Alabama no longer No. 1 in NCAA re-rank, Vols move up

The greatest debate in this week’s USA TODAY Sports’ 1-128 ranking of the Football Bowl Subdivision: Which team deserves to be No. 1?

There are three strong contenders. The first is Alabama, the reigning top seed from last week’s rankings, which snapped its two-game losing streak against Mississippi with a road win. The second is Ohio State, which answered any questions about its youth and inexperience with a dominant victory at Oklahoma.

And then there’s the newcomer, Louisville, which announced its presence in the championship race by ripping through Florida State.

In the re-rank, at least, Ohio State gets the nod. The Buckeyes sit at No. 1 after yet another superb showing, this time in one of the most unfriendly environments in college football. But it’s close: Alabama is wholly deserving of staying on top, and Louisville has a case of its own.

As an aside, the re-rank does not include teams from the Football Championship Subdivision, so there’s no North Dakota State on the list. But what if the Bison were eligible? I’d slot them in at No. 24. NDSU did beat Iowa on the road, but remember that the FCS powerhouse needed overtime to beat Charleston Southern and Eastern Washington.

New to the top 25: Nebraska, Oklahoma State, South Florida, Miami (Fla.), LSU and TCU.

Out of the top 25: Texas, Oregon, Ole Miss, Iowa, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

The Vols, of course, moving up in the ranks after their win over Ohio University and making their record 3-0. Tennessee ranked No. 15 going into Week 4, where they will face off with No. 20 ranked Florida.

 


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