College football rankings: Cincinnati up to No. 3, Kentucky surges into top 10 in new CBS Sports 130


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Following a college football weekend where the scores and results established some tiers in the sport, Cincinnati had arguably the biggest statement win in taking down Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The Bearcats now find themselves in a position to be a College Football Playoff contender in 2021 after passing the second of two nonconference road tests against Power Five teams, leading to Cincy jumping the likes of Iowa, Penn State and Oklahoma to land at No. 3 in the new CBS Sports 130. 

Victories for Alabama and Georgia, our respective No. 1 and No. 2, were arguably just as impressive for how they revealed the distance between themselves and other top teams. Arkansas did fall from No. 5 to No. 12 after its shutout loss to the Bulldogs, but Ole Miss only dropped from No. 12 to No. 14, driving home the message that Saturday’s results in the SEC said more about the teams at the top than the quality of the teams on the losing side. 

Florida, on the other hand, did see a notable adjustment in its ranking after losing on the road at Kentucky, dropping from No. 10 down to No. 21. But that move pales in comparison to Kentucky, which has crash landed in the top 10 after checking in at No. 30 in last week’s ballot. For more on the Wildcats and the other biggest changes in the CBS Sports 130 college football rankings, check out the Mover’s Report below the rankings table. 

Within the top 25 of our FBS-wide rankings, you will notice how those losses by Arkansas, Notre Dame, Florida and Ole Miss have opened up room for teams like No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State and No. 11 BYU to take a step up in the rankings, while No. 17 Coastal Carolina, No. 18 Wake Forest and No. 19 Texas were left mostly in place behind teams that took losses in Week 5 games. That seems to be the next dividing line for our voters, though Week 6 action will provide plenty of opportunities for the order to disrupted before next week’s ballots are submitted. 

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-130 on our rankings page.

1Alabama5-012Georgia5-023Cincinnati4-074Iowa5-065Penn State5-046Oklahoma5-097Michigan5-0138Ohio State
4-1129Michigan State5-01410Kentucky5-03011BYU5-01512Arkansas4-1513Oregon4-1314Ole Miss3-11215Oklahoma State
5-02416Notre Dame4-1817Coastal Carolina 5-01618Wake Forest5-01819Texas4-11920Auburn
4-12621Florida3-21022SMU5-02723Arizona State4-13224NC State4-12825Baylor4-121

Biggest movers 

No. 29 Pitt (+24): An early season loss to Western Michigan resulted in a swift penalty from our voters that had the Panthers all the way down at No. 53 heading into the week. Running the score up on New Hampshire wasn’t going to win back confidence but repeating the effort against a Georgia Tech team that beat North Carolina has brought Pitt back inside the top 30.No. 10 Kentucky (+20): After beating Missouri, there was a little bit more momentum around the Wildcats’ ranking, but beating Florida to improve to 5-0 was the combination required for a major jump to the front of the line among top teams. No. 26 Oregon State (+15): The Beavers’ last two wins have come against that have come against programs in USC and Washington that have combined for five division titles and two conference championships in the last four years. In a week of statement wins across the country Oregon State made its own in the Pac-12, and our voters have noticed with a ranking 46 spots higher than before that USC win. No. 34 Stanford (+15): Speaking of statements out West, Stanford looks nothing like the team that struggled against Kansas State in the season opener and the quarterback change is just one part of the story. Beating Oregon gives the Cardinal a huge head-to-head in the Pac-12 North race, and given the quality of play from David Shaw’s team, Stanford has be considered among the top contenders for the division crown through five weeks. No. 33 Texas A&M (-16): Mississippi State rolled into College Station, Texas, and pushed Texas A&M right out of the SEC West picture by handing the Aggies their second straight loss to a division opponent. In total, it’s been a 26-spot drop over last two weeks for Texas A&M in the CBS Sports 130, leaving Saturday night’s matchup against Alabama as the last stand for a run the crown in 2021. No. 42 UCLA (-17): The Bruins couldn’t contain Arizona State’s splash plays, and it’s cost the team in a big way. SU is now a game off pace in the Pac-12 South after a strong start to the season. UCLA is also hurt in the rankings by how LSU has performed since the Bruins win against the Tigers, as that victory no longer holds the kind of value it did at the time. No. 37 Maryland (-17): We were maybe a little over our skis with Maryland up at No. 20 last week, especially after it got outclassed by Iowa on Friday night. Now, the Terps fall back to what might be a more appropriate position. Maryland’s a top-40 team a high upside thanks to its offense, but it’s still a team that needs its best performance and can’t afford an off night. No. 63 Wisconsin (-25): A lopsided loss to Notre Dame bounced the Badgers from just inside the top 20 to just inside the top 40, and now the 1-3 Badgers are ranked near the median for all FBS teams. It’s a stunning ranking for a team that has played for the Big Ten championship in three of the last five years, but the last two weeks have revealed to our voters that a new set of expectations needs to be applied in 2021. 

Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 130: Teams ranked 26-130

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