Ranking every college football team after Week 3: Washington is back on the rise

What a distinction a yr makes in Seattle.

A yr in the past right now, Washington was 1-2 with losses to FCS Montana and Michigan wherein the Huskies scored 17 mixed factors. On Saturday, the Huskies scored 39 factors in a dominant win in opposition to a Michigan State team that was ranked No. 11 in the AP ballot. And the sport wasn’t almost as shut as the 39-28 closing rating. Washington had 503 whole yards and averaged 9.9 yards per move. With the win to maneuver to 3-0, the Huskies have moved into the prime 25 on this week’s version of The Athletic 131.

Washington’s fall off a cliff underneath former head coach Jimmy Lake en path to a 4-8 document final season was gorgeous as a result of it occurred so rapidly. This was a program that received 32 video games from 2016 to 2018 underneath Chris Petersen. Recruiting had gone comparatively properly, and it is one in every of the best-resourced applications in the West. But the offense had turn out to be anemic.

Enter Kalen DeBoer and Michael Penix Jr. DeBoer has received mainly in all places he is been. He’s 82-9 as a head coach, together with a 67-3 stretch at NAIA Sioux Falls from 2005 to 2009. He helped flip round Indiana and Fresno State as the offensive coordinator, then went back to Fresno State and produced a 9-3 document in his second season as head coach.

Penix was electrical as Indiana’s quarterback when wholesome, however he handled a number of accidents. He’s reunited with DeBoer in Seattle, and Washington football is enjoyable once more. Through three video games, he is finishing 66 p.c of his passes for 359.7 yards per sport with 10 touchdowns and one interception.

Everyone wrote off the Pac-12 after Week 1, however we could have to reevaluate that. Washington is the greatest purpose why.

Here is the newest version of The Athletic 131.

The solely change on this group is USC’s transfer as much as No. 8 after a 45-17 win in opposition to Fresno State. The Trojans appear like the best-case state of affairs underneath Lincoln Riley proper now. The offense is electrical. The protection has proven holes (81st in yards per play), however it’s fourth in the nation with 10 takeaways. The journey to Oregon State this week might be an fascinating check.

Michigan is dominant 3-0 however has performed three of the worst groups in the nation. A house sport in opposition to Maryland this week might be the first time we are able to truly start to judge the Wolverines.

The polls have come round to place Georgia at No. 1, and its Week 1 win in opposition to Oregon seems to be even higher now after the Ducks’ dominant win in opposition to BYU.

11-25

Rank Team Record Prev

11

3-0

13

12

3-0

25

13

2-1

21

14

3-0

20

15

2-1

15

16

2-1

16

17

2-1

18

18

2-1

11

19

2-1

19

20

3-0

49

21

3-0

22

22

2-1

26

23

2-1

24

24

3-0

27

25

3-0

29

Penn State’s 41-12 win at Auburn has rapidly modified the view on what is potential for this team. Auburn might not be an excellent team, however the Nittany Lions had been capable of run for 245 yards in opposition to an excellent entrance. The aforementioned 41-20 Oregon win at BYU abruptly makes the Pac-12 look significantly better now to go along with USC, Washington and Utah, which beat San Diego State 35-7.

Texas, Wake Forest and Ole Miss additionally transfer into the prime 25. The Longhorns averted an Alabama hangover and pulled away from UTSA in the second half, Wake Forest held off Liberty and Ole Miss pounded Georgia Tech 42-0.

The polls have Utah forward of Florida and Baylor forward of BYU, and the coaches ballot has Michigan State forward of Washington. Why? I don’t know. In these rankings, when two groups are shut, the head-to-head winner will get the benefit, particularly three weeks into the season.

I noticed loads of feedback about Minnesota’s rating final week. It’s barely moved in the rankings as a result of it is performed two of the worst groups in the nation and an FCS team. It’s the similar reasoning with Michigan and with Ole Miss. It’s not a detrimental and never a constructive. Sometimes you get jumped if another person has a extra spectacular win. Minnesota was No. 39 in my preseason rating and nonetheless sits there now. Beat Michigan State, and it will more than likely be in the prime 25.

North Carolina’s win in opposition to Appalachian State continues to look higher, and the Mountaineers’ Hail Mary win in opposition to Troy coupled with Texas A&M’s win in opposition to Miami was a lift as properly. Maryland’s 34-27 win in opposition to SMU was a strong efficiency.

Kansas and Syracuse! KU is in the prime 35 after a 3-0 begin with highway wins in opposition to West Virginia and Houston. Syracuse is 3-0 with wins in opposition to Louisville and Purdue. It’s not arduous to see a 5-0 Orange begin going into the NC State sport. Tulane makes the greatest bounce this week, from No. 110 into the prime 50 after a win in opposition to Kansas State to maneuver to 3-0. Notre Dame’s shut escape from Cal coupled with Marshall’s loss to Bowling Green drops each groups. Arizona’s 31-28 win in opposition to North Dakota State was spectacular as an underdog, and the Wildcats are formally a fairly good team.

Several groups slipped into this group with losses — Purdue, Texas Tech, Houston, UTSA and Auburn — however there’s not a lot motion in any other case. Indiana barely escaped Western Kentucky and Rutgers barely escaped Temple, however each are 3-0. Wyoming’s 17-14 win in opposition to Air Force moved the Cowboys to 3-1, with the loss to Illinois.

Vanderbilt’s comeback win at Northern Illinois to maneuver to 3-1 is an actual signal of progress for the program. Rice’s 33-21 win in opposition to Louisiana was one in every of the most shocking outcomes of the weekend. Eastern Michigan received at Arizona State, turning into the first MAC faculty to win a regular-season sport in opposition to the Pac-12. Northwestern has adopted up its Ireland win in opposition to Nebraska with losses to Duke and FCS Southern Illinois at house.

South Alabama let a win at UCLA slip away with a subject purpose as time expired, and Troy let App State win on a Hail Mary. Tough losses. San Diego State is now 1-2 with two blowout losses to Pac-12 groups. Very rapidly, this does not appear like the Aztecs of previous.

(Top photograph of Michael Penix and Kalen DeBoer: Joe Nicholson / USA Today)

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