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Overrated and Underrated College Football Teams - Reviewing NCAA CFB Rankings For Week 4

Deion Sanders - NCAAF Head Coach Colorado Buffaloes CFB

Just three weeks of the 2023 college football season have wrapped up, but we can begin to evaluate which teams might have a shot at a College Football Playoff berth and which teams are pretenders this season. We'll get more clarity as the season moves along, but there are already overvalued and undervalued teams ahead of Week 4.

Whether a team hasn't faced respectable competition or has looked impressive and exceeded expectations to this point, we have five programs that are improperly ranked this week.

It's time for the third article of a year-long series: Overrated and Underrated College Football Teams after the release of the weekly Associated Press Poll. All rankings listed are based on the AP Poll. When the College Football Playoff Rankings begin dropping ahead of Week 9, we'll pivot to focus on those standings instead.

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Overrated College Football Teams For Week 4

Alabama Crimson Tide: No. 13

Alabama was on last week's list of overrated teams after falling to the No. 10 spot following a blowout loss to the Texans Longhorns at home. In Week 3, the Crimson Tide could only hang 17 points on the lowly South Florida Bulls.

Quarterbacks Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner totaled just 107 passing yards and zero touchdowns on 23 passing attempts against a South Florida team that gave up 41 points to Western Kentucky and 24 points to Florida A&M in its first two contests.

The Alabama brand is keeping the program inside the top 15, but this offense could lead Nick Saban's squad to fall outside of the top 25 entirely at some point this season.


Colorado Buffaloes: No. 19

The Buffaloes have already exceeded expectations for the 2023 season under its outspoken head coach Deion Sanders. Colorado is 3-0 and its offense is firing on all cylinders. However, its defense is a huge problem and was close to costing the program a win against a bad Colorado State team.

After games against TCU, Nebraska, and Colorado State, the Buffaloes' defense has allowed the ninth-most yards per game (460.3) in the nation. Colorado State, who has won only seven games over the last four seasons, racked up 35 points and 499 yards against its in-state rival.

Colorado deserves to be in the top 25, but programs like Miami and Washington State have victories over legitimate programs and should be placed ahead of them. A matchup on the road with Oregon is likely to humble the up-and-coming program.


Tennessee Volunteers: No. 23

The Vols were one of the most exciting teams in college football last season, ranking first in offensive yards per game (525.5). However, the losses of quarterback Hendon Hooker and wide receivers Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman were underrated heading into 2023.

In Week 3, Tennessee scored just 16 points and gave up 29 in a game in which they were favored by 6.5. Quarterback Joe Milton continued to have accuracy issues on intermediate throws and the team couldn't sustain drives after scoring with ease in the first quarter.

Should Tennessee remain in the top 25 ahead of the Gators (No. 25) who just beat them? It's hard to make the argument.


Underrated College Football Teams For Week 4

Washington Huskies: No. 8

The Huskies impressed against two inferior programs in Weeks 1 and 2, and after crushing Michigan State in a Big Ten environment on the road in Week 3, it's time to move them up the rankings.

Through three weeks, Michael Penix Jr. has completed nearly 75% of his passes for 1,332 yards, 12 touchdowns, and one interception. Ja'Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan form one of the best wide receiver duos in college football, and the Huskies' defense is no slouch either.

I understand it's hard to punish Penn State (No. 7) for winning the games on its schedule, but Washington should jump the Nittany Lions and at least occupy the No. 7 slot ahead of Week 4. Would this team be a significant underdog against Penn State, Texas, or Florida State?


Miami Hurricanes: No. 20

The Hurricanes have defeated its first three opponents by a combined score of 134-43, including a blowout win over the Texas A&M Aggies in Week 2. Miami looks like it could be a real contender in the ACC, which looks mostly unimpressive outside of Florida State and perhaps North Carolina.

This is another team I'd like to see ahead of Colorado after dominant offensive performances thus far. Hopefully, the Canes will avoid a letdown when conference play begins.

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