Nothing tears the Internet apart like a good old-fashioned ranking.
It doesn’t matter what you’re ranking. Restaurants. Animals. Colors. College football teams after only 60-ish minutes of football—at least for most. People can’t help but feel anger toward rankings they don’t agree with.
Behind every ranking is someone ready to justify those rankings, which is precisely what I plan to do this week — and every week — with The Game Day’s CFB Top 50 college football rankings.
Each week, no matter the results, I will rank the top 50 teams in college football. With Week 1 of the college football season behind us and the season underway, let the rankings begin.
2021 College Football No. 1 Team For Week 2
Alabama. But barely.
I thought long and hard about giving the honor to Georgia, which I picked and bet to win the national championship at (+650) and (+700) odds.
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Georgia certainly has the advantage in terms of the quality of win, besting an extremely talented Clemson team with a wallop of overwhelming defense.
But Alabama’s 44-13 win over Miami was just too dominant.
Quarterback Bryce Young looked entirely too comfortable for his first start. And while Georgia’s defense was the most impressive group I saw, Alabama’s wasn’t far behind. It was the total performance that made this an easy decision.
Bryce Young (+425) is currently the favorite over at BetMGM in their Heisman Trophy Winner bet.
What About Clemson?
This is always difficult, especially early on. But Clemson should be rewarded for scheduling up, and there is plenty to like about that performance.
I have Clemson at No. 5, and I think you could make a case for No. 4. The defense looked excellent, and there are too many good players on that offense for it to struggle for an extended period of time. (Again, to me this was much more about Georgia’s pass rush than anything else.)
The problem moving forward for Clemson is the schedule. There just aren’t a plethora of marquee games to make an impression.
CFB Power Rankings: Week 2 Risers
#9 UCLA (#16 in AP)
For some reason, we refuse to acknowledge and appreciate greatness when it comes to teams, like UCLA, that come from outside the norm.
While the Bruins haven’t been great over the past few years, their performance through two games warrants your utmost attention. Beating Hawaii was decent.
Beating LSU by double digits is a big deal, and the moment should be celebrated.
If we are adjusting rankings based off what we’re seeing, there is no reason UCLA should be positioned outside of the top 10. Plain and simple. I have them at No. 9.
More importantly, I am excited to see what this team does moving forward. It is balanced and clearly physical enough to play with a team of LSU’s caliber. The rest of the Pac-12 has been warned.
In fact, UCLA (+600) is favorably positioned as the sixth favorite to win the Pac-12 over on BetRivers — a ripe betting opportunity.
#16 Ole Miss (#20 in AP)
Ole Miss was a difficult evaluation for me heading into the year. (Perhaps it shouldn’t have been.)
What we saw on Monday night against Louisville was possibly a revelation. We knew the offense would be excellent, although QB Matt Corral still dazzled with his arms and legs. We knew the team would play fast, and that was certainly on display. But the defense, thought to be a work in progress, looked lightyears better.
Now, this was Louisville. That’s an important piece of this discussion. The Cardinals might not be that good.
Even still, it’s hard not be blown away by what we saw. I have Ole Miss at No. 16, although there’s clearly room to grow.
With the team heading to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama in early October, we don’t have to wait long to figure out just how good Kiffin’s team truly is.
CFB Power Rankings: Week 2 Fallers
While these were initial rankings and I refuse to participate in preseason polls, a few teams saw their rankings drastically impacted by Week 1 results.
- North Carolina, one of the most hyped teams of the offseason, fell just outside my Top 25.
- Indiana, meanwhile, fell to No. 30 after getting crushed by Iowa. (This could ultimately be an excellent loss, although only time will tell.)
- And finally, Louisiana-Lafayette, a team I like quite a bit, fell outside the top 35. A loss to Texas could look good in a few months, although the lack of offense, especially for a team returning so many pieces, is a bit concerning.
As for the rest of the rankings, here they are.
Week 2 College Football Power Rankings