We learned a lot about a number of teams in an exciting Week 2 of the college football season, and the changes have been reflected in the latest polls.
Three ranked teams lost on Saturday, two of which fell to others in the Top 25. Of course, things could have been much worse, as a number of high-profile squads were pushed to the limit before narrowly avoiding upset bids.
|2014 Amway Coaches Poll: Week 3|
|Rank||Team||Points||B/R Top 25|
|1||Florida State (51)||1529||Florida State|
|8||Texas A&M||1090||Texas A&M|
|11||Notre Dame||858||Notre Dame|
|14||Arizona State||646||Ole Miss|
|18||Ohio State||402||Kansas State|
|19||Virginia Tech||349||South Carolina|
|20||Kansas State||333||Ohio State|
|25||North Carolina||129||Nebraska/BYU (tie)|
|via USAToday.com and Bleacher Report|
The big story of the weekend was the poor showing by the Big Ten.
Michigan State was in the most high-profile game of the day against Oregon, and the Spartans played well to build up a 27-18 lead in the second half. However, 28 unanswered points gave the Ducks a win that was much closer than the final score of 46-27 suggested.
Meanwhile, Ohio State dropped its home opener against unranked Virginia Tech. J.T. Barrett—who is filling in at quarterback for an injured Braxton Miller—threw three interceptions to prevent the Buckeyes from getting a legitimate chance to win.
The latest Coaches Poll saw Michigan State drop to No. 13 while Ohio State is now No. 18.
While these were the two most notable defeats for the conference, ESPN's John Buccigross notes how bad things got:
Bucci Mane @Buccigross
Big Ten went 0-4 vs teams ranked in top 50 of Football Power Index (FPI) on Saturday – outscored in those 4 games by a combined 72 points9/7/2014, 11:42:16 AM
With losses to Central Michigan and Northern Illinois, narrow wins over McNeese State and Western Kentucky, as well as Michigan's 31-0 defeat to Notre Dame, the Big Ten lost a lot of credibility.
Mike Greenberg of ESPN explains the impact this will have on the rest of the season:
Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny
There isn't any way to overstate how bad a day it was for the Big Ten yesterday. I don't see any way they get a team in the Final Four.9/7/2014, 1:12:58 PM
Although the conference will have plenty of time to rebuild its image before the end of the year, it will be a long road back.
Another big matchup from Saturday was the Pac-12 battle between USC and Stanford. While the Trojans have become accustomed to high-scoring games, this was all about defense as the game remained 10-10 late in the fourth quarter.
USC kicker Andre Heidari nailed a 53-yard field goal with just over two minutes left, although the Cardinal had a chance to at least tie in the final moments. However, quarterback Kevin Hogan lost the ball on a sack and the Trojans recovered to clinch the win.
"I think it says a lot that we can come in against this team, in this environment, and the game not really going our way and not really in our favor, just for whatever reason, and find a way to win," USC coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters after the game.
The win helped USC move up to No. 10 in the newest poll while Stanford dropped to No. 16.
Of course, not every top team had trouble in Week 2. Florida State and Alabama cruised to victory against clearly overmatched opponents, while Oklahoma went on the road to defeat Tulsa 52-7. These teams remain in good position to keep winning and possibly earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Still, it is important not to get ahead of ourselves. Week 3 features a few intriguing battles like Georgia against South Carolina, Tennessee at Oklahoma and plenty more. Then again, you should never count out the possibility of a major upset against any team.
This just continues to set up what should be an exciting 2014 season.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.