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CU in the Rankings

September 26th

CU/Oregon television ratings? Better than Ohio State/Notre Dame

… What stands out, as much as the CU game having more viewers than the Ohio State/Notre Dame game (which went down to the final play), was that CU went head-to-head with the SEC matchup of Nick Saban v. Lane Kiffin (Alabama v. Ole Miss), and had four times as many viewers … and had over seven times as many viewers as Utah/UCLA, another matchup of ranked teams airing at the same time.

… Tough day for Washington State and Oregon State. The two orphans of the Pac-12 played each other in prime time on Fox. Despite being a game between two ranked teams, the game between the Cougars and the Beavers had fewer viewers than other games airing at the same time, including Iowa/Penn State, Arkansas/LSU, and NC State/Virginia … Washington State and Oregon State have good teams, but just don’t have the brand or the following which networks (and as a result, conferences, are looking for) … 



September 25th 

CU remains in the Top 25 in The Athletic’s rankings/Down to No. 36 at CBS Sports 1-133

From CBS Sports … We’ve hit the point in the college football season where preseason projections and expectations are being replaced by reactions to what teams have actually done on the field. So, while Georgia remains the No. 1 team in the new CBS Sports 133 after Week 4, the Bulldogs’ claim as the best team in the sport is very much up for debate.

For the first time all season, Georgia did not receive a majority of the first-place votes among the experts at CBS Sports and 247Sports who contribute ballots to the CBS Sports 133, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team. Those first-place votes have been drifting elsewhere since the Bulldogs were a near-unanimous No. 1 in the preseason. After Week 4, the balloting saw four different teams in the top spot with Ohio State, Michigan and Washington joining Georgia in the debate for No. 1.

The inclusion of Washington is the most notable as the Huskies jumped up three spots to No. 2 in a top-five shake up that reflects voters reacting to on-field results rather than preseason expectations. Washington has won its first four games, all against FBS opponents, by margins of 37, 33, 38 and 27 points while boasting one of the top offenses in the country and a Heisman Trophy contending quarterback in Michael Penix Jr. While the Huskies started the season at No. 10 in our preseason CBS Sports 133, the week-by-week rise has come in the wake of Washington showcasing a top-five caliber squad on the field while other top teams may appear stronger on paper.

From the Pac-12 ...

  • No. 2 … Washington
  • No. 7 … Oregon
  • No. 9 … USC
  • No. 12 … Utah
  • No. 15 … Washington State
  • No. 20 … Oregon State
  • No. 26 … UCLA
  • No. 36 … Colorado
  • No. 37 … TCU
  • No. 59 … Nebraska
  • No. 62 … Arizona
  • No. 65 … Cal
  • No. 87 … Arizona State
  • No. 101 … Colorado State
  • No. 105 … Stanford

From The Athletic … We entered this much-hyped college football weekend ready to learn about a lot of teams. Some flailed in the spotlight while others came through. But the biggest lesson we learned is that Florida State is truly back to being one of the best teams in the country. After an overtime win at Clemson, the Seminoles move up to No. 2 in this week’s edition of The Athletic 133.

Yes, it was ugly early. Yes, Clemson missed a chip-shot field goal late. But the fact those things happened highlighted how Clemson has fallen and how the Seminoles have risen to take that place, ending a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry. Clemson didn’t have a Keon Coleman-esque player who made a play when the team needed it most. Instead, it missed a field goal with a late-addition kicker and made an ill-advised wide receiver screen throw on third-and-1 in overtime.

Now Florida State sits at 4-0 with a blowout victory against LSU and a win at Clemson. The Seminoles have an argument to be No. 1. They have some of the best wins. They only sit at No. 2 for me because they needed to escape Boston College last week. Georgia doesn’t have the big wins but it also hasn’t been in real danger.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 5 … Washington
  • No. 6 … Utah
  • No. 9 … USC
  • No. 10 … Oregon
  • No. 16 … Washington State
  • No. 20 … Oregon State
  • No. 24 … Colorado
  • No. 25 … TCU 
  • No. 27 … UCLA
  • No. 50 … Cal
  • No. 79 … Arizona
  • No. 80 … Nebraska
  • No. 93 … Arizona State
  • No. 96 … Stanford
  • No. 100 … Colorado State


September 24th

Buffs fall out of AP and USA Today/Coaches Polls; Four Pac-12 teams in the Top Ten

Buffs tied for 28th in latest voting in Associated Press poll

From ESPN … Colorado and Deion Sanders fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 college football poll Sunday after a resounding loss in one of the weekend’s showcase games, and the teams toward the top of the rankings were shuffled and tightened.

A season-high six teams received first-place votes, the most since the 2016 preseason poll. Georgia is still where it started at No. 1 but is down to 55 first-place votes out of a possible 63.

Michigan remained No. 2 and got a first-place vote. Texas stayed at No. 3 with two first-place votes. Ohio State moved up two spots to No. 4 and got a first-place vote after beating Notre Dame with a touchdown on its final offensive play.

USC fell three places to No. 8, while No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Utah each moved up a spot to give the Pac-12 four teams in the top 10 for the first time in the history of the conference.

After the Buffaloes were dominated at Oregon, USC comes to Boulder next week to give Colorado a chance to either jump back in the rankings or become an afterthought for voters for the rest of the season.

The Associated Press poll … 

1. Georgia (55)
2. Michigan (1)
3. Texas (2)
4. Ohio State (1)
5. Florida State (3)
6. Penn State
7. Washington (1)
8. USC
9. Oregon
10. Utah
11. Notre Dame
12. Alabama
13. LSU
14. Oklahoma
15. North Carolina
16. Washington State
17. Duke
18. Miami
19. Oregon State
20. Ole Miss
21. Tennessee
22. Florida
23. Missouri
24. Kansas
25. Fresno State

Others receiving votes: Kansas State 57, Kentucky 41, Louisville 32, Colorado 32, UCLA 28, Maryland 20, TCU 17, Tulane 11, Syracuse 8, Air Force 6, Wisconsin 6, Texas A&M 5, Clemson 5

USA Today/Coaches poll from AFCA … Buffs down to No. 35 in voting

Dropped out: No. 19 Colorado (3-1); No. 22 Iowa (3-1); No. 23 Clemson (2-2); No. 25 UCLA (3-1).

Others receiving votes: Fresno State (4-0) 93; Kentucky (4-0) 87; TCU (3-1) 54; Maryland (4-0) 39; Louisville (4-0) 36; Texas A&M  (3-1) 36; UCLA  (3-1) 36;  Clemson (2-2) 35; Syracuse (4-0) 32; Colorado  (3-1) 29; Air Force (4-0) 24; Iowa (3-1) 16; Tulane (3-1) 11; Wyoming (3-1) 8; James Madison (4-0) 2; Marshall (3-0) 2; Georgia State (4-0) 1; Liberty (4-0) 1.


September 20th

CBS Sports: Shedeur Sanders continues to rise in QB Power Rankings

From CBS Sports … Do these QB Power Rankings have powers that not even I, the creator and sole arbiter of the weekly QB Power Rankings, understand? Probably, yes. It’s a power we should all be aware of and fear because it can do what it wants. For instance, I left Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy out of the top 10 last week and slotted him into the Honorable Mentions section. It was the first time since early last season I left McCarthy out of the rankings, and the reasons for doing so were simple.

Other quarterbacks across the country were displaying more power than McCarthy. He was putting up nice numbers but also doing so against light competition in games that felt more like scrimmages. Honestly, have you watched Michigan games? The Wolverines are moving at a pace slower than service academies. Michigan is averaging 112 snaps per game, by far the fewest in the country. Air Force is next at 115.

Anyway, the point is Michigan fans spent the week yelling at me for removing McCarthy, and lo and behold, after throwing three interceptions during the entirety of the 2022 regular season, McCarthy threw three interceptions last week against Bowling Green. Let this serve as a warning to all who hold their QB in high regard but don’t quite understand the power behind QB Power.

Do not question forces you cannot control.

From the Pac-12 …

  • No. 1 … Caleb Williams, USC
  • No. 3 … Shedeur Sanders, Colorado … Vince Young once said on the “Pardon My Take” podcast that his philosophy during a game was to simply maintain in the first half. Basically, don’t do anything that will get your team in trouble. Then, in the second half, “go the f— off.” Sanders took a similar approach on Saturday. He didn’t look great for most of the game, but in crunch time, he turned into the greatest QB of all time while leading the Buffs on a comeback victory. Clutch goes a long way at the QB position. (last week: 4)
  • No. 4 … Michael Penix, Washington
  • No. 6 … Bo Nix, Oregon

Honorable Mention: Jalon Daniels, Kansas; Kyle McCord, Ohio State; Dante Moore, UCLA; Tyler Van Dyke, Miami; Cam Ward, Washington State

Read full story here


September 18th

ESPN ranks the 39 remaining unbeaten teams (Connelly still doesn’t like CU)

From ESPN … Georgia is approaching 2014 Florida State levels of sleepwalking. Michigan is 0-for-3 in the “playing to projections” department. Ohio State has looked like full-on Ohio State once in three games. Alabama’s offense stinks out loud. It’s hard to completely trust Texas or Florida State yet. Oklahoma and Washington have looked great against mostly bad teams. USC hasn’t had a chance to prove that its defense has improved.

Three weeks into the 2023 season, it’s almost impossible to know whom to trust. Some of the most typically reliable teams have yet to shift out of third gear, and per Total QBR, Washington’s, Texas A&M’s, Miami’s and Duke’s quarterbacks rank higher than any of Ohio State’s, Michigan’s, Georgia’s or Alabama’s. Meanwhile, Syracuse has looked awesome, Rutgers has looked good, and Auburn is the only remaining unbeaten Iron Bowl team.

It’s been weird. Weird is good. But on the off chance that normalcy returns soon, let’s both commemorate and rank the 39 remaining unbeaten teams. (What criteria am I using for this? A combination of computer rankings and my own opinions. I tend to adhere mostly to what the numbers say, but I reserve the right to have terrible opinions and overreact. For instance, I’m really overreacting to what Washington has done so far this year.)

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 1 … Washington
  • No. 4 … USC
  • No. 11 … Oregon
  • No. 14 … Utah
  • No. 15 … UCLA
  • No. 16 … Oregon State
  • No. 24 … Washington State
  • No. 26 … ColoradoSP+ and FPI rankings: 76th and 64thSP+ strength of schedule to date: 55thOdds of reaching 12-0, per SP+: <0.1%What they did in Week 3: def. Colorado State 43-35 (2OT)Why they’re ranked here: Legend and reality are in conflict when it comes to Deion Sanders’ Buffaloes at the moment. That they are unbeaten after three games is incredible. They upset TCU in the season opener, they rank 23rd in total offense a year after ranking 128th, and Shedeur Sanders’ ability to come through in virtually every make-or-break drive is incredible. But Sanders is getting hit far too much, the defense ranks 96th in success rate allowed and Saturday’s dramatic comeback and thrilling rivalry win came against the team currently ranked 122nd in SP+.There’s a chance they keep pulling off magic acts in a magical season; there’s also a chance that, with four currently unbeaten opponents over the next six games, a 3-0 start becomes about a 5-4 record in a month and a half.

Read full story here


September 17th

No. 19 Buffs: CU down one spot in AP poll; up two spots in USA Today/Coaches poll

From the Daily Camera …Another win and another week in the rankings for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Following a thrilling, double-overtime comeback victory over in-state rival Colorado State on Saturday night, CU dropped one spot to No. 19 in the Associated Press rankings Sunday, while moving up to No. 19 in the Coaches poll.

Late Saturday night, the Buffs (3-0) rallied from a 28-17 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and knock off the Rams, 43-35 in double overtime.

This is the first time since 1998 that CU has been among the AP Top 25 rankings after each of its first three games of the season.

Unranked to start the season, CU jumped into the Top 25 after knocking off then-No. 17 TCU, 45-42, in the opener. Going into last week, the Buffs were at No. 18 in the AP and No. 21 in the Coaches poll.

Associated Press poll … 

  1. Georgia (57)
  2. Michigan (2)
  3. Texas (3)
  4. Florida State (1)
  5. USC
  6. Ohio State
  7. Penn State
  8. Washington
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Oregon
  11. Utah
  12. LSU
  13. Alabama
  14. Oregon State
  15. Ole Miss
  16. Oklahoma
  17. North Carolina
  18. Duke
  19. Colorado
  20. Miami
  21. Washington State
  22. UCLA
  23. Tennessee
  24. Iowa
  25. Florida

Others receiving votes: Clemson 76, Missouri 72, Kansas St. 54, TCU 21, Fresno St. 17, Kansas 15, Tulane 13, Kentucky 10, Maryland 4, BYU 3, Wisconsin 2, Syracuse 2, Louisville 1, Auburn 1.   

ESPN Power Rankings: CU in at No. 18

From ESPN … It could be many of the teams occupying the top 25 slots in college football were looking ahead a week to their conference openers. Or it could be some of those teams aren’t as good as first thought. Or maybe they just needed a wakeup call.

Whatever the reason, several ranked teams — Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama and Texas, to name a few — got off to slow starts against teams they should (and in some cases did) beat handily.

Not everyone got out of Saturday unscathed. No. 11 Tennessee once again lost in the Swamp and No. 15 Kansas State lost on a 61-yard walk-off field goal by Missouri.

Here’s a look at whether those slow starts and closer-than-expected finishes affect the power rankings after Week 3.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 4 … USC
  • No. 7 … Washington
  • No. 10 … Utah
  • No. 11 … Oregon
  • No. 12 … Oregon State
  • No. 18 … Colorado … The Buffaloes escaped in college football’s most thrilling game of the young season, but despite the double-OT win against Colorado State, the performance raises concerns about how they will fare when the level of competition increases. Still, the character required to put together a comeback without Travis Hunter in the second half was impressive. QB Shedeur Sanders had a slow start, but was incredible down the stretch and completed 38 of 47 passes for for 348 yards with four touchdowns.
  • No. 22 … Washington State
  • No. 23 … Utah

Read full story here


September 11th

CBS Sports 1-133: CU up seven spots to No. 17

From CBS Sports … Texas’ road win over Alabama may be one of the most impressive results we’ll see in college football all season, and the significance of the victory can be seen in the updated college football rankings. While the Longhorns skyrocketed as a result, the Crimson Tide have fallen from the top three in the CBS Sports 133, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, opening up a spot for Florida State to make a charge at the top spots currently occupied by Georgia and Michigan.

Florida State followed up its Labor Day weekend win over LSU with a 66-13 trouncing of Southern Miss. So, when the debate came down to Florida State or Texas for that No. 3 spot, the Seminoles at least had an impressive score on the board to justify not getting jumped by the Longhorns. Texas, which entered the weekend a bit higher in our rankings than the AP Top 25 poll at No. 9, is now up five spots to No. 4 as Quinn Ewers and Steve Sarkisian are building out a legitimate College Football Playoff profile following the win in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Elsewhere near the top of the rankings, there was a three-spot jump for Oregon after a tough road win at Texas Tech and a seven-spot leap for Colorado after continuing to win over non-believers with with a 36-14 win against Nebraska. Miami is one of the biggest movers among top teams, up a dozen spots to crash the top 25 after beating Texas A&M, which fell outside of the top 40 after the loss.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 6 USC … up two spots from last week
  • No. 7 Washington … down one spot
  • No. 10 Oregon … up three spots
  • No. 13 Utah … down one spot
  • No. 16 Oregon State … down one spot
  • No. 17 Colorado … up seven spots 
  • No. 24 UCLA … up four spots
  • No. 26 Washington State … up 28 spots
  • No. 28 TCU … up two spots
  • No. 59 Cal … up one spot
  • No. 62 Arizona … up three spots
  • No. 70 Nebraska … down nine spots
  • No. 85 Arizona State … down six spots
  • No. 93 Stanford … down one spot
  • No. 129 Colorado State … down three spots

Read full story here


September 10th 

Colorado moves up four spots in Associated Press poll to No. 18; eight Pac-12 teams in the AP poll

From ESPN … The Texas Longhorns jumped seven spots to No. 4 in The Associated Press college football poll Sunday after beating Alabama, and the Pac-12 became just the second conference to place as many as eight teams in an AP Top 25.

Georgia received 55 first-place votes to remain the clear No. 1. Michigan was No. 2, with two first-place votes. No. 3 Florida State moved up a spot and received three first-place votes.

USC moved up a spot to No. 5, giving the top five representation from each Power 5 conference for the first time since Sept. 24, 2017.

No conference has more teams in the Top 25 than the Pac-12, which is in its last season with its current membership before 10 schools depart for other leagues in 2024.

Only the SEC had ever placed as many eight teams in a single Top 25, doing it 21 times with a record 10 in September 2015.

In this week’s poll, Washington is No. 8, Utah is 12th, Oregon is 13th, Oregon State is No. 16, and Colorado has risen to 18th. Moving into the rankings are Washington State at No. 23 and UCLA at No. 24.

The Pac-12’s previous high was six ranked teams, achieved multiple times including last week.

1. Georgia (55)
2. Michigan (2)
3. Florida State (3)
4. Texas (2)
5. USC
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
8. Washington
9. Notre Dame
10. Alabama
11. Tennessee
12. Utah
13. Oregon
14. LSU
15. Kansas State
16. Oregon State
17. Ole Miss
18. Colorado
19. Oklahoma
20. North Carolina
21. Duke
22. Miami
23. Washington State
24. UCLA
25. Iowa

USA Today Coaches Poll

1Georgia2-01624 (64)
2Michigan2-01533 (1)
3Florida State2-01441+2
4Ohio State2-01401
5Southern California3-01319+1
7Penn State2-01229
11Notre Dame3-01004
14Louisiana State1-1714
15Kansas State2-0675
17Oregon State2-0562+1
18North Carolina2-0506-2
19Ole Miss2-0503+1

Others receiving votes

Washington State 80; Kentucky 38; Texas Christian 26; Auburn 23; Texas A&M 21; Fresno State 21; Kansas 17; Tulane 16; Missouri 14; Maryland 14; Wake Forest 13; Oklahoma State 12; Central Florida 11; Arkansas 10; Syracuse 9; Cincinnati 8; Wisconsin 7; Mississippi State 7; Wyoming 6; Minnesota 6; Air Force 5; South Carolina 3; Memphis 3; Louisville 3; James Madison 2; Michigan State 1.



September 6th

CU makes historic jump in CBS Sports 1-133 rankings: “Yes, we believe now”

From CBS Sports … We spend weeks debating the preseason college football rankings, then in the process of the five-day whirlwind that is Week 1, the entire landscape gets reset. As we update the CBS Sports 133, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, the adjustments to what we’ve witnessed to this point include one of the most notable in-season jumps in the history of the rankings.

Colorado was No. 85 in our preseason rankings, one spot behind Virginia Tech and one spot ahead of Indiana. The other teams in this stretch include mid-tier Group of Five programs and the Power Five teams that were projected to finish near the bottom of the standings. We were among the outsiders not ready to believe that Colorado’s overhauled roster was prepared to hit the ground running and immediately be on the same level as the best teams in the country.

To answer the question that Deion Sanders has leveled at reporters since Colorado’s 45-42 win at TCU: Yes, we believe now.

The Buffaloes make a jump from No. 85 to No. 24 in our latest CBS Sports 133 rankings, a 61-spot leap that is one of the most significant in-season adjustments since we began these FBS-wide rankings nearly a decade ago. No team has reversed our voters’ opinion for the better based on a single result in this manner. Now, Coach Prime’s squad occupies a spot in the rankings surrounded by Power Five teams expected to win between seven and nine games. For a Buffs team that carried a preseason win total under five, that’s a big adjustment to expectations as well.

There are some notable shifts at the top of the rankings as well. Florida State crashes the top five after its statement win against LSU as the Seminoles moved from No. 8 to No. 4; the Tigers, meanwhile, fell 10 spots to No. 14. There were also smaller shakeups in the top 10 such as Alabama moving ahead of Ohio State, Washington jumping ahead of USC and Notre Dame joining the top 10 with a five-spot move from No. 15.

From the Pac-12 …

  • No. 6 – Washington … up four spots from No. 10
  • No. 8 – USC … down two from No. 6
  • No. 12 – Utah … same as last week
  • No. 13 – Oregon … up one from No. 14
  • No. 15 – Oregon State … up three from No. 18
  • No. 24 – Colorado … up 61 spots from No. 85
  • No. 28 – UCLA … down one spot from No. 27
  • No. 30 – TCU … down 13 spots from No. 17
  • No. 54 – Washington State … up 5 spots from No. 59
  • No. 60 – Cal … up one spot from No. 61
  • No. 61 – Nebraska … down seven spots from No. 54
  • No. 65 – Arizona … down three spots from No. 62
  • No. 79 – Arizona State … down six spots from 73
  • No. 92 – Stanford … up five spots from 97
  • No. 126 – Colorado State … down six spots from No. 120

Biggest movers 

  • No. 24 Colorado (+61): It was incredibly difficult to rate a brand-new roster in the wake of a 1-11 season, but our voters are not too proud to admit when we’re wrong. The high-end talent of Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and Dylan Edwards showed up in a big way against TCU, and there are a ton of teams that wish they had that kind of special playmaking at the top of the depth chart. There are questions marks, certainly, but Colorado’s offense will be a problem for every team on its schedule.
  • No. 30 TCU (-13): The positive side is that TCU’s offense did put up 42 points against Colorado. Unfortunately, the defense, which does return a ton of production from last year’s 13-2 team, was absolutely shredded by the Buffs’ up-tempo attack. TCU has to tighten up on that side of the ball to avoid falling behind in a competitive Big 12 where most games are going to be toss-ups like Saturday’s loss.

Read full story here


September 5th

CU in at No. 22 in the Associated Press Poll

From ESPN … No. 21 Duke and No. 22 Colorado moved into the Associated Press Top 25 college football poll Tuesday after scoring the biggest upsets of the opening weekend of the season, and No. 4 Florida State jumped into the top five after its resounding victory over LSU in Week 1’s marquee game.

Georgia remained No. 1 with 58 first-place votes and Michigan held steady at No. 2 with two first-place votes.

No. 3 Alabama moved up a spot and Florida State climbed four places and received the remaining three first-place votes after beating LSU 45-24. The Seminoles are in the top five for the first time since the beginning of the 2017 season.

Ohio State rounded out the top five in the AP’s first regular-season poll of the season.

LSU dropped nine spots to No. 15. Clemson, which was upset at Duke, fell 16 places to No. 25. TCU, which lost to Colorado, dropped all the way out of the rankings after being No. 17 in the preseason.

Colorado’s victory as a three-touchdown underdog at TCU in coach Deion Sanders’ debut was the story of the weekend, and now the Buffaloes are ranked for the first time since a brief stay during the 2020 season. The Buffs were also ranked for two weeks in 2018, but have only finished a season in the Top 25 once (2016) in the past 20 seasons.

Sanders, the former NFL star and Florida State All-American, took over a team that went 1-11 last season and did an unprecedented roster makeover, with nearly 90 new players and 58 of them transfers. The new-look Buffs came away with a 45-42 victory on the road against the program that played in the national title game last season.

1. Georgia (58)
2. Michigan (2)
3. Alabama
4. Florida State (3)
5. Ohio State
6. USC
7. Penn State
8. Washington
9. Tennessee
10. Notre Dame
11. Texas
12. Utah
13. Oregon
14. LSU
15. Kansas State
16. Oregon State
17. North Carolina
18. Oklahoma
19. Wisconsin
20. Ole Miss
21. Duke
22. Colorado
23. Texas A&M
24. Tulane
25. Clemson

Others receiving votes: Iowa 73, UCLA 55, Arkansas 28, TCU 27, Kentucky 15, Pittsburgh 8, Mississippi State 5, Miami 4, NC State 4, Wyoming 3, Troy 3, Fresno State 3, Minnesota 3, Auburn 3, Texas State 2, Iowa State 2, Texas Tech 1, UCF 1, Illinois 1, Washington State 1, James Madison 1, Houston 1, Louisville 1

Dropped from rankings: TCU 17, Iowa 25

CU enters USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25

From USA Today … The first regular-season US LBM Coaches Poll is out, with a few changes from the preseason poll. Those changes were mainly the product of three high-profile results from the initial weekend of the season.

The top four teams stay put as Georgia easily retains the No. 1 spot. The Bulldogs received 63 of 66 first-place votes, followed by Michigan and Alabama. The Wolverines claim a single first-place nod, with the remaining two going to the Crimson Tide. Ohio State holds at No. 4.

The changes begin at No. 5, where Florida State leapfrogs into the top five on the heels of its convincing victory against then-No. 5 LSU. The Seminoles, which were last in the top five in the 2017 preseason poll, jump ahead of No. 6 Southern California and No. 7 Penn state, while LSU falls to No. 14. Washington gains three positions to No. 8. Tennessee and Texas round out the top 10.

Two teams that produced notable upsets enter the rankings.

Duke moves in at No. 24 following Monday night’s victory against Clemson. It is the first poll appearance for the Blue Devils since Sept. 23, 2018. Clemson tumbles to No. 21 from its preseason No. 8 spot.

Colorado also enters the rankings at No. 25 thanks to its takedown of TCU. The Buffaloes were last made a brief appearance in the poll during the pandemic shortened 2020 season.

TCU falls out of the Top 25 along with fellow Big 12 member Texas Tech, which was upset by Wyoming.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 6 …USC
  • No. 8 … Washington
  • No. 12 … Utah
  • No. 13 … Oregon
  • No. 18 … Oregon State
  • No. 25 … Colorado (161 points) 
Others receiving votes … Iowa 111; Pittsburgh 53; Kentucky 50; UCLA 44; Texas Christian 40; Fresno State 30; Miami 22; Auburn 22; Arkansas 18; Maryland 14; Missouri 13; Troy 11; Oklahoma State 11; NC State 10; Illinois 9; Wyoming 8; Washington State 7; Wake Forest 7; Air Force 7; Minnesota 6; Mississippi State 5; South Carolina 4; Kansas 4; Texas Tech 3; Southern Methodist 3; Central Florida 3; Houston 2; Texas-San Antonio 1; Michigan State 1; Memphis 1; Louisville 1; James Madison 1; Arizona 1.

CU No. 21 in ESPN Power Rankings

From ESPN … Coach Deion Sanders said his Colorado Buffaloes were coming in 2023, and now they’ve arrived in our Power Rankings.

The Buffaloes’ 45-42 victory in Week 1 at No. 17 TCU, the national runner-up in the 2022 season, made believers out of ESPN’s writers. Colorado, which had only one win last season, went from unranked to No. 21. Now the Buffaloes get another chance to prove themselves, this time against Big Ten foe — and former Big 12 rival — Nebraska in their home opener.

The most impressive win of the week, though, belonged to Coach Prime’s alma mater. Florida State scored 31 consecutive points against No. 5 LSU on Sunday, and ESPN voters rewarded that effort by moving them from preseason No. 7 in the power rankings all the way up to No. 2.

Five consecutive days of football ended with a stunning upset as Duke took down No. 9 Clemson.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 5 … USC
  • No. 8 … Washington
  • No. 10 … Utah
  • No. 12 … Oregon
  • No. 15 … Oregon State
  • No. 21 … Colorado … The team of the offseason opened its season in record-setting fashion to beat TCU 45-42 on the road. Coach Deion Sanders was the story coming in, but his son Shedeur owned the spotlight by passing for 510 yards — a Colorado single-game record — and four touchdowns, while completing 38 passes. Travis Hunter, the other headliner in Deion Sanders’ massive group of newcomers, had an interception and 119 receiving yards while logging a staggering 129 snaps in his Buffaloes debut. Colorado had four 100-yard receivers for the first time and snapped a streak of 24 consecutive losses as an underdog of 21 points or more. The defense needs work after surrendering 541 yards, but Colorado appears much better than many of the bleak preseason forecasts, of which Sanders and his players have “got receipts.”


38 Replies to “CU in the Rankings”

  1. Not sure if the Athletic rankings are valid for the Buffs because of their placement of FSU at #2. You barely escape Boston Coll and a down Clemson team and your #2?

  2. So The Athletic hasn’t abandoned us. Now we need a much better showing against USC. It will be a tough game no doubt but we have to show that we can make some plays. I’m curious to see other running backs get their shot. Or did I miss something in my funk last week?

  3. I don’t know if this story fits best here, but remember how Danny Kanell had a bunch of junk to talk at Deion about not loving FSU enough? And then doubled down by talking more smack leading up to the Showdown?

    Well, Twitter answered the question many had about why Kanell seems to have such a loathing for Deion.

    You see, when Danny Kanell was the starting QB for the Giants, he suffered a pick six in one game. After that, he was benched and his career never recovered. He spent what was left of it traveling from town to town playing backup.

    The defender what made the pick six that marked the end of Kanell’s starter days? Yup. Neon Deion Sanders.

  4. Coach Kelly, the Buffs have a sieve in the defensive backfield that needs attention.

    Good QB’s can shred our defense with slant patterns…..happened more than one game.

    (HINT). Offensive coaches watch film….. FIX IT.


    1. The Buffs were down two corners – Hunter and Carter Stoutmire, who didn’t play – making CU vulnerable to the shallow cross.
      Oregon will see that, but now the coaches have a week to get the remaining CB’s (Stoutmire? McClain?) ready to play without Hunter.

      1. Thanks Stu….but….didn’t we see the same weakness in previous games ?

        Was Stoutmire and McClain compromised in those contests ?

        Guess I need to change my moniker to “Clueless” instead of Bufftrax.

    2. From what Deion is saying, the scheme is sound. Makes sense. Everyone runs mesh/drag/crossing routes. Not magic. Defensive coordinators have seen it before. But creates clutter for linebackers and safeties to sort through. They gotta solve it.

      And get a ground game. Which if you believe deion, is attitude (and dudes).

      I bet both will be better Saturday.

      With shedeur, almost anything seems possible.

      Go Buffs

      1. Eric, good response. You must have a better understanding of the defensive strategies than I do.

        I just ran the ball when it was given to me…..( back in the day ). YeeHaw !!!

      2. Eric….tapping your acumen now. Wouldn’t a good “MAN” defense work if our DB’s have good speed…..which we were led to believe they do ?

        1. Trax, you got the wrong guy. I know only a little and trust those that do know (every coach, for the most part) and what they say. Usually with those crossing routes, there’s a threat on the outside too, so the corners stay home and/or if in man coverage take their guy who’s usually running outside. It’s about creating mismatches across the middle, in traffic, that the linebackers and safeties have to sort through. Whether by a running back, tight end, or wide receiver/slot.

          My understanding is that you can defend it with either man, or zone or hybrid coverages. But the constant is… the players have to execute what’s called. And, unless you think Deion’s making stuff up, he’s said after every game that the calls are correct/fine, it’s the execution that’s lacking.

          I think adding Juwan Mitchell has helped, but they’re still not getting it right. And, in today’s presser, Deion basically said it’s one guy (not always the same guy, I’m sure) but if one dude’s not doing their job, that’s exactly what the offense is trying to create, and exploit. Shedeur’s expert at finding that one defender not doing their job.

          And, now there’s three games of film for opposing teams to use, so even if the defense corrects the play on the mesh/crossing routes, will that create other opportunities for the offense to exploit? Hopefully not. But that’s the “chess match” people like to talk about. It’s still nothing that hasn’t been coached, but the players have to execute. If the chess piece moves in the wrong direction, the call doesn’t matter much.

          Either way, I expect to see better execution by the defense to stop those short crossing routes, and a much improved rushing game too. Maybe Alton is the key there? We’ll find out.

          It’s going to be fun watching Bo Nix, Caleb Williams and Shedeur Sanders going blow for blow. Yeah, it’s not all about them, but… having a QB makes a big difference. Look at Alabama and Clemson for exhibits A and B.

          Go Buffs!

        2. Trax, I got curious and did a little googlin’.

          Here’s some links to information/ideas about the mesh concepts, and how to defend them. Basically? Lots of options, but any/all of them still need to be executed correctly (yeah, coaching can help the players execute, but some players will do better than others, as we know). If you want to geek out a little, enjoy!

          This one’s apparently from a former NFL DB, from…. 2014!

          This is a short and sweet clip on youtube from a couple years ago: Basically, safeties and lbs sit and let the receivers crossing come to them (zone coverage, not man)

          This from some coaching site:

          And this guy, who may have also played in the NFL, is talking about it specifically for the Commanders when they had Wentz:

          So, I trust Deion. The coaches have a plan to defend it. It’s not working consistently, because the players aren’t executing the plan, consistently. So, do they change the plan, change the players, or work/practice it more aggressively so it becomes muscle/brain memory? I don’t know. But I know Deion does. And if they don’t have the dudes on the roster to stop it consistently this year? They will next year.

          It’s a set of plays in basically every offensive playbook, and every opponent knows CU’s D is struggling with it, so… what do you think they’ll run against us? Until we stop it.

          Go Buffs

          1. Eric, you’ve provided me with a whole weekend’s entertainment. Thanks.

            I’m totally impressed with you and others on this site who consistently supply critiques that only an aficionado or former player of the game would have….like I said, “I was only handed the ball….all I had to do was find a place to take it”….which I enjoyed immensely. I would have loved to be one step faster and 20 more pounds….like all backs who are under 180 pounds who run a 4.5.

            GO BUFFS…ENJOY DUCK.

  5. These rankings give me a chuckle. because they are almost identical it seems to me than more doing their own work to analyze they get lazy and look at each other like “what are the other guys saying?”

  6. hmmm
    If I remembers korekly Oregon St bullies HWSRN at UC Davis and that gets them up 3 more spots.
    Now I do remember Prime saying rankings dont mean a thing

  7. So just read a couple of articles from Michigan State that all had Dion as their number 1 hire, replacing Tucker. Syracuse and Indiana as well have already tabbed Dion as their next “Must Get” hire. I get all these as their coaches are on the hot seat…but here’s what really scared me. My past colleague is an Alabama booster, and he said there have been conversations on how to offer Saban early retirement (contract through 2030) and retain part of his contract to get Prime. Even though it’s all speculation, it means there is still desire for blue blood programs who currently don’t even have a problem. I foresee a massive run to take Prime and recreate his Magic elsewhere. Anyone else have this concern Coach Prime may be 1 and done or gone after year 2?

    1. sheesh
      after only 2 games
      Desperation in college football has reached critical mass. Of course the MSU hire of midnight Mel was a symptom of that. heh heh
      Maybe Prime will go straight to the donkeys. ….another extremely needy rescue candidate. I didnt see any sign of the Peyton O genius.

    2. I don’t think so… Coach Prime came to CU and was given free and total license to be himself (and all that entails). The only schools that would have the resources and where with all to lure him away (Alabama, etc) are the BRAND, which wouldn’t leave enough room for Prime to the brand. I could see him leaving for FSU, but why would he leave CU for a program like Texas A&M or even Florida and deal with the pressure? The ONLY pressure he has to navigate in Boulder is pressure he puts on himself – he gets to set the standard and knows it. If he is going to stay, though, RG is going to need to find the $$$

      1. I agree with basically everything you just said. For a lot of these guys, the cash grab is tangential. It is about opportunity and/or challenge and the cash often comes with it. Sometimes it leads, but not always.

        Deion can create his opportunity. He is overcoming a challenge. And he doesn’t need the cash.

        Now, does he deserve to be paid commensurate to his value? Yes. But he’d rather see baseball and softball back in Boulder, I bet.

        We’ll see.

        Go Buffs. Enjoy the ride

    3. buyout for Sanders’ contract in year 1 is $10 or $15 million. Year 2 its something like $7.5. Year 3 its like $5m. Just saying, not sure if it would matter.

  8. World is upside down. Pac12 has 8 ranked teams this week. Big10 has 4. It’s almost like the big TV networks, and their mega deals, don’t know what they’re doing.

    1. With the viewership numbers Colorado is putting up week to week, it would be smart for the Big12 to re-negotiate for next year…or another conference to negotiate and lure Colorado. Holy Crap, what if Colorado does a side deal with networks and what’s left of the P12, got back to the P10 and lure some teams that would like to see 40mil payouts…Oregon and Washington are getting like nothing next year.

      1. CU needs to lock Prime down with a new contract and for Prime to say “I’m here for the duration, I’m not leaving just for a raise or whatever, Rick George trusted me and has treated me well, we love Boulder and are staying”.

        This would be a message that would make recruits want to come to Boulder knowing Prime isn’t leaving any time soon. Then, after a few more wins would CU have any clout to get the networks to believe that CU’s value with Prime are locked in hand in hand for four or five years, hopefully more.

        All these schools will want Prime and after seeing how he’s positively effected the school’s budget (stadium sale outs, merchandise and TV ratings) and the town’s economy ($18 mill last week) and they will offer him the world. Lock him down now Rick, what ever it takes, Prime will pay for himself with all he brings to Boulder, not just the recruits..

  9. Don’t know if our Buffs will finish the season as a ranked team. I’m for enjoying the moment.

    Interesting tidbit. Six pac12 teams in the top 25. Five of them have QBs from the transfer portal (Utah the exception).

    1. And that could change soon when Cameron Rising gets back on the field for the Utes. Now listed as day to day after an ACL injury suffered in the Rose Bowl, you’ll recall that he originally committed to Texas and redshirted his first year there before transferring to the Salt Lake school.

    2. Even if we lose to 3 ranked teams, we will still have beaten 5 ranked teams (as of this comment) and be 9-3…near the bottom of the 25. And you know every Bowl would be clamoring to get Colorado.

  10. Well I got that wrong. CP wants the players to bask in the glory and read the headlines. I will go with what he says. He is much better at this coaching thing than I am.

    1. That was after the game, but at their first practice the coaches were saying the opposite, pointing out their mistakes from the game and “it’s only one game, get back to work!”.

      I think it’s a balance they walk, enjoy the moment, but then the next day, get back to work for the opponent!

  11. I am curious if a team has ever made an appearance in the polls before when they have only won 2 of their previous 14 games? This is amazing!

  12. I hope Coach Prime can make them focus on The Nubs and not get over confident with the prognosticators. Beat down the ‘Holers.
    GO BUFFS!!

  13. I see. The world got worried about Deion’s receipt keeping? So they’re trying the reverse. Because he won’t have the motivational fodder. Sure. Ok.

    We’re here. And we’re about to get comfortable.

    It’s possible dude stays in Boulder for a long, long time.

    Go Buffs!

    1. I think they do, but they haven’t had any significant wins in too long, so we haven’t heard anything about it. Assuming they do this one belongs up there, and hopefully a bunch more bricks this year too.

      Stuart, do you remember which coach brought the wall back after the idiot had them painted over, I want to say MacIntyer brought the bricks back.

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