ESPN updates Top 25 college football Power Rankings following Week 3

Matt Connolly09/18/23
Article written by:On3 imageMatt Connolly


There were multiple upsets in college football this past weekend, as well as a couple of national title contenders who had close calls. Following Week 3 action, ESPN has updated its top 25 college football power rankings.

Georgia remains No. 1, despite trailing South Carolina by double digits at halftime on Saturday.

Another SEC East team in Tennessee tumbled in the rankings after getting handled by Florida in Gainesville. Here’s the full updated top 25 power rankings from ESPN:

1. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

It was an ugly first half for Georgia on both sides of the ball on Saturday. South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler had his way with the Bulldogs defense through the air for the first 30 minutes, while UGA QB Carson Beck struggled, and the Georgia offense managed only three points.

Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs turned things around in the second half as Georgia outscored the Gamecocks 21-0 after the break, on its way to a 24-14 victory. Still, there’s plenty of work to do in Athens if Georgia is going to win a third straight national title.

2. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan Wolverines football Cornelius Johnson
(Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Michigan continues to win comfortably, although the Wolverines have yet to face a Power 5 opponent. Michigan opened the season with wins over East Carolina, UNLV and most recently Bowling Green — all by between 25 and 28 points.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh will be back on the sidelines this weekend after a three-game suspension to open the year. Harbaugh comes back as Big Ten play begins for Michigan with a home game against Rutgers.

3. Florida State Seminoles

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis hands the ball off to running back Trey Benson d
(Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgia wasn’t the only top 5 team that had its hands full over the weekend. Florida State had to hold on late to escape with a 31-29 win over Boston College.

The Seminoles took a 31-10 lead in the third quarter and appeared to be on their way to an easy win, before BC roared back with 19 unanswered points. Up next for the Seminoles is a showdown with Clemson in Death Valley.

4. USC Trojans

Caleb Williams-USC
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

USC was off this weekend, after being one of the few teams to play in Week 0. The Trojans have a couple of road games coming up at Arizona State and at Colorado.

The Colorado game in particular should be fascinating with Caleb Williams and Shedeur Sanders facing off. USC has to take care of business this weekend against the Sun Devils first, though.

5. Texas Longhorns

Quinn Ewers (Will Gallagher/Inside Texas)

It was fair to expect that Texas might have a letdown after a huge win at Alabama, and the Longhorns certainly did. Wyoming and Texas were tied at 10 entering the fourth quarter, before the Longhorns pulled away for a 31-10 win.

Still, Texas has proven that at its best, it’s one of the best teams in the country. The Longhorns will be back on the road this weekend for a matchup at Baylor as Big 12 play gets underway.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

Kyle McCord-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes
(Matt Parker — Lettermen Row)

Ohio State appears to be hitting its stride at just the right time. After lackluster performances against Indiana and Youngstown State to open the year, the Buckeyes blasted Western Kentucky 63-10 over the weekend.

Up next is a huge matchup with Notre Dame. There are certainly College Football Playoff implications on the line this weekend for the top 10 showdown. This will be a big test for Buckeyes first-year starting quarterback Kyle McCord.

7. Washington Huskies

Washington-Rome Odunze
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Washington continued its dominant start to the season with an impressive 41-7 victory at Michigan State on Saturday. Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. continues to look like one of the best QBs in the country as he had 473 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Spartans.

Penix has some of the best receivers in the country to throw to, including Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan. Washington looks like a serious contender in what is a loaded Pac-12.

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

Nick Singleton-Penn State
(Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Penn State got an outstanding performance from its defense on Saturday against Illinois, while earning a 30-13 road victory over the Illini. The Penn State offense wasn’t exactly explosive, but it didn’t need to be.

The Nittany Lions back seven was excellent as Illinois quarterback Luke Altmyer was picked off four times. Penn State faces a ranked Iowa team this weekend at home.

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame running back Audric Estimé
Notre Dame running back Audric Estimé hurdles over Central Michigan safety De’Javion Stepney during a 41-17 Irish win Saturday in South Bend. (Chad Weaver, Blue & Gold)

Notre Dame improved to 4-0 on the year with a 41-17 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday. The Fighting Irish continue to play well on offense, with Sam Hartman leading the way.

Notre Dame has scored 40-plus points in every game this season so far. It will get its biggest test to date on Saturday when the Irish host Ohio State in the biggest college football game of the weekend.

10. Utah Utes

Utah QB Nate Johnson
(Raymond Carlin III | USA TODAY Sports)

Even without star quarterback Cam Rising, the Utes continue to win games. Utah beat Weber State this past weekend, after opening the year with victories over Florida and Baylor.

The win over the Gators looks even more impressive now after what Florida did to Tennessee on Saturday. Up next, Utah faces back-to-back ranked opponents in UCLA and Oregon State.

ESPN power rankings 11-25

11. Oregon Ducks 
12. Oregon State 
13. LSU Tigers 
14. Alabama Crimson Tide 
15. Oklahoma Sooners
16. Ole Miss Rebels
17. North Carolina Tar Heels
18. Colorado Buffaloes  
19. Duke Blue Devils
20. Miami Hurricanes
21. Tennessee Volunteers
22. Washington State Cougars
23. UCLA Bruins
24. Iowa Hawkeyes
25. Kansas State Wildcats

The updated power rankings from ESPN are in ahead of a loaded college football slate. With Clemson-Florida State, Notre Dame-Ohio State, Ole Miss-Alabama and plenty of other ranked matchups taking place this weekend, the power rankings are sure to have another shake up after Week 4.