If you thought we were spoiled in week one, you were in for a real treat in week two.
We started the day with some vintage Lamar Jackson as he had a career game against North Carolina. Then we had a trio of ranked matchups in the afternoon which led into the night. Baker Mayfield and the Sooners stabbed the Buckeyes. Clemson’s dominant defense led them to a win over Auburn. And Georgia was able to eek out a close win against the Fighting Irish.
The last ranked match took place a bit later. Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans bounced back after a sluggish week one display against Western Michigan to dominate Stanford in a big conference game. For you night owls, you witnessed the whacky Boise State-Washington State game which featured a big comeback, and some overtime.
This week’s slate of games certainly doesn’t have the firepower that we witnessed in the first two weeks. However, we get to witness what should be the most exciting ACC matchup of the year in Louisville-Clemson. Lamar Jackson comes off a huge performance, but he will have his work cut out for him against Clemson’s dominant defensive front. This matchup holds serious ACC implications. Also, it will be a huge barometer regarding Jackson’s draft stock.
Aside from that, we would’ve seen Miami-Florida State, but that has been postponed. Then we resort to Tennessee-Florida, but that game might even be postponed as well.
So where do we go besides there? To finish the night we’ll have Texas visiting USC in a rematch of the 2006 Rose Bowl. The Longhorns opened the Tom Herman era with an upset loss against Maryland. Still, this game should be exciting as it features two gunslingers in Texas’ Shane Buechele and USC’s Sam Darnold.
1.) Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama followed up their huge win against Florida State with a clobbering victory over under matched Fresno State. The Tide are certainly rolling to start the season.
2.) Clemson Tigers (+1)
We weren’t sure what to expect from Clemson this week against a ranked Auburn team, solely because this was their first big game without Deshaun Watson under center. Kelly Bryant answered the call and was efficient throwing the ball, and a threat on the ground. The Tigers racked up an eye-popping 11 sacks as their defense dominated and paved the way to victory. Next week the Tigers defense will have their hands full as they visit Lamar Jackson in Louisville.
3.) Oklahoma Sooners (+2)
Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield stamped Oklahoma’s win over Ohio State by stabbing the Sooners flag at midfield of Ohio Stadium. Mayfield strengthened his Heisman with 386 passing yards, 3 TDs and zero interceptions. Mayfield got revenge for last year’s blowout loss against the Buckeyes as they jump up to #3 in the rankings.
4.) USC Trojans
Usually after a ranked win against a conference opponent, you’d move up in the rankings. However, the Trojans are leapfrogged by the Sooners. After a poor opening week, the Trojans came out strong against conference rival Stanford and finished the night with a blowout win. While he threw 2 INTs, Sam Darnold looked sharper this week as he tossed for 316 yards and 4 TDs. USC’s running game paved the way to victory as both Ronald Jones II and freshman phenom Stephen Carr both rushed for over 100 yards.
5.) Penn State Nittany Lions (+1)
The Nittany Lions made up for last year’s three point loss to Pitt as they came back this year to blowout the Panthers 33-14.
6.) Washington Huskies (+1)
The Washington Huskies steamrolled through a respectable FCS Montana team, 63-7. Dante Pettis broke DeSean Jackson’s Pac-12 record for most punt returns in that contest. After Stanford’s loss to USC, it looks like the conference will come down to UW or the Trojans this year.
7.) Michigan Wolverines (+1)
Like we saw in the opening week against Florida, the Wolverines’ passing game stalled again this week and forced them into a close game at one point. However, Michigan’s defense remained stout, allowing just 200 yards and the running game emerged late to solidify the win.
8.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (+1)
Oklahoma State continued to roll in a game before the full Saturday slate. In two games to start the season, Mason Rudolph has built quite the Heisman resume already with 638 passing yards, 6 TDs and no interceptions. The Cowboys will face their toughest task of the year so far this upcoming week on the road against Pittsburgh. Last year they won a close game against the Panthers with a late TD.
9.) Georgia Bulldogs (+2)
The Bulldogs surely missed Jacob Eason on Saturday night, although they were still able to come out of South Bend with a win. The running game led the way and the defense made timely stops en route to a late field goal to win 20-19 over the Irish.
10.) Ohio State Buckeyes (-8)
It was an extremely disappointing loss for the Buckeyes, who seemed like the heavy favorite despite the spread. J.T. Barrett barely completed 50% of his passes and the running game couldn’t make up for his flaws. The Buckeyes struggled to put points on the board and looked outmatched against a Big 12 defense. Next week they look to bounce back as they host Army.
11.) Florida State Seminoles (-1)
Due to Hurricane Irma, the Seminoles didn’t get a chance to bounce back from their loss to Alabama. The suspenseful wait to see James Blackman under center will have to wait another week as Florida State’s matchup with Miami will be postponed.
12.) LSU Tigers
As we’ve seen in recent years, LSU’s recipe for success has been a physical, imposing running game matched with a ferocious defense. The missing ingredient was an efficient passing game. So far they’ve gotten that from Danny Etling, but can he keep that going in the SEC? Random stat: LSU averages 5 points against per game so far.
13.) Louisville Cardinals (+1)
I’m glad I tuned into the Louisville-UNC game Saturday afternoon. Lamar Jackson is already looking like the favorite to repeat as Heisman trophy winner. Against the Tar Heels, Jackson tallied 525 total yards with 6 TDs. Jackson will lead his team in the headline of week 3’s #2 Clemson vs #13 Louisville.
14.) Wisconsin Badgers (+2)
While I believe Wisconsin is the media’s most overrated team, they’ve been solid and have played to their classic brand. They visit BYU this week.
15.) Virginia Tech Hokies (+3)
The team above is the team I find the most overrated based on the media, now this time it’s the team I find to be the most underrated. After an impressive opening week win against a ranked West Virginia team, the Hokies followed that up with a 27-0 shutout over a respectable FCS team in Delaware.
16.) Miami Hurricanes (+1)
As mentioned in the Florida State write-up, the game between Miami and FSU has been postponed due to Hurricane Irma. The Hurricanes (no pun intended) also had their week 2 game against Arkansas State cancelled.
17.) Auburn Tigers (-4)
The Auburn Tigers fall marginally this week after a loss to Clemson. Auburn posted only six points and failed to score a single touchdown, although Clemson boasts arguably the best front 7 in the nation. This week Auburn has an easy cupcake matchup.
18.) Stanford Cardinal (-3)
Stanford’s defense allowed 623 total yards in Saturday night’s loss to USC. You’re not going to win football games that way, unless you play in the Big 12. The Cardinal looked flawless in their opening game against Rice down in Australia, but were exposed against the Trojans. They are on upset alert in week 3 against the MWC’s best, San Diego State Aztecs.
19.) Kansas State Wildcats (+3)
Through two weeks, the Kansas State Wildcats have steadily creeped up five spots in the rankings from my preseason poll. After a blowout win over cupcake Charlotte, they face their toughest test of the early goings as they visit SEC rep Vanderbilt.
20.) South Carolina Gamecocks (+5)
Like Virginia Tech, the South Carolina Gamecocks are another team I’m seemingly higher on than the media. Between an up-and-coming QB in Jake Bentley, playmakers on offense and experience on defense, South Carolina could be the biggest sleeper in the SEC. After an impressive win over Missouri, they face another competitive conference foe this week in Kentucky.
21.) Washington State Cougars (-2)
In one of the sloppiest games you’ll ever see, the Cougars staged a late comeback win over Boise State which leads them to drop a couple spots in the rankings. Senior QB Luke Falk had the worst game of his career, he should bounce back this week in their conference opener against Oregon State.
22.) South Florida Bulls (-2)
South Florida’s game against Connecticut was cancelled. They may play on Friday as Illinois has offered to move the game from Raymond James Stadium up to Champaign.
23.) Florida Gators (-2)
Florida’s game against Northern Colorado was cancelled. Officials are still discussing whether or not the Tennessee-Florida game will happen in Gainesville. Expect a decision by Tuesday.
24.) TCU Horned Frogs (NR)
The Horned Frogs hop into the rankings for the first time this year after a dominant 28-8 win over Arkansas. TCU has a high powered offense and their defense has stepped up so far this year. This week they host an SMU squad which has opened 2-0 and has posted 50+ points both weeks.
25.) Tennessee Volunteers (NR)
After opening with a thrilling overtime victory against Georgia Tech, the Volunteers dominated cupcake Indiana State this past week. Pending officials decision, they have a huge conference matchup with Florida this week as they vie to remain in the top 25.