they will be in Knoxville for the annual meeting between these teams. Tennessee jumps up four spots in the rankings this week after its sound defeat of Akron 63-6, and Florida falls two spots to #20 after its narrow 31-28 victory over South Florida. Florida was helped by a missed last-second field goal attempt by USF that would have sent the game to overtime. Neyland Stadium should be rocking this Saturday. Kickoff is at 3:30 PM EST and the Vols open as -10.5-point favorites.

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Unlike last week when Georgia jumped Alabama for the top spot, there was no movement this week in the top 7, and all teams in the top 7 had sound victories over weaker competition or below-average power five teams (Sorry Nebraska and South Carolina). In fact, the only movement in the top 10 was from Kentucky jumping Oklahoma State 1 spot after its victory over Youngstown State to #8. Oklahoma State falls to #9 after its victory over Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

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One of the largest risers this week in the top 25 was Washington; making its first appearance on the list after Michael Penix Jr. led the Huskies to a 39-28 victory over the at the time #11 Michigan State Spartans. The former Indiana Hoosier QB threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns. The Huskies are #18 and will take on unranked Stanford at home this week. Oregon jumped up 10 spots from #25 to #15 this week after its top 25 matchup with at the time #11 BYU. The Ducks soundly beat BYU 41-20. The other significant mover this week was Penn State. They moved up 8 spots to #14 after its routing of Auburn 41-12 at Jordan-Hare Stadium this past Saturday in one of the worst home losses in Auburn history. Both North Carolina State and Ole Miss both move four spots this week with defeats over Texas Tech (27-14) and Georgia Tech (42-0) respectively.


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We can’t talk about the rankings this past week without talking about all the teams that tumbled down the rankings, and that starts this week with Michigan State. They went into Washington last week #11 and completely fell out of the top 25 after their defeat. Right behind them is Miami, who falls 12 spots from #13 to #25 this week after traveling to College Station and returning with a 17-9 defeat in a game where the Aggies stymied the Hurricane offense. BYU also falls seven spots after its previously mentioned top 25 matchups with the Ducks. The Cougars had no answer for Bo Nix this past Saturday in Eugene. Bo Nix put up five total touchdowns, two through the air and three on the ground. They are #19 entering week 4.


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Lastly, we close with a look ahead to any interesting top 25 games this upcoming Saturday. This week has three top 25 matchups. First, the game of the week is #11 Tennessee hosting #20 Florida, and the Vols open as -11-point favorites. We also see two top 10 teams going on the road this week for conference matchups. #10 Arkansas will be taking on #23 Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Kickoff is at 7 PM EST and the Aggies are -2-point favorites. We also see #5 Clemson traveling to Winston-Salem to take on #21 Wake Forest. Wake Forest just narrowly beat Liberty this past weekend, and Clemson opens as -7-point favorites. There is a lot of in-conference play this week and that is only to be expected more and more as we begin to go deeper into the 2022 season. Two conference matchups that really pique my interest this week involve two more top 25 teams going on the road. The first is #7 USC traveling to Corvallis to take on unranked 3-0 Oregon State. The Trojans are only -6.5-point favorites. The other matchup is #17 Baylor (2-1) traveling to Ames to take on Matt Campbell and the Iowa State Cyclones in a Big 12 matchup. The unranked Cyclones open as -2.5-point favorites.


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