The first weekend of the 2013 college football season gave fans exactly the type of theatrics we were hoping for. There were big-time games that came down to the wire, smaller games that provided thrilling upsets and just great football across the nation.
Week 2′s AP Poll reflects such volatility in its top 25 rankings. That being said, while there was plenty of movement, not all of it was welcomed. Some teams benefited from the weekend’s results while others have to be disappointed reading over the poll.
Let’s take a peek at this week’s Winners and Losers. These do not necessarily reflect actual game performances and scores. Instead, they are simply observations after watching the games and analyzing the subsequent poll. Not every team “won” or “lost” in the eyes of us and the AP. For reference, however, we have included the AP Poll itself.
Big-time loser: Oregon State Beavers - You will not find this ReBeaved bunch on the list, and may not for the rest of the season. Coach Mike Riley’s crew lost to FCS-level Eastern Washington. It was the first loss for a ranked team against an FCS foe since 2010. Ouch.
25. USC Trojans
24. TCU Horned Frogs
23. Baylor Bears
22. Nebraska Cornhuskers
21. Wisconsin Badgers
20. Winner: Washington Huskies - Not many people knew which Washington team was going to take the field in freshly-remodeled Husky Stadium against Boise State to open 2013 – the one that beat Stanford last year or the one that lost to lowly in-state rival Washington State. The good Huskies showed up for a 38-6 beating of the Broncos, and now here they are, all the way up to No. 20.
19. Winner: Northwestern Wildcats - The Wildcats met an unexpected challenge from Cal and true freshman quarterback Jared Goff head on and managed to leave the West Coast with a big, 44-30 out-of-conference win. The ‘Cats were rewarded with a three-spot jump into the top 20.
18. UCLA Bruins
17. Michigan Wolverines
16. Oklahoma Sooners
15. Texas Longhorns
14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
13. Winner: Oklahoma State Cowboys - While two other Big 12 schools were busy losing to FCS-level teams (Iowa State to Northern Iowa and Kansas State to North Dakota State) coach Mike Gundy’s crew dominated a Mississippi State team that earned a Gator Bowl berth out of the big, bad SEC last year.
12. Loser: Florida Gators - Like Ohio State and Stanford, the Gators were jumped in this week’s poll. However, unlike both of those teams, Florida slipped behind two schools it beat a year ago – despite winning its opening weekend game, 24-6, against a very good Toledo team. LSU slipped into the top 10 after beating TCU, as did Florida State in handling Pitt. A big win over Miami in Week 2 should set things straight for coach Will Muschamp and his Gators in the eyes of the AP.
11. Winner: Georgia Bulldogs - Yes, the Dawgs suffered a tough opening loss to Clemson. However, the team is still sniffing the top 10 and – far more importantly – it is still ahead of Florida.
10. Winner: Florida State Seminoles - Welcome to the show, Jameis Winston. Add in the fact that the Noles jumped Florida, and all is good in Tallahassee.
9. Winner: LSU Tigers - The Tigers took care of business against a very good TCU game and are now being talked about as SEC championship contenders, possibly even BCS.
8. Louisville Cardinals
7. Texas A&M Aggies
6. South Carolina Gamecocks
5. Loser: Stanford Cardinal - Out of sight, out of mind? The Cardinal did not play last weekend, but still managed to slip from No. 4 to No. 5. Ouch.
4. Big-time winner: Clemson Tigers - Clemson rocketed up the polls and into the top five after handling an excellent Georgia team at home. With a very manageable conference schedule, quarterback Tajh Boyd and the rest of the Tigers are now firmly in the national title conversation.
3. Loser: Ohio State Buckeyes - The Buckeyes slipped out of the all-important No. 2 spot despite a 40-20 win over Buffalo. Quarterback Braxton Miller and Co. do not want to remain at No. 3 when the BCS rankings come out later in the year, or else they will need help to reach the national title game. Luckily it’s a long season and this was just the first week.
2. Winner: Oregon Ducks - All the Ducks had to do was put a 66-3 pounding on lowly Nicholls State and now they find themselves in the driver’s seat to earn a title game invite. Yes, it’s early in the year, but this is a huge show of confidence in new head coach Mark Helfrich.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide