Washington is No. 1 in a college football ranking after three weeks.

According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, the 3-0 Huskies are the best unbeaten team in college football.

Connelly, creator of the SP+ model that has UW ranked eighth, sat down after Week 3 wrapped up and ranked all 39 unbeaten teams in college football. UW doesn’t have a particularly dominant strength of schedule to this point, it sits eighth in the AP poll, and it sits 11th in FPI. But Connelly has them in the top spot.


Turn on their tape.

Here’s what he wrote:

Honestly, I’m going with my gut here, and my gut’s wrong quite frequently. But Washington has played two SP+ top-60 teams so far — not amazing, but more than most at this stage of the season — and exceeded projections by more than 20 points in both games. Michael Penix Jr. is posting downright disgusting stats (444 passing yards per game, 11.5 yards per dropback), and we’re still learning about the team’s ceiling, especially on defense. I don’t know how long this will last, but the Huskies have been the best team of 2023.

Connelly also pointed out in his ranking that if he were to remove preseason projections from the formula that cranks out his SP+ ranking every week, Washington would be sitting at No. 1.

In the preseason, his model weights recent success, recruiting history, and returning production. It’s meant to be predictive, and those projections typically hold value in parsing through early-season cupcakes.

But UW hasn’t exactly faced a cupcake schedule either. Boise is a quality program and the Huskies smashed it 56-19 in Week 1. Tulsa was no match, losing 43-10. And Michigan State was a Big Ten team on the road; UW walloped it 41-7.

The Huskies haven’t been in a competitive game after halftime yet.