The national champions opened where they deserve to be, at #1. The Alabama Crimson Tide beat Michigan 41-14 in the featured opening game of week 1, giving them most first place votes after the USC Trojans were the preseason number one team in the nation. Their 49-10 win over Hawai’i wasn’t good enough to keep them from falling to number 2 in the rankings.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide, 1-0 (45 first place votes) – The tide had no problem dispatching of #8 Michigan in the season opener at Cowboys Stadium, walking all over the Wolverines to climb one spot from the preseason poll with a 41-14 win.
2. USC Trojans, 1-0 (11) – The Trojans opened their post-bowl ban period with an easy 49-10 victory over Hawai’i, losing their number one spot despite the opportunity to show their offensive arsenal and Matt Barkley’s Heisman trophy run.
3. LSU Tigers, 1-0 (4) – Same score as Alabama, although they had a bit of an easier opponent to face, beating North Texas 41-14, behind the running of Kenny Hilliard, going for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Oregon Ducks, 1-0 – The Rose Bowl champions moved up one place from their preseason rankings after beating Arkansas State 57-34, pretty much taking their foot off the gas pedal thanks to a 51-10 lead in the first half.
5. Oklahoma Sooners, 1-0 – Switched places with Oregon, having to go through a less than easy encounter in El-Paso against UTEP, winning 24-7 thanks to solid defense and good decisions by Landry Jones.
6. Florida State Seminoles, 1-0 – Didn’t have much of an opponent, but still, the 69-3 win over Murray State and especially their shutdown defense was enough to push them up one spot compared to the preseason rankings.
7. Georgia Bulldogs, 1-0 – Fell one spot after finding it hard to put away Buffalo in their home opener, beating the Bulls 45-23, with quarterback Aaron Murray throwing three touchdown passes.
8. Arkansas Razorbacks, 1-0 – Made a two jump leap from their preseason rankings, giving the SEC West another week with an impressive three teams in the top 8, beating Jacksonville State 49-24, enjoying an impressive start for quarterback Tyler Wilson with 367 yards and three touchdowns.
9 (tied). South Carolina Gamecocks, 1-0 – Had a tough opening weekend, beating Vanderbilt on the road 17-13 to open the College Football season, mostly thanks to Marcus Lattimore returning to his 100% form.
9 (tied). West Virginia Mountaineers, 1-0 – Moved up two spots from their preseason rankings, beating Marshall in the state rivalry game 69-34, setting a new scoring record for a Mountaineers opener.
11. Michigan State Spartans, 1-0 – Many thinks the Spartans are the favorites to win the Big Ten, moving up two spots with a 17-13 over ranked Boise State thanks to a fourth quarter touchdown by Le’Veon Bell, who ran for 210 yards.
12. Clemson Tigers, 1-0 – Got to jump two spots after an impressive 26-19 win over Auburn at Jordan-Hare, with running back Andre Ellington going for 231 yards to carry them to victory.
13. Wisconsin Badgers, 1-0 – Fell a spot after a disappointing a near loss performance against Northern Iowa, winning 26-21 after really letting go in the second half, almost dropping their home opener.
14. Ohio State Buckeyes, 1-0 – Jumped up four spots from their preseason rankings after beating the Redhawks 56-10 at the Horseshoe, with Braxton Miller throwing for 207 yards & 2 TDs while running for 161 and scoring a touchdown.
15. Virginia Tech Hokies, 1-0 – The votes were actually posted before their overtime 20-17 win over Georgia Tech, seeing the Hokies move up one spot from their preseason ranking.
16. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 1-0 – A huge day from Taylor Martinez with five touchdown passes saw the huskers move up one spot in the rankings, beating Southern Miss 49-20.
17. Texas Longhorns, 1-0 – Dropped two spots because they beat Wyoming 37-17, conceding 17 points from a less than impressive opponent.
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 1-0 – Moved up one spot from the preseason rankings after a perfect 84-0 win over Savannah State, the most by an FBS team since Oct. 1991 when Fresno State dropped 94 on the New Mexico Lobos.
19. Michigan Wolverines, 0-1 – Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Number 8 in the nation during the preseason, but a terrible 14-41 loss against a too good for them Alabama defense dropped the Wolverines 11 spots, possibly blowing Denard Robinson’s Heisman’s chances as well.
20. TCU Horned Frogs, 0-0 – Didn’t play.
21. Kansas State Wildcats, 1-0 – Moved up one spot with a 51-9 win over Missouri State, mostly helped by John Hubert running for 152 yards.
22. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 1-0 – Were so impressive in their 50-10 win over Navy played in Dublin, Ireland, that the Irish make their first appearance in the poll this season.
23. Louisville Cardinals, 1-0 – The Cardinals moved up two spots from their preseason rankings thanks to a 32-14 win over Kentucky, with Jeremy Wright running for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
24. Florida Gators, 1-0 – The Gators had a difficult time at home against Bowling Green, but Mike Gillislee’s 148 yards and two rushing touchdowns were enough to push them through.
25. Stanford Cardinal, 1-0 – The post-Andrew Luck era began with a tough 20-17 win over San Jose State thanks to a fourth quarter field goal.
Dropped from the (preseason) rankings – Boise State.