Bleacher Report College Football Top 25: Week 1

Bleacher Report PollsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2012

Bleacher Report College Football Top 25: Week 1

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    The first week of college football didn't provide any major upsets, but it did answer some lingering offseason questions everyone had about the upcoming season.

    The Crimson Tide showed the entire country why they could be the first consensus back-to-back national champions since Nebraska did it in 1994 and '95 by demolishing Michigan 41-14 on Saturday night.

    The Trojans also showed why B/R voters ranked them atop the preseason poll with a 49-10 dismantling of Hawaii. Trojan quarterback, and Heisman-hopeful Matt Barkley picked apart the Warriors defense with 372 yards and four touchdowns.

    The Oregon Ducks didn't let losing its starting quarterback and running back slow them down by putting up 50 points in the first half against Arkansas State.

    Now, the only question is whether the decisive victory by Alabama was enough to take over the top spot.

    Read on to find out!

    UPDATE: Alabama has taken the No. 1 spot from USC in the latest AP poll. Full AP Poll can be found here.

Others Receiving Votes

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    BYU: 24

    Boise State: 19

    Washington: 18

    Missouri: 17

    Tennessee: 16

    Utah: 16

    Baylor: 11

    North Carolina: 9

    Auburn: 5

    Texas A&M: 4

    Vanderbilt: 4

    Ohio: 3

    Cincinnati: 2

    South Florida: 2

    Texas State: 1


No. 25: Florida Gators

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    Total Points: 41

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Bowling Green, 27-14

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at Texas A&M Aggies

    Previous Ranking: 25

    Gator running back Mike Gillislee ran for 148 yards and a touchdown as Florida beat Bowling Green 27-14. The Gators offense sputtered at times as Bowling Green tied it up at 14 in the third quarter before Florida scored 13 unanswered points to finish the game.

    It could have been much closer if not for two missed field goals by the Falcons kicker Stephen Stein.

    The Gators rotated Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett at QB in the first half, but head coach Will Muschamp decided to go with Driskel the entire second half.

    Jeff Driskel completed 10 of 16 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, while Brissett completed three of five passes for 31 yards.

No. 24: Louisville Cardinals

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    Total Points: 70

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big East)

    Last Game: Sept. 2 beat Kentucky, 32-14

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Missouri State Bears

    Previous Ranking: N/R

    Cardinals running back Jeremy Wright ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns as Louisville downed Kentucky 32-14 on Sunday. Senorise Perry added another 108 yards and touchdown for the Cardinals' rushing attack.

    Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 19 of 21 passes for 232 yards, helping Louisville outgain Kentucky 466 to 373 in the yards department.

No. 23: Stanford Cardinal

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    Total Points: 78

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Pac-12)

    Last Game: Aug. 31 beat San Jose State, 20-17

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Duke Blue Devils

    Previous Ranking: 20

    Stanford took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter but had to to hold on to escape an upset from San Jose State. Kicker Jordan Williamson nailed a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cement the victory for Stanford, 20-17.

    Andrew Luck's replacement, Josh Nunes, completed 16 of 26 passes for just 125 yards and a touchdown. Nunes seemed a little uneasy at times and struggled to sustain any long drives.

    Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor was the only offensive weapon, running for 116 yards and a score as Stanford was only able to rack up 280 yards on offense.

    A far cry from the 482 yards per game they averaged under Luck last year.

No. 22: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Total Points: 114

    Record: 1-0

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Navy, 50-10

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Purdue Boilermakers

    Previous Ranking: 24

    Notre Dame rushed for 293 yards and five touchdowns as the Irish demolished the Midshipmen 50-10 in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.

    Theo Riddick led the charge for the Irish, running 19 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns. George Atkinson III also hit pay-dirt twice while running for 99 yards on just nine carries for the Fighting Irish.

    Notre Dame stuffed Navy's rush game, holding them to just 149 yards on 40 carries.

No. 21: Kansas State Wildcats

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    Total Points: 178

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Missouri State, 51-9

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Miami Hurricanes

    Previous Ranking: 18

    Wildcat running back John Hubert ran for 152 yards, including a 95-yard rushing TD, as Kansas State beat Missouri State 51-9.

    Quarterback Collin Klein completed 19 of 28 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 59 yards and a score for Kansas State.

    The score was tied 9-9 in the third quarter before Kansas State turned it on for 42 unanswered points.

No. 20: Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Total Points: 179

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Savannah State, 84-0

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at Arizona Wildcats

    Previous Ranking: 22

    The Cowboys ran for 395 yards and had nine rushing touchdowns as Oklahoma State embarrassed Savannah State 84-0 to open the season.

    Oklahoma State running backs Desmond Roland and Jeremy Smith had three rushing touchdowns apiece in the slaughter, while Joseph Randle ran for 107 yards and two scores on just six carries for the Cowboys.

    Wes Hunt, the true freshman who is taking over the quarterback position this season, was perfect, completing 11 of 11 passes before being removed early in the game.

    Oklahoma State finished the game with 682 total yards while holding the Savannah State Tigers to just 139.

No. 19: Texas Longhorns

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    Total Points: 185

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Wyoming, 37-17

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs New Mexico Lobos

    Previous Ranking: 19

    David Ash completed 20 of 27 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown as Texas shrugged off a horrible first half to beat Wyoming 37-17.

    Texas was down 9-7 at the end of the first quarter before scoring the next 24 points to avoid the upset.

    Longhorn running back Joe Bergeron ran for 110 yards and two TDs while Malcolm Brown added another 105 yards and touchdown as Texas racked up 280 yards on the ground.

    Texas gave up 345 total yards to Wyoming.

No. 18: Michigan Wolverines

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    Total Points: 204

    Record: 0-1 (0-0 Big Ten)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 lost to Alabama, 14-41

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Air Force Falcons

    Previous Ranking: 10

    Quarterback Denard Robinson couldn't get it going for Michigan as the Wolverines fell to Alabama, 14-41.

    Robinson completed 11 of 26 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown, but couldn't find much open space to run against the stout Alabama defense. Robinson finished with just 27 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

    The Wolverines came into Saturday's game without their starting running back and a tight end. Fitzgerald Toussaint was arrested in July after receiving a DUI, while backup TE Frank Clark was accused of stealing a laptop from a dorm room.

No. 17: Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Total Points: 212

    Record: 1-0 (1-0 ACC)

    Last Game: Sept. 3 beat Georgia Tech, 20-17

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Austin Peay Governors

    Previous Ranking: 17

    Virginia Tech kicker Cody Journell connected on a 41-yard field goal with no time left in regulation to tie it up, and won it with a 17-yarder in overtime to beat Georgia Tech, 20-17.

    Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas completed 21 of 38 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown while running for another 40 yards.

    Georgia Tech went ahead 17-14 with only 44 seconds left in the game, but Thomas drove the Hokies down to the Yellow Jackets' 24-yard line with just six ticks left on the clock—setting Journell's game-tying field goal.

No. 16: TCU Horned Frogs

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    Total Points: 216

    Record: 0-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: None

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Grambling State Tigers

    Previous Ranking: 15

    No game scheduled.

No. 15: Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Total Points: 225

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Miami (OH), 56-10

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs UCF Knights

    Previous Ranking: 21

    Urban Meyers' new-look offense put 56 points on the board as the Buckeyes routed the Redhawks 56-10 on Saturday afternoon.

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller completed 14 of 24 passes for 207 yards and threw for two touchdowns. He also ran 17 times for 161 yards and scored on a 56-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

    The Buckeyes defense was solid, holding Miami to minus-one yard rushing on 20 carries.

No. 14: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Total Points: 264

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Southern Miss, 49-20

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at UCLA Bruins

    Previous Ranking: 16 

    Taylor Martinez threw for career-high 354 yards and five touchdowns as the Cornhuskers beat the Golden Eagles 49-20.

    Nebraska racked up 632 yards of total offense, including 278 yards on the ground. Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown on three carries before leaving the game in the first quarter with a knee injury.

    Burkhead is listed day-to-day.

    Backup running back Ameer Abdullah filled in nicely for Burkhead with 81 rushing yards on 15 carries.

No. 13: Wisconsin Badgers

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    Total Points: 309

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Nothern Iowa, 26-21

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at Oregon State Beavers

    Previous Ranking: 12

    Montee Ball rushed for 120 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown as Wisconsin held off a fourth-quarter comeback from Northern Iowa for the 26-21 win.

    The Badgers were ahead 26-7 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game before the Panthers scored 14 unanswered points. Badger defensive lineman Ethan Hemer tipped a pass on fourth down to put an end to the Panthers' comeback attempt.

    Maryland-transfer quarterback Danny O'Brien completed 19 of 23 passes for 219 yards and two TDs for Wisconsin.

No. 12: Clemson Tigers

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    Total Points: 330

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 ACC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Auburn, 26-19

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Ball State Cardinals

    Previous Ranking: 14 

    Andre Ellington rushed for 228 yards on 25 carries as Clemson held off Auburn 26-19. Clemson ended the game with 320 yards rushing on 52 carries.

    Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd passed for 208 yards and a touchdown while adding another 58 on the ground.

    Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins broke a school record with 13 receptions. He would finish with 119 receiving yards and a touchdown.

No. 11: South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Total Points: 377

    Record: 1-0 (1-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Aug. 30 beat Vanderbilt, 17-13

    Next Game:  Sept. 8 vs East Carolina Pirates

    Previous Ranking: 9

    It wasn't pretty but South Carolina survived a scare at Vanderbilt, 17-13. Gamecock running back Marcus Lattimore didn't show any signs of rust coming off ACL surgery, running for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

    South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw had a rough night as he completed just seven of 11 passes for 67 yards and an interception. Shaw injured his shoulder late in the first half before returning on the third series of the third quarter.

    Although he struggled passing the ball, Shaw did end the game with 92 yards rushing on just 14 carries.

    The Gamecocks defense totaled six sacks while holding the Commodores to just 275 total yards of offense.

No. 10: Michigan State Spartans

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    Total Points: 405

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)

    Last Game: Aug. 31 beat Boise State, 17-13

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at Central Michigan Chippewas

    Previous Ranking: 13 

    Spartan running back Le'Veon Bell finished the game with more yards than the entire Boise State squad. Bell had 50 total touches, running the ball 44 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns while catching another six for 55 yards.

    Michigan State outgained Boise State 461 yards to 206.

    Spartan quarterback Andrew Maxwell completed 22 of 38 passes for 248 but kept the Broncos in the game with three interceptions.

No. 9: Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Total Points: 421

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Jacksonville State, 49-24

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson completed 19 of 27 passes for 369 yards and three TDs as the Razorbacks defeated Jacksonville State 41-14.

    Tight end Chris Gragg caught eight pass for 127 yards and two scores while wide receiver Brandon Mitchell added another 124 yards on four catches for the Razorbacks.

    Arkansas finished with 564 yards of total offense.

No. 8: West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Total Points: 452

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Marshall, 69-34

    Next Game: Sept. 15 vs James Madison Dukes

    Previous Ranking: 11 

    West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was nearly perfect in West Virginia's 69-34 demolishment of Marshall Saturday.

    Smith completed 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns while running for another score late in the third quarter.

    The Mountaineers had 655 total yards in the season opener.

No. 7: Georgia Bulldogs

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    Total Points: 469

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Buffalo, 45-23

    Next Game: Sept. 8 at Missouri Tigers

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Aaron Murray completed 15 of 26 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat the Bulls 45-23.

    The Bulldogs had a balanced attack working all game long, finishing with 227 yards on the ground. Todd Gurley led Georgia with eight carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns, while Tavarres King caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs.

No. 6: Oklahoma Sooners

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    Total Points: 472

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat UTEP, 24-7

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Florida A&M Rattlers

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Landry Jones completed 21 of 36 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns as Oklahoma beat UTEP 24-7 to open their season.

    It wasn't pretty, as Oklahoma was up just 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Sooners finally pulled away in the fourth when Brannon Jones caught an 18-yard touchdown with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.

    Kenny Stills chipped in with six receptions, 120 yards and a touchdown for the Sooners.

No. 5: Florida State Seminoles

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    Total Points: 496

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 ACC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Murray State, 69-3

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Savannah State Tigers

    Previous Ranking: 7 

    Florida State scored seven rushing touchdowns and 285 yards on the ground in their 69-3 blowout of Murray State on Saturday. James Wilder Jr. led the Seminoles with 12 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

    Lonnie Pryor scored three times on five carriers, while Debrale Smiley score twice on three rushes.

    E.J. Manuel completed 16 of 22 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles, and Florida State held Murray State to just 156 total yards in the matchup. 

No. 4: Oregon Ducks

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    Total Points: 533

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Pac-12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Arkansas State, 57-34

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Fresno State Bulldogs

    Previous Ranking: 4 

    De'Anthony Thomas showed the entire country just how dangerous he is, scoring three touchdowns (two receiving) in the first half of the Ducks' 57-34 win over the Red Wolves.

    Oregon's redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 19 of 23 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns before he was replaced early in the second quarter.

    The game wasn't as close as the score indicates, as Oregon took off to a 29-0 lead after one quarter and 43-3 before the starting unit gave way to the backups.

    Oregon took a 50-10 lead into the half.

No. 3: LSU Tigers

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    Total Points: 567

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat North Texas, 41-14

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Washington Huskies

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Running back Kenny Hilliard ran for 141 yards and found the end zone twice as LSU defeated North Texas, 41-14. Alfred Blue added 123 yards and the Tigers finished with 316 yards on the ground.

    Quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw for 192 yards and a score in his first collegiate start for the Tigers.

    The Tigers defense limited North Texas to just 219 yards of total offense.

No. 2: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Total Points (First Place Votes): 591 (16)

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Michigan, 41-14

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

    Previous Ranking: 2 

    The Crimson Tide got out to a fast start, leading 21-0 after the first quarter, in their blowout of Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.

    Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed 11 of 21 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the route.

    True freshman running back T.J. Yeldon looked impressive, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries for the Crimson Tide.

    The Alabama defense limited Michigan to just 268 total yards of offense.

No. 1: USC Trojans

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    Total Points (First Place Votes): 603 (9)

    Record: 1-0 (0-0 Pac-12)

    Last Game: Sept. 1 beat Hawaii, 49-10

    Next Game: Sept. 8 vs Syracuse Orange

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Matt Barkley completed 24 of 39 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns as the Trojans beat the Warriors 49-10 on Saturday.

    USC wide receiver Marqise Lee proved why he is one of the best players in the country, catching 10 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. Lee also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

    PSU-transfer Silas Redd rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown in his first career game in a USC uniform.

    Bleacher Report Voters: David Mayer (Poll Coordinator), Adam Jacobi, Adam Kramer, Alex Joseph, Alex Callos, Amy Daughters, Barrett Sallee, Carl Stine, Chad Robb, Daniel Hudson, David Luther, Rich Thomaselli, Eric Bowman, Ian Berg, James Brown, Jason Fraychineaud, John Greely, Jonathan McDanal, Kay Jennings, Luke Pashke, Marty Sondermann, Max Rausch, Michael Felder, Sanjay Kirpalani, Zach Dirlam