Last Word On College Football Top 25: Week 1

The Football Gods promised us the best opening weekend of college football ever and they did not disappoint. We had overtimes in Tennessee and two in Texas, a Kick 6, a Block 2, several half-a-hundreds hung on the scoreboard, numerous close calls and nail-biters, and the always satisfying slaying of the Goliaths by the Davids.

The Football Gods have indeed been generous to fans.

Last Word on College Football Top 25: Week 1

In coaching circles, it’s said that there’s no bigger improvement than from Week 1 to Week 2. In polls, however, there’s no bigger movement than from the first preseason polls to the Week 1 polls.

Alabama cemented their position atop our Top 25 with a thorough demolition of USC. The Crimson Tide were a unanimous selection as our top team. Next come a pair of conference duos, with ACC powers Clemson and FSU and Big Ten powers Ohio State and Michigan comprising the rest of the top five teams. After a statement win against Oklahoma, Houston moves all the way to sixth, followed by Stanford, Washington, Tennessee and Michigan State (the third Big Ten team in the Top 10) rounding out the top ten teams.

Spots 11 through 20 consists of Georgia, Louisville, Oklahoma, the first one loss team in our poll, LSU and Iowa in spots 11 through 15. TCU, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Texas round out a Big 12-heavy 16 through 20. Interestingly, the majority of our voters still had LSU and Notre Dame over teams that beat them this weekend. It’s the opening game, but it is just one game must be the message.

Lastly, Mississippi‘s loss to FSU dropped them to 21st, followed by Baylor, Texas A&M, Oregon and Florida finishing our rankings at number 25.

LAST WORD ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25: WEEK 1

Rank  Team Points Previous Comments

1.

Alabama-Thumbnail-1

ALABAMA (16)

400  1
Inexperienced Quarterback? No problem. The Tide torched USC for 52 points and complemented that output with their typically dominant defense. Is this the start of the Jalen Hurts era in Tuscaloosa? -Mike Loveall

2.

Clemson_University_Tiger_Paw_logo.svgCLEMSON

370  2 Surprisingly, Clemson’s defense was the key to the game. DT Dexter Lawrence can be one of the top freshman in the Nation. As the offense continues to find itself, the Clemson defense proved that it will be as good as last year’s unit. –Justin Gordon

3.

FSU_text_logo.svgFLORIDA STATE

369  4 Florida state overcame a slow start to beat Ole miss by 11. Redshirt Freshman Deondre Francois threw for 479 yards and 2 touchdowns in his college football debut –Jonathan Bailey

4.

2013_Ohio_State_Buckeyes_logo.svgOHIO STATE

348  5 With only three returning players on offense, Ohio State throttled Bowling Green 77-10 win over Bowling Green. J.T. Barrett will look to break more records next week. Ohio State faces a Tulsa team that had the third worst defense in the FBS last season. -Rob Gritzer

5.

Michigan_Wolverines_Logo.svgMICHIGAN

332  6  The Wolverines entered the game as a serious contender to make the college football playoffs. They did not disappoint as they routed Hawaii 63-3. The team came out firing on all cylinders, but would you expect less from a Jim Harbaugh led unit. -Scott Brouillard

6.

2000px-Houston_Cougars_Logo_(1999-2012).svgHOUSTON

323  11  Houston made an absolute statement on Saturday. If they can hold serve from here on out, and make another one against Louisville in November, there will definitely be a conversation about them in the Playoff. -Yesh Ginsburg

7.

Stanford_plain_block_-S-_logo.svgSTANFORD

299  8  Christian McCaffrey and the Cardinal got by Bill Snyder’s Kansas State squad, mostly by letting McCaffrey be McCaffrey. Ryan Burns played well as the new starter, and the Card gets an early bye week to improve its offensive line execution before welcoming USC to Stanford Stadium in Week 3. – Donald King

8.

University_of_Washington_Block_W_logo.svgWASHINGTON

243  16  The Huskies destroyed undermanned Rutgers in Week 1 behind a great performance by Jake Browning. UW will look to get Myles Gaskin and the running game rolling when it hosts Idaho in Week 2. -Donald King

9.

UT_Volunteers_logo.svgTENNESSEE

234  10  The much anticipated season got off to a slow start for the Vols, with a sputtering offense against upset-minded App State. Can the Vols get their engines revving for Virginia Tech and the Battle at Bristol? -Mike Loveall

10.


Michigan-State-logo-block-s.svgMICHIGAN STATE

219  12 The Spartans began 2016 with a 28-13 win over FCS Furman that could only be described as underwhelming. Fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor, making his second career start, threw for 190 yards and three touchdown passes. MSU will get an uptick in competition next time out, facing Notre Dame on September 17th after a bye in week. -John Bava III

11.

UGA_logo.svgGEORGIA

217  22  The Bulldogs pulled out an impressive win over a talented North Carolina. Will Eason or Lambert take hold of the quarterback reins and can Nick Chubb continue his torrid start over the next few weeks? As always, the Bulldogs will be tested almost weekly playing in the SEC. -Tommy Tabler

12.

louisville-cardinals-logoLOUISVILLE

214  18  As expected, Louisville handled Charlotte in dominating fashion. Quarterback Lamar Jackson flashed his dual-threat ability, racking up 405 total yards and eight total touchdowns. The Cardinals begin conference play with a very winnable game against Syracuse next week. -Al Preziosi

13.

Oklahoma_Sooners_logo.svgOKLAHOMA

194  3 The Sooners did what they do best, crack under preseason hype. OU was taken down by a strong Houston team, who now looks like a playoff contender. The team gets Louisiana Monroe in what will be a relaxing break. -Connor Ferguson

14.

Louisiana_State_University_(block_logo).svgLSU

159  7 Les Miles is officially on the hot seat after a loss to Wisconsin. Brandon Harris was wildly inaccurate in the pocket on Saturday, and the defense couldn’t make a stop when it needed it the most. Is this the beginning of the end of the Miles era? -Lauren Beasley

15.

iu01050mxpzmj4zqegb0vvhguIOWA

149  19 The Hawkeyes started the season with a commanding win over Miami (Ohio). They open this week as heavy favorites over Cy-Hawk rival Iowa State, but we all know what can happen in rivalry games. -Connor Ferguson

16.

imgresTCU

147  15 In his debut for the Horned Frogs Kenny Hill threw two interceptions in the first half, but gained control and finished with 439 yards and guided the offense to put 50+ points. The defense was not as impressive, giving up 41 points and 461 yards to South Dakota State. TCU will face a struggling Arkansas on Saturday. -Lauren Beasley

17.

Osu_ath_brandOKLAHOMA STATE

139  21 Oklahoma State opened their 2016 campaign in unsurprising fashion, dominating a vastly inferior Southeastern Louisiana team. A trio of QBs, led by Mason Rudolph, combined for a 151 passer rating, while four different rushers scored TDs. The Cowboys are home next week to host Central Michigan. -Brendan Dzwierzynski

18.

wisconsin-badgers-logoWISCONSIN

129  NR In one of the more highly anticipated opening weekend game Wisconsin’s defense proved to be the deciding factor in a 16-14 win over LSU at Lambeau field. The Badgers shut out the Tigers in the first half and held Leonard Fournette relatively in check (23-138-0). The Badgers got 86 yards rushing and one touchdown out of running back Corey Clement.  -Tony Siracusa

19.

NOTRE NotreDameFightingIrish.svgDAME

116  9 This team clearly has talent, but is very inexperienced. The Irish loss to Texas will cause many to question this team’s potential; luckily, they have 11 more games to show their mettle. Expect a few more hiccups along the way while this team matures. -Yesh Ginsburg

20.

Texas_Longhorn_logo.svgTEXAS

114  NR Is Bevo back? Texas scored an impressive overtime win over ninth-ranked Notre Dame. Can Texas make a run in the Big 12? -Mike Loveall

21.

Ole_Miss_rebels_Logo.svgMISSISSIPPI

103  13 A feeling of what might have been for the Rebels who blew a 22 point lead against FSU on Monday night. QB Chad Kelly had a strong first half but ended the game with three INTs. The defense struggled to contain Deondre Francois passing and occasionally rushing on the ground. Ole Miss starts SEC play against Alabama in week three. –Matthew Atkinson

22.

Baylor_University_Athletics_(logo).svgBAYLOR

64  24 Seth Russell showed no issues playing in his first game after neck surgery. He only threw for 163 yards, but the four touchdowns are what stood out. The Baylor offense rolled Northwestern State 55-7 thanks in large part to Russell’s play. Expect more of the same when Baylor plays SMU next week. -Sean Garmer

23.

Texas_A&M_University_aTm_logo.svgTEXAS A&M

57  NR The Aggies survived a late comeback by UCLA and won in overtime. The defensive line was dominant while QB Trevor Knight did enough on offense to relieve the pressure on head coach Kevin Sumlin — for now. Next up is Prairie View A&M from the FCS before a trip to Auburn. -Matthew Atkinson

24.

OregonDucks.svgOREGON

47  23 Oregon is flying under the radar as much as the Ducks can; after a decade of disappointment, can the Ducks be a surprise contender this season? -Mike Loveall

25.

Florida_Gators_logo.svgFLORIDA

41  25 Florida struggled with lowly UMASS for three quarters on Saturday before pulling away in the fourth quarter. Is Luke Del Rio the answer at QB?  -Mike Loveall

 

Others Receiving Votes: North Carolina (33), Boise State (24), UCLA (24), Miami (20), Utah (17), Pitt (16), Nebraska (11), San Diego State (6), Appalachian State (5), Western Kentucky (3)

We’ve seen a significant re-shuffling of the rankings after this weekend. Certainly more changes are to come. Continue to follow Last Word on College Football of all of the analysis and opinion that comes with college football and watch every week as we rank the best 25 teams in the land.

Previous LWOS Polls:

Preseason Top 25

Listen to the Last Word on College Football Podcast discuss the Top 25 rankings.

About the poll: Sixteen Last Word on College Football writers submit ballots and points are awarded on a inverse-scale (a first place vote receives 25 points, a 25th-place vote receives 1 point).

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