NCAA College Football Power Rankings Week 3

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Meanwhile, Auburn earned its entry after a shootout win over West Virginia, while Florida State returned to the Top 25 on the heels of its thrashing of the Cougars in Provo.

However, no one was able to break the Florida-Texas deadlock at the top, though the Gators’ and Longhorns’ top-two dominance is dwindling after less-than-convincing performances over the weekend.

Be sure to check back every Monday, as the 2009 Power Rankings will be updated throughout the season.

College Football Power Rankings – Week 3
1 (1) Florida (13) 3-0 371 Gators fans were bracing for a historic beatdown in the Swamp versus the Vols — imagine their surprise when they were actually treated to a game. It was a little too close for comfort, but Florida’s defense ensured it collected its 13th straight win.
2 (2) Texas 3-0 353 Redemption, revenge, relief — regardless of what Texas feels after its win, it’s one win closer to the goal Texas Tech denied the Horns last season. UT slumbered through the first half but put away a pesky Tech team in the second half in a 34-24 win.
3 (4) Alabama (1) 3-0 352 With USC’s fall, Alabama emerges as the team with the best case to break the Gators-Longhorns deadlock at the top — and deservedly so. The Crimson Tide pummeled North Texas 53-7 in their highest-scoring output since 2001.
4 (6) California 3-0 303 It turns out Cal needed only a new conference and a different time zone to cure its recent road woes. Five touchdowns from Jahvid Best didn’t hurt either, as the Bears topped Minnesota 35-21. Pac-10 play begins next week with a visit to Oregon.
5 (5) Penn State 3-0 301 The exhibition season is over as Penn State aced its final tuneup before Big Ten play begins with a dominating win over Temple. Evan Royster rushed for 134 yards and the Nittany Lions held the Owls to just 46 yards rushing.
6 (7) Mississippi 2-0 293 Heading into Week 4, Ole Miss has barely broken a sweat after rolling over SE Louisiana 52-6 over the weekend. The going gets considerably tougher for the Rebels, who open SEC play on Thursday with a visit to South Carolina.
7 (10) LSU 3-0 290 That win over Washington in Seattle sure carries some extra weight after the Huskies’ win over USC. LSU strolled in its final tuneup before SEC play with a 31-3 win over La.-Lafayette. A visit to Mississippi State comes next.
8 (16) Miami (FL) (1) 2-0 272 Dare we say that The U is back? Two wins against ranked ACC opponents to start the season merits inclusion in the top 10. It won’t get any easier for the Canes, as they travel to Virginia Tech Saturday before hosting Oklahoma the following week.
9 (9) Boise State 3-0 265 The game resembled either an offensive clinic or an exhibition on how not to tackle. Either way, Boise State’s 51-34 seesaw win over Fresno State crosses one of the potentially tricky games off the Broncos’ list on their road to an undefeated season.
10 (12) Oklahoma 2-1 209 A school record in his second career start? Not bad. Landry Jones threw six touchdown passes in Oklahoma’s 45-0 rout of Tulsa. The Sooners head into a bye week before traveling to face Miami on Oct. 3.
11 (3) USC 2-1 208 Washington fans will be naming post offices after Jake Locker and Steve Sarkisian, but all USC got from its trip to Seattle was a familiar feeling of disappointment as the Trojans tripped up against an unranked conference foe yet again.
12 (11) Ohio State 2-1 199 The defense was relentless and Terrelle Pryor was electric, passing for 262 yards and three TDs and rushing for 110 yards and a score in a 38-0 win. Sure, it was against Toledo, but it was a much-needed confidence boost heading into Big Ten play.
13 (14) Virginia Tech 2-1 193 Tyrod Taylor reached deep into his bag of tricks as he engineered Virginia Tech’s game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter against Nebraska. The Hokies will hope that magic carries over during next week’s visit from ACC upstart Miami.
14 (17) Cincinnati 3-0 187 The Bearcats cemented their status as the Big East’s banner-carrier with a 28-18 win at Oregon State that ended the Beavers’ 26-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents.
15 (15) TCU 2-0 178 TCU toppled Texas State 56-21 over the weekend, but more importantly, the Horned Frogs watched their top MWC competitors fall. A win at Clemson this weekend would bolster TCU’s BCS-busting credentials in the aftermath of BYU’s and Utah’s fall.
16 (20) Houston 2-0 132 Houston rose four spots during its bye week just by watching some of its competition fall. The Cougars are back in action Saturday against Texas Tech in what promises to be an entertaining QB battle between Case Keenum and Taylor Potts.
17 (18) Oklahoma State 2-1 119 Despite the absence of Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State rebounded from its loss to Houston with a 41-24 win over Rice as Zac Robinson connected with Dez Bryant for two touchdowns.
18 (NR) Florida State 2-1 112 Florida State had its doubters after an unconvincing performance in a win over Jacksonville State. What a difference a week makes. The Seminoles dashed BYU’s BCS hopes in a 54-28 win in Provo in a game that was never really close.
19 (22) Michigan 3-0 94 A 45-17 win over Eastern Michigan gave Michigan its third win — matching last season’s total. Carlos Brown rushed for a career-high 187 yards and two TDs. The Wolverines gear up for Big Ten play Saturday with a visit from Indiana.
20 (8) Brigham Young 2-1 80 BYU turned the ball over five times in the Cougars’ crushing loss to Florida State. A BCS bowl may be out of reach, so BYU will turn its attention to the MWC, starting with a visit from Colorado State on Saturday.
21 (24) Kansas 3-0 78 Duke got on the board first against Kansas, but Todd Reesing (338 yards passing, three touchdowns) & Co. took over from there in a 44-16 win.
22 (23) Georgia 2-1 76 Another SEC game for Georgia, another shootout. What is this, the Big 12? Joe Cox tied a school record with five TD passes as the Bulldogs held off Arkansas 52-41.
23 (25) North Carolina 3-0 60 North Carolina needed a late touchdown from Ryan Houston — his second of the game — before it could put East Carolina away for good in a 31-17 win.
24 (33) Auburn 3-0 32 Another of Saturday’s shootouts involving SEC teams saw Auburn charge past West Virginia in a rain-soaked affair. QB Chris Todd threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns in the 41-30 win.
25 (19) Nebraska 2-1 20 Nebraska was seconds away from the upset but let the win — and Tyrod Taylor — slip out of its grasp at Virginia Tech. The Cornhuskers have one final tuneup against La.-Lafayette before Big 12 play begins.
Others receiving votes: UCLA (18), Pittsburgh (17), Georgia Tech (15), Notre Dame (15), Missouri (11), Iowa (10), Washington (9), Clemson (1), Oregon (1), Southern Miss (1)

NCAA College Football Power Rankings Week 3 – ESPN.