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  • Writer's pictureGraham Smith

Week 3 SSN Top 25 Ranking

A reactionary ranking that pays no heed to the preseason polls

#25 Washington (2-0)

The Huskies are rolling behind first year coach Kalen DeBoer and transfer QB Michael Penix. Though the competition hasn't been stiff through two games, Kent State and Portland State, UW has outscored them 101-26. The Kent State win looks more significant after watching Oklahoma struggle against them in the first half this weekend. Next up: Michigan State

#24 App State (1-1)

The Mountaineers bounced back from their heartbreaking loss to UNC last week in a tremendous win over #6 Texas A&M in College Station. A&M had 56 blue chip athletes on their roster compared to 1 for App; simply put, App State outperformed a top tier SEC program in every facet. Next up: Miami

#23 Penn State (2-0)

The Nittany Lions dominated Ohio in a second strong showing following the week 1 comeback victory over Purdue. Penn State is flying under the radar but has major darkhorse potential in the B1G East. Whether they can be a CFP contender all comes down to their date with Auburn. Next up: @ Auburn

#22 Utah (1-1)

The week 1 loss to Florida deflated the Utes Playoff hopes but they're far from out of it. With a regrouped offense, Utah laid 70 on hapless Southern Utah. Cam Rising will need to keep up the strong performances to make it back to the Pac 12 Championship. Next up: San Diego State

#21 UNC (3-0)

A series of what would otherwise be unimpressive G5 wins are now looking increasingly better given the strength of the Sun Belt. The defense remains very suspect, but Drake Maye is one of the hottest QBs in the entire nation. Next up: Bye

#20 Florida (1-1)

Billy Napier's Gators grabbed national attention when they shocked #7 Utah in The Swamp last week but came back down to earth this weekend. Kentucky beat Florida in back to back seasons for the first time since '76-77. Anthony Richardson still has a long way to go to meet the Cam Newton comparisons. Next up: USF

#19 Tennessee (2-0)

An overtime thriller against Pitt showcased the talent on this Vols team. Hendon Hooker has a chance to lead the best Tennessee team in a decade. The SEC East is wide open with everyone playing catch up to Georgia. Next up: Akron

#18 Baylor (1-1)

The Bears got stunned in 2OT in Provo thanks to some poor QB play down the stretch. While the loss will hurt in the national standings, Baylor's Big 12 odds are still very much alive. Thanks to the BU defense, the Bears should be able to overcome future offensive woes against the bottom half of the conference. To be a contender, Shapen needs to play as well as he did last year. Next up: Texas State

#17 Wake Forest (2-0)

The Demon Deacons returned star QB Sam Hartman just in time for their trip to Vanderbilt. In vintage fashion, Hartman lit up the scoreboard with 300yds passing & 4 TDs. The defense was also impressive, getting on the board with a pick six and forcing two more fumbles. A win over an SEC team, even Vandy, is a solid victory for the Deacs. Next up: Liberty

#16 Cincinnati (1-1)

The Bearcats lost a close fought week 1 game against Arkansas proving this team remains one of the best G5s in the country. Week 2 brought an easy victory over FCS Kennesaw State but week 3 will see Cincy take on the nation's longest home winning streak in the battle for the Victory Bell. Ben Bryant's improved play is crucial to Cincinnati earning a NY6 spot. Next up: Miami Ohio

#15 Oregon State (2-0)

OSU notched one of Saturday's best under the radar wins in a late night battle with Fresno State. After dominating Boise State in week 1, Oregon State has proven they can beat the best the Mountain West has to offer. The Beavs are shaping up to be one the biggest surprises in the Pac 12. Next up: Montana State

#14 Marshall (2-0)

In another stunning Sun Belt upset, Marshall went into South Bend and knocked off a top 10 Notre Dame just a week after Ohio State did the same. This was Marshall's first top 10 win since 2003. Coach Huff's Herd are thundering and momentum is building for a showdown between Marshall and App State in week 10. Marshall is now poised to make a run at the coveted G5 NY6 spot. Next up: @ Bowling Green