College football rankings: Alabama leaps Ohio State, Colorado makes historic jump in CBS Sports 133

Keytron Jordan, CBS Sports

We spend weeks debating the preseason college football rankings, then in the process of the five-day whirlwind that is Week 1, the entire landscape gets reset. As we update the CBS Sports 133, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, the adjustments to what we’ve witnessed to this point include one of the most notable in-season jumps in the history of the rankings. 

Colorado was No. 85 in our preseason rankings, one spot behind Virginia Tech and one spot ahead of Indiana. The other teams in this stretch include mid-tier Group of Five programs and the Power Five teams that were projected to finish near the bottom of the standings. We were among the outsiders not ready to believe that Colorado’s overhauled roster was prepared to hit the ground running and immediately be on the same level as the best teams in the country. 

To answer the question that Deion Sanders has leveled at reporters since Colorado’s 45-42 win at TCU: Yes, we believe now. 

The Buffaloes make a jump from No. 85 to No. 24 in our latest CBS Sports 133 rankings, a 61-spot leap that is one of the most significant in-season adjustments since we began these FBS-wide rankings nearly a decade ago. No team has reversed our voters’ opinion for the better based on a single result in this manner. Now, Coach Prime’s squad occupies a spot in the rankings surrounded by Power Five teams expected to win between seven and nine games. For a Buffs team that carried a preseason win total under five, that’s a big adjustment to expectations as well.   

There are some notable shifts at the top of the rankings as well. Florida State crashes the top five after its statement win against LSU as the Seminoles moved from No. 8 to No. 4; the Tigers, meanwhile, fell 10 spots to No. 14. There were also smaller shakeups in the top 10 such as Alabama moving ahead of Ohio State, Washington jumping ahead of USC and Notre Dame joining the top 10 with a five-spot move from No. 15. 

For more on the most notable adjustments throughout the CBS Sports 133, check out the Mover’s Report below the top 25 table. 

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 26-133 on our rankings page.

4Florida State1-08
5Ohio State1-03
7Penn State1-07
10Notre Dame2-015
15Oregon State1-018
16Kansas State1-016
18North Carolina1-020
19Ole Miss1-021
20Texas A&M1-024

Biggest movers 

  • No. 24 Colorado (+61): It was incredibly difficult to rate a brand-new roster in the wake of a 1-11 season, but our voters are not too proud to admit when we’re wrong. The high-end talent of Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and Dylan Edwards showed up in a big way against TCU, and there are a ton of teams that wish they had that kind of special playmaking at the top of the depth chart. There are questions marks, certainly, but Colorado’s offense will be a problem for every team on its schedule. 
  • No. 76 Texas State (+46): Movements in the bottom half of the CBS Sports 133 can get overlooked, but there’s no way we can let the adjustment to Texas State’s road upset of Baylor go unnoticed. The Bobcats were among the worst teams in the FBS in recent years, but G.J. Kinne’s hiring from Incarnate Word and a transfer portal overhaul (seems to be a theme, huh?) has produced a team that is far exceeding any of our expectations.  
  • No. 22 Duke (+21): The Blue Devils were respected heading into the year carrying a top-45 ranking, and that was probably a high-floor rating with room to improve. Projections just did Duke no favors because of a schedule that’s gotten markedly more difficult from last year’s nine-win campaign. But after seeing Mike Elko’s group bring the fight to Clemson and beat the Tigers by 21 points on Monday, does the schedule still look as difficult? This is one of the better teams in the ACC and more than deserving of its rise here. 
  • No. 17 Oklahoma (+9): There’s something to be said for the really, really impressive blowout wins. When the Sooners are up 45-0 at halftime against Arkansas State, they have successfully showed a level of excellence and execution that suggests this team has a high ceiling. It does not mean we should assume they are better than everyone, but definitely maybe a little better than expected. 
  • No. 14 LSU (-10): An appropriate drop here for an LSU team that did have a lead at halftime before things spun out of control in the second half of Sunday’s 21-point loss to Florida State. It’s an acknowledgement that maybe LSU was a little bit overrated in the preseason, while at the same time recognizing maybe the Seminoles are better than what was projected. 
  • No. 41 UTSA (-10): Though the result was far from the oddsmakers’ betting line, Saturday’s 17-14 loss at Houston has dragged down the Roadrunners’ stock in the view of our voters. UTSA has not only made a move up to the AAC but it also gets a couple of tough nonconference games at Houston and at Tennessee. There’s a chance to get right with Texas State coming to town. Then again, that team just beat Baylor, so it’s no easy win.  
  • No. 30 TCU (-13): The positive side is that TCU’s offense did put up 42 points against Colorado. Unfortunately, the defense, which does return a ton of production from last year’s 13-2 team, was absolutely shredded by the Buffs’ up-tempo attack. TCU has to tighten up on that side of the ball to avoid falling behind in a competitive Big 12 where most games are going to be toss-ups like Saturday’s loss.   
  • No. 25 Clemson (-16): Dabo Swinney said Clemson was 108-0 all-time when rushing for 200 yards and passing for 200 yards in the same game. Now, that record is 108-1 mostly because of two red zone turnovers, two missed field goals, two turnovers on downs in Duke territory and an interception. The offense was out of sorts and the defense couldn’t bottle up Riley Leonard when it counted in the second half. Similar to the case with LSU, acknowledging that Duke is better than expected provides a cushion for how far Clemson falls, but the way the Tigers lost in Durham, North Carolina, was concerning given the top-10 preseason expectations. 
  • No. 67 Baylor (-32): Saturday’s loss at home as a four-touchdown favorite to an in-state Group of Five program was one of the most stunning Week 1 results. And it gets worse: Baylor’s defense was banged up heading into the game and the Bears found out after that starting quarterback Blake Shapen will miss a couple weeks with an MCL injury as they prepare for a visit from Utah this week. 

Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 133: Teams ranked 26-133

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