College Football: Week 2 top 25 rankings

2RPAFMN ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 03: Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) with teammates before a college football game against the LSU Tigers on September 03, 2023 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

• Florida State cracks the top three: Following an impressive 45-24 win over then-No. 5 LSU, the Seminoles are now the No. 3 team in the country.

• Duke makes the top 20: After starting the season unranked, the Blue Devils check in at No. 16 after taking down then-No. 9 Clemson in the season opener.

• Colorado joins the rankings: The Buffaloes are the most must-watch team in college football and proved it against then-No. 17 TCU.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

It was an eventful Week 1 of the 2023 college football season, as three ranked teams went down. Two of them, LSU and Clemson, were in the preseason top 10. The other, TCU, played in the national championship game a mere eight months ago. Colorado, which beat TCU, went 1-11 in 2022 but now has a completely new roster under new head coach Deion Sanders.

Here are the updated top 25 rankings heading into Week 2. Please note that these are not the same as PFF’s power rankings.

1. Georgia Bulldogs (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 1st)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Ball State Cardinals

The back-to-back champs had essentially a tune-up in Week 1, handling Tennessee-Martin by a score of 48-7.

New starting quarterback Carson Beck didn’t have the best performance against the FCS opponent, finishing with just a 68.1 passing grade without any big-time throws. He’ll have a chance to rebound against Ball State.

2. Michigan Wolverines (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 2nd)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. UNLV Rebels

Even with head coach Jim Harbaugh serving the first of his three-game suspension, Michigan still dominated East Carolina 30-3. The star of the day was quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who led all Power Five quarterbacks with a 94.1 passing grade in Week 1. 

3. Florida State Seminoles (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 4th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Florida State proved why I had them No. 4 in my preseason ranking, dominating then-No. 5 LSU 45-24. It was a game that the Tigers led by three going into halftime, but the Seminoles then scored 31 unanswered in the second half to put them away.

Like the two teams above them, it’s difficult to find a weakness in Florida State. They have a Heisman Trophy candidate under center in Jordan Travis, one of the best receiving corps in the country, the top running back prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a loaded defense, headlined by future top-10 pick Jared Verse.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 5th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Youngstown State Penguins

It wasn’t the strongest start to the post-C.J. Stroud era, as the normally explosive Ohio State offense put up just 23 points on Indiana, a school that fielded one of the 20 worst Power Five defenses a year ago in terms of expected points allowed per play.

Even though the Buckeyes have the nation’s two best receivers, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, they combined for just five catches for 34 yards in the 23-3 victory. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle McCord should be looking their way far more often this week against an FCS opponent in Youngstown State. 

5. Alabama Crimson Tide (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 3rd)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. #11 Texas Longhorns

The biggest question for Alabama all offseason has been who Bryce Young’s replacement will be. Redshirt sophomore Jalen Milroe ended up winning the job and excelled in the season opener, earning a 92.3 grade that tied for fifth among FBS quarterbacks.

Granted, that was against Middle Tennessee and he’s coming off a 2022 campaign where his 30.3 passing grade was the lowest among FBS signal-callers with at least 150 snaps. He’ll have an opportunity to prove he’s taken a massive step forward when the Crimson Tide face off with No. 11 Texas in what is easily the biggest game of the weekend.

6. USC Trojans (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 6th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Stanford Cardinal

Caleb Williams has picked up right where he left off last season. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions in two games. With Lincoln Riley calling the shots and an electric receiving corps, this should once again be one of the best offenses in the country.

The question is on the other side of the ball. Despite having talented players, the Trojans' defense ranks just 79th in expected points added per play. That’s after playing San Jose State and Nevada, as well — far from the elite Pac-12 offenses USC will see later this season. The unit's progression (or lack thereof) will determine whether the Trojans make the College Football Playoff.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 7th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens

The first game of the Drew Allar era couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start. The sophomore posted an 87.0 passing grade in the 38-15 win over West Virginia, completing 21 of his 29 attempts for 325 yards and three touchdowns. If Allar keeps up that level of play, the Nittany Lions could get over the hump and beat the likes of Michigan and Ohio State.

8. Washington Huskies (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 8th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

The Washington passing attack was as advertised against Boise State. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for 450 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-19 win. The electric receiving duo of Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan was just that. Odunze led the way with 132 receiving yards, while McMillan scored three total touchdowns in the victory.

9. LSU Tigers (Record: 0-1, AP Ranking: 14th)

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Grambling State Tigers

Even though the season didn’t start the way LSU hoped, it’s important to contextualize that loss. Florida State is a top-three team in the country, and LSU was battling before falling apart in the second half.

There’s still a very feasible path for the Tigers to be a legitimate contender in the SEC this season, and their hardest game is now out of the way. To get back on track, the first order of business has to be allowing Harold Perkins to do what he does best: rush the passer. 

10. Utah Utes (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 10th)

Week 2 Matchup: at Baylor Bears

Utah missed eight starters against Florida, including stars such as quarterback Cam Rising and tight end Brant Kuithe. But the Utes' performance Thursday against Florida looked as if the team was at full strength.

Utah dominated the Gators by a score of 24-11. Head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff did a masterful job against Florida and proved why they’re the back-to-back Pac-12 champs. Once they get fully healthy, watch out.

11. Texas Longhorns (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 11th)

12. Tennessee Volunteers (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 9th)

13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Record: 2-0, AP Ranking: 10th)

14. Oregon Ducks (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 13th)

15. North Carolina Tar Heels (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 17th)

16. Duke Blue Devils (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 21st)

17. Clemson Tigers (Record: 0-1, AP Ranking: 25th)

18. Oklahoma Sooners (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 18th)

19. Oregon State Beavers (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 16th)

20. Kansas State Wildcats (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 15th)

21. Ole Miss Rebels (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 20th)

22. Wisconsin Badgers (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 19th)

23. Tulane Green Wave (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 24th)

24. Arkansas Razorbacks (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: NR)

25. Colorado Buffaloes (Record: 1-0, AP Ranking: 22nd)

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