The first two weeks of the college football regular season are in the books, and the top of the food chain is falling in line with preseason expectations thus far. There’s plenty of intriguing jockeying for positioning going on beyond the top tier, and a big upset or two could really shake things up as the season moves along.
Let’s take a look at where the top teams in the country stack up as we get ready for Week 3.
1. Alabama, 2-0
The Crimson Tide opened the season with a pair of dominant wins over lesser competition. Barring a massive upset, they’ll be a fixture atop the polls in 2018. A trip to Ole Miss is up next for a 7 PM start on Saturday.
2. Clemson, 2-0
Both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll are overwhelmingly in the corner of Alabama as the top team in the country, but the gap may not be that great when all is said and done. The Tigers have a very manageable schedule and a clear path to the playoffs up ahead, absent any bumps in the road.
3. Georgia, 2-0
Being the third-ranked team in the country and the second-best team in the SEC is nothing to sneeze at, but the Bulldogs have greater aspirations. Another big win looks to be on tap for this week as Middle Tennessee comes to town.
4. Ohio State, 2-0
After giving up 31 points to Oregon State in Week 1, the Buckeyes tightened things up last week and held Rutgers to a field goal. A very tough matchup with #15 TCU is up next. As of this writing, Ohio State is a 13.5-point favorit for that one.
5. Oklahoma, 2-0
The injury bug has bitten Oklahoma in a big way, as junior RB Rodney Anderson has been lost for the season with a knee injury. Injuries aside, there doesn’t appear to be anything that will slow down the Sooners electric offense anytime soon. A trip to Iowa State is up next for the Sooners.
6. Wisconsin, 2-0
The Badgers are 1a to Ohio State’s 1 in the early part of the season, but the schools can easily flip flop position as the season moves along. Wisconsin has two big wins over lesser competition to begin the year, and being a 21.2-point favorite over BYU indicates another one may be on tap.
7. Auburn, 2-0
The Tigers knocked off Washington in Week 1 at the Georgia Dome, and they followed that up by taking Alabama State out to the woodshed last week. It’s right back to the tough part of the schedule this week, as #12 LSU is coming to town for a late afternoon tilt.
8. Stanford, 2-0
Heisman hopeful Bryce Love will miss this week’s game due to injury, but the Cardinal likely won’t miss him all that much with UC Davis on the docket. Tougher matchups await over the next two weeks, as Stanford travels to Oregon in Week 4 and follows that up with a jaunt to Notre Dame to close out the month.
9. Notre Dame, 2-0
Speaking of the Fighting Irish, there was no letdown from Week 1’s impressive victory over Michigan. Notre Dame handled their business against Ball State by a score of 24-16 on Saturday. Vanderbilt comes to town this week for a 2:30 PM kickoff.
10. Penn State, 2-0
The Nittany Lions received quite a scare in Week 1 from Appalachian State, and Pittsburgh bore the brunt of that in Week 2. Penn State manhandled the Panthers by a score of 51-6, and they’ll be looking to turn the same trick with a home date against Kent State up next.
11. Washington, 1-1
A close loss to Auburn in Week 1 was followed up with a mauling of North Dakota last week. As long as the Huskies handle their business the rest of the way, they’ll remain in the hunt and move up the rankings as upsets happen. The Huskies have a night game at Utah up next on the docket.
12. LSU, 2-0
The Tigers were thoroughly impressive in a Week 1 victory over Miami, and that was followed up with an expected domination of Southeast Louisiana that went according to script. An early season SEC slobberknocker with Auburn is up next, and we can expect some movement in the poll and power rankings next week depending on results.
13. TCU, 2-0
A rain delay last Friday wasn’t enough to stop TCU from dismantling rival SMU. On the heels of a dominating Week 1 victory over Southern, the Horned Frogs are about where they should be two weeks into the season. A massive game against #2 Ohio State is the featured attraction of the evening slate this week.
14. West Virginia, 2-0
The Mountaineers have opened up the season with a pair of big victories over Tennessee and Youngstown State. The school has an unexpected week off upcoming, as its game against North Carolina State was canceled in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. West Virginia is back at it with a home date against Kansas State in Week 4.
15. Virginia Tech, 2-0
The Hokies were impressive in all facets with a convincing opening week victory against Florida State, who entered the game ranked #19. Virginia Tech dropped 62 points on William & Mary last week. This week’s game against East Carolina has been canceled in anticipation of the looming storm that’s set to batter the Carolinas.
16. Mississippi State, 2-0
Two big wins in the books and another winnable one on the docket against ULL, and the Bulldogs are poised to open the season up 3-0. SEC play ramps up from that point, so we’ll get a sense of whether or not Mississippi is a pretender or a contender pretty quickly.
17. UCF, 2-0
The Knights are yet another team that has had its schedule altered due to Hurricane Florence. Saturday’s game against UNC has also been canceled. The 2-0 Knights have scored 94 points thus far, and they’ll welcome FAU to town on 9/21.
18. Boise State, 2-0
The Broncos are 2-0 behind the stellar play of senior QB Brett Rypien, who already has 7 TD passes on the year. Boise State has outscored opponents 118-27 thus far. A date with Oklahoma State is on tap this week, and we could be looking at an old-fashioned shootout when all is said and done.
19. Oregon, 2-0
Speaking of stellar QB play, Ducks junior signal caller Justin Herbert has already thrown for 9 scores and ran for another for good measure. Oregon is also outscoring opponents at will so far, with the tally currently standing at 120-38. San Jose State is up next, and that’s followed by what’s shaping up to be a big game against #9 Stanford.
20. Michigan, 1-1
While Week 1’s loss to Notre Dame is likely still stinging the Wolverines, they showed no signs of a hangover in Week 2. Michigan destroyed Western Michigan by a score of 49-3. Home dates against SMU and Nebraska are up next, and Michigan will remain in the Top 20 conversation as long as there are no additional hiccups.
21. Michigan State, 1-1
After looking out of sync in a harder than expected Week 1 win over Utah State, the Spartans hit the road for a late night matchup against Arizona State on Saturday. Michigan State fell in a close one by a score of 16-13. Dates against Indiana and CMU are up next, and the Spartans need to start rifling off some big wins to continue staking claim to a spot in the Top 25.
22. Miami, 1-1
The Hurricanes spot in the Top 25 is also subject to change after Week 1’s loss to LSU, a game in which Miami was favored. Miami followed that up with a massive 77-0 victory over Savannah State last week. There are a lot of winnable games up ahead for the Hurricanes, but we’ll have to wait and see if they can seal the deal.
23. Oklahoma State, 2-0
The Cowboys are another team that has been pouring on the points in the early part of 2018. Senior QB Taylor Cornelius has thrown for 728 yards, 6 TDs, and 3 picks as Oklahoma State has outscored opponents by a score of 113-30 so far. Next up is what looks to be an entertaining affair against Boise State.
24. USC, 1-1
A big opening week win against UNLV was followed by a disappointing performance against #10 Stanford. The Trojans could only muster a field goal against the former, who cruised to a 17-3 victory last Saturday. USC closes out September with a road date at Texas and a home game against Washington State.
25. Arizona State, 2-0
Don’t look now, but new head coach Herm Edwards has the Sun Devils at 2-0. A balanced team that’s playing well on both sides of the ball, Arizona State is a team that bears watching. Back-to-back road trips against San Diego State and #10 Washington will provide us with a quick answer on whether or not that will hold true for the rest of the season.
Both South Carolina and Florida have dropped out of the AP and Coaches polls this week, while Texas A&M is knocking on the door and ready to come inside after a close loss to Clemson. We still have a long way to go in the regular season, and we should see plenty of additional movement in both polls as a result.
Other teams to keep an eye on for potentially making a move into both polls and our power rankings are Houston, Utah, and Boston College. Enjoy the games this weekend!