Teams like Ohio State, Alabama, TCU and Baylor are in the clear for now. Michigan State got rid of Oregon in what should lead to some major rankings change, Auburn almost lost to an FCS team which says something about their bid and hope of winning the SEC and making the College Football Playoffs while others, like USC, LSU and maybe Georgia, Florida State and Clemson are hoping they find themselves in the discussion at some point.
Oregon, ranked #7 going into their game at Michigan State, are the highest ranked losers of week 2. It’s not like they looked terrible, but they still lost 31-28 with a bad day at quarterback for Vernon Adams and a weak running display, usually the difference for them between winning and losing. The Spartans aren’t the best in the Big Ten (yet…) but they have the most impressive win of the season so far among the top 5 teams.
Ohio State, Alabama, TCU and Baylor had no problem dispatching of weak teams – either G5 opponents or FCS rivals, which is usually the case for Baylor and TCU, although the Horned Frogs did play a Big Ten team last week. This was a chance to put on some points and nice numbers before more difficult opponents come along. Ohio State might be without a serious threat for quite a while considering their Big Ten lineup.
Auburn are the #6 team, but not for much longer. They did win, but needed a comeback and a miracle against Jacksonville State to get to 2-0, which means they’re not going to get much love from the voters, deservedly so. Two other SEC teams who disappointed and we’ll drop from the rankings are Arkansas, losing at home to Toledo, which tells us about the overall strength of the overhyped conference, while Mississippi State losing at home to LSU isn’t something to be ashamed of, but it won’t keep them in the top 25.
Another SEC team taking a tough loss to heart is Tennessee. The Vols have been waiting for a chance to return to the big time. In a game against #19 ranked Oklahoma the Vols managed to drop the ball and blow a huge lead against a vulnerable Sooners team. Oklahoma won in double overtime and Tennessee, ranked #23 going into the game, missed a chance to have a huge celebration in front of 100,000+ at Knoxville, and will have to find their recognition in the SEC, which is never easy for them, at least not in recent years.
USC will be the highest ranked team from the Pac-12 following their win over Idaho, but things will get significantly more difficult very soon for the Trojans, and we’ll find out if this is the year they’re going to be “back” in, finally making it to the Pac-12 championship game, coming along just in the time the program was hitting its relative decline, although bad is different at USC compared to most of College Football.
One final word goes out to BYU, who beat Boise State with another big hali mary play and without their starting quarterback who is out for the season. They’re going to be ranked following their wins over the Broncos and Nebraska in week 1, but the road towards a perfect season, which was in reach a year ago before their quarterback went down with a season ending injury, goes through Michigan and UCLA on the road. Not very easy, but not impossible.
And how about another independent, Notre Dame? They did win their game against Virginia to improve to 2-0, but they lost their starting quarterback, Malik Zaire, to a season ending injury. While being a backup at Notre Dame usually means you’re pretty good, but this casts some serious doubt on whether or not they’ll be able to remain locked in the top 10 for the foreseeable future, and their hopes of heading to the College Football Playoffs took a serious hit.