1. Florida State 1-0: After a less than stellar opening performance, the Seminoles still possess the trifecta (uber-talented, have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and play in the friendly ACC) that keeps them in the top spot.
2. Oregon 1-0: Marcus Mariota and the high-powered Ducks dominated an easy foe Saturday, but we will learn a lot more about this team in Week 2.
3. Auburn 1-0: Defense looked atrocious in the first half, but the offense has more weapons than any team in the country. A second half shut out was a positive sign for a D that, if even mediocre, can get the Tigers back to where they were last season.
4. Georgia 1-0: Too high too early? The Dawgs looked dominant against a good Clemson team. They face an undaunting schedule that looks even easier after South Carolina was dismantled in Week 1. Look out for Georgia and that Gurley back of theirs.
5. Alabama 1-0: Did Alabama look like a top-10 team against WVU? Nope. Still, the Tide are the only program with the talent to rival FSU, and the combination of Henry and Yeldon in the backfield is enough to make any defensive back crumble in a heap.
6. Michigan State 1-0: Either the Ducks or Spartans will fall, but either could still end up as conference champions. A close loss for either team still has both in the running for the inaugural playoff.
7. Texas A&M 1-0: Okay, so the Gamecocks were clearly overrated, but so was the loss of Manziel. These Aggies are ready to compete in the SEC West.
8. Oklahoma 1-0: The Sooners easily held LA Tech at bay, but I’m still not sold on their reliability. They seem adept at finding a way to lose a game or two that they should not each year. Maybe this is the year they put together a full season?
9. Stanford 1-0: Defensive Coordinator Derek Mason’s departure for Vanderbilt is not looking particularly damaging after Week 1. The Cardinal are never to be taken likely, but a tough schedule truly begins with a matchup against the Trojans in Week 2.
10. Baylor 1-0: The Bears are better at piling up points than anybody in the country. They just better hope Bryce Petty’s back hold.
11. Ohio State 1-0: JT Barrett has all the tools necessary to be a more than adequate fill in for Braxton Miller. Still, the Buckeyes looked nowhere near an elite team in their victory over Navy. Still, are many teams on the OSU schedule much better than the Midshipmen? Urban’s team still could be a playoff contender.
12. LSU 1-0: So Leonard Fournette didn’t exactly look like the Second Coming of Adrian Peterson in his debut. But the Bayou Bengals showed they have to be taken seriously in 2014. Still, at #12, they are the fourth team in the SEC West, and they will have a tough road to the playoff.
13. UCLA 1-0: The Bruins had arguably the least impressive debut of the teams receiving playoff buzz, but a win is a win…right?
14. Louisville 1-0: Petrino’s team has talent and… Petrino. Never been a fan of the coach’s personality, but he remains one of the best in the game. A strong performance in Week 1.
15. USC 1-0: There have been plenty of distractions for Sark and company, but the win over Fresno State was impressive. While many Trojan fans were underwhelmed with the hire, Sark will become a hero if he can beat Stanford this week.
16. Mississippi State 1-0: Within the state of Mississippi, there is better football being played than there has been for a long time. Dak Prescott might be the best player the state has had since Eli Manning, but, in the loaded SEC West, will anyone notice?
17. Notre Dame 1-0: Notre Dame’s football program isn’t what it was last time Golson was at the helm but, hey, at least they aren’t getting someone else to play for them. With Golson back, the Irish are worth watching.
18. Arizona State 1-0: The Sun Devils have a really tough stretch coming in late September/early October, but they could be a surprise PAC 12 contender.
19. Ole Miss 1-0: Something will have to give as far as these SEC West teams, but the Rebels have a good team and were dominant against Boise State. A tough stretch beginning October 4 against Alabama and going through November 1 against Auburn will tell us how good Hugh Freeze’s team can be.
20. Kansas State 1-0: Jake Waters could be a surprise standout in the Big 12 as could Bill Snyder’s team as a whole. Thursday night’s game on September 18 against Auburn will be one to watch.
21. Wisconsin 0-1: The Badgers were in control against LSU for much of the game, and, while the loss stings, similar performances throughout the season could result in Ws given the incredibly easy schedule.
22. Michigan 1-0: It was nice for the Wolverines to clear that mental hurdle of Appalachian State. Now, if the Wolverines can beat Notre Dame in Week 2–and part of me thinks they will–look out. The rest of the schedule lines up nicely getting Penn State at home and two weeks to prepare for Michigan State before facing a Braxton-less Buckeyes.
23. Missouri 1-0: Surprise team of 2013 looks poised to build on that success in 2014. The SEC East is nothing to fear, and, after a modest non-conference schedule, the Tigers look to face a South Carolina team that all of a sudden doesn’t look so tough before getting two weeks to prepare to face the Dawgs at home. That game will still be tough as will a road trip to former Big 12 foe Texas A&M, but Mizzou could make another run at the East title.
24. Texas 1-0: Charlie Strong is certainly facing adversity in his first year after booting several players, now dealing with David Ash’s concussion, and facing a daunting schedule that includes away games against Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and OK State as well as home games against UCLA and Baylor. Still, there is enough talent in Austin to merit being in the Top 25.
25. Oklahoma State 0-1: Not sure if Saturday’s close draw against the defending champs was more the result of the Cowboys playing well or the Seminoles taking the game for granted, but Gundy’s team deserves this spot either way.