College football rankings 2023: Projected Week 5 AP Top 25 after Ohio State breaks Notre Dame, Colorado exposed

  • Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon notch signature wins
  • Colorado, Iowa get exposed, drop out of Top 25
  • Florida State makes another statement, ends Clemson drought

Sep 23, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day celebrates after
Sep 23, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day celebrates after / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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The AP Top 25 college football rankings were always going to get a major facelift in Week 4. With six matchups between ranked teams on the slate for Saturday -- not including Florida State visiting Clemson -- upsets, chaos, and one of the best days of the 2023 season was always in order.

Upsets and surprises may not have been in high order, but there was still a ton of drama. And nothing was more dramatic than No. 6 Ohio State toppling No. 9 Notre Dame at the buzzer after looking dead in the water. Take that, Lou Holtz. Then, of course, Florida State and Clemson went to overtime before the Seminoles prevailed to avoid the upset.

Of course, there wasn't drama everywhere. Deion Sanders and Colorado had their hype train thrown off the rails in Eugene by Oregon in a bloodbath. Meanwhile, Iowa looked like a joke when matched up with Penn State in Happy Valley.

But that's just a taste of the wild Saturday that's now in the books for college football. So let's see where that leaves us as we dive into our projected AP Top 25 college football rankings for the Week 5 poll.

Dropped out of Top 25 rankings: Colorado (19), UCLA (22), Iowa (24)

Projected AP Top 25 college football rankings after Week 4: No. 25-21

25. Kentucky Wildcats

Point blank, I’m not entirely sure how good Kentucky is with Devin Leary now helming the offense under returning OC Liam Coen. They’re 4-0 but the win at Vanderbilt in Week 4 was probably the most impressive to this point, which says a lot. Having said that, the Wildcats have double-digit victories in every game to this point, and with their SEC pedigree, that will likely put them inside the Top 25. 

24. Kansas Jayhawks

Put some respect on Kansas’ name! They opened Big 12 play on Saturday as they welcomed conference newcomer BYU to Lawrence. Jalon Daniels makes this Jayhawks offense so exceptionally dangerous, but the Kansas defense caused a ton of problems for Kedon Slovis and the Cougars in the 38-27 win for the Jayhawks. Now at 4-0, they’re getting enough buzz to crack the rankings. 

23. Missouri Tigers

After upending Kansas State last week, Missouri should’ve been ranked. In Week 5, there will be no excuse. The Tigers moved to 4-0 on the season with a hard-fought win over Memphis. It was a shocking test for the Mizzou defense but, more importantly, another great effort from Brady Cook and an offense that was highly questioned coming into the year. If they keep on this trajectory, they could be a spoiler in conference play. 

22. Florida Gators

The hope for Florida in a likely letdown effort after last week’s upset of Tennessee was that they would simply outclass and out-talent Charlotte. Ostensibly, they did, but only doing so to the tune of a 22-7 win in The Swamp isn’t all that impressive. Florida actually played better than that final score would indicate, and after the emotion of last week, getting the win was the most important part and they accomplished that. 

21. Tennessee Volunteers

At the end of the day, Tennessee walks out of Neyland Stadium with a 45-14 win over UTSA, albeit a shell of the Roadrunners that we’ve seen in recent years. Having said that, the Vols still look lesser than the team we saw in 2022. You have to believe that Joe Milton remains a part of that as the passing offense has still not looked nearly as potent as it should with him at the helm.