AP Polls College Football 2013: Programs That Deserve Big Boost After Week 1

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent ISeptember 2, 2013

Aug 31, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It's easy to overreact to what happens in Week 1 of the college football season, and the Week 2 AP Poll will certainly feature some significant movement compared to its preseason edition.

Some of the top teams failed to wow us against lesser competition to open the season, but nobody should expect to see Alabama lose its spot atop the rankings after an iffy outing against Virginia Tech.

However, there were some impressive showings from teams that deserve to see a big bump when the new poll is released. 

The biggest matchup on the schedule to open the season was battle between Clemson (8) and Georgia (5). Both programs entered the season with national championship hopes, but after an early loss, Georgia's title hopes may have already died before they ever had a chance to germinate. 

Oregon State (25) and Boise State (19) will likely be replaced by two new teams in the latest poll after losing their opening games.

In total, there were 39 games on the schedule in Week 1.

Out of the 78 teams that participated, here's a closer look at three programs that deserve big boosts in the AP Poll for Week 2.


Clemson (No. 8)

Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Roderick McDowell lead one of the most potent offenses in the nation, and after beating Georgia in Week 1, this team deserves to be in the Top Five to start Week 2. 

Boyd backed up his Heisman hype on Saturday with aplomb. 

Going up against a program that featured one of the nation's top defenses a year ago, Boyd played turnover-free football while scoring five touchdowns (three passing and two rushing). 

Not to be outdone, Watkins—a player who could be a top-10 draft pick in the NFL next spring—lit up social media when he went "Beast Mode" on Georgia's defense, taking a short pass 77 yards to the house and running right through cornerback Damian Swann in the process.

Clemson's offense proved capable of scoring explosive touchdowns, but it also showed the ability to run the clock and engineer long drives.

Aaron Murray and the Georgia offense couldn't keep up with Clemson, and nobody should be surprised if the Bulldogs free fall out of the Top 10 after the tough opening loss. 

Conversely, Clemson must be considered as a Top Five team. South Carolina opened the season at No. 6, and Josh Kendall of The State wonders if the Tigers will leapfrog over the Gamecocks in Week 2:

Given the fact that North Carolina isn't nearly as difficult an opponent as Georgia, Clemson deserves the big bump over Jadeveon Clowney and South Carolina. 


Texas (No. 15)

The Longhorns thoroughly annihilated their opponent on Saturday, beating New Mexico State by a score of 56-7. Granted, the Aggies weren't expected to win this game—especially after going 1-11 in 2012.

However, after falling into an 0-7 hole in the first quarter, Texas responded like a Top 25 team is supposed to against a lesser opponent, scoring 56 unanswered points. 

Junior quarterback David Ash overcame two interceptions with four touchdown passes before being replaced by Chase McCoy in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. He also added 91 yards and one touchdown rushing the ball. 

The team's defense, which was vulnerable to the big play last year, clamped down on New Mexico State's offense with a death grip after allowing the early touchdown. 

Good teams are supposed to beat bad ones, but as Oregon State and Boise State proved, that doesn't always happen. The way in which Texas was able to dominate its opponent on Saturday clearly showed a team that will challenge other teams in the Top 25. 


Michigan (No. 17)

Heading into the season, I was shocked to discover Michigan's placement among the Top 25. 

Brady Hoke has built a strong program. He has brought in incredible recruits, and the team has some veteran leadership to solidify the locker room. 

The big question regarding the Wolverines before the season began was whether or not quarterback Devin Gardner would be good enough to lead the program to a Big Ten title. After one game, it's safe to say he has a lot to prove after throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. 

However, as Gardner struggled as a passer, he scored twice on the ground and the loaded backfield of Michigan picked up the slack. Freshman Derrick Green and senior Fitz Toussaint led a potent ground game that gained 242 yards and six touchdowns. 

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Michigan's victory was the team's defense.

Allowing just 210 yards to the Chippewas, Greg Mattison used 21 different defenders throughout the game, as noted by Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, rotating his players to great effect. 

In the end, Michigan had a huge opening win, defeating CMU 59-9. If that's not enough reason to get a bit of love from the national media, then I don't know what is. 


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