Wow, what a wild Saturday of college football we had this past weekend. With the NFL back, some of the shine is taken away from the college game, but you cannot replicate the chaos we saw for 15 hours on Saturday across 80+ games featuring FBS teams. We have a new number one ranked team atop the Stadium Rant Top 25, but what else is new? Let’s jump into the post-Week Two top 25 drawn off a consensus from ballots of ten SR contributors.
Top 25 Conference Breakdown: SEC (7), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), Pac-12 (3), Independent (1)
Stadium Rant’s Official Week Two College Football Top 25
1. Georgia Bulldogs (7)
Last Week: 33-0 Win vs Samford
Georgia handled their business against FCS Samford. They allowed just 128 total yards and 1.1 yards per carry. Stetson Bennett threw for 300 yards and a score. After two weeks, the Dawgs are clearly the most impressive team in the country.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)
Last Week: 20-19 Win at Texas
Alabama did not deserve to win in Austin. That said, it was the fourth-quarter play of 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young that pushed them over the top. This team has some deficiencies, especially at the offensive skill positions. The shock of seeing Bama struggle against Texas is what dropped them from the top spot, but I expect them to rebound in a big way.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
Last Week: 45-12 Win vs Arkansas State
The Buckeyes looked more like their normal selves in their victory over Arkansas State. They totaled 538 yards of offense through a very balanced attack. Although their Week One offensive performance may have left some people unsatisfied, the Buckeyes offense should prove to be one of the best in the nation over the course of the season.
4. Michigan Wolverines
Last Week: 56-10 Win vs Hawaii
JJ McCarthy should be the starter for Michigan going forward. He gives this team the highest ceiling in their chase to repeat as Big Ten Champions. I am waiting for Michigan’s first game where they are not favored by 30+ points (which will come on September 24th against Maryland), but Jim Harbaugh’s squad has handled their business through two games.
5. Clemson Tigers
Last Week: 35-12 Win vs Furman
It is the same old story for Clemson. Their defense is dynamic and powerful. Their offensive, however, lags behind. Cade Klubnik did not look great in the few snaps he saw. No matter the QB, I have trouble seeing the Tigers running the table in the regular season.
6. Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 33-3 Win vs Kent State
Oklahoma has a new identity with defensive-minded head coach Brent Venables. They allowed just three points on Saturday, a game in which they only took a 7-3 lead into halftime. The Gabriel to Mims connection is special on offense, and this team should feel good with where they are at.
7. USC Trojans
Last Week: 41-28 Win at Stanford
It is very clear what the 2022 USC Trojans are. They have one of the best offenses in America led by quarterback Caleb Williams and supplemented with playmakers like Jordan Addison, Travis Dye, and Mario Williams. Their defense, on the other hand, lags behind. USC will put up 40+ PPG, but their undisciplined defense will be their kryptonite.
8. Miami Hurricanes
Last Week: 30-7 Win vs Southern Miss
In what was a looked ahead spot to next week’s matchup against Texas A&M, the Hurricanes used a 20-0 second half to get by a feisty Southern Miss team. Miami has a very nice offensive balance and a tough and disciplined defense. The Mario Cristobal era is off to a strong start.
9. Michigan State Spartans
Last Week: 52-0 Win vs Akron
Michigan State allowed just one yard per carry while totaling 260 rushing yards themselves on Saturday against Akron. Quarterback Payton Thorne has had some inconsistencies, including two interceptions on Saturday. His play will ultimately determine the Spartans’ ceiling.
10. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 34-17 Win vs Arizona State
Oklahoma State handled business against an Arizona State team I believe will prove to be a bottom-feeder in the Pac-12. That said, the Pokes proved they could push the ball down the field on offense and contain a dual-threat quarterback on defense. Those traits will pay dividends in Big 12 play.
11. Arkansas Razorbacks
Last Week: 44-30 Win vs South Carolina
Led by their 245-pound quarterback, Arkansas is one of the more physical teams in the country. KJ Jefferson is the heartbeat of this team and will carry them all season long. This win over South Carolina was never in doubt as the Razorbacks were able to get out to an early 21-3 lead.
12. BYU Cougars
Last Week: 26-20 (OT) Win vs #9 Baylor
BYU had the win of the weekend in an overtime thriller against #9 Baylor. Although their offense was stymied for most of the night, Kalani Sitake’s squad executed when it mattered down the stretch. I do not think this BYU team is as good as the 2020 squad, but they certainly should have their eye on a New Year’s Six bowl appearance.
13. NC State Wolfpack
Last Week: 55-3 Win vs Charleston Southern
After a very underwhelming Week One performance, NC State handled business against Charleston Southern. Devin Leary threw for four touchdowns and their defense allowed just 150 yards. The Wolfpack will still be a major player in the ACC.
14. Utah Utes
Last Week: 73-7 Win vs Southern Utah
Utah took their Week One frustration out on their in-state Week Two foe. The Utes out-gained Southern Utah 599-85. Kyle Whittingham’s bunch will be a contender in the Pac-12.
15. Kentucky Wildcats
Last Week: 26-16 Win at #12 Florida
The Kentucky Wildcats had a very impressive win on Saturday night in Gainesville while missing a few key contributors. The Wildcats capitalized on two Anthony Richardson interceptions and were able to grit their way to a typical Mark Stoops victory. Look for Kentucky to try and muck up most of their in-conference games this season.
16. Tennessee Volunteers
Last Week: 34-27 (OT) Win at #17 Pittsburgh
Josh Heupel’s squad showed a lot of resilience in their overtime win in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Hendon Hooker to Cedric Tillman is one of the best connections in college football. The Vols defense is going to be a problem all season long, which I believe will ultimately keep them from being a true contender in the SEC.
17. Ole Miss Rebels
Last Week: 59-3 Win vs Central Arkansas
Ole Miss handled their business against FCS Central Arkansas. Jaxson Dart and Luke Altmyer split time and played well, but it was the Rebels running game that carried them on Saturday. I like the balance Lane Kiffin’s squad has shown through two weeks.
18. Baylor Bears
Last Week: 20-26 (OT) Loss at #21 BYU
No shame in a loss in Provo against a very good BYU team. Baylor did a good job of mucking this one up, but could not capitalize when it mattered most. Their goal of repeating as Big 12 Champion is very much still in play, though, Blake Shapen and this offense need to become more vertically threatening.
19. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last Week: 45-25 Win at Vanderbilt
The Demon Deacons received a huge lift last week as star quarterback Sam Hartman returned to the team after a one-month absence. Hartman did not look like he missed a step, finishing with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns. This team is an ACC contender with Hartman leading them.
20. Florida Gators
Last Week: 16-26 Loss vs #20 Kentucky
Anthony Richardson showed his true colors in his third career start on Saturday night. He completed just 14-of-35 passes with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Richardson has a ton of talent but will need to become more consistent if the Gators want to be a true contender in the SEC.
21. Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 19-20 Loss vs #1 Alabama
Was it not for an injury to their starting quarterback, their backup quarterback, or about five crucial penalties that did not go their way, the Longhorns would have very likely beaten the #1 team in the country on Saturday. Texas proved it can hang with the nation’s best, especially on the outside. The injuries to their quarterbacks may plague them the next few weeks, but this program is on the rise.
22. Penn State Nittany Lions
Last Week: 46-10 Win vs Ohio
Penn State was able to dominate the Bobcats of Ohio through a very balanced offensive attack. They finished with 338 yards through the air and 234 on the ground. The Nittany Lions get their first true test of the season when they travel to the plains of Auburn this Saturday.
23. Kansas State Wildcats
Last Week: 40-12 Win vs Missouri
Kansas State looked very impressive in its route over rival Missouri. If you do not know the name Deuce Vaughn, learn it. The 5’6″ running back is one of the most electrifying players in college football. The Wildcats are a sleeping giant in the Big 12 this year.
24. Oregon Ducks
Last Week: 70-14 Win vs Eastern Washington
Oregon came out with vengeance on Saturday after their embarrassing Week One beatdown against Georgia. Bo Nix bounced back with 277 yards and five touchdowns. This team will be a player in the Pac-12.
25. Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Wee: 27-34 (OT) Loss vs #24 Tennessee
Pat Narduzzi’s squad was likely a Kedon Slovis injury away from beating Tennessee on Saturday. This team is elite on the defensive side of the ball. The Slovis injury limits the Panthers’ ceiling, but I still believe Pitt is a very stingy team who can beat anyone on their schedule.
Other Receiving Votes (in order of points): Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Marshall, Florida State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, UCLA, Houston, Appalachian State, Air Force, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Minnesota