With the NFL now starting its season, the NCAA Football schedule falls into its regular rhythm and we begin to get a better measurement of the squads. There were impactful matchups throughout the week and the updated AP rankings are starting to deliver a better reflection of things.
While much of the top 10 saw rollover contests, some significant games in the top-25 generated interest and created significant shifts on the board. Here are some of the more significant results that we saw from the weekend and the new rankings those generated.
(4) Texas 34 – (10) Alabama 24
Not today, Saban! As Jerry Wilson covered earlier, this was the big result of the day. Some speculate this is a sign of the demise of the Crimson Tide dynasty, but the fact that this result delivers a bit of a shock means that is a bit premature; Alabama losing on the regular will be the indicator. That said, this game does show more than cracks in the forceful facade, beginning with the fact this was staged in Tuscaloosa and the Tide were not sterling in appearance.
Even as the game was close throughout it felt as if the Longhorns were controlling things, if not dominating. When Alabama hit a long TD to take a lead it looked possible that they would be exerting the usual magic they have come to expect, but Texas had other plans. A 50-yard strike by Quinn Ewers was quickly followed by a touchdown, and Texas held control going forward. Alabama did not look like its usual dominating force on offense, as QB Jalen Milroe had a middling game, throwing for 255 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. No receiver broke the 70-yard mark, no running back had more than 45 on the ground, and the defense had no turnovers. This was Texas all the way.
This victory takes the Longhorns into the top-5 while Alabama is in the unfamiliar position of almost sliding out of the top-10.
(18) Colorado 36 – Nebraska 14
There will only be mounting interest in what is happening in the Mile High area, as Deion Sanders continues to command attention with results as much as his actions. His wholesale renovation of this team after being named head coach had many delivering ridicule, but he has landed the Buffaloes in the rankings and is beginning to look legitimate. This rivalry game had many watching in interest.
Nebraska began by staging a team meeting at midfield on the Colorado logo, setting the stage for conflict. The first quarter was sluggish offensively but soon quarterback Shedeure Sanders settled in and delivered with 393 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns, while Nebraska had no offense to speak of. The interest in what Coach Prime is doing will only grow as a result, as Colorado moves to #18 in the poll.
Miami 48 – (22) Texas A&M 33
These are two programs still looking to have their identity established, and this game goes far in doing so. The Aggies seem perpetually ready to become a force and frequently appear incapable of becoming just that. Coach Jimbo Fischer arrived with hype and he has landed numerous blue-chip recruits the past few years, but the program has yet to develop. Miami meanwhile has been in rebuild mode for some time, and it looks like second-year coach Mario Cristobal might have them on track.
In a game that was something of a gunfight, the Hurricanes managed to overcome a first half of hurting their own cause and then turned it around, delivering flashes of days past with big plays and even a 98-yard kickoff return. Tyler VanDyke threw for 374 and five touchdowns, as Miami appears poised to enter the top-25 after opening the season without receiving any votes in the poll.
(12) Utah 20 – Baylor 13
It looks like Utah took care of business as expected, but this had been shaping up as the second biggest upset of the week. Going without its starter, Cam Rising, Utah trailed most of the game to a lowly Baylor team. It took a 15 play drive to tie the game with under two minutes to play, and then an interception led to a shorter drive, ending with a rushing touchdown to take the lead with 17 seconds remaining.
(25) Iowa 20 – Iowa State 13
The interstate rivalry looked to be a close one with a defensive battle expected, and the offense was rather lacking on both sides. Instead, the Hawkeyes controlled most of the game as they built a solid 20-3 lead, with the help of a pick-6. Iowa State only managed a 4th quarter field goal and a touchdown in the closing minutes to make this look closer, but the victory was enough to see Iowa landing in the poll this week.
Sometimes it can be tough to measure when a powerhouse looks less than dominating against a rollover opponent. Ohio State, for example, failed to Clear the 44 1/2-point expected victory against the lesser Youngstown State, but at what point were the starters benched as the Buckeyes established a 28-7 halftime cushion? It was enough to see the school drop one spot. #1 Georgia may have lost a few top votes for just making the 42-point spread. Other teams however clearly failed to meet expectations.
Tennessee was a 50-point favorite over the also-ran Austin Peay University and its offense could not get out of second gear all day, managing to win 30-13, and they fell out of the top-10. North Carolina (20) hosted unranked Appalachian State and it took double overtime to finally lock down a victory, causing them to drop three positions.
For the new rankings Clemson, Tulane, and Texas A&M dropped off, as Miami, UCLA, and Iowa moved into the poll. Here is the current Top-25 schools (With first-place votes):
1. Georgia (55)
2. Michigan (2)
3. Florida State (3)
4. Texas (2)
5. Southern Cal
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
9. Notre Dame
15. Kansas State
16. Oregon State
17. Ole Miss
20. North Carolina
23. Washington State