It’s back! An exciting opening to college football season confirmed what we suspected: it’s Alabama then everyone else.
Week 2 provides plenty of opportunity for second-tier teams to distinguish themselves with such matchups as Auburn-Clemson, Oklahoma-Ohio State, Georgia-Notre Dame, and Stanford-USC.
I will eat some crow on my Texas pick. To me, it looked like a talented team that was getting a fresh, innovative young coach. That combination looked like something that could really make a run in the Big 12. Given Week 1 returns, I’m definitely backing off that pick.
Receiving Consideration: Houston (0-0), Notre Dame (1-0), Utah (1-0), Notre Dame (1-0), Tennessee (1-0), Mississippi State (1-0), TCU (1-0), Boise State (1-0), Colorado (1-0), UCLA (1-0)
25. Maryland 1-0 [Defeated Texas 51-41]—I may be reading too much into the defeat of the Longhorns, but I’m impressed with what D.J. Durkin has done with this program.
24. Kansas State 1-0 [Defeated Central Arkansas 55-19]—QB Jesse Ertz looked sharp in the debut. This team should easily go 4-0 in September.
23. South Florida 2-0 [Defeated Stony Brook 31-17]—It’s been a slow start for QB Quinton Flowers and the Bulls, but I won’t count them out just yet.
22. Washington State 1-0 [Defeated Montana 31-0]— The Cougars are a sleeper PAC 12 team led by a sleeper Heisman candidate in QB Luke Falk.
21. South Carolina 1-0 [Defeated NC State 35-28]— The Gamecocks were my “surprise team” in the top 25, but QB Jake Bentley sure has the Fightin’ Muschamps looking like they are for real after beating trendy pick NC State.
20. Oregon 1-0 [Defeated Southern Utah 77-21]— A new coach, a typical start for the Ducks with a 70+ point opening score. Will take a few weeks to see how good this team will be.
19. Virginia Tech 1-0 [Defeated West Virginia 31-24]—After losing Jerod Evans, Justin Fuente made a statement as a HC kicking off the season with an impressive win over the Mountaineers.
18. Stanford 1-0 [Defeated Rice 62-7]—We will find out how good this Cardinal team is this week when they face USC in a matchup with major playoff implications.
17. Miami 1-0 [Defeated Bethune-Cookman 41-13]—Routing Bethune-Cookman was to be expected, but watch out for Mark Walton. He’s one of the best backs in the country.
16. Florida 0-1 [Last Week: #12, Lost to Michigan 33-17]—I’ll give the Gators the benefit of the doubt after being competitive with Michigan despite a host of suspensions. The offense is still a major question mark.
15. LSU 1-0 [Last Week: #18, Defeated BYU 27-0]—I’m not sold on Ed O, but I am sold on Derrius Guice and this Tigers’ defense. The Bayou Bengals should fly through the September schedule with a tough October lineup ahead.
14. Louisville 1-0 [Last Week: #14, Defeated Purdue 35-28]—I expected more from this team than a 7-point win. Still, Lamar Jackson hasn’t missed a beat.
13. Oklahoma State 1-0 [Last Week: Defeated Tulsa 59-24] —It’s come to be expected that the Cowboys’ offense will turn in a dominant performance, and that’s exactly what was on display against Tulsa.
12. Wisconsin 1-0 [Last Week: #15, Defeated Utah State 59-10]—After a slow start, it was all Badgers against Utah State. They steamrolled the Aggies.
11. Florida State 0-1 [Last Week #4, Lost to Alabama 24-7]—There was little positive to say about the performance of the Seminoles against the Tide. The loss of Francois means they could still tumble from here.
10. Georgia 1-0 [Last Week: #10, Defeated Appalachian State 31-10]— Jake Fromm was more-than-adequate following Jacob Eason’s injury. What is Eason’s timetable for a return? And will the job be his when he gets back? The Dawgs may have a QB controversy.
9. Oklahoma 1-0 [Last Week: #13, Defeated UTEP 56-7]—Can the Sooners avenge last year’s loss to Ohio State? Baker Mayfield was nearly flawless against UTEP.
8. Washington 1-0 [Last Week: #9, Defeated Rutgers 30-14]—As expected, the Huskies handled Rutgers. However, this is a team that needs to look more dominant as a weak schedule leaves little margin for error.
7. Penn State 1-0 [Last Week: #8, Defeated Akron 52-0]— Saquon Barkley did Saquon Barkley things as Penn State embarrassed the Zips. James Franklin has done a great job with this program.
6. Michigan 1-0 [Last Week: #7, Defeated Florida 33-17]—It’s not exactly a high-powered offense, but the Wolverines defense looked dominant at times. Harbaugh’s team is a contender once again.
5. Auburn 1-0 [Last Week: #5, Defeated Georgia Southern 41-7]—A dominating defensive performance reminded Tiger’s fans of the “good old days.” The hope is that a mediocre offense can be explained by the rust of Stidham and the absence of Pettway.
4. USC 1-0 [Last Week: #3, Defeated Western Michigan 49-31]—That was not the way USC wanted to start the season, especially with Heisman contender Sam Darnold looking out of sync. Still, they survived.
3. Clemson 1-0 [Last Week: #6, Defeated Kent State 56-3]— Kelly Bryant and the Tigers jump up a few spots after making the faithful forget about Deshaun Watson. A marquee contest against Auburn has major playoff implications.
2. Ohio State 1-0 [Last Week: #2, Defeated Indiana 49-21]—The Buckeyes really struggled early, but they bounced back to route the Hoosiers. A much tougher contest awaits against Oklahoma.
1. Alabama 1-0 [Last Week: #1, Defeated Florida State 24-7]—A rare matchup of elite teams in the first week of the season? No problem for Alabama who left no doubt who the superior team was.