Week 2 of the college football season was supposed to simple: Only two real threats of upsetting ranked teams, and plenty of easy games for the rest. Teams like Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan made it look easy. Others, like Georgia and Clemson struggled with some very weak opponents, which could hurt them in the rankings. Others, like TCU and especially Oklahoma State, fell into the upset trap, which will probably move them from the polls, at least for one week.
The biggest game in terms of attendance and anticipation was the Battle at Bristol, with Tennessee, recovering from their tough win against Appalachian State, had another bad start against the Virginia Tech Hokies. More than 156,000 in attendance saw VT take a 14-0 lead, but then the fumbles began, and in the end, Tennesse might actually receive a bounce from the 45-24 win, even if they still don’t look like the real thing.
The other potential upset actually happened: TCU already fell two spots for giving up 41 points against a FCS team in week 1. They’ll probably fall down out the top 20 and possibly outside the rankings for losing 41-38 in double overtime to Arkansas, at home. The Horned Frogs had defensive problems last season, but this year it seems like they’re far bigger, especially as their offense isn’t as capable of fixing every possible mistake. Arkansas? They’re good, maybe good enough to enter the polls, although no one gave them any votes last week.
The real upset of the week was Oklahoma State losing 30-27 at home to Central Michigan. Ranked #22 before the game, they’ll be out of the top 25 when the polls come out, and maybe for a while as punishment. However, it’s worth remembering that the officials cost them the game. There was no time on the clock when Oklahoma State’s final play was penalized, which should have ended the game. Instead, the visiting Chippewas got a chance to pull off a miracle, and they did, scoring on a hail mary followed by a lateral and an insane run into the end zone. Not sure it’ll get CMU enough votes.
Other teams that might fall down the rankings, aside from those that didn’t play (like Michigan State, not impressing in the first week anyway) will be Clemson and Georgia. The Tigers beat Troy only 30-24. They turned the ball over 3 times, Deshaun Watson didn’t throw any touchdown passes, and Clemson held a 3-point lead only as they went into the fourth quarter. They’ve won their first two games by a total of 12 points, which probably means they won’t be the highest ranked ACC team when the polls come out, and maybe not even in the top 5 or 6.
The Bulldogs looked even worse against an FCS team, only winning 26-24 against Nicholls, who held Nick Chubb to only 4 YPC and one touchdown as he rushed for 80 total. They won’t be top 10 after this win with Texas and Wisconsin along with Louisville having an easy time in their games against slightly stronger foes, although none of them faced anyone too formidable.
The same can be said about most ranked teams this week. Alabama crushed Western Kentucky, Florida State beat an FCS team, Ohio State almost shutout Tulsa, and Michigan manhandled UCF. Houston shutout an FCS team as well, while Washington opened the season 2-0, beating the weak Vandals to possibly suggest they’re to be taken seriously in the Pac-12 this season.
From teams that didn’t make it in but received votes last week, Florida could be back after an impressive win over Kentucky, Utah beat BYU 20-19, stopping a two-point conversion in the end, Boise State beat Washington State to alert that they might be back although it’s a non-BCS world now. San Diego State also beat a Pac-12 team, California. Pittsburgh beat Penn State 42-39 in a highly entertaining rivalry restart game, which could put them in the running for a top 25 spot.