An opening week billed as the greatest ever actually lived up to the lofty rhetoric.
While Alabama looks like the clear #1, other results raised questions. Highly ranked Oklahoma, LSU, and Notre Dame all fell. Clemson, Florida State, and TCU all faced danger. Opportunities to learn more will be limited this week as there are few marquee matchups, but either Tennessee or Virginia Tech will likely take a tumble out of the top 25.
Receiving Consideration: UCLA, Oklahoma State, Miami, Utah, UNC, Boise State, USC, Duke, Western Michigan, and Auburn
25. Florida 1-0 [Defeated UMass, Last Week: #20]—The Gators make it ugly. However, there is a lot of talent in Gainesville—especially on defense—which makes them contenders in the weak SEC East.
24. Oregon 1-0 [Defeated UC Davis, Last Week: #24]—It was not an overly impressive display by the Ducks, but the PAC 12 is wide open.
23. San Diego State 1-0 [Defeated New Hampshire, Last Week: #25]—The only Power 5 game on the Aztecs schedule happens this week. With a strong ground game and elite defense, this team will be tough for Cal to beat.
22. Tennessee 1-0 [Defeated Appalachian State, Last Week: #18]—A narrow escape for the Vols leaves me doubting a team I already doubted. There is talent and the schedule is favorable, but I’m not sure this team puts it together.
21. Iowa 1-0 [Defeated Miami (Ohio), Last Week: NR]—Wisconsin and Michigan stand out as challenges on the schedule. Both of those play at home, and it is possible the Hawkeyes are in the conversation late in the season once again.
20. Louisville 1-0 [Defeated Charlotte, Last Week: #23]—Bobby Petrino—personal morals aside—is one of the best coaches in football, and it is easy to love Lamar Jackson. However, the future holds games against Florida State and at Clemson and Houston.
19. Notre Dame 0-1 [Lost to Texas, Last Week: #12]—Brian Van Gorder was once seen as a defensive guru, but it is clear that the Fighting Irish have major problems on that side of the ball.
18. LSU 0-1 [Lost to Wisconsin, Last Week: #5]—It is too early to write off the Bayou Bengals, but this team will not thrive if it places such an extreme burden on Leonard Fournette.
17. Washington 1-0 [Defeated Rutgers, Last Week: #21]—In a rough week for the PAC 12, the Huskies rose to the occasion. This looks like a team capable of challenging for the conference crown.
16. Ole Miss 0-1 [Lost to Florida State, Last Week: #15]—The Rebels looked poised for an early upset against FSU, but this team collapsed in the second half. Chad Kelly is really good but also erratic, and there has to be concerns about the stability of the program.
15. Michigan State 1-0 [Defeated Furman, Last Week: #17]—An ugly win against Furman provides reason for concern, and the Spartans play a really tough game at Notre Dame coming up.
14. Wisconsin 1-0 [Defeated LSU, Last Week: NA]—It’s possible I should give Wisconsin more love, but this team will ultimately be judged by an incredibly tough stretch in which they play at Michigan State, at Michigan, against Ohio State, and at Iowa.
13. Texas A&M 1-0 [Defeated UCLA, Last Week: NA]—I’ll admit to being wrong about the Aggies. I thought Trevor Knight would be a strong addition, but I counted on Sumlin losing his touch. While the once hot coach is still on the hot seat, the win over UCLA has this team looking strong.
12. Oklahoma 0-1 [Lost to Houston, Last Week: #4]—The Sooners field a really good football team, but an early season stretch that sees them play Ohio State at home followed by visits to Texas and TCU could doom them.
11. TCU 1-0 [Defeated South Dakota State, Last Week: #6]—I wrestled over how much to drop the Horned Frogs after giving up a lot of points to SDSU. Still, I think Kenny Hill could make this team really strong by mid-year.
10. Virginia Tech 1-0 [Defeated Liberty, Last Week: #13]—The Hokies were not ultra-impressive against Liberty, but I think Jerod Evans can lead a victory over Tennessee.
9. Texas 1-0 [Defeated Notre Dame, Last Week: #22]—I am going to double down on the Horns. While I projected them higher than most, their thrilling victory over Notre Dame has them primed to make a run in a year when they play Oklahoma, Baylor, and TCU at home.
8. Georgia 1-0 [Defeated UNC, Last Week: 14]—Jacob Eason appears to be emerging as a strong option at QB which could make this team dangerous.
7. Stanford 1-0 [Defeated Kansas State, Last Week #11]—It was a rough week at the top of the PAC 12, but Stanford managed to top a Kansas State team that often proves a stumbling block for the nation’s elite.
6. Michigan 1-0 [Defeated Hawaii, Last Week #8]—Wolverine quarterbacks completed 85% of their passes against lowly Hawaii.
5. Ohio State 1-0 [Defeated Bowling Green, Last Week #9]—The Buckeyes boast a lot of speed and a host of weapons that they displayed fully in their 77 point effort.
4. Houston 1-0 [Defeated Oklahoma, Last Week #7]—Some of our readers took issue with the Cougars landing in the top ten last week. A strong win against Oklahoma proved doubters wrong.
3. Clemson 1-0 [Defeated Auburn, Last Week: #3]—I gave some consideration to bumping Clemson down after a narrower than expected win over Auburn, but Deshaun Watson—who looked human in Week 1—is still the best QB in college football and it was clear this week that the defense is still elite.
2. Florida State 1-0 [Defeated Ole Miss, Last Week: #2]—An ugly first half was followed up by a 36-6 run with young QB Deondre Francois.
1. Alabama 1-0 [Defeated USC, Last Week: #1]—I wrote that the Tide was far and away the best team in the country, and they did nothing to disprove that with a route of USC.