The CFN Week 2 Rankings. Based on head-to-head as well as talent, here are the rankings of all 128 teams.
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It might not seem right, and it might not seem correct, but if you’re really going to do rankings the right way and base it on what happens on the field, at the moment, yeah, you’ve got to put Central Michigan ahead of Oklahoma State.
And yes, Georgia Southern has to be ranked ahead of South Alabama, who has to be ranked ahead of Mississippi State, who has to be ranked ahead of South Carolina, who has to be ranked ahead of Vanderbilt, who has to be ranked ahead of Middle Tennessee.
If you don’t do it this way, then what’s the point of actually playing the games?
And, yes, it’s okay to change the rankings wildly each week depending on what happens.
Based on looks, talent, and what’s happened so far, here we go with the Week 2 CollegeFootballNews.com Rankings 1 to 128.
CFN Week 2 College Football Top 25 Rankings
1. Alabama (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 1
Final Score: Alabama 38, WKU 10
Up Next: at Ole Miss
There was a moment last week when some were suggesting Western Kentucky’s offense would give the Crimson Tide problems. Nope.
2. Florida State (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 2
Final Score: Florida State 52, Charleston Southern 8
Up Next: at Louisville
Deondre Francois has been Heisman-worthy over the last six-plus quarters. Now he’ll really get a chance to make his mark going off to Louisville. Outplay Lamar Jackson, and it’s Game On for the Downtown Athletic Club.
3. Ohio State (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 3
Final Score: Ohio State 48, Tulsa 3
Up Next: Ohio State
There’s a good chance Tulsa finishes in the top 20 in the nation in total offense – and probably a lot higher. The Buckeyes stopped the Golden Hurricane cold. Last year’s loaded team wasn’t even close to playing this well to start the season.
4. Michigan (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 4
Final Score: Michigan 51, UCF 14
Up Next: Colorado
Yeah, fine, the defense could’ve been a little bit tighter and the running game a little bit stronger. Whatever. The Wolverines have been phenomenal so far. They’re living up to the hype – don’t take that for granted.
5. Wisconsin (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 5
Final Score: Wisconsin 54, Akron 10
Up Next: Georgia State
Corey Clement got a bit dinged up, and there were a few misfires here and there with a punt return allowed for a score, but Wisconsin’s D didn’t give up a touchdown. The LSU win doesn’t look quite as amazing after Week 2, but the team has been fantastic – and it’s improving.
6. Texas (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 9
Final Score: Texas 41, UTEP 7
Up Next: at Cal
Now the passing game is really starting to kick in. However, get ready for an earthquake in Berkeley. With the way Cal tackles – San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey almost hit the 300-yard mark – Texas might run for 500 yards. That’s not hyperbole.
7. Louisville (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 15
Final Score: Louisville 62, Syracuse 28
Up Next: Florida State
Who’s been more impressive in the first two weeks? Okay, Alabama has, and Florida State, too, but now it’s party time. Louisville, this has been a hoot so far, but it’s time to show what you really are. Beat the Noles, and with the way Clemson has looks, the College Football Playoff spot might be there for the taking.
8. Washington (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 12
Final Score: Washington 59, Idaho 14
Up Next: Portland State
Okay, okay, okay, consider the roll slowed considering the first two games were against Rutgers and Portland State, and the ground attack is just okay so far, but this looks like a special team in for a huge season.
9. Clemson (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 6
Final Score: Clemson 30, Troy 24
Up Next: South Carolina State
Here’s the thing everyone sort of forgets. Clemson occasionally looked this average last year, too, and it just kept on winning. It’s not time to worry yet, but it’s past time for Deshaun Watson to be Deshaun Watson again.
10. Notre Dame (1-1)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 16
Final Score: Notre Dame 39, Nevada 10
Up Next: Michigan State
Call this a placeholder ranking that’ll move big next week. Beat the Spartans, and it’ll be okay to think this really is a top ten team. The Irish did exactly what it was supposed to do coming off a gut-wrenching loss by throttling the Wolf Pack.
11. Houston (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 7
Final Score: Houston 42, Lamar 0
Up Next: at Cincinnati
Raise your hand if you think this supposedly no big deal Greg Ward shoulder thing is going to be a big deal? It’s only Week 2, and the guy isn’t built to take a lot of shots. Be careful with Cincinnati on the road. This CFP thing could be over fast.
12. Tennessee (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 18
Final Score: Tennessee 45, Virginia Tech 24
Up Next: Ohio
That was just okay – not great – after a rough start. The team just doesn’t seem quite right yet. Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd got the job done, and the D forced plenty of screw-ups, but this is still a work in progress.
13. Oregon (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 10
Final Score: Oregon 44, Virginia 26
Up Next: at Nebraska
Brady Hoke’s defense isn’t quite up to snuff yet, but Dakota Prukop has been solid and Royce Freeman was terrific against Virginia. It’ll be time to start gushing if the Ducks are great in Lincoln.
14. LSU (1-1)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 8
Final Score: LSU 34, Jacksonville State 13
Up Next: Mississippi State
This is an absolute freaking gift – the team is just too talented to be this mediocre. Leonard Fournette is already banged up, the quarterback situation is a flaming hot mess, and the team is one loss away from totally imploding.
15. Stanford (1-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 11
Final Score: USC (Sept. 17)
Alright, Cardinal. You’ve had two weeks to figure out how to get sharper after the okay performance against Kansas State. Against USC, it’s time to show why we should believe in you.
16. Florida (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 26
Final Score: Florida 45, Kentucky 7
Up Next: North Texas
This is probably a case of overlove considering Kentucky might just be that awful, but this defense appears to be terrific and Luke Del Rio should be the answer.
17. Michigan State (1-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 12
Final Score: Notre Dame (Sept. 18)
The Spartans had their Week One tune-up, they’ve had their time off, and now they need to go Texas-like physical in South Bend to move up into the top ten.
18. Ole Miss (1-1)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 20
Final Score: Ole Miss 38, Wofford 13
Up Next: Alabama
As it might turn out, that first half against Florida State could be among the most impressive performances by anyone this year. Beat Alabama a third straight time, and Hugh Freeze should get a statue.
19. Iowa (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 23
Final Score: Iowa 42, Iowa State 3
Up Next: North Dakota State
Fine, so there’s a problem when North Dakota State is the best team you’ve faced in the first three weeks, but Iowa is better than it was last year. This team is legitimately good – with another awful early schedule.
20. Texas A&M (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 22
Final Score: Texas A&M 67, Prairie View 0
Up Next: at Auburn
There’s a chance UCLA just isn’t all that great, but the Aggies appear to be fully tuned up for Auburn. Win there, and then it’ll be time to get excited.
21. Nebraska (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 42
Final Score: Nebraska 52, Wyoming 17
Up Next: Oregon
The Huskers haven’t been totally sharp, but they’ve quietly been great at times against some bad Mountain West teams. Don’t be stunned if next week we’re talking about a win over Oregon.
22. Arkansas (2-0)
CFN Preseason Rank: 45
Final Score: Arkansas 41, TCU 38, 2 OT
Up Next: Texas State
For now, don’t ask how the sausage is being made. Arkansas is 2-0, and as the season goes on, winning at TCU will look like a fantastic resume-filler. Unlike last year, this team is finding a way to get it done.
23. Oklahoma (1-1)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 17
Final Score: Oklahoma 59, ULM 17
Up Next: Ohio State
There’s no hot seat for Bob Stoops, but the guy, and the program, could really, really, really use a win over Ohio State. After two weeks, the Sooners don’t look like they can stay within ten points of the Buckeyes. OU, though, has a way of rising up and being great when no one’s expecting it.
24. Georgia (2-0)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 13
Final Score: Georgia 26, Nicholls State 24
Nick Chubb handling the ball over 50 times in two weeks is not the way this is supposed to go. The quarterback situation is now more of a question mark than ever, especially when the going gets tough.
25. Auburn (1-1)
CFN Week 1 Rank: 27
Final Score: Auburn 51, Arkansas State 14
The Tiger offense kicked it all in. That Clemson close call will look better and better as the season goes on.
CFN Week 2 College Football Rankings: No. 26-128
26. USC (1-1)
27. UCLA (1-1)
28. TCU (1-1)
29. North Carolina (1-1)
30. West Virginia (2-0)
31. Pitt (2-0)
32. Arizona State (2-0)
33. Penn State (1-1)
34. Baylor (2-0)
35. Virginia Tech (1-1)
36. Miami (2-0)
37. Kansas State (0-1)
38. Boise State (2-0)
39. San Diego State (2-0)
40. Utah (2-0)
41. East Carolina (2-0)
42. North Carolina State (1-1)
43. California (1-1)
44. Colorado (2-0)
45. Missouri (1-1)
46. Texas Tech (1-1)
47. Southern Miss (2-0)
48. BYU (1-1)