College Football Top 25: Week 3by Charlie Parent September 13, 2021 0 comments
Week 2 of the college football season is now in the books, and what a great week of action it was. Even with some of the predictable showdowns on the schedule for the big-time programs, we saw a ton of excitement and upsets. Let’s look into the biggest risers of this week and some of the greatest fallers.
1. Alabama (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: vs. Mercer (W 48-14) | This week: at Florida (2-0)
The Tide cruised past Mercer this week but didn’t really impress on the scoreboard as much as they should have. However, this was probably the result of the team not revealing too much in their playbook against a very poor opponent. This week, the Tide will play a big game against Florida, but it’s one that they should win comfortably.
2. Georgia (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: vs. UAB (W 56-7) | This week: vs. South Carolina (2-0)
After beating Clemson in Week 1, many thought Georgia would be entering a trap game against UAB, especially with quarterback JT Daniels out. They did the exact opposite though. The offense was super efficient and showed great flashes, after a poor showing against Clemson.
3. Oklahoma (2-0) (0-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs. West Carolina (W 76-0) | This week: vs. Nebraska (2-1)
People were buzzing for Ohio State to be ranked over Oklahoma last week, but they didn’t get that honor, and for good reason. While they did play an FCS school, the Sooners showed how good they can be offensively and defensively. No one really impressed on the stat sheet for Oklahoma but the team just blew out West Carolina and they now look towards their first Power 5 opponent in Nebraska.
4. Iowa (2-0) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: at Iowa State (W 27-17) | This week: vs. Kent State (1-1)
Iowa looked great against Iowa State this weekend. The 27-17 scoreline looks a lot better for Iowa State than it actually was. The Hawkeyes were really efficient on offense while locking up on defense, forcing four turnovers to retain the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
5. Oregon (2-0) (0-0 Pac 12)
Last week: at Ohio State (W 35-28) | This week: vs. Stony Brook (1-1)
The game of the week in Columbus, OH was won by the Oregon Ducks. This was a surprise as well. Oregon really struggled against Fresno State but they showed their true colors against Ohio State. Their defense was absolutely elite, locking down Ohio State as much as they could. The run game was fantastic as CJ Verdell had a total of three touchdowns. If Oregon can continue playing at this level, then they’ll be in good shape for a playoff run.
6. Clemson (1-1) (0-0 ACC)
Last week: vs. South Carolina State (W 49-3) | This week: vs. Georgia Tech (1-1)
The loss to Georgia really left a ton of questions about this Clemson team. Not many of them were answered this week. Yes, they won by 46 but they have underperformed against the opponents they have played. Not to mention, their offense still doesn’t look great. Clemson is still has a lot of questions to answer heading into Week 3.
7. Cincinnati (2-0) (0-0 American)
Last week: vs Murray State (W 42-7) | This week: at Indiana (1-1)
The Bearcats started off pretty slow against Murray State but were eventually able to pull away later in the game. Obviously, Week 3 is a much bigger game for Cincinnati and it will be interesting to see how they perform against their first real test in Indiana.
8. Ohio State (1-1) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Oregon (L 28-35) | This week: vs Tulsa (0-2)
It’s difficult to rank Ohio State here. They were not as impressive as the scoreline said in Week 1. They were also very poor in Week 2. The main concern is C.J. Stroud. Even though he threw for 484 yards, he was not good. This week is a guaranteed win against Tulsa but with games like Indiana and Penn State in the next few weeks, Ohio State has got a lot to tune up.
9. Penn State (2-0) (1-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Ball State (W 44-13) | This week: vs Auburn (2-0)
Penn State proved that its offense can actually be serviceable after dropping 44 points on Ball State. After the unit looked morbid against Wisconsin, they bounced back this week and their defense impressed yet again. With one of two whiteouts against Auburn this week, we should see a very fun environment and an electric football game against a Tigers team that is surging.
10. Texas A&M (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: at Colorado (W 10-7) | This week: vs New Mexico (2-0)
Understandably, Texas A&M’s offense stalled when starting quarterback Haynes King went down. They did score at just the right time, however, late in the fourth quarter to give them the win. They fall three spots in the rankings because if King isn’t good to go for a while, there are many worries about this team. They’ll beat New Mexico next week but they should be wary when they play a hot Arkansas team in Week 4.
11. UCLA (2-0) (0-0)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs Fresno State (2-1)
Coming off a bye last week, UCLA stays put at No.11 in our rankings. With how poorly some of last week’s top-10 teams played, they’re lucky to be here with all of the big games. Fresno State this week is another big challenge for the Bruins. This is a team that blew out two weaker opponents but also heavily competed with fifth-ranked Oregon.
12. Ole Miss (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Austin Peavy (W 54-17) | This week: vs Tulane (1-1)
Despite the fact that Ole Miss played an FCS opponent this week, they are looking legit. The offense is firing on all cylinders and the defense is looking a lot better than last year. The defense was the big question for Lane Kiffin’s squad, but they are performing at an elite level.
13. Coastal Carolina (2-0) (0-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: vs. Kansas (W 49-22) | This week: at Buffalo (1-1)
Here’s where things get really interesting. There are a lot of teams that could make the case for being better than Coastal here, but they have performed as expected. The Chanticleers will continue to have an easy schedule, and as a result, should continue to blow out the teams they face.
14. Iowa State (1-1) (0-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs. Iowa (L 17-27) | This week: at UNLV (2-0)
A disappointing performance against Northern Iowa followed up by getting dominated by Iowa is a huge cause for concern. One more slip up and this team is gone.
15. Florida (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: at USF (W 42-20) | This week: vs. Alabama (2-0)
Florida is another team that still has a ton to prove. Quarterback Emory Jones has only totaled 113 yards across two games and the signal-caller situation is now up in the air. We’ll see if the Gators can show us any positive flashes against Alabama, or if they’ll just get blown out of the water.
16. Notre Dame (2-0)
Last week: vs. Toledo (W 32-29) | This week: vs. Purdue (2-0)
Notre Dame has needed two late-game winning touchdowns to defeat both Toledo and Florida State in back-to-back weeks. People were questioning why we’ve had them so low all this time. It was proven why they are in the team’s showing against Toledo. They are inexperienced and still have not gelled yet.
17. Arkansas (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: vs. Texas (W 40-21) | This week: vs. Georgia Southern (1-1)
Arkansas gave Texas a taste of their new conference after running away with their showdown last week. The atmosphere in Fayetteville was electric and the Hogs could really be “back”. With Georgia Southern up this week, Arkansas could easily move to 3-0, before a huge Week 4 matchup with Texas A&M.
18. Wisconsin (1-1) (0-1 Big 10)
Last week: vs. Eastern Michigan (W 34-7) | This week: vs. Notre Dame (2-0)
The Badgers move up just one spot in the rankings after calmly taking care of Eastern Michigan in a bounce-back game, after a loss against Penn State in Week 1. There is still a lot to be asked about this team. This week against Notre Dame should give us a much better idea of who the Badgers are.
19. Virginia Tech (2-0) (1-0 ACC)
Last week: vs. MTSU (W 35-14) | This week: at West Virginia (1-1)
Coming off of their upset victory against North Carolina, Virginia Tech kept the momentum up with their win against MTSU. They didn’t have any challenges against the Blue Raiders. It was just a very complete performance.
20. TCU (2-0) (0-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs. California (W 34-32) | This week: vs. SMU (2-0)
TCU slides under Virginia Tech and Wisconsin, even after winning in Week 2. They really struggled against a California team that looked poor against Nevada in their first game. They still can continue to win and stay in these rankings because the flashes of a very good team have been seen before.
21. North Carolina (1-1) (0-1 ACC)
Last week: vs. Georgia State (W 59-17) | vs. Virginia (2-0)
North Carolina got in the win column for the first time this week after their victory against Georgia State. The reason they only move up one spot after winning by 42 is that we are still not convinced. Here are the questions for the Tar Heels: Was Week 1 a fluke for the offense? Or will they continue to struggle against higher-ranked opponents?
22. Arizona State (2-0) (0-0 Pac 12)
Last week: vs. UNLV (W 37-10) | This week: at BYU (2-0)
Jayden Daniels came back from his Week 1 injury scare and was good. He showed his dual-threat ability as he always does leading, leading all players in passing and rushing yards. This week’s game against BYU is huge. BYU comes in as the first team outside of this top-25 and whoever wins will see a huge jump in the rankings.
23. Auburn (2-0) (0-0 SEC)
Last week: vs. Alabama State (W 62-0) | This week: at Penn State (2-0)
Against an FCS program and one of the worst teams in all of the FCS, Auburn has a scoring margin of 122-10. The first real opponent they will face this week is a Penn State team that is as hot as anyone in the country. Can Bo Nix finally impress in a big game? Probably not, but it should be interesting to watch.
24. Michigan (2-0)
Last week: vs. Washington (W 31-10) | This week: vs. Northern Illinois (1-1)
Michigan’s run game is elite. Now, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis needs to start calling the pass more so this team can compete with the elite. However, the Wolverines have still looked good so far, and Saturday’s game against Washington was fun to watch because of the environment in which it was played around.
25. Boston College (2-0)
Last week: at UMASS (W 45-28) | This week: at Temple (1-1)
Boston College’s season rests on the hands of Phil Jurkovec‘s wrist injury he suffered against UMASS. The team did not look pretty with Jurkovec out, but we’ll know very shortly how long he is out for. Thankfully, Boston College faces Temple next week. That means they’ll have some time for Jurkovec to recover before facing a tougher opponent in Missouri.
Outside looking in: BYU, UCF, Miami, Texas, Liberty
New teams: Arkansas (No. 17), Auburn (No. 22), Michigan (No. 23)
Dropped out: USC, LSU, Texas
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