- Week 1: win vs. Georgia Tech
- Last week’s ranking: 1
- Breakdown: It was business as usual for the first ranked Tigers after dismantling their ACC rival Georgia Tech. Trevor Lawrence’s numbers don’t jump off the page but running back Travis Etienne’s certainly did. If Clemson plays a lot of games like the one they played last Thursday night and Lawrence’s arm is not needed as much, Etienne could find his name on the Heisman trophy come the first Saturday in December.
- Week 2: vs. Texas A&M 9/7 3:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Duke 42-3
- Last week’s ranking: 2
- Breakdown: The biggest Alabama news of the week did not take place during their 35-3 thumping of the Blue Devils. Star linebacker Dylan Mosses tore his ACL in the week leading up to the game and is out for the rest of the season. They didn’t need Mosses to get their first win of the year, but the season outlook could be bleaker without him. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s season started with a bang throwing one more incompletion than he had touchdown passes.
- Week 2: vs. New Mexico St 9/7 4:00PM
- Week 1: win vs. Vanderbilt
- Last week’s ranking: 3
- Breakdown: Georgia had little trouble putting away their fellow SEC East Foe. The Bulldogs combined for 323 yards on the ground led by 147 from De’Andre Swift. It was a pleasant site for Dawgs fans seeing Jake Fromm hook up with new receiver Demetris Robertson on a TD as the third year starting QB needed to complete just 15 passes on the day. UGA’s defense did the rest surrendering just six points and allowing under 200 total yards to the Commodores offense.
- Week 2: vs. Murray State 9/7 4:00PM
- Week 1: win vs. Houston 49-31
- Last week’s ranking: 5
- Breakdown: The worry was that Jalen Hurts didn’t have the explosive play making ability of former Sooners’ greats Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Sunday night’s performance should have silenced any critics. Hurts was OU’s best player by far in week 1 going 20-23 through the air for 3 scores and rushing for 176 yards and another 3 touchdowns. The defense was not very good against Houston quarterback D’Eriq King, but the Sooners have proven over the past two seasons that it does not really matter and that they’re capable of making the playoffs regardless.
- Week 2: vs. South Dakota, 7:00PM
5. Ohio State
- Week 1: win vs. Florida Atlantic 45-21
- Last week’s ranking: 4
- Breakdown: Justin Fields looked as good as advertised in his Ohio State debut. Fields had four scores through the air and one with his legs. Sure, it was Florida Atlantic and not Michigan State, but five touchdowns are five touchdowns. Running back JK Dobbins looked like a man amongst boys and eight Buckeyes recorded a catch. Cincinnati brings in a better team this weekend than the one Ohio State fans saw last, but OSU should still be able to take care of business against old friend Luke Fickell.
- Week 2: vs. Cincinnati 12:00PM
- Week 1: win vs. Georgia Southern 55-3
- Last week’s ranking: 6
- Breakdown: The game was a glorified scrimmage like many are at this time of year, but quarterback Joe Burrow certainly did not play down to his competition. Burrow threw for five touchdowns earning SEC Player of the Week honors in the process. Defensively, the Tigers allowed a miniscule 24 yards passing as safety Grant Delpit looked great in his new number 7 joining a long line of elite LSU players to wear that number.
- Week 2 @Texas 7:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Middle Tennessee State 40-21
- Last week’s ranking: 7
- Breakdown: Michigan let Middle Tennessee State hang around for a bit at the start of this game much to the displeasure of the Big Blue faithful. But once Michigan’s offense got its wheels churning, they didn’t stop until the final whistle. Shea Patterson got started where he left off a season ago slinging the ball all over the yard to a multitude of receivers none of which were projected first round pick Donavon Peoples-Jones who missed the contest due to injury. They may need him against up-start army and will almost certainly need him in two weeks when they travel to Wisconsin.
- Week 2: vs. Army 9/7 12:00PM
- Week 1: win vs. Eastern Washington
- Last week’s ranking: 9
- Breakdown: The biggest concern heading into the season had to be replacing starting quarterback Jake Browning and whether projected starter Jacob Eason would have any rust having missed nearly two full seasons of action after transferring from Georgia. These concerns should be lifted following a nearly 350 yard and 4 touchdown performance in a game Eason did not finish. Skeptics can point to their opponent and justifiably so. But we’ll see how he does in week 2 when they play maybe the Pac-12s best defense in Cal.
- Week 2: vs. Cal 9/7 10:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Oregon 27-21
- Last week’s ranking: 16
- Breakdown: For as raw as true freshman QB Bo Nix looked in the first half and early stages of the third quarter, he was as poised as it gets in the 4th leading Auburn to a victory in the best game of week 1. Running back JaTarvious Whitlow sparked the second half comeback and could present a real problem to opposing defenses like he did to Oregon’s. It wasn’t always pretty at times but a big win against a good team means you deserve to move up in the poll.
- Week 2: vs. Tulane 9/7 7:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Louisiana Tech 45-14
- Last week’s ranking: 14
- Breakdown: Sam Ehlinger had a great game in Texas’ convincing win over Louisiana Tech. The bigger concern for the Longhorns must be at running back. True freshman Jordan Whittington is out 4-6 with a sports hernia leaving starter Keaontay Ingram and freshman QB Roschon Johnson who recently transitioned there, according to head coach Tom Herman, as the only options there. This means even more of the weight will fall on Ehlinger as the Horns prepare for possibly their toughest game of the season as they welcome in LSU on Saturday night.
- Week 2: vs. LSU 9/7 7:30PM
11. Texas A&M
- Week 1: win vs. Texas State 41-7
- Breakdown: The Aggies had this game won by halftime. QB Kellen Mond looks like the real deal and two A&M backs eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground. Isaiah Spiller needed just 7 rushes to rack up 106 yards while Joshua Corbin went for 103 on 22 carries and a touchdown. The Aggies offense will need all of the production they can get as a Saturday afternoon trip to Clemson awaits them in what may be the toughest road test for any team in the nation all season.
- Week 2: @Clemson 9/7 3:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. BYU 30-12
- Last week’s ranking: 13
- Breakdown: Utah played as well as their fans could hope for in their opening night victory over rival BYU. Tailback Zack Moss was a beast rushing for 187 yards and a score while QB Tyler Huntley was 13 of 16. The defense was the real story forcing two BYU interceptions and allowing just 12 points.
- Week 2: vs. Northern Illinois 9/7 1:00PM
13. Michigan St
- Week 1: Win vs. Tulsa 28-7
- Last week’s ranking: 15
- Breakdown: The 2019 campaign got off to a much better start for the Spartans than it did a season ago. After nearly losing to Utah State in the opener of 2018, Michigan State romped Tulsa led by an outstanding defensive performance. They allowed just 80 total yards to the Golden Hurricane including an astonishing -73 on the ground. They also forced 3 turnovers.
- Week 2: vs. Western Michigan 9/7 7:30PM
14. Penn State
- Week 1: win vs. Idaho 79-7
- Last week’s ranking: 20
- Breakdown: If there was worry about how Penn State would replace Trace McSorley, true sophomore Sean Clifford eased those woes a little bit. He threw for two scores while freshman Devyn Ford rushed for 107 on just six carries as the Nittany Lions dropped 79 on the poor Idaho Vandals.
- Week 2: vs. Buffalo 9/7 7:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Miami 24-20.
- Last week’s ranking: 10
- Breakdown: Gators fans probably felt like this game was a loss. After blowing out Michigan in their bowl game and returning many impactful players from that team, Florida needed to blow out the Hurricanes, or at least win comfortably. Jarrett Williams made his first start for the Canes and showed signs of promise while third year starter Feleipe Franks appeared to digress throwing two picks. Franks’ critics have never been louder and rightfully so after week 1.
- Week 2: Tennessee-Martin 9/7 7:30PM
16. Notre Dame
- Week 1: win @ Louisville 35-17
- Last week’s ranking: 8
- Breakdown: With only one team from the AP Poll going down in week 1, style points mean everything at this point in the season. Notre Dame let the worst team in the ACC a season ago, Louisville, hang around for a half. Ian Book wasn’t great, and it was apparent how the Irish miss running back Dexter Williams. A win is a win, but it should be a bit of a concern how they were unable to bury Louisville from the onset.
- Week 2: vs. New Mexico 9/14 2:30PM
- Week 1: loss vs. Auburn
- Last week’s ranking: 11
- Breakdown: If anyone can find a week 1 loss more devastating than the one the Ducks suffered Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium, I’d be impressed. Not only was this a huge game for Oregon’s program, they were also playing for the Pac-12s reputation as a big-time conference. A win would have silenced the critics. It didn’t happen. The Ducks blew a 21-6 lead to a true freshman quarterback shooting themselves in the foot countless times along the way. They were probably the better team that night with a good ground attack to go alongside Justin Herbert and special teams that made plays throughout. But the Ducks defense turned into swiss cheese and the offense shut off at the end of the 4th quarter. Oregon lost and the Pac-12 is once against behind the 8 ball to miss the college football playoff for the third year in a row.
- Week 2: vs. Nevada 9/7 7:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Florida A&M 62-0
- Last week’s ranking: 19
- Breakdown: No McKenzie Milton, no problem for UCF. At least not in week 1. The Knights got production from nearly everyone on the roster seeing three quarterbacks play and throw a touchdown and 11 receivers make a catch. With all three QBs having success, the battle for the starting job is even more murky, but it’s still grad transfer Brandon Wimbush’s to lose.
- Week 2: @Florida Atlantic 7:00PM
- Week 1: win vs Miami (OH) 38-14
- Last week’s ranking: 19
- Breakdown: There were no problems with Miami for the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s offense started a bit slow only scoring 10 points in the first half but exploded in the second outscoring the RedHawks 28-7 thanks to two passing touchdowns from Nate Stanley and another two on the ground.
- Week 2: vs. Rutgers 12:00PM
- Week 1: win @USF 49-0
- Last week’s ranking: 20
- Breakdown: Heading into last year, Wisconsin was thought of as a college football playoff contender and potentially the favorite for the Big 10. Jonathan Taylor was on every pre-season Heisman watch. While neither of those things happened last season, hopefully for Badger’s fans, last week’s 49-0 victory over South Florida are a sign that the team is back heading to where they want to be. Taylor’s 135 yards and 2 scores are good enough to propel him back into the Heisman talk even if it’s only been one game.
- Week 2: vs. Central Michigan 3:30PM
- Week 1: win vs. Northwestern 17-7
- Last week’s ranking: 22
- Breakdown: QB KJ Costello going down to injury against Northwestern could throw a wrench into Stanford’s plans of contending for the Pac 12. But if he is ok, so are the Cardinal. Their defense was fierce against their Big 10 opponent forcing them bench starting QB Hunter Johnson. Johnson, the second quarterback recruit in the class of 2017 according to 247, looked like a junior varsity quarterback against Stanford’s D. NU had less than 200 yards of total offense. Most of the time when a defense surrenders that little amount of yardage, they are going to win the game regardless of what their own offense can do. Saturday was a perfect example.
22. Mississippi St.
- Week 1: win vs. Louisiana 38-28
- Last week’s ranking: 24
- Breakdown: The score may seem closer than the game was. The Bulldogs held a 35-14 lead in the 4th quarter and while the Ragin’ Cajuns made it a one score game with 2:45 left, Miss St. was able to clinch the game kicking a 37 yard field goal with just over a minute to go. Kylin Hill looks like MSU’s most important offensive player having rushed for 197 yards on 27 carries in the contest. Tommy Stevens looked fine replacing Nick Fitzgerald throwing for two scores.
- Week 2: vs. Southern Miss 9/7 3:30PM
23. Boise St
- Week 1: Win vs. Florida State 36-31
- Last week’s ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: Regardless of how far Florida State has fallen, getting a win in Tallahassee is still impressive. It is even more impressive how the Broncos won despite the location of the game being moved from a neutral field in Orlando to Florida State’s home turf. Add in the fact that they erased a 31-19 halftime deficit and Boise State finds themselves in this poll. Thanks to a balanced running attack of Robert Malone and George Holani, Boise State is now on the fast track to a New Year’s Six Bowl as the representative of the non-power 5 schools.
- Week 2: vs. Marshall 9/6 9:00PM
24. Iowa State
- Week 1: win vs. Northern Iowa 29-26 (3OTs)
- Last week’s ranking: 17
- Breakdown: The Cyclones were a Brock Purdy recovery of a Sheldon Cooney JR. fumble away from losing to FCS’ Northern Iowa. But, at the end of the day, they won and while that isn’t all that matters in this poll, a win is certainly better than a loss. Iowa State does, however, need to figure out how to score some points. They play in the Big 12, home to some of the nation’s worst defenses, which should help but only being able to score 13 points in regulation against a team that does not compete in college football’s top division is certainly cause for concern.
- Week 2: vs. Iowa 9/14 4:00PM
- Week 1: Win @Liberty 24-0
- Last week’s ranking: 25
- Breakdown: Syracuse holds strong as the second ACC team in the poll. Tommy Devito struggled a bit in his first game taking over for Eric Dungy tossing two interceptions and no touchdowns. Moe Neal added 89 rushing yards and a score in the effort. Devito’s subpar performance should be a bit of cause for concern but the Orange defense should make up for it. They were stout against the run with no runner for Liberty breaking the 30-yard mark. They also recorded 8 sacks and 2 INTS
- Week 2: @Maryland 12:00PM
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