One week was all it took not only for this season’s biggest storylines to emerge, but also to see who the contenders and pretenders are for the 2021 College Football Playoff.
As always, that starts with Alabama, which looked every bit the No. 1 team in the nation after demolishing No. 14 Miami 44-13. First-time starting quarterback Bryce Young showed no significant dropoff from Mac Jones in his debut, and the defense looked better than it has in years. But the Crimson Tide aren’t the only powerful team this year.
No team scored a more impressive resume-building win than Georgia, which, ranked No. 5 at the time, downed No. 3 Clemson in a neutral-site game in Charlotte. The Bulldogs didn’t get much done against the Tigers offensively, but their defense — which sacked D.J. Uiagalelei seven times and scored the game’s only touchdown on an interception return — was all Georgia needed to secure a 10-3 victory.
Week 1 wasn’t entirely kind to college football’s preseason ranked teams. No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 7 Iowa State and No. 11 Oregon all suffered significant scares against vastly inferior opponents in Tulane, Northern Iowa and Fresno State, respectively; Heisman contender Sam Howell couldn’t stop Virginia Tech from upsetting No. 10 North Carolina on the road; Chip Kelly got perhaps the biggest win of his UCLA career by downing No. 16 LSU; and No. 10 Washington lost a shocker to FCS opponent Montana.
Here’s how Week 1 of college football action affected the AP Top 25 and Coaches polls heading into Week 2 of the season:
College football rankings for Week 2
AP Top 25
|Rank||Team||Points (No. 1 votes)|
Others receiving votes: TCU, NC State, UCF, Liberty, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Nevada, BYU, Boston College, Northwestern, Boise State, Ball State, Houston, UAB, West Virginia, Army