The SEC is surging, with Alabama the consensus number one team in the country, and powerhouses in George, Auburn, and LSU. Nobody denies the depth and difficulty of the BIG 10, boasting Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Penn State.
The ACC, BIG 12, and PAC-12 are both in compromised positions. Clemson and Virginia Tech seem to be the only contenders in the ACC, and the BIG 12 looks more and more like Oklahoma and everyone else, especially as Mason Rudolph left for the NFL and Texas laid an egg against Maryland. The AP Poll’s top PAC-12 team, Washington, lost to Auburn, and both Stanford and USC failed to put away Group of Five teams in the first quarter, which should be the expectation for Top 25 teams.
With all of week one’s action, here is the new AP Top 25:
BREAKING: Week 2 #AP Poll Released— CFB Home (@CFBHome) September 4, 2018
4 Ohio St
12 Va Tech
13 Penn St
14 West Va
15 Mich St
18 Miss St
20 Boise St
Here are some brief takeaways.
The Poll Doesn’t See Washington’s Loss as a Big Deal
In week one, heavyweights Washington and Auburn faced off in what was expected to be a referendum on each of their seasons. Instead, the AP Poll only dropped Washington three spots, from six to nine.
Washington remains the top team in the PAC-12 in the poll, and it seems as though their quest for another playoff berth in the Jake Browning era is still possible.
LSU and Notre Dame Had Statement Games
LSU had a statement demolition of Miami, and they jumped a full 14 spots. In contrast, Notre Dame barely won against a Michigan team that was just as well respected as Miami and only jumped four spots, from 12 to eight.
This may seem ludicrous to many, but there seems to be a rhyme to the Poll’s reason. While Notre Dame stayed with their general game-plan, and won a close game, LSU revealed a passing game lead by Joe Burrow that hasn’t been prolific in years. With Burrow performance now at the helm, voters will likely taken aback by LSU’s new-look passing offense, warranting the jump.
What is it with Weak Wins?
This flummoxes me. Yes, USC failed to put away UNLV earlier, and engendered doubt in the minds of voters as to whether the defense can stop big plays and limit the rush. In many ways, USC deserved to drop two spots. However, Penn State went to overtime against Appalachian State and only dropped three spots. Michigan State played Utah State and it was a one possession game down the stretch. They only dropped four spots, from 11 to 15. By every metric, Michigan State’s win was more definitive than Penn State’s, but Penn State still manged to drop fewer spots than Michigan State.
And this is the ringer: Stanford failed to put away San Diego State for a whole quarter, with dynamic SDSU runningback Juwan Washington looking like he was going to take over the game in the first quarter. In contrast, USC took a half to put away UNLV, and dropped two spots. Here’s the problem: Stanford gained three spots for a similarly poor start against SDSU.
The voter’s were consistent in most aspects of this poll, but the consistency in judging weak and unconvincing wins wasn’t there. There is no rhyme or reason to USC dropping two spots, Michigan State dropping four spots, Penn State dropping three spots, and Stanford gaining three spots.
Hopefully next week’s game at Stanford will force the voters to put more respeck on the USC name.