Newsweek College Football Top 20 Rankings, Games to Watch For Week 4

Alabama held on to beat the Florida Gators by stopping a two-point conversion Saturday, and the Crimson Tide hold on to the top ranking after a wild weekend of college football.

The Alabama Crimson Tide edged Florida, 31-29, and they once again lead the Newsweek Top 20.

Florida trailed by 18 points after the first quarter, and they fought back with a stifling defense and an offense that finally found some rhythm. The Gators missed an extra-point kick in the second half that eventually forced them to go for two points to tie the game. Alabama stuffed a running play to seal the win.

There was shuffling in the top 10 this week with Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Clemson falling despite winning their games.

Georgia remains at No. 2 after stomping South Carolina. Oregon vaulted to No. 3, Iowa leaped to No. 4 and Texas A&M is No. 5.

Penn State climbed to No. 6 after an impressive win at home over Auburn. The Nittany Lions held off the Tigers for a late 28-20 win, a rarity for Penn State over an SEC squad.

Penn State University Football
Joey Porter Jr. #9 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates with fans after the game against the Auburn Tigers at Beaver Stadium on September 18, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Oklahoma looked sluggish in their win over Nebraska, and the Sooners dropped four spots to No. 7. Michigan State made a statement Saturday by going all the way to Miami and throttling the Hurricanes, 38-17. Michigan State makes its way into the top 10, debuting at No. 8. Cincinnati dropped five spots to No. 9 after a see-saw win over Indiana, and Clemson dropped three spots to No. 10 after a rather lethargic 14-8 home win over Georgia Tech.

Florida remained at No. 11 despite their loss, and SEC rival Ole Miss jumped two spots to No. 12 after crushing Tulane. Coastal Carolina remains at No. 13, Notre Dame climbs back to No. 14 and Ohio State stays pat at No. 15 after a win over Tulsa that looked shaky at times.

Arkansas and Michigan enter the rankings at Nos. 16 and 17, respectively, as they stay undefeated. BYU remains undefeated and moves up to No. 18, Auburn fell three spots to No. 19 and Fresno State finds its way to No. 20 after hanging on to beat UCLA, which was No. 8 last week but is now out of the ranking.

Here are the rankings for for Week 4 — September 19, 2021

Rank

Team

Record

Previous

Next Game (All times Eastern)

1

Alabama

3-0

1

Sat. vs Southern Miss, 7:30 p.m.

2

Georgia

3-0

2

Sat. at Vanderbilt, noon

3

Oregon

3-0

5

Sat. vs Arizona, 10:30 p.m.

4

Iowa

3-0

6

Sat. vs Colorado State, 3:30 p.m.

5

Texas A&M

3-0

9

Sat. vs Arkansas, noon (in Arlington, TX)

6

Penn State

3-0

10

Sat. vs Villanova, noon

7

Oklahoma

3-0

3

Sat. vs West Virginia, 7:30 p.m.

8

Michigan State

3-0

12

Sat. vs Nebraska, 7 p.m.

9

Cincinnati

3-0

4

Oct. 2 at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m.

10

Clemson

2-1

7

Sat. at N.C. State, 3:30 p.m.

11

Florida

2-1

11

Sat. vs Tennessee, 7 p.m.

12

Ole Miss

3-0

14

Oct. 2 at Alabama, TBD

13

Coastal Carolina

3-0

13

Sat. vs UMass, 1 p.m.

14

Notre Dame

3-0

17

Sat. vs Wisconsin, noon (in Chicago, IL)

15

Ohio State

2-1

15

Sat. vs Akron, 7:30 p.m.

16

Arkansas

3-0

NR

Sat. vs Texas A&M, noon (in Arlington, TX)

17

Michigan

3-0

NR

Sat. vs Rutgers, 3:30 p.m.

18

BYU

3-0

20

Sat. vs South Florida, 10:15 p.m.

19

Auburn

2-1

16

Sat. vs Georgia State, 4 p.m.

20

Fresno State

3-1

NR

Fri. vs UNLV, 10 p.m.

Dropped Out: No. 8 UCLA; No. 18 Central Florida; No. 19 Virginia Tech

Here are the top games to watch this week:
Marshall at Appalachian State (Thursday)
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin (Saturday at Soldier Field, Chicago)
SMU at TCU
Texas Tech at Texas
Clemson at N.C. State
Texas A&M vs Arkansas (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)
Iowa State at Baylor
UCLA at Stanford
Tennessee at Florida
Nebraska at Michigan State
West Virginia at Oklahoma
North Carolina at Georgia Tech
Arizona at Oregon