Week 1 of the college football season is in the books, and there has already been a change in the top four of the Bettor Take Cover rankings. Our rankings are more reactionary than most polls, so a team’s ranking could fluctuate from week-to-week. If you forgot where we ranked each team before the season, you can find that here.
Before we get to this week’s installment of The Big 10, here are the six teams who just missed the cut: Auburn, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Miami, Louisville, Notre Dame.
Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.
The Big 10
14. LSU (NR)
After their dominant performance last week in a 27-0 rout of BYU, our staff has no choice but to place the Tigers in our top 14. LSU’s stingy defense allowed only 97 yards of offense. BYU never crossed midfield in the contest. The offense looked nearly flawless as Danny Etling went 14-17 and Derrius Guice rushed for 122 yards with two touchdowns. This was all accomplished without their top defender Arden Key. LSU will get a tune-up game this week against UT Chattanooga before they go to Starkville for a challenging road game against Mississippi State. — TJ Daugherty
13. Georgia (NR)
The Bulldogs lost quarterback Jacob Eason early to an injury, but freshman Jake Fromm stepped in and efficiently led his team to a 31-10 victory over Appalachian State. The defense looked sharp, but they will be tested Saturday night against Notre Dame.
12. Wisconsin (10)
Wisconsin trailed Utah State 10-0 early, but they stormed back for a 59-10 win over the Aggies. Another easy win should follow on Saturday against Florida Atlantic before the schedule gets more difficult.
11. Florida State (3)
Some might feel this is too far to drop the Noles after losing to the No. 1 team in the country, but I am putting extra emphasis on the loss of quarterback Deondre Francois. Florida State is just not the same top five caliber team right now without their most important player until proven otherwise. The defense looked dominant enough against Alabama to win a lot of games on their remaining schedule, but I want to see how the offense looks under former three-star true freshman quarterback James Blackman before I put them back near the top five. If the Noles can beat Miami in two weeks and N.C. State the week after, I will move them back up in my rankings. — Lance Barton
10. Oklahoma State (9)
Oklahoma State’s offense looked as advertised in its 59-24 win over Tulsa, and they have another easy win on deck as they travel to South Alabama.
9.. Washington (5)
The Huskies were sloppy in the season-opening road win at Rutgers, but they have a pair of tune-up games at home to work some things out before conference play begins.
8. Stanford (14)
The Cardinal had a week off to prepare for USC, and they have won seven of the last nine meetings against the Trojans.
7. USC (6)
You probably shouldn’t overreact to USC’s week 1 performance. PJ Fleck may have left Western Michigan, but they are still a pretty good team. They’re certainly not a week 1 cupcake like Liberty University. Right, Baylor? But seriously, let’s really break down USC’s 49-31 win. The Trojans won by 18 after looking sloppy during the first half. USC outgained Western Michigan by more than 150 yards. Sam Darnold complete 23 of his 33 passes for 289 yards. Ronald Jones also had a great game on the ground to the tune of 159 yards and three touchdowns. Did the Trojans looked as polished against a mid-major program as they team should have? Probably not, but this was still a good win where the star players looked good enough. We will find out how serious this football team is this week against Stanford. — Sam Johnson
6. Oklahoma (8)
The Sooners handled UTEP 56-7, and Baker Mayfield was nearly perfect during the first half. Saturday’s road test at Ohio State will provide much more of a challenge for the Sooners’ offense.
5. Michigan (12)
Jim Harbaugh’s team had the most impressive win of any ranked team during the first week of the season. Despite only returning five starters, the Wolverines dominated Florida 33-17. The Gators’ only points of the game came from interceptions returned for touchdowns. Florida’s offense was held to 11 rushing yards on 27 carries, and the Michigan defense—which only returned one starter—was dominant. This was expected to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Wolverines, but this team is still capable of competing for the Big 10 title. — Cole Frederick
Week 2 College Football Playoff Field
4. Penn State (4)
The Nittany Lions crushed Akron 52-0, and this week they host a Pitt team who defeated Youngstown State in overtime a week ago.
3. Clemson (7)
Clemson opened the season with an easy 56-3 win over Kent State, and they have the first major test of the season Saturday night as they host Auburn.
2. Ohio State (2) — one first place vote
Indiana led Ohio State by a point at halftime, but the Buckeyes’ offense started rolling in the second half and they defeated the Hoosiers 49-21. The offense will need to start faster on Saturday as they host an explosive Oklahoma team.
1. Alabama (1) — six first place votes
It’s a new season, but it’s the same story for the Tide. The defense was dominant against Florida State and forced multiple turnovers; the passing game struggled; the field goal kicking was still terrible; and Alabama didn’t make any mistakes to beat themselves. Jalen Hurts made some good throws when he had time in the pocket, highlighted by a long touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley. The good news for Alabama is they have a cake walk of a schedule until Oct. 6 when they travel to Texas A&M. That should leave plenty of time for the offense to progress under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. — Lance Barton