Ohio State is building a strong case to be ranked as the best team in the country. After a big win over Wisconsin in Week 4, the Buckeyes now jump ahead of Alabama at No. 2 in the CBS Sports 131, our ranking of every FBS college football team.

We’ve released five editions of CBS Sports 131 this season, and this latest update shows a different combination for the top three of Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama. This battle for supremacy will ultimately be decided on the field and we’ll have a long way to go before we get those hypothetical matchups, but here’s a look at how preseason expectations are being erased and what decisions each team will make. He has reached this point in the season.

The release of preseason expectations is a theme for ranking college football teams as we head into October, and it makes both the process difficult for voters and some quick adjustments. Some teams will move up the rankings after a “check-out” win, while others will fail to make it to the top of the pre-season rankings for another week and may be relegated significantly.

A great example of this shift in focus was Michigan State’s loss to Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are slowly climbing the ranks as heavy favorites, but needed a win over the Spartans in East Lansing, Michigan to grab the voters’ attention. Now 4-0, Minnesota is in the top 15. Michigan State, the team that started the year in our rankings and started in 14th place, has fallen out of the 50 because two straight losses show its form. More than expected from the preseason. The “confirmation” win gave Minnesota a much-needed boost, and until Michigan State starts to improve its profile, it’ll be seen drifting up and down our crowded 131-team rankings.

The team that suddenly needs a “make sure” win after Week 4 is Oklahoma. On paper, the Sooners look like one of the best teams in the country, and before Saturday’s loss to Kansas State, they had flexed their muscles against most of their competition. But now that Oklahoma is a one-loss team with lone wins over UTAP, Kent State and Nebraska, it’s worth discussing whether Brent Venables’ team should be ahead of other undefeated teams — like Kansas, which is 4-0. With better victories. Meanwhile, Kansas State saw its stock drop after a loss to Tulane but now has one of the biggest risers this week, climbing 18 points to No. 25, after a win over Norman Oklahoma.

For the biggest week-to-week adjustments in CBS Spots 131, see Mover’s Report below the top 25 chart.

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports vote each week, putting together our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-131 on our rankings page.

1 Georgia 4-0 1
2 Ohio State 4-0 3
3 Alabama 4-0 2
4 Michigan 4-0 4
5 USC 4-0 6
6 Clemson 4-0 7
7 Tennessee 4-0 11
8 Oklahoma State 3-0 9
9 Penn State 4-0 10
10 Kentucky 4-0 8
11 NC State 4-0 13
12 Washington 4-0 17
13 Be a lady 4-0 14
14 Minnesota 4-0 26
15 Utah 3-1 15
16 Oregon 3-1 16
17 Bayer 3-1 19
18 Oklahoma 3-1 5
19 State of Florida 4-0 27
20 Texas A&M 3-1 22
21 BYU 3-1 18
22 Arkansas 3-1 12
23 Kansas 4-0 30
24 Wake forest 3-1 21
25 Kansas State 3-1 43

The biggest travelers

  • No. 50 James Madison (+32): Nothing seems to carry more weight with voters than JMU going into Boone, North Carolina and taking down Appalachian State. The Dukes have been rolling against opponents three weeks into the season but have yet to be tested against the Sun Belt’s best. Trailing 28-3, JMU mounted an impressive comeback that gained more than two dozen points in the standings.
  • No. 25 Kansas State (+18): The Wildcats are a strange team to evaluate with wins over Missouri and Oklahoma but a loss against Tulane. More wins would help offset the weight of the loss to the Green Wave, but now he’s seeing the benefits of a move to the top 25 with an upset powerhouse.
  • Well then. 14 Minnesota (+12) Minnesota was ruthlessly efficient on both sides of the ball through four weeks, so the level of competition didn’t seem to matter with a shot at the Big Ten West title three years later.
  • no. 18 Oklahoma (-13): As mentioned above, Oklahoma looks good for the most part and sees opportunities to get back in the rankings. Although currently the profile is lacking for quality wins.
  • No. 51 Michigan State (-17): This is now a 37-spot drop in two weeks as the Spartans sit at 2-2 with an 0-2 record against the Power Five.
  • No. 38 Texas (-18): Losing to Alabama, especially by a close margin, doesn’t hurt your rating that much. But with another loss against Texas Tech added and the only wins coming against ULM and UTSA, it becomes difficult to consider the Longhorns a top-30 team.
  • No. 56 Miami (-27): A predictable drop here for Mario Cristobal’s team wasn’t even close in a 45-31 win after Middle Tennessee went wire-to-wire. The Hurricanes fell behind 24-3 early in the second quarter, and while the offense found some life in the second half, the margin was never closer than 14 during the comeback effort.
  • No. 54 Appalachian State (-30): A win over Texas A&M and a Hail Mary win over Troy helped the Mountaineers move up to No. 24, but Week 4 produced a couple of bad news in terms of the rankings. First, an actual loss to JMU, a team outside of the top 70, and then North Carolina’s upset at Notre Dame, taking that close loss in the season opener.

Watch the rest of CBS Sports 131: Teams are ranked 26-131

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