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College Football Rankings 2017: Predicting Week 2 AP and Amway NCAA Polls

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02:  Bo Scarbrough #9, head coach Nick Saban, and Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate with the Chick-fil-A Kick-Off Game trophy after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 24-7 in their game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first full week of the 2017 college football season was more of a marathon than a sprint, with ranked teams taking the field Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

While there wasn't a poll-shattering upset despite Western Michigan's best efforts against USC, there will naturally be a shakeup in the next Associated Press and Amway coaches rankings. Alabama and Michigan all but assured it by handling Florida State and Florida, respectively, and close calls elsewhere will flip the script in the early going.

With that in mind, here is a look at a prediction for the upcoming rankings set to debut Tuesday. Notably, Tennessee is the predicted winner over Georgia Tech in Monday night's contest.

               

Prediction for Week 2 Polls

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

3. Clemson Tigers

4. USC Trojans

5. Penn State Nittany Lions

6. Michigan Wolverines

7. Oklahoma Sooners

8. Wisconsin Badgers

9. Florida State Seminoles

10. Oklahoma State Cowboys

11. Washington Huskies

12. LSU Tigers

13. Stanford Cardinal

14. Auburn Tigers

15. Georgia Bulldogs

16. Virginia Tech Hokies

17. Kansas State Wildcats

18. Louisville Cardinals

19. Tennessee Volunteers

20. Miami Hurricanes

21. Washington State Cougars

22. Utah Utes

23. TCU Horned Frogs

24. South Florida Bulls

25. UCLA Bruins

                 

Breakdown

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02:  Lamical Perine #22 of the Florida Gators gets stopped by Carlo Kemp #2 of the Michigan Wolverines in the first half of a game at AT&T Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Alabama and Ohio State remain atop the polls and on course for a potential Nick Saban and Urban Meyer showdown in the College Football Playoff after opening their respective seasons with victories.

Alabama's was more impressive given the nature of its opponent with a defensive masterpiece in a 24-7 win over No. 3 Florida State. The Buckeyes struggled out of the gate, but a Thursday season opener on the road against a conference opponent in Indiana is not a straightforward ask. They took control in the second half and set the stage for a clash with Oklahoma in their home opener.

Someone must take Florida State's spot in the top three—especially after Jim Henry of the Tallahassee Democrat reported quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending patella tendon injury against the Crimson Tide.

The honors go to defending champion Clemson over USC given the Trojans' struggles to put away Western Michigan in a 49-31 win. Despite the 18-point victory, it was tied in the fourth quarter as USC's defense had a number of issues with the MAC school.

Clemson steamrolled Kent State even though Deshaun Watson is now on the Houston Texans. Kelly Bryant looked comfortable in his place against the overmatched Golden Flashes.

A couple of Big Ten teams in Penn State and Michigan will follow the Tigers, and it is the Wolverines making a notable jump thanks to a dominant defensive showing against the SEC's Florida Gators. Michigan survived two pick-sixes from quarterback Wilton Speight by holding the Gators to a measly 11 rushing yards and overpowering them in a 20-0 second half.

Elsewhere, Washington will fall out of the top 10 after appearing to sleepwalk through extended stretches of its opener against Rutgers. The Huskies' slight slip is also due to impressive wins from Michigan, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin, but they can climb the rankings again during Pac-12 play.

UCLA rounds out the rankings after one of the most dramatic wins in recent college football history. The Bruins scored the final 35 points of Sunday's contest against Texas A&M, earning an incredible 45-44 victory in the process.

               

Quick Look Ahead

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Tight end Mark Andrews #81 of the Oklahoma Sooners has the ball knocked out of his hands after getting hit by cornerback Denzel Ward #12 in front of linebacker Chris Worley #35 of the Ohio State Buckeyes on September 17, 2016 at
Jackson Laizure/Getty Images

While the College Football Playoff is still far away, there are a handful of games that will shape the early race in the upcoming week of action.

None stands out more than Ohio State welcoming Oklahoma to the Horseshoe after the Buckeyes embarrassed the Sooners in Oklahoma last year. ESPN's College GameDay already announced it is coming:

College GameDay @CollegeGameDay

Get ready, Columbus. We're coming your way for Oklahoma-Ohio State! https://t.co/5CWb0V9JJG

The strength of their nonconference win over the Sooners was one reason the Buckeyes made the playoff last season even though they didn't win the Big Ten. This is another chance for both powerhouses to make a statement as two of the household names among college quarterbacks square off in J.T. Barrett and Baker Mayfield.

It was Penn State instead of Ohio State who won the Big Ten in 2016, but it was left on the outside looking in due in part to its loss to Pittsburgh. The Nittany Lions have a golden opportunity for in-state revenge Saturday.

The marquee games extend beyond the Big Ten. Notre Dame's chance at playing its way into the polls will be put to the test with a home game against Georgia, while Clemson and Auburn will battle for Tiger superiority in an early conference matchup between the ACC and SEC.

Finally, the same USC defense that struggled against Western Michigan will be tasked with facing a powerful Stanford offense coming off a 62-point performance against Rice. The winner will have an early start in what figures to be a competitive Pac-12 race.

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