Where do Clemson and NC State stand in this week’s college football power rankings ahead of their matchup this weekend?
1. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0) | Last week: 1
Kent State hung around much longer and scored more points than anyone expected, but Georgia still comfortably improved to 4-0 this season. All-American tight end Brock Bowers scored two rushing touchdowns in the victory, including a 75-yard touchdown on a fly sweep. The Dawgs defense should be on point when they face Missouri this Saturday.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) | Last week: 2
Alabama began SEC play with a bang, dismantling Vanderbilt, 55-3. Bryce Young threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while Will Anderson Jr. recorded 2.5 sacks on defense. As things currently stand, the next three weeks feature matchups with ranked SEC opponents (at 20 Arkansas, vs. 17 Texas A&M, at 8 Tennessee).
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)
A similar offensive showing came for the Buckeyes over the weekend, as they put up 52 points versus conference opponent Wisconsin, with C.J. Stroud tossing five touchdowns to lead the way. Rutgers will be in a difficult spot in Columbus this Saturday afternoon.
4. Michigan Wolverines (4-0) | Last week: 3 (-1)
Michigan drops below Ohio State after looking appearing unstoppable in their 34-27 home win over Maryland. But the Wolverines’ offensive line looks like a force this season, helping spark an incredible performance by running back Blake Corum (30 carries, 243 yards, two touchdowns). This week at Iowa might be more of a low-scoring slugfest.
5. Clemson Tigers (4-0) | Last week: 5
DJ Uiagalelei threw five touchdowns in Clemson’s thrilling double overtime road victory at Wake Forest. Clemson going 16/23 on third down offensively was huge in picking up the conference win. The Tigers defense was torched for 337 yards and six touchdowns by experienced quarterback Sam Hartman and an explosive receiver group, so they’ll need to figure things out quickly when they host NC State on Saturday night.
6. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0) | Last week: 6
Central Michigan was surprisingly down just 21-14 at halftime last week, but Penn State’s defense turned it on in the second half of the eventual 33-14 win. The Nittany Lions defense forced four more turnovers and are playing like major force paired with a physical offense. Penn State hosts Northwestern before a bye.
7. Tennessee Volunteers (4-0) | Last week: NR
Tennessee owns a big non-conference win over Pittsburgh and just handled and held off Florida to begin SEC play—the story has been the high-scoring offense led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, who is building on his under-the-radar 2021 campaign. The Vols are ahead of even Ohio State in yards per game (559.2) this season.
8. Kentucky Wildcats (4-0) | Last week: 9 (+1)
Northern Illinois made it a battle, but Will Levis threw four touchdowns to help Kentucky improve to 4-0. The Wildcats’ strong defense will attempt to ground Ole Miss this weekend. Kentucky’s No. 7 ranking in the AP poll is the highest they’ve been since 1977.
9. USC Trojans (4-0) | Last week: 7 (-2)
It was USC’s defense that stepped up to keep the team in the game, which was ultimately won on a game-winning touchdown pass from Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison with 1:13 remaining. The passing attack had some struggles throughout the night, but Williams and the unit came through when it mattered most. They’ll host a reeling Arizona State program this Saturday night.
10. NC State Wolfpack (4-0) | Last week: NR
Following a very narrow win against East Carolina in the first game of the season, NC State has looked like a top-ten team. Ahead of a huge showdown versus Clemson, the Wolfpack are coming off a fantastic 41-10 win over Connecticut; Devin Leary threw four touchdowns while the offense put up 492 yards and the defense allowed just 160 yards (and 39 passing yards).