With three weeks of the college football season behind us, the landscape of the game is starting to take shape. Fluke wins and losses are becoming trends. Momentum is building behind some programs and against others. And coaches are cementing their status as rising stars or flashes in the pan.
Here's three of the biggest risers and fallers after those three weeks.
As always, IMPORTANT NOTE: This feature is NOT—we repeat, NOT—rating who might be the next head coach at Virginia (or any other school).
Tom Herman, head coach, Houston
Herman came to Houston hot off the heels of guiding the Ohio State Buckeyes' world-beating offense in 2014. His deep Texas coaching roots (wide receiver coach at Sam Houston State, then offensive coordinator at Texas State and Rice) appear to be serving him well in H-Town, as his Cougars are off to a 2-0 start. They beat Louisville (but hey, who hasn't?) in a statement-making road win in week two. With no clear favorite in the AAC this year, Herman's squad could be in for a very successful season.
Justin Fuente, head coach, Memphis
Staying in the AAC, Justin Fuente's Memphis Tigers are also off to an undefeated start. When Fuente started at Memphis in 2011, the Tigers had won three games in two years. In 2014, Memphis finished 25th in the final polls after a 10-3 season that included a bowl win over BYU. Memphis throttled Kansas on the road in week two, then last week pulled off a ridiculous trick play to help beat Bowling Green. Fuente's team squares off against Cincinnati in an important early-season conference game this week, and faces Herman's Houston Cougars in mid-November.
Don Brown, defensive coordinator, Boston College
At 60 years old, Brown isn't likely to be considered for a head coaching job at a major program. But with the way his Eagles defense has played this year, and a strong background coaching academic powerhouses, he could get a look from a smaller program with high academic requirements. Boston College has given up 17 points all season, 14 of them to a top-ten opponent in Florida State. Were it not for BC's offensive woes, the Eagles could be 3-0. If Boston College finds itself in the upper half of the Atlantic Division by year's end, they'll most likely have Don Brown to thank.
Everyone, all the coaches, UCF
Central Florida lost to Furman. At home. After losing to Florida International in week one, at home. In between, they went out and got throttled by Stanford. And their star running back just got kicked off the team, apparently for failing multiple drug tests. George O'Leary has certainly had some ... ups and downs in his long coaching career, but this entire staff looks like the program is in disarray. Don't be surprised to see the Golden Knights well behind Fuente's Tigers and Herman's Cougars at season's end.
P.J. Fleck, head coach, Western Michigan
I heaped plenty of love on Fleck at the beginning of the year. But his Broncos were facing a murderers' row schedule to start the season, with games against Michigan State and Ohio State in their first four contests. Everyone expected Western Michigan to pick up a couple losses before starting MAC play. But one of those losses wasn't supposed to be to Georgia Southern. And yet, that happened. By a LOT.
Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator, Auburn
Look, it's not entirely Muschamp's fault. Sometimes, this guy is just going to happen.
Still, Auburn gave up more points and rushing yards than any team in Muschamp's career as either a defensive coordinator or a head coach. While I may be including him solely for the purpose of posting Leonard Fournette GIFs (I'm definitely doing that), it's not wrong to say Muschamp's star is a little more tarnished today than it was last week.