It was everything we could’ve hoped for, and more. The long awaited first week of the season is behind us, but we have another great slate of games in week 2. Between Auburn-Clemson, Oklahoma-Ohio State, Georgia-Notre Dame and Stanford-USC, we have four ranked matchups this week, another treat to start the season.
Last week’s hyped up Florida State-Alabama game of the year delivered early on, although the Seminoles couldn’t keep up with the Crimson Tide and were derailed by turnovers. The Seminoles also lost QB Deondre Francois for the rest of the season, seemingly crushing all National Championship aspirations.
Clemson’s Kelly Bryant made a statement in his debut as the successor to Deshaun Watson. Michigan shutdown Florida to give the Gators their first loss to open the season since 1999. Virginia Tech impressed in their win against a ranked West Virginia team.
There is a lot going on this week, and week 2 could prove to force more shuffling in the top 25 than week 1. Take a look at my week 2 top 25 and let me know who you have ranked at #3 in the comments below.
1.) Alabama Crimson Tide
After a dominant win against #3 Florida State, the Crimson Tide are the clear-cut National Championship favorite. They control their own destiny from here on out.
2.) Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes came out slow against Indiana, but dominated in the 2nd half. True freshman J.K. Dobbins looks like the next great Ohio State running back, look for him to split carries as Mike Weber returns. They’ll face a tough task against #6 as they look to blowout the Sooners again this season.
3.) Clemson Tigers (+2)
Kelly Bryant answered all the questions people had about Clemson’s QB situation. Bryant completed 16-22 for 236 yards, and ran for 77 yards and a score. Clemson steamrolled Kent State, but have a big game against #13 Auburn which will surely expose the QB play more.
4.) USC Trojans
The Trojans came out flat and barely eeked out a win at home against a P.J. Fleck-less Western Michigan, which included two picks from Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold. USC will get to redeem themselves in a big conference matchup against #15 Stanford.
5.) Oklahoma Sooners (+1)
Baker Mayfield was nearly flawless, completing 19-20 for over 300 yards and three scores as he laced his Heisman candidacy. The Sooners will need to remain sharp in a rematch with #2 Ohio State. Last season the Sooners fell 45-24 in Norman.
6.) Penn State Nittany Lions (+2)
Penn State was one of the most impressive teams in week 1, which sees them jump up one spot in the rankings. The Nittany Lions knocked off Akron 52-0. Penn State will host Pittsburgh this week; the Panthers come off an overtime win against Youngstown State.
7.) Washington Huskies
The Huskies pulled out a solid win in Piscataway, although it may not have been as convincing a win as many expected. Washington should be in cruise control this week against Montana, although they are a tough FCS squad.
8.) Michigan Wolverines (+2)
While a big win against a ranked Florida team, it may not be as gratifying as you would think as the Gators offensive woes continued. Still, the Wolverines didn’t miss a beat on defense and dominated throughout. Wilton Speight threw a couple of pick 6s. If Michigan wants to compete in the Big Ten, they will need stable QB play.
9.) Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State’s offense came out and did exactly what we thought it could: score points. QB Mason Rudolph tossed for over 300 yards and 3 scores as he has his eyes set on a Heisman trophy this season. WR James Washington caught 6 passes for 145 yards and a pair of TDs as he bids for the Biletnikoff Award.
10.) Florida State Seminoles (-7)
You can’t fault any team for losing to Alabama, but not only that, the Seminoles also lost Deondre Francois for the rest of the season – seemingly vanishing National Championship hopes. Florida State will now look towards true freshman QB James Blackman. With natural arm talent and instinctive pocket presence, Blackman will lead the Seminoles in week 2 against UL-Monroe.
11.) Georgia Bulldogs
Jacob Eason was forced out of the season opener which opened the door for true freshman QB Jake Fromm. Fromm came on for the Bulldogs to complete 10-15 for 143 yards and a score. With Fromm flashing and the running game leading the charge, Georgia has a tough matchup in week 2 against #24 Notre Dame. Head coach Kirby Smart has already confirmed Eason will not play.
12.) LSU Tigers
The Tigers came out strong in week 1 and posted a 27-0 shutout over BYU. QB Danny Etling only threw three incompletions. If LSU can get stable QB play this year, they will challenge in the SEC.
13.) Auburn Tigers
The Jarrett Stidham era is in full effect after he accounted for 3 TDs in his debut rout of Georgia Southern. Stidham has a chance to start his legacy at Auburn with an upset win over #3 Clemson.
14.) Louisville Cardinals
Reigning Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson led the Cardinals out of Purdue with just a scar as they held off the Boilermakers 35-28. Jackson passed for nearly 400 yards, 2 TDs and also rushed for over 100 yards. The Cardinals will visit North Carolina at Chapel Hill this week as they kickoff ACC play.
15.) Stanford Cardinal
Replacing Christian McCaffrey wasn’t too hard in week 1 as RB Bryce Love rushed for 180 yards on just 13 carries. QB Keller Chryst looked sharp throwing the ball as the Cardinal steamrolled over Rice 62-7. We’ll get to see what they’re really made of in their Pac-12 opener against #4 USC.
16.) Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers handled business at home against Utah State, 59-10. They look to continue their success against Lane Kiffin’s Owls this weekend.
17.) Miami Hurricanes (+1)
Redshirt junior QB Malik Rosier showed out in his starting debut with 217 yards and 3 TDs. With an explosive offense and stout defensive front, they gain some control in the ACC with Francois’ injury.
18.) Virginia Tech Hokies (+4)
With an impressive win over a ranked West Virginia team, the Hokies climb up a few spots. The first redshirt freshman to start for Virginia Tech since Michael Vick, QB Josh Jackson turned in a prolific performance. Jackson passed for 235 yards and eclipsed 100 on the ground. The Hokies are a big sleeper in the ACC this year if Jackson can build on his first start.
19.) Washington State Cougars (+1)
The Cougars clawed through Montana State 31-0. Heisman candidate QB Luke Falk threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs. Washington State hosts a Boise State squad which looked sluggish against Troy to open the season.
20.) South Florida Bulls (-1)
While they sit at 2-0, it hasn’t been the most inspiring start for South Florida under Charlie Strong. In their opening game they looked to be on upset alert early against San Jose State. This past weekend they only beat Stony Brook by 14 points. Most notably, Heisman sleeper QB Quinton Flowers has only averaged 3.8 yards per rush.
21.) Florida Gators (-4)
Known for their offensive woes over the past few years, the Florida Gators lived up to the brand against Michigan. Both QBs Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire didn’t look like the answer as Florida managed only 192 total yards. They only generated three points on offense with two pick 6s. Let’s not totally write off their offense until we see RB Jordan Scarlett and WR Antonio Callaway return from suspension.
22.) Kansas State Wildcats (+2)
Climbing two spots in the rankings after a convincing win against Central Arkansas are the Kansas State Wildcats. They face another cupcake this week against Charlotte.
23.) Northwestern Wildcats (+2)
After a solid win against Nevada, Northwestern faces a tough task in an ACC-Big Ten matchup against Duke. The Blue Devils posted 60 points to open the season. This is a must watch game and feels like a potential Bowl game matchup.
24.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NR)
Brandon Wimbush was arguably the most impressive in week one among new starting QBs. Notre Dame rolled past Temple by a score of 49-16. They have a lot to prove this week against #11 Georgia.
25.) South Carolina Gamecocks (NR)
It was early season drama for the Gamecocks, but they were able to edge N.C. State. The offense is dynamic and if the defense can continue to make crucial stops, this team will run the table in the SEC. They open up conference play at Missouri.
Dropped Out: West Virginia, Texas