There's lots of room for movement after the first week, where we try and find the balance between preseason assumptions and what we can tell about a team after one week. And that isn't much for a lot of teams who put up big numbers against lesser opponents.
This remains an exercise in picking the best team right now...you can see the preseason edition here, and the numbers for "last week" represent those rankings. We try and put an emphasis on on-field result, which is why a team like Penn State can look amazing against lesser competition, and still find themselves on the outside of this poll in favor of teams like Fresno State and Utah who won against tougher competition. But it'll all work itself out over the course of the season...we hope
We continue on with week two...
1. Oklahoma (Last Week: 1)
If you thought the Sooners were the best team in the country like me, you didn't see anything you didn't like against Chattanooga. The 57-2 win produced seven consecutive touchdown drives. Total offense for Chattanooga: 36 yards. It gets an upgrade this week against Cincinnati.
2. USC (7)
While many were playing FCS opponents, the Trojans went on the road to an ACC school and walked away with a 52-7 victory, the most impressive blowout of the weekend. It's not that I'm suddenly convinced that USC is better than the teams ranked below them, but they've certainly got the greater on-field resume to prove it at this point.
3. Georgia (2)
A ho-hum day against an FCS school in the 45-21 win over Georgia Southern, with minimal playing time for the starters. They'll be tested soon enough.
4. Florida (3)
Ditto for the Gators, though they did play a depleted Hawaii team. It took them a few minutes, but once they got going Florida rolled. They got scoring contributions from all three phases, and get a bigger test against The U Saturday night.
5. Missouri (5)
What do do with Mizzou, who beat a good Illinois team 52-42 and looked every bit as good as you thought they would on offense...but gave up 532 yards to the Illini, including 451 on a career day from Juice Williams. We leave the Tigers where they were, for now.
6. LSU (6)
Same with these Tigers, who were impressive against Appalachian State...but we should all remember, they're still an FCS school. Both quarterbacks appeared to be good enough to give LSU every chance to win against anyone they face when surrounded with all the talent around them.
7. Ohio State (4)
It's not that Ohio State or their performance was so bad that it warrants a three spot drop in the poll; they were very impressive against Youngstown State, even if they kicked a bunch of field goals in doing it. Others simply did it against better competition or did it without losing their starting tailback. I think these top seven teams are the legitimate National Championship contenders, and as far as this poll goes, the winner of Ohio State/USC should find themselves atop it in two weeks anyway, so no worries for the Buckeyes if they take care of business.
8. Texas (9)
The Horns over came the dreaded triple-double (110 yards on 11 penalties) in a beatdown of Florida Atlantic, with Colt McCoy having a brilliant day at the office.
9. West Virginia (8)
Pat White can throw. 25-of-33 for 208 yards went with 63 yards on only nine carries in a big win over Villanova. They flip flop with Texas for the alarming fact that they were actually outgained in this game 399-354 despite winning by almost four touchdowns.
10. South Florida (12)
It may not last, but the Bulls showed no signs of slowing down in 2008 in a 56-7 beatdown of Tennessee-Martin. And throw the Skyhawks in the pool of bad football in the state of Tennessee this weekend: the Bulls outgained them 520-97.
11. Wisconsin (11)
PJ Hill ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter, but Akron was pesky and made it a fight into the third quarter before the Badgers pulled away and won by three touchdowns. Allan Evridge's future probably looks something like this: 7 of 10 passing, Wisconsin wins.
12. Auburn (13)
The passing may not have been overwhelming, but the overall offensive production was more than enough in a shutout win over LA-Monroe, 34-0. Which is still enough to keep them ahead of...
13. Alabama (22)
Hard to imagine it being any better in Tuscaloosa right now, with a dominant victory over Clemson and so many young guys making so many contributions. Bama should roll between now and Sept. 27 when they face Georgia.
14. Arizona State (15)
The Sun Devils led 30-0 until the end of the third quarter in an eventual 30-13 win over Northern Arizona. Rudy Carpenter went 22-of-28 for 388 yards; pesky Stanford this week.
15. Texas Tech (16)
Graham Harrell: 536 yards, 2 TDs. I like how they call it a "quiet night" for Michael Crabtree when he catches nine passes.
16. Kansas (17)
Kansas smothered FIU 40-10 with a solid performance from their defense to compliment 256 yards from Todd Reesing. After last week, this Saturday's game with Louisiana Tech is at least worth a second glance.
17. Wake Forest (18)
The lone bright spot for the ACC over the weekend, Wake went on the road to Baylor and won 41-13.
18. BYU (19)
It got a little testy for the Cougars against Northern Iowa, but they still picked up 563 yards of offense in an eventual 41-17 win. That BYU-Utah game looks more interesting now...
19. Oregon (23)
The Ducks continue to prove that they don't rebuild, they reload. Even when Nate Costa gets put down for the season and Justin Roper gets knocked out with a concussion, Oregon rolls to a 44-10 win on the road at Washington.
20. Utah (NR)
Maybe we're giving a team too much credit for winning at Michigan, who knows, but the Utes proved they're for real by getting ahead and then hanging on in Ann Arbor. Lots of opportunities to move up from here.
21. Florida State (21)
The Noles are frozen at 21, they open the season this week.
22. Boise State (24)
Starting freshman Kellen Moore, Boise beat Idaho State 49-7 behind Moore's 14-of-19, 274 yard performance and a steady 87 yards from Ian Johnson.
23. South Carolina (25)
Carolina shut out NC State and gave themselves potential future hope with the play of Chris Smelley. It's a tougher-than-expected test this week at Vanderbilt, followed by the annual September showdown with Georgia, so we'll find out quickly what they've really got.
24. California (NR)
There are still defensive questions (407 yards for Michigan State), but Cal's offense kept rolling without all the departed playmakers. Kevin Riley was solid and Jahvid Best was sensational, and the Bears took a big step in righting the ship from the second half of last season.
25. Fresno State (NR)
The tough road win over Rutgers gives the Bulldogs the final spot over other teams that looked great against lesser opponents (Penn State) or gritty teams that found some way to win (UCLA, East Carolina).
Dropped out: No. 10 Tennessee, No. 14 Clemson, No. 20 Illinois