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College football QB Power Rankings: Sam Darnold back on top

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With 2017 being billed as the "Year of the QB" in college football given the excitement about the talent at the position, we'll be tracking the top signal-callers each week of the season in our QB Power Rankings, continuing this week with our top 10 heading into Week 4.


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We asked five of our draft experts to provide us with their personal top-10 lists, ranking the QBs 1-10 based on their evaluations. From those, we aggregated an overall top-10 list by using a points system. A player received 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 points for second place and so on through one point for a 10th-place vote.

There's movement throughout the top 10 this week, with USC's Sam Darnold returning to the No. 1 spot, where he started the season. There are two newcomers to the top 10 this week and Wyoming's Josh Allen, who opened the season at No. 3, is on the verge of falling out of the top 10 after another disappointing showing.

Note: Click through the tabs above to see rankings for previous weeks.

RANK

1

Sam Darnold - USC

2

Points: 48

Week 3 stats: 28 of 49 for 397 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs in 27-24 win over Texas.

Week 4 opponent: Cal

It wasn't always pretty on Saturday for Darnold, but he looked like the star he's been billed as down the stretch for USC in its double-overtime win over Texas. NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote that Darnold reaffirmed he's CFB's top QB in the game, and our voting panel agreed, as he was nearly a unanimous choice for the No. 1 spot this week. Now, the stats for Darnold (7 TDs, 6 INTs) aren't nearly as gaudy as some of the other QBs on this list, but keep in mind that a few of his picks were off tipped passes. He was unflappable in a high-pressure situation late in the game vs. the Longhorns.

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2

Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma

2

Points: 40 (awarded tiebreaker point)

Week 3 stats: 17 of 27 for 331 yards, 4 TDs in 56-14 win over Tulane.

Week 4 opponent: Baylor

No QB who's attempted more than 21 passes has been more efficient than Mayfield this season. He has 19 incompletions total through 3 games -- Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson had more than 19 incompletions on Saturday alone. Baylor is looking for its first win, and there's no reason to think Mayfield will cool off against the Bears on Saturday.

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3

Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State

2

Points: 39

Week 3 stats: 23 of 32 for 497 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT in 59-21 win over Pittsburgh.

Week 4 opponent: TCU

Rudolph just keeps rolling. He threw for 423 yards -- an Oklahoma State record -- and 5 TDs in the first half alone against Pitt. TCU will take a shot at becoming the first snag of the season in Rudolph's rise in the Big 12 opener for both clubs on Saturday. He's 2-0 with 8 career TDs (2 rushing) in his career against the Horned Frogs.

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4

Josh Rosen - UCLA

3

Points: 36

Week 3 stats: 34 of 56 for 463 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 rushing TD in 48-45 loss to Memphis.

Week 4 opponent: Stanford

Two huge mistakes that resulted in INTs, including a pick six, doomed Rosen and the Bruins in a tough road loss to Memphis. The UCLA QB took accountability for his errors after the game, telling reporters he was trying to play " hero ball." He still leads the FBS in passing yards (1,283) and TDs (13). He'll get a chance to bounce back against a Stanford team that's hungry for a win after dropping two in a row, including a 20-17 loss to San Diego State last week. Rosen is 0-2 in his career vs. the Cardinal.

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5

Lamar Jackson - Louisville

3

Points: 28

Week 3 stats: 21 of 42 for 317 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 17 carries for 64 yards in 47-21 loss to Clemson.

Week 4 opponent: Kent State

Jackson had been completing passes at a clip of nearly 65 percent entering Saturday's game. That's when he ran into the stingy Clemson defense. He made some nice throws vs. the Tigers and his receivers dropped some catchable balls, but 2 of his 3 TD passes came when the game was already well in hand for Clemson, and he threw a pick six about midway through the third quarter, when the game was still competitive. With a big stage against top-rated competition, this was not the kind of performance Jackson wanted to put on tape.

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6

Luke Falk - Washington State

2

Points: 20

Week 3 stats: 37 of 49 for 396 yards, 6 TDs in 52-23 win over Oregon State.

Week 4 opponent: Nevada

Falk needed to bounce back from a rough outing vs. Boise State, and he did in a big way Saturday. He threw all of his 6 TD passes in the first three quarters vs. the overmatched Beavers, who are allowing 47.5 points per game. Now, he gets one more tuneup -- vs. 0-3 Nevada -- before USC comes calling.

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7

Jake Browning - Washington

Points: 17

Week 3 stats: 19 of 22 for 255 yards, 4 TDs in 48-16 win over Fresno State.

Week 4 opponent: Colorado

Browning made easy work of another overmatched defense in Week 3 and was pulled from the route of Fresno State early in the third quarter. He'll face tougher competition for the first time this season against fellow unbeaten Colorado, a team the Huskies defeated soundly for the Pac-12 title in 2016.

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8

Nick Fitzgerald - Mississippi State

NR

Points: 11

Week 3 stats: 15 of 23 for 180 yards, 2 TDs; 14 carries for 88 yards, 2 TDs in 37-7 win over LSU.

Week 4 opponent: Georgia

The big, bad LSU defense, loaded with talent, made its way to Starkville on Saturday, but Fitzgerald was a smooth operator all game long and led a thrashing of the Tigers. It's not going to get any easier for him with road games against Georgia and Auburn in the next two weeks. He'll be well on his way to becoming the breakout star of 2017 if the dual-threat QB can stack up another couple quality performances to close out September.

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9

Josh Allen - Wyoming

3

Points: 9

Week 3 stats: 9 of 24 for 64 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD in 49-13 loss to Oregon.

Week 4 opponent: Hawaii

The fact that half of the NFL's teams sent scouts to Wyoming's home game against Oregon on Saturday is a clear indicator that the league's intrigued by Allen's combination of size and arm talent. The day couldn't have gone much worse for Allen and the Cowboys, though, as they were blown out by the Ducks. Allen threw for a career-low 64 yards. He's now completed 48 of 96 (50 percent) passes for 1 TD and 8 INTs in 3 career games vs. Power 5 teams.

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10

Josh Jackson - Virginia Tech

NR

Points: 7

Week 3 stats: 24 of 31 for 372 yards, 5 TDs in 64-17 win over East Carolina.

Week 4 opponent: Old Dominion

Jackson is a redshirt freshman, but he's playing like a veteran. He's led the Hokies to a 3-0 start, including a win over a ranked opponent (No. 22 West Virginia) to open the season, and has been one of the most efficient QBs in the country. Jackson, rated a 3-star recruit coming out of Saline High in Ann Arbor, Mich., has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes (55-85) and thrown 8 TD passes (no INTs). A huge test awaits a couple weeks from now, when VT will host Clemson and its dominant defense.

Dropped out of top 10 (previous ranking): Oregon's Justin Herbert (9), Ole Miss' Shea Patterson (10)

Also receiving votes: Oregon's Justin Herbert (6 points), Memphis' Riley Ferguson (4 points), Penn State's Trace McSorley (4 points), Clemson's Kelly Bryant (2 points), West Virginia's Will Grier (2 points), Ole Miss' Shea Patterson (2 points), Western Kentucky's Mike White (1 point).

Voting panel: Bucky Brooks, Chase Goodbread, Daniel Jeremiah, Chad Reuter and Lance Zierlein.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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