Welcome back all!! What a crazy opening to the college football season it has been! Week 2 gave us everything that makes us love college football - from shocking upsets, to crazy finishes, to electrifying offensive performances, to some painfully awful offensive displays (Iowa we are looking at you), and so on! There is a new #1 in the AP Top 25, and some very big-name programs trying to hang-on to relevance. Let's get to it-
We start with the massive upsets from this past Saturday - none larger than Texas A&M's shocking home-loss to Appalachian State. Maybe it was one of those look-ahead games where the Aggies were more focused on this week's upcoming battle with Miami FL, or maybe it was a continuation of last season's offensive struggles, or maybe it was a case of having to rely too much, too early on a top-notch recruiting class, or maybe they were just overrated to begin with, but the Aggies' struggled mightily to do anything in a shocking 17-14 home-loss to Appalachian State.
I wasn't sipping the Jimbo Fisher coolaid, however, and was about the only one in the country that had them outside of the top 10 to start the season (they came in at #23 in my Preseason College Football Top 25 - my 2022 College Football Preview is available on Amazon & Kindle). An offense that struggled last season that led to an 8-4 mark needed to show me something this year, and through 2 games they haven't been able to. The Aggies easily tumbled out of the top 25 this week, but somehow the AP & coaches poll still have them ranked at 24 & 22, respectively.
Not sure how beating FCS opponent Sam Houston State 31-0 and then losing to Appalachian State at home 14-17, merits a top 25 ranking, in fact, I'm baffled by that one. The perception of this team just isn't matching the reality of the product, even if Desmond Howard did pick them to win the National Championship 😂.
Speaking of a Michigan alum, the Wolverines have looked good in the early-going, pounding a pair of hapless opponents in Colorado State & Hawaii, which has them breaking through into the top 10.
Meanwhile, for another big-time program, it hasn't been so good. Credit Notre Dame for going into the Horseshoe to take on Ohio State in a very difficult, marque season-opener. They struggled in a 21-10 loss, but played good defensively. However, there's very little to like after their shocking 26-21 home-loss to Marshall.
What makes this one even worse was the fact the Thundering Heard were missing their best player in HB Rasheen Ali, and still managed to rush for 219 yards in South Bend. The lackluster showing drops the Irish to 0-2 and tumbling out of the rankings.
The Fighting Irish weren't the only team that failed to showup at home this past Saturday. Iowa was taking on in-state rival Iowa State in the 'Cyhawk' rivalry game, and once again, forgot that offense, and not just defense is a part of the game.
The Hawkeyes' offense has looked like a 1920s JV squad through two weeks after scoring just 7 in a lacksidaysical 7-3 victory over FCS opponent South Dakota State in the opener. Then, they were shutout in the 2nd half, and dropped this one to Iowa State, 10-7. That's two home games (against non-ranked teams mind you) and a total of 14 points. Not good.
Staying in the Big Ten, the Wisconsin Badgers welcomed Washington State to Madison as 17-point favorites, and managed to take a 14-7 lead into the locker-room. However, the Cougars blanked the Badgers in the second half to sneak away with a surprising 17-14 victory. Wisconsin features one of the best RBs in the country in Braelon Allen, and a 3-year starter at QB, but the offense left plenty to be desired on Saturday. The Badgers too went tumbling out of the top 25.
On the flipside, there were some teams that scored big victories over the weekend and surged up the rankings.
None was bigger than BYU surviving an almost comical missed field goal fest to down a very good Baylor team, 26-20 in double OT in Provo, UT this past Saturday night. The victory over the previously top-10 ranked Bears lands the Cougars in the rankings after starting the season just outside of the top 25, making their debut at #12 this week ahead of another big clash, with a road trip to Oregon on-tap for this Saturday.
A week after scoring a huge victory over a solid Utah squad, the Florida Gators welcomed the Kentucky Wildcats to The Swamp in a big-time SEC opener for both squads. UK relied on a stout defense to blank the Gators in the 2nd half - outscoring them 13-0 after intermission - to score a huge 26-16 victory and launch themselves into the rankings, landing at #11.
Other notes on this week's Top 25:
Tennessee scored a 34-27 overtime victory at Pitt to rise 4 spots this week and find themselves at #16. The Vols' appear to be a legit contender in the SEC East.
Georgia passed Alabama in the AP poll for the #1 spot, but remain at #3 in the Ultimate Top 25 for this week, mainly because as impressive as their opening shellacking of Oregon was, their routine 33-0 victory over Samford (who is not a particularly good FCS team), wasn't enough to move them anywhere. Yes, Alabama nearly faltered at Texas, but it appears the Longhorns are much improved, so a road victory in Austin is far more impressive than a shutout of Samford in Athens. Therefore, everything stays the same at the top, at least for this week.
Lastly, keep an eye on Oregon State. They started the season ranked at #23 in my preseason Top 25, but no where near the rankings according to most publications & pundits, and because they play out west and have had both of their games be late starts so far, you probably haven't seen them. But they've scored two of the tougher nonconference victories to start the season - first at-home over an always solid Boise State team, and then a thrilling 35-32 victory at Fresno State this past Saturday. The Bulldogs have been a popular pick to win the Mountain West and feature one of the best QBs in the country. The Beavers are up to #20 this week after the pair of impressive wins to start the season.
Air Force has been impressive thus far as well, with a 48-17 rout of Northern Iowa to start, and then last week's 41-10 beatdown of Colorado and are the first team just outside of the top 25. Appalachian State joins them after their massive upset at A&M, and are followed closely by Michigan State, Penn State, and Ole Miss.
It's been one heck of a start to the season, and after week 2, here is how the Ultimate Top 25 shakes out:
ULTIMATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25
(Team, (Record), ^ - movement from last week)
1 Alabama (2-0)
2 Ohio State (2-0)
3 Georgia (2-0)
4 Clemson (2-0)
5 Oklahoma State (2-0)
6 Miami FL (2-0) ^2
7 N.C. State (2-0)
8 Mississippi State (2-0) ^1
9 Oklahoma (2-0) ^1
10 Michigan (2-0) ^3
11 Kentucky (2-0)* N/A
T12 BYU (2-0)* N/A
T12 USC (2-0)
14 Wake Forest (2-0) -3
15 Kansas State (2-0)
16 Tennessee (2-0) ^4
17 Florida (1-1) -2
18 Utah (1-1) -1
19 Baylor (1-1) -13
20 Oregon State (2-0) ^2
21 Arkansas (2-0)* N/A
22 Texas (1-1)* N/A
23 Oregon (1-1) ^1
24 Maryland (2-0) ^1
25 SMU (2-0)
16 Wisconsin (1-1), 18 Notre Dame (0-2), 19 Iowa (1-1), 21 Texas A&M (1-1), 23 Houston (1-1)
*New to the rankings this week
Air Force (2-0)
Appalachian State (2-0)
Ole Miss (2-0)
Michigan State (2-0)
Penn State (2-0)
Florida State (2-0)
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