College Football Rankings 2013 Week 1: Predicting Top 25 After Season Openers

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 1, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Dome on August 31, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

College football is back, and it feels so good.

The first week of college football was quite exciting, even without major upsets. We got to see some incredible offensive juggernauts as well as some tightly contested contests.

So, what will the rankings look like after the first week of games?  Let’s make some predictions.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama beat  the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-10. The Crimson Tide will take the win but that offense didn't look good enough.  Alabama produced just 206 yards of offense and the offensive line struggled quite a bit.

They keep the No. 1 ranking for now, but that offense is going to need to get better before they can think about winning a third straight National Championship.

2. Oregon Ducks

Although the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes were able to pull off a win as well, the Ducks' 66-3 demolition of Nicholls State should jump them up one spot.

The Ducks' offense looked to be doing just fine without Chip Kelly, racking up 772 total offensive yards, a school record.

Things are looking up for the Ducks, as they look to make a title run in 2013.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

When Braxton Miller is on the field, the Buckeyes look unstoppable.  

Unfortunately, Miller has had to deal with injuries throughout his college career.  He needed medical attention a couple of times in the opener, but it was most likely due to cramps in the hot weather.

Both sides of the football ere solid for the Buckeyes looked in the 40-20 win over Buffalo. Ohio State will look to keep the winning streak going for as long as they can.

4. Stanford Cardinal

The Cardinal did not play this week, so they keep their spot.  They play San Jose State at home next week on September 7.

5. Clemson Tigers

The Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs will probably switch spots in the Top 25 after Clemson prevailed in a 38-35 showdown. Georgia shouldn't fall too far, due to the closeness of the game, while the Tigers certainly proved that they are a Top 5-caliber team.

Impressive performances by Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins proved that this is a team with plenty of offensive firepower, and that offense lead them a long way this year.

6. Texas A&M Aggies

There are no more Johnny Manziel questions for this team, except maybe for his mouth while he's on the field.

As the Aggies came away with a comfortable 52-31 win over Rice, Manziel served an NCCA-required suspension for the first half. 

In the second half he threw for 96 yards including three touchdowns. He added 19 more yards on the ground. But he sat out the final 9:48 of the game when coach Kevin Sumlin benched him after Manziel garnered a taunting penalty.

With questions about Manziel's level of play answered, the Aggies will move up a spot this week.

7. South Carolina Gamecocks

The season kicked off with South Carolina pulling away to a 27-10 win over North Carolina, but the Gamecocks left some questions that need answering.

Perhaps the biggest question is defensive back Jadaveon Clowney. We heard all offseason about how Clowney would come into this year in better shape, yet he looked gassed and sat out an alarming number of plays for a potential No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

The Gamecocks look good, but the SEC is always filled with surprises.

8. Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs suffered a tough loss to Clemson, but things get no easier when South Carolina comes to Sanford Stadium next Saturday.  

The Georgia ground game looks very good with Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, but QB Aaron Murray looked too inconsistent for Georgia to be a top-tier BCS contender.

9. Louisville Cardinals

Teddy Bridgewater looks like one of the nation’s most NFL-ready quarterbacks, and with an easy schedule starting today with the Ohio Bobcats, the Cardinals have a chance to go undefeated this season.

The Cardinals should grab an easy win to open their bid for 12-0.

10. Florida Gators

The Gators' defense looked strong in a 24-6 victory over Toledo, while running back Mack Brown went off for 112 yards and two scores on the ground.  It's safe to say the Gators are contenders for yet another season.

The schedule doesn't get easier after this, but a win is a win. The Gators stay in the Top 10.

11. Louisiana State Tigers

Even though they weren't playing an in-conference opponent, LSU had a tough test starting off the season against Texas Christian, but they pulled off the big win, 37-27.

Les Miles always seems to know what he's doing, but he and Zach Mettenberger will need to lead by example if they want the Tigers to make a run in the SEC. 

12. Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles will likely come away with a win against Pittsburgh on Monday, but the LSU’s victory may see them drop a spot.

13. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys may have not had Clint Chelf, but J.W. Walsh was able to step in at quarterback as OSU stepped up for a 21-3 win over Mississippi State. Walsh finished with 260 total yards and a rushing touchdown in the win.

It was a good effort by the Cowboys, but the lack of big upsets will keep the Cowboys from advancing in the rankings, at least for this week.

14. Texas Longhorns

If there was any question about which Longhorns team we were going to see this year, we got a pretty good look at how good they could be against New Mexico State.

The Longhorns won the game in dominating fashion, beating NMSU 56-7.  David Ash had 434 total yards and five total touchdowns with two interceptions, a very impressive night for the Longhorns' QB.

Texas hasn't been a truly elite team in a while, but there's a chance they make it back to that level if the team we saw in week one is the team we see all year.

15. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

There were many questions about the quarterback situation for Notre Dame heading into this season, but Tommy Rees put Irish fans at ease, for now.

Rees finished the game going 16-for-23 with 346 yards and three scores in the 28-6 win over Temple.  It was a big game for him, and the Notre Dame offense looked very fluid.

While hopes of another shot at the national title remain faint, they could pick up steam if Rees continues to play as well as he did this week.

16. Oklahoma Sooners

Bob Stoops was able to grab his 150th career win in a 34-0 shutout of Louisiana-Monroe with a new quarterback under center. That’s a good sign for a team filled with questions.

Trevor Knight had a great first career start, throwing for three touchdowns and running for over 100 yards.  As a redshirt freshman, this could be the start of a long and promising career with the Sooners.

There's still a lot we need to see out of Oklahoma before we buy into them, but this was a pretty good first act.

17. Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines didn't have much problem with the Central Michigan Chippewas, beating them handily 59-9.  Devin Gardner looked solid grabbing one score through the air and two on the ground.  

The Big Ten is going to be interesting this season, and Michigan is going to have a tougher schedule than many observers think. If they don't stay focused, they could be in trouble very quickly.

18. UCLA Bruins

The Bruins looked solid in their opener with a healthy 58-20 win over Nevada.

Brett Hundley is going to be someone to watch all year, and he could be a potential dark horse candidate to win the Heisman trophy.  A strong dual-threat QB, Hundley needs to make big plays all year if the Bruins want to make some noise in the Pac-12.

19. Wisconsin Badgers

No Montee Ball?  No problem.

The Badgers were sensational on the ground in their 45-0 win over Massachusetts.  The running game racked up team combined for 393 yards and four touchdowns, with three players gaining over 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown each.

The ground game makes the Badgers a scary offense to deal with in the Big Ten this year, and they look like one of those sleeper teams that could surprise the conference.

20. Northwestern Wildcats

Defense was the deciding factor in the Wildcats' 44-30 win over California, and that gave them the big win against a solid out-of-conference team.

Collin Ellis had an outstanding game, grabbing two interceptions both for touchdowns. Trevor Siemian may have not had the best game, but the team's rushing as a whole was very strong as they were able to hold off California.

21. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Losing your home opener is never a good thing, but it's almost as bad when you have to squeak out a close one against an unranked opponent, as the Cornhuskers did, surviving 37-34  against Wyoming.

Taylor Martinez threw three TDs with one pick. But the team had to deal with two late, game-changing turnovers and barely hung on against Wyoming.

It's an ugly start, but Nebraska is still 1-0.

22. USC Trojans

The quarterback situation for USC may not have been resolved yet, but the defense certainly looked good on the Trojans trip to Hawaii.  

The Trojans forced four turnovers, all interceptions, as they beat the Rainbow Warriors 30-13.  One of the picks was returned by Josh Shaw for a 35 yard score.

It seems strange to see the Trojans without a clear QB option, but the defense should keep them in contention while the situation under center plays out.

23. Miami Hurricanes

The Hurricanes should crack the Top 25, after looking dominant in their 34-6 win over Florida Atlantic.

Duke Johnson was electric on the ground for Miami, putting up some 186 yards and a score on just 19 carries. The team ran for 303 yards as a whole.

There's a lot of athletic talent on this team, and that could propel them further up in rankings in coming weeks.

24. Baylor Bears

When you dominate a team like Baylor did, crushing a Division I-AA squad from Wofford College 69-3, you deserve a spot in the Top 25.  

The Bears racked up 692 total yards of offense. The offense was flat-out dominant, putting 303 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Lache Seastrunk is one of the best running backs in the nation, and the Bears will ride him as they hope to stay in the Top 25 this year.

25. Boise State Broncos

They may not have that same Cinderella magic they have in the past, but Boise State is still a pretty good team even after a 39-6 defeat to Washington which should drop them six slots in the rankings.

Joe Southwick and company are going to need to find the mentality of Broncos teams past, or else this could be a forgettable season for the Broncos.


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