Our weekly power rankings determine a competitive order of the nation’s five power conferences (apologies to you C-USA and MAC fans). This is a fluid list based on the performance of all teams in the conference from the previous weeks.
Hold onto your seats, SEC fans. This is just based off of the first week of the season and how the conferences performed as a whole. Come the end of the year, these rankings have the potential to look drastically different (and most likely will).
1) Big Ten
With the exception of Iowa losing to Northern Illinois, the Big 10 took care of business. It got legs up over the ACC and Pac-12 with Penn State’s victory over Syracuse, and Northwestern’s win at Cal. The top teams handled business, with Wisconsin even notching a shutout. No points were deducted from on account of Purdue, since Cincinnati is coached by Tommy Tuberville (a top-tier coach) and led by a good QB in Munchie Legaux.
Clemson was obviously the biggest win for the ACC, but there were a bunch of promising signs. Duke and Georgia Tech posted shutouts while scoring 45 and 70 points, respectively. North Carolina and Virginia Tech were expected to lose, but put up better fights than expected. FSU looked like a force of nature (yes, it was against Pitt, but still, they looked real good).
SEC apologists will likely kick and scream over being ranked third when they went 2-1 against the ACC this past weekend. The UGA game really hurts, considering Georgia’s championship aspirations entering the season. Kentucky losing to Western Kentucky also hurts. The conference had a chance to stick it to SEC castoff Bobby Petrino, but failed. Florida looked plain at home against Toledo (you can probably chalk this up to the looming Miami game, and the coaches going as vanilla as possible). Mississippi State couldn’t get traction on the road against Oklahoma State. On the bright side: Alabama continued to roll, LSU looked better than expected, and Mizzou and Tennessee both looked good.
Bad, bad loss by Oregon State to Eastern Washington. Utah nearly got caught playing with fire against Utah State, and Hawaii looked worse than the final score reflects. Losses to the SEC and Big 10 also hurt the ranking. Oregon apparently doesn’t miss Chip Kelly. On a positive note, Washington pasted Boise State — something that doesn’t normally happen in the Chris Petersen era.
5) Big 12
This spot was probably sealed when KSU lost to North Dakota State. Then Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa and removed any lingering doubts. West Virginia nearly lost to William and Mary. Oklahoma State handled business against a frisky SEC team, and TCU held tough against a more talented LSU squad. Overall this conference is scary, and not in the good way.