Week 1 College Football Power Rankings According to Si.Com
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
A 52–6 win over USC surely pleases even the most demanding Alabama supporters. The Crimson Tide racked up 465 yards at AT&T Stadium, utilizing true freshman quarterbackJalen Hurts so well that it appears Alabama has found its quarterback of the future.Redshirt freshman Blake Barnett got the start, but Hurts replaced him after two series. Despite a fumble on his first play, he rebounded to finish 6-of-11 for 118 yards with four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) and one interception. Satisfying all around…except for Nick Saban.
Last week: Beat USC 52–6
Next week: Saturday vs. Western Kentucky
Clemson survived a close call at Jordan-Hare Stadium, bringing only a 10–3 lead into halftime and benefiting from a couple of defensive penalties by Auburn. A steady but unspectacular Deshaun Watson got help in the form of a 30-carry, 123-yard performance from running back Wayne Gallman and a nine-catch, 174-yard outing from wide receiver Mike Williams. Still, following a puzzling call by Tigers coach Dabo Swinney not to kick a field goal on his team’s final drive, Clemson had to sweat out two Hail Mary attempts before securing the victory. It was Good enough for Week 1, but how much longer?
Last week: Beat Auburn 19-13
Next week: Saturday vs. Troy
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Florida State plays Ole Miss on Monday night. The Seminoles’ ranking will be updated thereafter.
Redshirt junior Wilton Speight threw an interception on his first play as Michigan’s starting quarterback, but that was about the only blight on the Wolverines’ opener. With a 512-yard effort, including 306 on the ground, Michigan rolled to an easy 63–3 win. Speight finished with a solid line, despite the early pick: 10-of-13, 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Last week: Beat Hawaii 63-3
Next week: Saturday vs. UCF
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
Just like its archrival, Ohio State cruised in an easy season opener. J.T. Barrett tossed six touchdowns and ran for another, while redshirt freshman Mike Weber began his college career in fine form with 19 carries for 136 yards. Bowling Green provided hardly any challenge, and Tulsa likely won’t either on Saturday. Then it gets real for Ohio State: It faces Oklahoma on Sept. 17.
Last week: Beat Bowling Green 77-10
Next week: Saturday vs. Tulsa
• BAUMGAERTNER: THREE BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 1
The Houston hype train rolls on. With Big 12 expansion talk swirling, the Cougars backed up all the positive press coverage they’ve been receiving with an impressive upset winover Oklahoma at NRG Stadium in Houston. Greg Ward Jr. threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, good enough to outshine an impressive outing from Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (24-of-33, 323 yards, two touchdowns). Credit Houston’s defense for limiting Oklahoma to two touchdowns and limiting the Sooners’ vaunted rushing attack to 70 yards. The Cougars are for real and very much a College Football Playoff candidate at this point.
Last week: Beat Oklahoma 33–23
Next week: Saturday vs. Lamar
Another preseason darling, Washington got through Week 1 as expected by thrashing Rutgers at home. The Huskies scored three minutes into the game and added a total of 24 unanswered points in the first quarter. By that point, it was already over. Washington travels to Arizona on Sept. 24 to begin Pac-12 play, but its first real challenge shouldn’t come until the following week, when Stanford visits Husky Stadium.
Last week: Beat Rutgers 48-13
Next week: Saturday vs. Idaho
Because Christian McCaffrey managed only 210 all-purpose yards, Stanford’s season-opening win against Kansas State felt fairly lackluster. Just kidding… about the first part. The Cardinal held the Wildcats to just two field goals until 2:20 remained in the fourth quarter, when a Kansas State touchdown cut Stanford’s lead to 19–13. Then McCaffrey busted a 41-yard touchdown run on the following play to put the game away. Still, Stanford will have to perform better against tougher competition—its next three opponents are USC, at UCLA and at Washington.
Last week: Beat Kansas State 26-13
Next week: Sept. 17 vs. USC
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
Furman stayed within eight points of Michigan State as late as the 4:55 mark in the fourth quarter, so the Spartans’ climb in the rankings is due purely to attrition. Two turnovers and a 10-penalty effort give Mark Dantonio’s squad plenty to improve upon moving forward. Fortunately, Michigan State doesn’t play again until Sept. 17. Unfortunately, that entails a trip to Notre Dame.
Last week: Beat Furman 28-13
Next week: Sept. 17 at Notre Dame
By losing to Houston, Oklahoma becomes the highest-ranked team to begin the season 0–1. As mentioned above, Mayfield was exceptional (fourth-quarter fumble aside) and getting that running game going with Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine feels much more like a matter of “when” than “if.” That should happen this week, as next up is a Louisiana-Monroe team that allowed Southern’s Lenard Tillery to rush for 161 yards on 26 carries on Saturday. For Oklahoma’s sake, it better happen this week—a primetime date with Ohio State looms later this month.
Last week: Lost to Houston 33–23
Next week: Saturday vs. Louisiana-Monroe