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2017 College Football Polls: Week 4

Stanford takes a successful first step on the journey back into the rankings

UCLA v Stanford
The Cardinal celebrate after receiving any votes at all in the AP and Coaches Poll
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the saying goes, nothing in life is certain but death, taxes, and Stanford beating UCLA (10 times in a row!). After an embarrassing two weeks, it was pretty fun to see an offensive explosion, even if that did mask a somewhat soft defensive performance against the Chosen Rosen. Let’s take a look at how the polls changed after some pretty fun games this weekend.

Week 4 Coaches Poll

Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
1 Alabama 1 4-0 0
2 Clemson 2 4-0 0
3 Oklahoma 3 4-0 0
4 Penn State 4 4-0 0
5 USC 5 4-0 0
6 Washington 6 4-0 0
7 Michigan 8 4-0 1
8 Georgia 12 4-0 4
9 Ohio State 9 3-1 0
10 Wisconsin 10 3-0 0
11 TCU 15 4-0 4
12 Virginia Tech 13 4-0 1
13 Miami 14 2-0 1
14 Oklahoma State 7 3-1 -7
15 Auburn 16 3-1 1
16 Washington State 18 4-0 2
17 USF 17 4-0 0
18 Louisville 20 3-1 2
19 Utah 21 4-0 2
20 Florida 22 2-1 2
21 San Diego State 25 4-0 4
22 LSU 23 3-1 1
23 WVU 26 3-1 3
24 Mississippi State 19 3-1 -5
25 Florida State 11 0-2 -14

Not a lot of movement at the top here, with Georgia jumping into the top 10 after their big win against the Bulldogs (uh, the other Bulldogs). The biggest losers were Oklahoma State, after the Pokes’ really surprising loss to TCU, and Florida State, who have yet to win a game (though to be fair they probably would’ve beaten ULM had they played the game). After USC’s struggled a bit I’m surprised they haven’t dropped below Washington, but that could be due to Washington not having the greatest schedule so far.

Week 4 AP Poll

Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
Rank Team Previous Rank Record Drop
1 Alabama 1 4-0 0
2 Clemson 2 4-0 0
3 Oklahoma 3 4-0 0
4 Penn State 4 4-0 0
5 USC 5 4-0 0
6 Washington 7 4-0 1
7 Georgia 11 4-0 4
8 Michigan 8 4-0 0
9 TCU 16 4-0 7
10 Wisconsin 9 3-0 -1
11 Ohio State 10 3-1 -1
12 Virginia Tech 13 4-0 1
13 Auburn 15 3-1 2
14 Miami 14 2-0 0
15 Oklahoma State 6 3-1 -9
16 Washington State 18 4-0 2
17 Louisville 19 3-1 2
18 USF 21 4-0 3
19 San Diego State 22 4-0 3
20 Utah 23 4-0 3
21 Florida 20 2-1 -1
22 Notre Dame NR 3-1
23 WVU NR 3-1
24 Mississippi State 17 3-1 -7
25 LSU 25 3-1 0

The AP Poll is relatively similar to the Coaches at the top end but the AP voters clearly are giving TCU much more credit for beating a previously-top-10 Oklahoma State than the Coaches did, swapping TCU with Ohio State essentially. They’re also higher than the Coaches Poll is on San Diego State (freaking Aztecs...), and dropped Florida State entirely while bringing in ND (booooo). Sportswriters were a bit more optimistic about Mississippi State last week than the Coaches, so their drop ended up being bigger.

In both polls, Stanford was in the “receiving votes” category, essentially coming in at 34th in the Coaches and 32nd in the AP Poll (lending credence to the idea that the AP Poll has always been the best poll). With a good win over ASU next week (who just came off their own big win against the Ducks), Stanford could peek into the rankings, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!