The first AP Top 25 poll of the college football regular season features plenty of changes, and arguments can certainly be made that even more should have been made, but there is no denying the fact that the Alabama Crimson Tide deserve their spot in the catbird seat.
Expectations are obviously high for the defending national champions, who also topped the updated USA Today coaches poll. They are looking to win their fourth title in five years and also hoping to become the first team to earn a three-peat since Army in 1946. Their quest got off to a rousing start on Saturday as they crushed a talented Virginia Tech team by a score of 35-10.
Alabama certainly didn't play its best game as quarterback AJ McCarron completed just 43 percent of his passes. The Tide ran for just 96 yards as a team and the Hokies actually outgained them offensively. Thanks to a pair of return touchdowns by Christion Jones, however, Alabama never had to sweat.
The Crimson Tide can only improve from here, and they'll certainly need to as a meeting with Texas A&M looms on Sept. 14.
Other notable rankings include the Ohio State Buckeyes dropping to No. 3 due to a less-than-convincing win over the Buffalo Bulls on Saturday. Ohio State came out on top by a 40-20 score, and it moved the ball well on offense, but Buffalo actually outscored the Buckeyes in the final three quarters after Ohio State jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first.
If not for an illegal hands to the face call against linebacker Khalil Mack that nullified a Buffalo fumble recovery, the Bulls may have pulled to within three points of the Buckeyes in the second half, so Ohio State certainly needs to clean some things up moving forward.
The Oregon Ducks have assumed the No. 2 position after demolishing Nicholls State with an offensive onslaught, but they have much bigger tests on the horizon.
Not surprisingly, the Georgia Bulldogs dropped and the Clemson Tigers rose following Clemson's exciting victory over the Dawgs last week. Clemson came away with a narrow 38-35 victory at home due in large part to the dynamic combination of quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
It seems as though teams are usually better off losing earlier in the season rather than later, so Georgia certainly isn't out of the national title hunt as long as it gets some help over the course of the year.
Among the teams that took the biggest hits were the Boise State Broncos, TCU Horned Frogs and Oregon State Beavers, all of whom took losses in Week 1. Both Boise State and TCU paid for scheduling strong opponents as the Broncos were crushed by Washington and the Frogs lost by 10 to a solid LSU squad.
The Beavers have nobody to blame but themselves, though, as they lost 49-46 at home in Corvallis to FCS power Eastern Washington. Oregon State was ranked No. 25 heading into the week, so it is certainly no surprise that it now finds itself outside the rankings.
With a handful or ranked matchups in Week 2, including Georgia vs. South Carolina and Notre Dame vs. Michigan, there is little doubt that things will be shaken up again next week. While most of the top teams were able to retain their spots this week, it's likely that the end-of-season rankings will look very different from what we see right now.
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