Week 1 of the 2014 college football season is officially in the books, and fans of the sport have already turned their attention to the Week 2 rankings and the updated outlook for the new playoffs system.
With several vaunted programs earning big victories and other lower-ranked teams taking hard-fought losses early in the season, the rankings have already undergone some changes.
|Rank||Associated Press Top 25||Amway Top 25||Bleacher Report Top 25|
|1||Florida State Seminoles||Florida State Seminoles||Florida State Seminoles|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||Alabama Crimson Tide||Oregon Ducks|
|3||Oregon Ducks||Oklahoma Sooners||Auburn Tigers|
|4||Oklahoma Sooners||Oregon Ducks||Michigan State Spartans|
|5||Auburn Tigers||Auburn Tigers||Oklahoma Sooners|
|6||Georgia Bulldogs||Michigan State Spartans||Georgia Bulldogs|
|7||Michigan State Spartans||Ohio State Buckeyes||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|8||Ohio State Buckeyes||Georgia Bulldogs||Baylor Bears|
|9||Texas A&M Aggies||Baylor Bears||Stanford Cardinal|
|10||Baylor Bears||Stanford Cardinal||LSU Tigers|
|11||UCLA Bruins||UCLA Bruins||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|12||LSU Tigers||LSU Tigers||Texas A&M Aggies|
|13||Stanford Cardinal||Texas A&M Aggies||UCLA Bruins|
|14||USC Trojans||USC Trojans||USC Trojans|
|15||Mississippi Rebels||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|16||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Arizona State Sun Devils||Mississippi Rebels|
|17||Arizona State Sun Devils||Mississippi Rebels||Arizona State Sun Devils|
|18||Wisconsin Badgers||Nebraska Cornhuskers||Nebraska Cornhuskers|
|19||Nebraska Cornhuskers||Wisconsin Badgers||Kansas State Wildcats|
|20||Kansas State Wildcats||Kansas State Wildcats||Wisconsin Badgers|
|21||South Carolina Gamecocks||South Carolina Gamecocks||South Carolina Gamecocks|
|22||North Carolina Tar Heels||Missouri Tigers||Clemson Tigers|
|23||Clemson Tigers||North Carolina Tar Heels||North Carolina Tar Heels|
|24||Missouri Tigers||Clemson Tigers||Texas Longhorns|
|25||Louisville Cardinals||Texas Longhorns||Missouri Tigers|
Source: USAToday.com, Associated Press and Bleacher Report
Updated College Football Playoff Outlook
After a wild start to the regular season, the college football playoffs are already coming into focus for many fans unsure of how the postseason will shake out.
The No. 1 team in the nation is still the Florida State Seminoles. Despite being pushed to the limit by Oklahoma State in a thrilling 37-31 battle, the team proved it can pull off the big wins in close moments. While former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was a shell of the star he was last season (just one touchdown and two interceptions through the air), the program’s defense stepped up big when needed and bailed Florida State out of a jam.
College football reporter Kevin McGuire helped talk many fans off the ledge:
Florida State showed some rough edges at times, but the No. 1 team and best player in the country made plays when they needed to.— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) August 31, 2014
Another playoff contender who struggled in Week 1 was the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama was supposed to roll over West Virginia in the opening game of the season, but only could manage a 33-23 victory. It was clear from the yardage allowed that the pass defense for the Crimson Tide needs major work (365 of West Virginia’s 393 total yards came through the air), but amassing 288 yards and three touchdowns on the ground should be enough to keep them in every game this season.
Former NFL star Joey Galloway is not sold on Alabama, though:
Two postseason threats who didn’t falter in the opening games of the season were the Oregon Ducks and the Oklahoma Sooners. With Oregon winning by 49 points against South Dakota and Oklahoma winning by 32 points over Louisiana Tech, the hype that surrounded both programs heading into the season looks to be warranted.
Is the new playoff system already creating more excitement around college football?
On the other hand, teams like Michigan State, Stanford and Baylor, who are right on the cusp of entering college football playoff consideration, made a strong case for Week 2 and beyond with huge victories.
The lack of a BCS system ruling the college landscape has taken a weight off the shoulders of the fans. It will be easy to see as the season progresses which programs are the best, and selecting the top four should come naturally after a full season.
*Stats via ESPN.com.