Bleacher Report's Official Top 25 Poll for Week 2

Jonathan McDanal@@jdmcdanalContributor IIISeptember 3, 2013

Bleacher Report's Official Top 25 Poll for Week 2

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    College football's Week 1 is in the books, and Bleacher Report's official Top 25 poll is on the heels of the final game of the week.

    From FCS upsets to unforeseen victories by previously questionable teams, take a look at how things have changed in the upper echelon of the sport.

    Poll voters (in alphabetical order): Chris Bello, Adam Biggers, Eric Bowman, Carter Bryant, Phil Callihan, Alex Callos, Andrew Coppens, Bill Eichenberger, Trenise Ferreira, Sean Frye, Kyle Kensing, Ben Kercheval, Sanjay Kirpalani, Adam Kramer, David Luther, Jonathan McDanal, Lafe Peavler, Max Rausch, David Regimbal, Patrick Runge, Barrett Sallee, Alex Sims, Erin Sorensen, Carl Stine and Rich Thomaselli.

    Each voter submitted an individual Top 25, and every first-place team was given 25 points. The second-place team received 24, and so on with the 25th-place team earning one point.

    All game times Eastern.

Others Receiving Votes

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    USC Trojans: 32 points

    Michigan State Spartans: 27 points

    Ole Miss Rebels: 21 points

    Arizona State Sun Devils: 16 points

    Fresno State Bulldogs: Nine points

    *Boise State Broncos: Seven points

    Northern Illinois Huskies: Five points

    Cincinnati Bearcats: Four points

    North Dakota State Bison: One point

    *Dropped from rankings

25. Miami Hurricanes

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    Previous Rank: No. 24

    Week 1 Result: Miami 34, Florida Atlantic 6

    Week 2: vs. Florida Gators, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 64

    Miami led the season off with a blowout defeat of the Florida Atlantic Owls. As expected, Miami's offense dominated, putting up 503 total yards with just one turnover. Star running back Duke Johnson led the attack with 186 yards and a touchdown off just 19 carries (9.8 YPC).

    Miami's defense hasn't yet faced stiff competition, but holding any team to six points is an encouraging sign. The upcoming showdown with the Florida Gators will be abundantly more telling on the state and level of Al Golden's team this year.

24. Baylor Bears

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    Previous Rank: No. 23

    Week 1 Result: Baylor 69, Wofford 3

    Week 2: vs. Buffalo Bulls, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 72

    Baylor started off with a break-in game against the FCS Wofford Terriers. The Bears appeared to be just fine without Nick Florence, as Bryce Petty finished 19-of-24 for 312 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

    The Bears threw down 692 yards of total offense, with Lache Seastrunk leading the way on the ground with 111 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. If the offense can maintain balance and the defense quickly develops, Baylor will have an excellent shot at sticking around in the Top 25.

23. TCU Horned Frogs

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    Previous Rank: No. 18

    Week 1 Result: LSU 37, TCU 27

    Week 2: vs. Southeastern Louisiana Lions, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 0-1

    Poll Points: 79

    TCU started its season off with a great game against the LSU Tigers. While the Horned Frogs didn't quite get the preffered end result, they did an excellent job standing up to a team with legitimate national title aspirations.

    Casey Pachall went 9-of-16 for just 75 yards and an interception, and Trevone Boykin was 6-of-12 for 70 yards. The rushing game wasn't any better, accounting for 114 yards and two touchdowns. (The third score came from a 100-yard kickoff return by B.J. Catalon.)

    TCU is talented enough to win a lot of games in the Big 12, but the Horned Frogs are going to have to make a leap, and fast, if they are to compete for the conference title.

22. Washington Huskies

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    Week 1 Result: Washington 38, Boise State 6

    Week 2: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 83

    Washington took Boise State's spot in the Top 25 by force. Quarterback Keith Price came out ready for battle, and picked apart the Broncos all night. Price went 23-of-31 for 324 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

    Washington was well balanced with 592 yards of total offense, split almost evenly with 324 passing and 268 rushing yards. If Washington was trying to make a statement, they sure made it clearly to the college football world.

    This was the worst loss in Chris Petersen's tenure at Boise State.

21. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Previous Rank: No. 25

    Week 1 Result: Wisconsin 45, Massachusetts 0

    Week 2: vs. Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 92

    Wisconsin started the 2013 season off on the right foot with a 45-0 shutout of the UMass Minutemen. The Badgers accomplished this with a nice accumulation 205 passing yards and 393 rushing yards.

    Wisconsin's ground game was led by Melvin Gordon and James White, who each gouged Massachusetts for over 140 yards and a touchdown. Wisconsin still has questions to answer on defense, since UMass does not provide the greatest of barometers.

20. Northwestern Wildcats

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    Previous Rank: No. 22

    Week 1 Result: Northwestern 44, California 30

    Week 2: vs. Syracuse Orange, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 126

    Northwestern's defense made the difference against the California Golden Bears, as linebacker Collin Ellis had two pick-sixes in the 44-30 victory.

    Starting quarterback Kain Colter went down with a concussion on the second play of the game, and that left Northwestern in the hands of experienced backup Trevor Siemian. Semian filled in commendably with an 18-of-29 performance with one touchdown and two interceptions.

    If this defense can tighten up (548 total yards allowed versus Cal), the sky is the limit for the rising Big Ten squad.

19. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Previous Rank: No. 19

    Week 1 Result: Nebraska 37, Wyoming 34

    Week 2: vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 142

    Nebraska found out the hard way that Wyoming has an underrated quarterback in its arsenal. Brett Smith finished the game 29-of-43 for 383 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He tacked on 92 rushing yards and walked off the field with more impressive stats than Taylor Martinez (17-of-22, 155 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and 80 rushing yards).

    Nebraska simply may not have been ready for the surprisingly good Wyoming offense, but there are a lot of issues that Bo Pelini needs to work on. The biggest plus for Nebraska was the 1-of-8 third-down conversion rate they held the Cowboys to.

18. UCLA Bruins

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    Previous Rank: No. 21

    Week 1 Result: UCLA 58, Nevada 20

    Week 2: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 157

    UCLA beat the Nevada Wolf Pack 58-20 and in impressive fashion. Brett Hundley went 22-of-33 for 274 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions to quarterback a balanced attack of 302 passing yards and 345 rushing yards.

    Hundley looks more poised in the pocket already this season, and the junior signal-caller appears set to lead these Bruins to something greater in his time at UCLA. He's got a week off before facing Nebraska in Lincoln. If the Bruins play just like they did in Week 1, it is hard to imagine how the Cornhuskers can come out on top.

17. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Previous Rank: No. 17

    Week 1 Result: Oklahoma 34, Louisiana-Monroe 0

    Week 2: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 261

    Oklahoma held QB Kolton Browning and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks to zero points in its season opener. The Sooners held ULM to a minuscule 38 rushing yards and 166 total yards of offense.

    Trevor Knight came out and had a successful debut for the Sooners, finishing 11-of-28 for 86 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. His team-high 103 rushing yards was especially impressive.

    He sustained drives however he needed to, and the 34-0 win is a great start for a team that expects to contend for the Big 12 title.

16. Michigan Wolverines

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    Previous Rank: No. 16

    Week 1 Result: Michigan 59, Central Michigan 9

    Week 2: vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 269

    Michigan's defense did not allow a single touchdown to the Central Michigan Chippewas in its 59-9 season-opening victory. Unfortunately, quarterback Devin Gardner's play wasn't all that reassuring.

    Though he had two rushing scores, Gardner went 10-of-15 for 162 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. That is a concern, especially heading into a marquee matchup with Notre Dame in Week 2.

    The great point for Michigan is that the defense allowed only 66 rushing yards and 210 total yards.

15. Texas Longhorns

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    Previous Rank: Tied for No. 14

    Week 1 Result: Texas 56, New Mexico State 7

    Week 2: at BYU Cougars, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 271

    Texas did what it was supposed to do against the New Mexico State Aggies. It won by 49 points and didn't score anything but touchdowns. Though there was undoubtedly some anxiety among Longhorns fans when New Mexico State scored first, but Texas adjusted and outscored the Aggies 56-0 for the rest of the game.

    Texas racked up a massive 715 yards of total offense, and David Ash looked promising in his first 2013 outing. He went 20-of-28 for 343 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 91 yards on 11.4 YPC and another score. Granted, he needs to make better decisions in the passing game, but it's nothing that can't be worked on.

    The Texas defense lined up and allowed just 104 yards on the ground to the Aggies. Texas must get its pass defense on par with its rush defense, however. Expect the Week 2 match against BYU to be more than a little entertaining.

14. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Previous Rank: Tied for No. 14

    Week 1 Result: Oklahoma State 21, Mississippi State 3

    Week 2: at UTSA Roadrunners, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 288

    Oklahoma State carried one of the Big 12's banners against the SEC in Week 1, and the Cowboys came out with a huge victory over a respectable Mississippi State team that won eight games last season. Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh looked good enough to earn the starting nod at quarterback going forward.

    Oklahoma State scored all its touchdowns on the ground, but controlled possession and had an 8-of-14 conversion rate on third downs.

    Oklahoma State racked up 432 total yards, with 286 coming on the ground. The Cowboys have earned their spot on this list with a nice season-opening win over a squad from the mighty SEC.

13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Previous Rank: No. 13

    Week 1 Result: Notre Dame 28, Temple 6

    Week 2: at Michigan Wolverines, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 323

    Notre Dame led the season off with a 28-6 win over the Temple Owls. Tommy Rees went 16-of-23 for 346 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions Saturday afternoon, asserting himself as more than just a serviceable substitute for Everett Golson.

    Notre Dame's defense gave up 362 yards to the Owls but kept them out of scoring range on all but one TD drive (though the Irish did earn the blocked PAT).

    Notre Dame may not be perceived as a national title contender just yet, but this team looks an awful lot like the 2012 edition that simply found ways to win games...every time.

    The heavyweight bout against Michigan in Week 2 will help sort things out further.

12. Florida State Seminoles

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    Previous Rank: No. 11

    Week 1 Result: Florida State 41, Pittsburgh 13

    Week 2: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 364

    Florida State took down Pittsburgh 41-13 in the Panthers' ACC debut. Freshman Jameis Winston provided a pocket presence rarely seen in someone of his experience (or lack of it).

    Winston finished the game 25-of-27 for 356 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Let that sink in for a second; he had twice as many touchdowns as he had incompletions (not interceptions). Winston would be the future of any FBS team, not just Florida State.

    The Seminoles are off to the races, and they have made it clear that the school-record 11 players they lost to the NFL draft in April will not serve as any type of crutch whatsoever in 2013.

11. Florida Gators

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    Previous Rank: No. 12

    Week 1 Result: Florida 24, Toledo 6

    Week 2: at Miami Hurricanes, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 367

    Florida performed well on defense, but the Gators failed to answer some questions on offense in Week 1. The offense produced 415 total yards with a heavy lean toward the rush (262 yards). If this ratio continues through the entire season, the Gators will be just fine. However, there is slight concern since Toledo should have given Jeff Driskel (17-of-22 for 153 yards and one TD) and the Gators ample opportunity to show off the aerial attack.

    The good news is that Toledo, one of the best in the MAC, could manage only 205 total yards with 50 on the ground. This means that Florida's rushing defense is still going to be one of the best in the nation in 2013.

    That same defense carried it to the Sugar Bowl last season, and if the offense is genuinely improved, an SEC title isn't out of the question this year. The upcoming game against Miami will reveal even more about the Gators' overall capabilities, but for now they are on the Top 10 bubble.

10. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Previous Rank: No. 5

    Week 1 Result: Clemson 38, Georgia 35

    Week 2: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 0-1

    Poll Points: 399

    Georgia had the gumption to schedule against a top-notch program in the season opener. The ACC's Clemson Tigers gave the Bulldogs a bit more than they could handle and pulled off the 38-35 victory at home.

    Georgia outperformed Clemson in most every offensive category except two: turnovers and scoring. Clemson showed up with one surprise up its sleeve, and that was a defense that was capable of chasing QB Aaron Murray all over the field. On more than one occasion, Georgia faced more than 20 yards between it and a first down.

    What's more amazing than Clemson's defensive performance is that the Bulldogs found a way to nearly win the game while allowing four sacks and two turnovers. Todd Gurley was largely responsible for that success.

    He rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns off just 12 carries (12.8 YPC). Conversely, the passing attack yielded plenty of yards (323) and opportunities but no touchdowns. Georgia has some work to do before facing South Carolina on Saturday.

9. LSU Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 9

    Week 1 Result: LSU 37, TCU 27

    Week 2: vs. UAB Blazers, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 421

    LSU and TCU put on a great show. There was just enough offense to know that both these teams are legitimate threats to anyone in the country, but there was also enough defense to confirm that both are complete teams.

    The Tigers hung 448 yards (251 passing) on the Horned Frogs. Despite losing eight players to the draft, LSU still fields one of the best defenses in the nation. Defensive coordinator John Chavis continues to work wonders on that side of the ball, and the Tigers are more than capable of holding their own in the always-brutal SEC schedule.

8. Louisville Cardinals

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    Previous Rank: No. 10

    Week 1 Result: Louisville 49, Ohio 7

    Week 2: vs. Eastern Kentucky Colonels, Saturday, Sept. 7, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 432

    Louisville scheduled one of the best matches (on paper) of Week 1. Ohio brought Tyler Tettleton and Beau Blankenship to the field—one of the more formidable quarterback-tailback tandems in the country.

    While Louisville's offensive performance may have been completely expected, holding Ohio to seven measly points was impressive. The Cardinals tagged the Bobcats for 615 total yards (416 through the air) and 49 points.

    Teddy Bridgewater asserted himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in college football, but the Cardinals held the Bobcats to a scant 81 rushing yards. (Yes, Blankenship was on the field.) Along with Kansas State's fall to reigning FCS champion North Dakota State, this Louisville defense was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.

7. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Previous Rank: No. 7

    Week 1 Result: Texas A&M 52, Rice 31

    Week 2: vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 445

    Texas A&M took down Rice 52-31. The Aggies accomplished this with the suspensions for five defensive starters and Johnny Manziel on the sidelines for the first half. Along with Manziel, cornerback Deshazor Everett was the only other suspended player to return to the field after halftime, but he was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter.

    The Aggies have another break-in game against Sam Houston State before facing Alabama in the battle for the SEC West in Week 3. The Aggies should cruise against the Bearkats and hold serve in the Top 10 for the next two weeks.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Previous Rank: No. 6

    Week 1 Result: South Carolina 27, UNC 10

    Week 2: at Georgia Bulldogs, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 502

    South Carolina kicked the season off with a 27-10 victory over the UNC Tar Heels. You may read some articles about how disappointingly ineffective Jadeveon Clowney was, but there are some major points worth mentioning in that regard.

    First, UNC had quite blatantly designed the game around avoiding Clowney. Yes, Clowney's stats look rather mundane (three solo tackles and three quarterback hurries), but the entire game was predicated on moving away from him at all times.

    Sometimes, being the mega-star on defense means diminished opportunities for the stat sheet. However, any player good enough to plan an entire strategy around has clearly earned his due respect.

5. Clemson Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 8

    Week 1 Result: Clemson 38, Georgia 35

    Week 2: vs. South Carolina State Bulldogs, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 12:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 528

    Clemson came out ready for this early-season Top 10 clash. Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins hooked up repeatedly through the four quarters, and Boyd finished with three touchdown passes.

    Clemson and Georgia were constantly trading scores, but Clemson's defense stood up and sacked Aaron Murray four times, forced fumbles and generally created horrible situations, daring the Bulldogs to get at them.

    More often than not, Georgia obliged. However, the Tigers were just a little too much for the Dawgs to overcome. Atmosphere and nerves finally decided the game when Georgia fell victim to its own low snap on a potential game-tying field goal late in the game.

4. Stanford Cardinal

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    Previous Rank: No. 4

    Season Opener: vs. San Jose State Spartans, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 p.m.

    Poll Points: 556

    The Stanford Cardinal did not play in Week 1 and will be knocking the rust off themselves against David Fales and the San Jose State Spartans in Week 2.

    The Spartans have already started cutting their teeth with a 24-0 win over Sacramento State, and any advantage could be the difference in this game. Last season, this bout was decided by three points. Stanford should be wary.

    For now, Stanford remains in the Top 5.

3. Oregon Ducks

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    Previous Rank: No. 3

    Week 1 Result: Oregon 66, Nicholls State 3

    Week 2: at Virginia Cavaliers, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 568

    Oregon manhandled Nicholls State in one of the biggest blowouts of the week. The Ducks churned out 772 offensive yards for nine touchdowns and a field goal against the Colonels. Nicholls State isn't a worthy measuring stick, but the matchup did teach us one thing: Oregon's offense clearly doesn't look like it's taking any steps back with Mark Helfrich at the helm.

    The better offenses coming down the stretch will reveal Oregon's defense for what it truly is. So far, it looks like the game-winning unit everyone's gotten accustomed to over the past few seasons, but everyone knows looks can be deceiving against inferior competition.

    It will be interesting how the Ducks fare against the Virginia Cavaliers this weekend.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Previous Rank: No. 2

    Week 1 Result: Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20

    Week 2: vs. San Diego State Aztecs, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 570 (1)

    Ohio State kicked off its attempted national championship campaign with a solid win over the Buffalo Bulls. The Buckeyes racked up 460 yards on offense for five touchdowns and a field goal.

    The 40-20 victory over the Buffalo Bulls is better than some may think. Rewind to 2012, and the Bulls took then-No. 6 Georgia to a 45-23 contest. They are underrated and under-appreciated. A 20-point win is a good thing, and it's more than some big-name teams could do against FCS opponents.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Previous Rank: No. 1

    Week 1 Result: Alabama 35, Virginia Tech 10

    Week 2: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 624 (24)

    For everyone who thought Alabama should be worried about its offensive line: You were right. The Crimson Tide managed just 96 rushing yards on 38 carries—an embarrassing 2.5 YPC.

    The Tide managed just 14 points on offense against the Hokies. The other 21 came from a pick-six by Vinnie Sunseri, and a punt return and kickoff return by Christion Jones.

    Don't go writing Alabama as the guaranteed national champions just yet. Virginia Tech was plagued by dropped passes, and this could have been a completely different game if the Hokies hadn't gotten in their own way so much.

    The good news for 'Bama fans is that there are two weeks for Nick Saban and Co. to iron things out in preparation for Texas A&M. Of course, that's also the bad news. Two weeks is not exactly a large amount of time.