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On a Saturday with zero matchups between ranked teams, Michigan State, Maryland and USC still managed to drop out of the Top 25, with Cal, Arizona State and TCU replacing them.

Expand chart
Data: AP; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers:

  • 6 ranked teams: With the addition of Cal and Arizona State, the Pac-12 now has 6 teams ranked in the top 25 — a number only the SEC can match and the most ranked teams it has had in almost 4 years.
  • 13 TD, 12 incompletions: Through 3 weeks, Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts has more TD (13) than incompletions (12). That's a big reason why he's my Heisman frontrunner, followed by fellow QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow.
  • $400,000: Several ACC teams suffered bad losses or near-losses: Boston College fell to Kansas; Virginia Tech barely beat FCS opponent Furman; and Georgia Tech lost to The Citadel, which was paid $400,000 to show up.

Watch:

  • Highlight: Alabama RB Najee Harris looked like a man amongst boys on this run after catch. Sheesh.
  • Series: I've been enjoying "Miles To Go," the ESPN+ series about Les Miles' first year at Kansas (here's a clip). The Jayhawks just won their first Power Five road win since 2008, so the next episode should be fun.

What's next: "College GameDay" will be in Athens on Saturday for a top-10 matchup between No. 3 Georgia and No. 7 Notre Dame. ... We'll also be treated to No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 8 Auburn at No. 17 Texas A&M.

Go deeper

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: Unvaccinated are over 11 times more likely to die from COVID

Expand chart
Reproduced from CDC; Note: Data represents 30% of Americans across 16 jurisdictions: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York City, Seattle/King County, Wash., Utah and Wisconsin; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The CDC recently published data evaluating Americans' rate of coronavirus cases and deaths by vaccine status, providing more data on which vaccines are working best and how much protection they offer relative to being unvaccinated.

What they found: As of August, unvaccinated people had a more than six times higher risk of testing positive for the coronavirus, and were more than 11 times more likely to die from the virus.

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