We talked last week about reloading rather than rebuilding when it came to Ohio State losing so many players to the NFL draft, but continuing their level of excellence under Urban Meyer, but let’s talk about that second option a little bit. Jim Harbaugh’s had to undertake one heck of a rebuilding job at Michigan.
With really only one arguable household name on the roster before his first season started in De’Veon Smith at running back, Harbaugh took a team that was 5-7 in Brady Hoke’s last year and turned them into 9-3 last season with a bowl win to take them to 10-3. This year, he’s got them off to a 4-0 start and they’ve put over 40 points on the board in every game. Now granted, yes, they haven’t played anyone of note yet. But unlike Clemson, they haven’t played down to anyone else’s level yet either. It’s hard to argue the Wolverines don’t show up every week looking to play their very best.
And let’s be honest: the top four teams are probably very fluid. A lot of people were upset that I jumped the Buckeyes over Louisville last week after putting the Cardinals in the top spot the week before when they then went out to destroy Florida State. Now, I don’t have to explain myself to you (that’s the beauty of having the actual power behind the POWER RANKINGS), but I will: very simply, I thought it was a coin flip between Ohio State and Louisville, and while Louisville dismantled FSU at home, the Buckeyes went on the road to Norman and did the same to Oklahoma. We can all agree that Oklahoma and FSU were probably a bit overrated to start the season but are also still decent teams, so in the end I gave the top spot to the team that did the same damage on the road. Simple as that.
Now on to this week! We’re finally getting some clarity on who’s for real in the SEC, helping to clear the 9-13 five-team logjam we had in the Power Rankings last week. The Big 12 continues to eat itself alive, making it all the more likely they’re the Power 5 conference left out of the Playoffs this year. Finally out west, Washington seems like the real deal, while Stanford needed a last-second touchdown to survive UCLA.
So long, September. It’s been lovely getting started. Now it’s time to dial up the pressure. All hail the victors, these are the Week four POWER RANKINGS! Take it away, Michigan’s best: