College Football Week 2 Rankings

The first week of college football was everything we, the fans, asked for and much more. The first slate of games showed team weaknesses, strengths, and many surprises. Associated Press released the new college football rankings Tuesday September 4th and we saw a few shakeups and changes. The new rankings go as follows:

 

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0; Last Week: 1)

This is no surprise. The Crimson Tide demolished the Lamar Jackson-less Louisville Cardinals 51-14 behind last year’s Championship MVP Tua Tagovailoa’s 3 TDs. Bama has another easy game this week facing Arkansas St.

 

2. Clemson Tigers (1-0; Last Week: 2)

Clemson took care of Furman last week 48-7, easily taking care of an inferior team. This week Clemson heads into College Station against Texas A&M for College Gameday (I still don’t understand this decision). It will be a better game than Furman, but I still fully expect Clemson to win by a good amount.

 

3. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0; Last Week: 3)

Georgia shut out Austin Peay 45-0 in their opening game without allowing a single sack. Instead, Jake Fromm completed 75% of his throws and 2 TDs while running back D’Andre Swift averaged 5.5 yards per carry with a touchdown. The Bulldogs have a tall task against South Carolina this week at Williams-Brice in which Georgia hasn’t won a game since 2008.

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0; Last Week: 5)

The highly scrutinized Buckeyes are the first team to move up in the rankings this year after demolishing Oregon State 77-31 behind Dwayne Haskins’ 5 TDs and Mike Weber’s 186 yards and 3 TDs. They should get another win against Rutgers this week at home.

 

5. Wisconsin Badgers (1-0; Last Week: 4)

As Ohio State rises, the Badgers fall. Wisconsin still won 34-3 over Western Kentucky, but it’s nearly impossible not to promote the Buckeyes to 4 after they dropped 77 points on a Power Conference team. Heisman candidate Johnathan Taylor ran for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns to solidify his position in the award race. Wisconsin will take on New Mexico St next week.

 

6. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0; Last Week: 7)

One star quarterback goes to the NFL and another takes his place. Must be nice right? After Baker Mayfield went number one overall to the Browns, the Sooners did not miss a beat with Kyler Murray in his stead. On 11 attempts in limited action, the future Oakland Athletics shortstop threw for over 200 yards and 2 TDs en route to a 63-14 win over Florida Atlantic. The Sooners will play an 0-1 UCLA team and former Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight this weekend in the post-Josh Rosen era and new head coach, the former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

 

7. Auburn Tigers (1-0; Last Week: 9)

Auburn won a close one with then-6 ranked Washington 21-16 behind the superb play of quarterback Jarret Stidham, running back Kam Martin, and a defense who kept Jake Browning uncomfortable all game to the tune of 5 sacks. Auburn has an easy game against Alabama St to gain more momentum before playing LSU in the following week.

 

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0; Last Week: 12)

The 24-17 win against Michigan was a lot more lopsided than the score indicates. The Irish sacked former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson 3 times, picked him off once and didn’t allow a single passing touchdown. The loss of Josh Adams (now on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad) hurts as quarterback Brandon Wimbush was their leading rusher with 59 yards. The Irish should handle Ball St this week easily.

 

9. Washington Huskies (0-1; Last Week: 6)

The Huskies fell a little to 9 after their loss to Auburn, but behind their killer trio of Jake Browning, Miles Gaskin, and Aaron Fuller, the Huskies will still compete for the College Football Playoff out of the Pac-12 Conference. Next up for the Huskies is North Dakota to serve as a rebound win.

 

10. Stanford Cardinal (1-0; Last Week: 13)

Stanford handled San Diego St easily 31-10 behind KJ Costello’s 332 yards and 4 TDs but Heisman favorite Bryce Love disappointed greatly with only 29 yards on 18 carries and being held without a touchdown. Hopefully Love can rebound against a tough Pac-12 opponent in the USC Trojans this week to build his Heisman campaign.

 

11. LSU Tigers (1-0; Last Week: 25)

An absolute huge rise in the rankings comes courtesy of the LSU Tigers after manhandling former number 8 Miami Hurricanes 33-17. After having lost two consecutive stud running backs in Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice, Nick Brossette has stepped up in his first game as a full time starter posting 125 yards on 22 carries and 2 touchdowns. The defense dominated with 4 sacks and 2 interceptions. LSU has SE Louisiana this week for another easy win.

 

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0; Last Week: 20)

VA Tech made Florida St look like an FCS team in a 24-3 win on Monday night. The Hokies sacked Deandre Francois four times and picked him off another three times. I expect this Virginia Tech team to compete in an ACC Conference that is top-heavy with Clemson and Notre Dame. They will play William & Mary this week looking for a second win on the young season.

 

13. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0; Last Week: 10)

Wow. I have no words for this Penn State team. Beating Appalachian State in overtime is embarrassing to say the least. Trace McSorley played great and so did Miles Sanders, but there is no reason they should have let App State in that game. Coach James Franklin is probably missing Saquon Barkley a lot right now. The defense needs to figure themselves out. Luckily they have another (should be) easy week against Pitt.

 

14. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0; Last Week: 17)

The Mountaineers handled a sorry Tennessee team 40-17. First round hopeful Will Grier threw for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns. Not much else to say. They play a top-tier FCS team in Youngstown St this week.

 

15. Michigan State Spartans (1-0; Last Week: 11)

Another Big 10 team struggles in their opener against another sorry opponent. They beat Utah St 38-31. Is this the year the Big 10 disappoints us? Michigan St, Michigan, and Penn State have all disappointed us thus far. A rebound for all three is likely. Let’s hope it happens. If not, Ohio State and Wisconsin will run away with the conference. They will take on Herm Edwards and his Arizona St team this week.

 

16. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0; Last Week: 16)

The Horned Frogs neither fell nor rose in this week’s rankings. They handled an easy team in Southern University 55-7 as they should have. They face SMU at home this week.

 

17. USC Trojans (1-0; Last Week: 15)

The Trojans beat UNLV pretty well last week 43-21 behind a running games that ran for over 200 yards and JT Daniels’ 282 yards. This is another team who could miss a star from last year in Sam Darnold. They have a tough opponent in Stanford and Bryce Love this week, but if Love can be neutralized, the Trojans stand a chance.

 

18. Mississippi State (1-0; Last Week: 18)

Mississippi State stays at the 18 spot after demolishing Stephen F Austin 63-6 behind a superb performance from sophomore quarterback Keytaon Thompson with 364 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 109 rushing yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns in the stead of injured quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. The Bulldogs may have a chance to compete for a top-notch bowl game but with Alabama, Auburn, and LSU in front of them, the SEC West championship may be out of their reach.

 

19. UCF Golden Knights (1-0; Last Week: 21)

Last year’s college football “champions” started off their season with a 56-17 win over fellow AAC opponent UConn. This win doesn’t mean all too much because the Huskies are a well below-average football team, but UCF’s defense didn’t miss a step without their one-handed wonder linebacker and now Seattle Seahawk, Shaquem Griffin. They should have another easy matchup this week against South Carolina State (unless their 55 year old running back Joe “Pops” Thomas Sr has anything to say about it).

 

20. Boise State Broncos (1-0; Last Week: 22)

The Broncos defeated Troy 56-20 as was expected. Brett Rypien is an outstanding quarterback and proved it with 4 touchdown passes and 305 yards. They are the easy choice for the Mountain West Conference champions. They’ll take on UConn this week who got slaughtered by UCF last week.

 

21. Michigan Wolverines (0-1; Last Week: 14)

Perhaps the most consistently overrated college football team? Yep, that’s Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines. As stated before, Michigan lost to Notre Dame during the opening weekend 24-17. They’re lucky because both Penn State and Michigan St also struggled this weekend, but I don’t see them competing in the Big 10 this season.

 

22. Miami Hurricanes (0-1; Last Week: 8)

Miami was not deserving of their preseason rank of 8 and last week proved that after former 25th ranked LSU beat them to a pulp 33-17. Brad Kaaya, if you see this, go back to the U now. You are desperately needed. Luckily they have Savannah State this week.

 

23. Oregon Ducks (1-0; Last Week: 24)

I honestly had no idea Oregon was still relevant in the post-Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota, LaMichael James, De’Anthony Thomas era. But here they are after giving Bowling Green the work 58-24 in their season opener. They have another easy game against Portland State this week but who knows? Maybe the Ducks can compete in the Pac-12 this year. My guess? Not with Washington, Stanford, and USC in their way.

 

24. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0; Last Week: NR)

Like I said last week, my Gamecocks would find their way into the Top 25 after week one. My boys took care of business routing Coastal Carolina 49-15 behind our monster defense led by TJ Brunson, Bryson Allen-Williams and Javon Kinlaw. Jake Bentley looked comfortable going 22/29 with 250 yards and 4 touchdowns. Even Michael Scott’s movie character from Threat Level Midnight Michael Scarn(ecchia) got in the game to throw a touchdown pass. But that isn’t even the best part. Star all-purpose wide receiver Deebo Samuel is BACK and proved it with his one-handed touchdown catch. The Gamecocks have a tough game against 3rd-ranked Georgia this week. But the game is at home and you can never count the Cocks out at the friendly confines of Williams-Brice Stadium. If coach Will Muschamp can pull out this dub, look for the Gamecocks to rise in the rankings and solidify themselves as legitimate contenders in the SEC.

 

25. Florida Gators (1-0; Last Week: NR)

Last and still the least is the Florida Gators. They beat up on Charleston Southern but what SEC school wouldn’t? They went 4-7 last year so they are still pretenders in my eyes. Maybe its just the SEC bias. They play Kentucky this week who always manages to stay in games (they beat South Carolina in Willy-B last season) so put the Gators on upset watch.

 

 

Mike Johnston

Glenside, PA

University of South Carolina ’21

Twitter: @mjohnston0880

 

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