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Andy Wittry | | September 19, 2021

College football rankings: Penn State, BYU climb, UCLA falls in AP Top 25 poll for Week 4

College football rankings: Penn State jumps four more spots in latest AP poll

Week 3 of the college football season saw six top-25 teams lose, including three that were ranked in the top 15, while two of the top three teams in last week's AP poll won by a one-score margin. In total, 19 ranked teams have fallen so far this season. A tumultuous Week 3 was bound to lead to significant changes in the AP poll.

Here's the complete AP poll ahead of Week 4.

AP Top 25 Poll: Week 4


school (first-place vOtes)




1 Alabama (59) 1,547 1 3-0
2 Georgia (3) 1,491 2 3-0
3 Oregon 1,385 4 3-0
4 Oklahoma 1,302 3 3-0
5 Iowa 1,298 5 3-0
6 Penn State 1,197 10 3-0
7 Texas A&M 1,158 7 3-0
8 Cincinnati 1,145 8 3-0
9 Clemson 1,074 6 2-1
10 Ohio State 976 9 2-1
11 Florida 930 11 2-1
12 Notre Dame 874 12 3-0
13 Ole Miss 717 17 3-0
14 Iowa State 664 14 2-1
15 BYU 603 23 3-0
16 Arkansas 537 20 3-0
17 Coastal Carolina 526 16 3-0
18 Wisconsin 513 18 1-1
19 Michigan 456 25 3-0
20 Michigan State 389 NR 3-0
21 North Carolina 306 21 2-1
22 Fresno State 201 NR 3-1
23 Auburn 166 22 2-1
24 UCLA 142 13 2-1
25 Kansas State 127 NR 3-0

Others receiving votes: TCU 91, Liberty 56, Virginia Tech 52, Oklahoma State 51, Maryland 29, Arizona State 24, Texas 22, USC 16, San Diego State 16, West Virginia 14, LSU 14, Kentucky 12, Boston College 9, Wake Forest 7, Texas Tech 5, Stanford 3, Memphis 3, Louisville 1, Wyoming 1

A new-look top 10

Despite winning on Saturday, Oklahoma and Clemson, which were ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the preseason, respectively, each dropped in the AP Top 25 poll for Week 4. Oregon leapfrogged Oklahoma to No. 3 in the poll after the Sooners struggled to distance themselves from Nebraska, winning just 23-16, which included a blocked PAT that was returned for a defensive two-point conversion.

Then there was Clemson, which won a low-scoring affair 14-8 over Georgia Tech, which had lost at home to Northern Illinois the week before. The Clemson-Georgia Tech was delayed mid-game due to lightning and it was only 7-3 at halftime. Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei threw for just 126 yards and five yards per attempt.

Penn State, which was ranked No. 10 last week, climbed to No. 6 after a primetime victory over then-No. 22 Auburn 28-20. The Nittany Lions are now ranked one spot behind No. 5 Iowa and four spots ahead of Big Ten East rival Ohio State.

WEEK 3 TAKEAWAYS: 6 biggest things to know from this past weekend's games

The biggest movers

BYU led all teams with an eight-spot improvement in the latest AP Top 25 poll after the Cougars defeated then-No. 19 Arizona State 27-17 Saturday night to give BYU a 3-0 record against the Pac-12 this season. The Cougars are now No. 15 after not being ranked two weeks ago.

The Big Ten's two Michigan-based schools, Michigan and Michigan State, are the next-biggest climbers as the Wolverines improved six spots to No. 19, one spot ahead of their in-state rival Spartans, which made their AP poll debut under Mel Tucker after improving to 3-0 on the season with a win over Miami (Fla.) on Saturday.

No. 6 Penn State, No. 13 Ole Miss and No. 16 Arkansas each improved their respective rankings by four spots.

On the other end of the spectrum, UCLA fell 11 spots to No. 24 after losing 40-37 to Fresno State late on Saturday night. Virginia Tech dropped out of the AP poll after being ranked No. 15 last week due to the Hokies' 27-21 loss to unranked West Virginia on the road.

Arizona State fell eight spots after its aforementioned loss to BYU.

Week 4 ranked matchups to watch

There are two top-25 matchups on tap for Week 4, with Notre Dame and Wisconsin facing off at Soldier Field in Chicago in an enticing non-conference matchup to start your Saturday. The Fighting Irish eked out wins over Florida State and Toledo before outpacing a pesky Purdue team in Week 3. The Badgers were off in Week 3 after picking up their first win of the season in Week 2, when they defeated Eastern Michigan 34-7. Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan will face his former school in this matchup.

Then there's an old Southwest Conference matchup Saturday afternoon between Texas A&M and Arkansas, the latter of which climbed into the rankings after blitzing Texas in Week 2. Both schools are undefeated on the season.

Click or tap here to view the complete FBS scoreboard for Week 4.

Here are other games involving ranked teams that are worth highlighting:

Rutgers pushed Michigan to the brink last season, when the Wolverines edged the Scarlet Knights 48-42 in triple overtime and now Rutgers has already matched its win total from last season – three. Michigan has also showed notable year-over-year improvements and it has one of the strongest ground attacks in the country through the first month or so of the season.

West Virginia is coming off of a win over then-No. 15 Virginia Tech and now it travels to Oklahoma, which had trouble distancing itself from Nebraska in Week 3. Can the Mountaineers knock off two ranked opponents in a row?

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