A fantastic Week One slate of college football lived up to the hype as we had a great balance of upsets, dominance at the top, and typical college football chaos. Week one matchups spanned from Thursday to Monday, giving us five straight days of college football madness!
Every week, 11 of our finest Stadium Rant writers will submit a top-25 college football ballot, combining for our official ‘Stadium Rant College Football Top 25’.
Let’s take a look at how we at SR see the rankings after week one, with a tidbit about each team included!
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (7)
Last Week: 55-0 win vs Utah State
The Crimson Tide did what they had to do in Week One. Bryce Young threw for 195 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 100 yards and another score. The defense allowed zero points and just 136 yards. Nick Saban’s squad is in midseason form.
2. Georgia Bulldogs (3)
Last Week: 49-3 win vs #11 Oregon (in Atlanta)
Georgia had the performance of the weekend. We expected the defense to hold championship form, but I was very impressed by Stetson Bennett and this offense. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown on their first seven possessions. They have real weapons on the outside and should roll through the SEC East.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
Last Week: 21-10 win vs #5 Notre Dame
The Ohio State offense looked nowhere near as impressive as we thought leading up to this season. Part of that was due to the first-quarter injury to Jaxon Smith-Njigba (which should only keep him sidelined a few weeks), but Heisman Trophy favorite CJ Stroud looked pedestrian for most of the game. Credit to Notre Dame and Marcus’ Freeman defense, but we should also temper our expectations on this Buckeye offense. That said, a top-five win is a top-five win.
4. Michigan Wolverines
Last Week: 51-7 win vs Colorado State
What week one proved to me is that JJ McCarthy gives this team the best chance to win going forward. McNamara is not a ceiling raiser, and even so, the Wolverine rushing attack led them to 51 points. Michigan should be around the top of this poll all year long.
5. USC Trojans
Last Week: 66-14 win vs Rice
The Lincoln Riley led Trojans proved their offensive prowess with a 66-point output against Rice. Caleb Williams looked the part of a top quarterback in the country while carries and receptions were split evenly amongst the deep group of USC playmakers. Rice is not a good measuring stick, but Riley’s team looked like the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 given other results around the country.
6. Clemson Tigers
Last Week: 41-10 win vs Georgia Tech
Clemson came alive in the second half of their Monday night win over Georgia Tech. DJ Uiagalelei had his ups and downs but certainly did not prove he is the long-term starter for the Tigers. Their defensive line proved they are one the best in the country as they lived in the Yellow Jacket backfield all night long.
7. Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 45-13 win vs UTEP
Oklahoma did exactly what they were supposed to in game one of the Brent Venables era. They dictated the pace of play on offense and proved to be very balanced. One cause for concern would be giving up 288 yards through the air. Their secondary should be something to monitor in the coming weeks.
8. Texas A&M Aggies
Last Week: 31-0 win vs Sam Houston State
The Aggies had the most predictable Week One result. They looked incredibly impressive on defense while leaving a lot to be desired on offense. Haynes King threw for 364 yards, but he did toss two interceptions. I would not be surprised to see Max Johnson get some more reps going forward.
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week: 21-10 loss vs #2 Ohio State
Notre Dame, even in a loss, played better than many expected in Columbus on Saturday night. Their defense gave the Buckeyes all types of fits, but the offense could not hold their own. Tyler Buchner threw the ball just 18 times in his first career start. Tommy Rees did not seem to trust his quarterback, and rightfully so. That said, I would have liked to see the Irish push the envelope in the fourth quarter.
T-11. Miami Hurricanes
Last Week: 70-13 win vs Bethune-Cookman
Miami looked the part of a top-15 team in their week one drubbing of FCS Bethune-Cookman. They were able to dominate an inferior opponent in every aspect of the game in Mario Cristobal’s first game as head coach. That is all you can ask for.
T-11. Michigan State Spartans
Last Week: 35-13 win vs Western Michigan
Michigan State handled business against an in-state G5 foe. Wisconsin transfer Jalen Berger picked up where Kenneth Walker III left off in the run game. If Payton Throne can play up to his talent, this Spartans offense will have a lot to say in Big Ten play.
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 58-44 win vs Central Michigan
Spencer Sanders totaled 463 yards and six touchdowns against a very weak Chippewas defense. The loss of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was shown as the Cowboys gave up three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Mike Gundy is going to need to find some balance if they want to challenge for a Big 12 title.
14. Arkansas Razorbacks
Last Week: 31-24 win vs #23 Cincinnati
Sam Pittman and Arkansas had a very impressive Week One victory over Cincinnati. This team will live and die by the play of KJ Jefferson. He lived up to the hype against the Bearcats and should be able to carry the Razorbacks in a good amount of games this season.
15. NC State Wolfpack
Last Week: 21-20 win at East Carolina
NC State survived a major scare in Greensboro against in-state foe East Carolina. Honestly, the Pirates should have won this game if it were not for kicking woes. I expect Devin Leary to steady this offense, but an early season ‘Wolfpack to the CFP’ prediction should be put on hold for now.
16. Utah Utes
Last Week: 29-26 loss at Florida
Losing in ‘The Swamp’ is nothing to be ashamed about. However, losing by three while having two drives with the ball inside the five result in zero points is a back-breaker. Kyler Whittingham’s squad will bounce back and I still expect them to be a major player in the Pac-12.
17. Wisconsin Badgers
Last Week: 38-0 win vs Illinois State
Braelon Allen. Jim Leonhard. Braelon Allen. Jim Leonhard. Wisconsin will win a lot of games this season due to running back Braelon Allen and the mind of defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. If Graham Mertz can give them any stability at the quarterback position, Wisconsin could be a dark horse CFP team.
18. Florida Gators
Last Week: 29-26 win vs #7 Utah
Florida had the most impressive win of the weekend. Anthony Richardson looked like a Heisman candidate and a 2023 first-round NFL Draft pick. The Gators played well on both lines of scrimmage and proved to be a very balanced offense. All that said, Utah had the ball inside the five twice and came away with zero points. Florida deserves to be in these rankings, but let’s temper their season expectations a bit.
19. Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Week: 38-31 win vs West Virginia
The Panthers won the first ‘Backyard Brawl’ since 2011 by the skin of their teeth on Thursday night. Their defense, which is loaded with talent, was a bit of a letdown. I expect Pat Narduzzi to right that ship, turning the onus over to the offense to achieve this team’s ceiling. I liked what I saw from Kedon Slovis, but believe he needs a true #1 receiver to step up.
20. Kentucky Wildcats
Last Week: 37-13 win vs Miami Ohio
Kentucky beat a decent Miami Ohio team with a few starters sidelined. Will Levis threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns but did struggle with some accuracy issues. If running back Chris Rodriguez returns, they could be the second-best team in the SEC East.
21. Ole Miss Rebels
Last Week: 28-10 win vs Troy
Zach Evans looked like the potential first-round NFL running back many view him as. Quarterback Jaxson Dart, on the other hand, did not look as convincing. I believe we could see Luke Altmyer get more snaps as the season progresses.
22. Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 52-10 win vs UL Monroe
Texas did what they had to do the week before Alabama comes to town. The Longhorns dominated UL Monroe with a vanilla script and gave Quinn Ewers some confidence in his first career start. The defensive line looked much improved from a season ago, though that will be truly put to the test this week.
23. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last Week: 44-10 win vs Virginia Military Institute
Wake Forest did what they were supposed to do against VMI. The big news out of Winston-Salem came on Tuesday when it was announced star quarterback Sam Hartman is rejoining the team. Hartman raises the Demon Deacons from a 7-5 squad to an ACC contender.
24. Tennessee Volunteers
Last Week: 59-10 win vs Ball State
We knew the Tennessee offense would be legit, and they proved that in Week One. They were able to move the ball with ease through both the air and ground attacks. Hendon Hooker is still a dark-horse Heisman candidate in my eyes.
25. Oregon Ducks
Last Week: 49-3 loss vs #3 Georgia (in Atlanta)
What an absolute letdown Week One was for the Ducks. Dan Lanning and his team were absolutely embarrassed on both sides of the ball in Atlanta. The one piece of solace Oregon can take from this game is that they won’t have to face a team of Georgia’s caliber the rest of the season.
Other receiving votes: Penn State, BYU, Kansas State, Houston, Cincinnati, UCLA