College Football Playoff Rankings: Week 1
Week 1 allowed fans to get a sneak peek into the excitement that the season has in store. Filled with offensive breakouts, defensive superstars, and all-around playmakers, last week left us with a new top four in the nation. Here’s a look at the new College Football Playoff outlook after Week 1.
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide easily took care of No. 3 Florida State Seminoles during the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game by a score of 24-7. Alabama was led by a strong defensive showing by linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, who tallied eight tackles including three and a half for loss. The Tide also had a blocked kick and a punt by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and running back Damien Harris, respectively. Alabama will face off against the Fresno State Bulldogs at home in Week 2.
The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes had an impressive win over an underrated Indiana Hoosiers team, 49-21. At halftime, Indiana was winning 14-13, but the Buckeyes stormed back in the second half to reclaim the lead led by freshman running back J.K. Dobbins, who had a total of 181 yards on the ground on 29 carries. J.T. Barrett also threw for 304 yards and three scores. They are back in action next week against the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners.
With Florida State losing on the opening weekend, the No. 3 Clemson Tigers roared up to claim their spot by beating the Kent State Golden Flashes, 56-3. The Clemson offense had a nice running game throughout the day, racking up 353 yards on the ground led by running back Travis Etienne, with 81 of those yards on eight carries. Safety Tanner Muse led the Tigers on defense with six tackles. Clemson will look to continue their momentum when the play the No. 13 Auburn Tigers Saturday night.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are the No. 4 team this week after demolishing the Akron Zips 52-0. The team was led by Saquon Barkley with 172 yards on the ground and a pair of scores on the day. Tight end Mike Gesicki also added a pair of scores from quarterback Trace McSorley, who threw for 280 yards. This is the first time Penn State has been in the top four since 2008. They look to continue their success next week when they face in-state rival Pittsburgh out of the ACC.
The No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners come in this week after defeating the UTEP Miners 56-7. Quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 19 of 20 passes for 329 yards and three scores. Wideout Mark Andrews had seven receptions for 134 yards and one touchdown. Senior defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo led the team with four tackles, and added two tackles for loss including a sack. The Sooners have a tough matchup against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes looming.
The No. 6 USC Trojans played a high scoring game against the Western Michigan Broncos out of the MAC, winning by a score of 49-31. The Broncos kept it close throughout the day with a score of 21-21 heading into the fourth quarter. Running back Ronald Jones II led the Trojans with 159 yards and three scores. Heisman hopeful and quarterback Sam Darnold struggled against this defense throwing for 289 yards and two interceptions. The Trojans look to bounce back against the No. 14 Stanford Cardinal this week.
This week’s slate of games, headlined by No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Oklahoma, should be filled with drama and excitement as the top 25 rankings should get some dramatic changes. Dark horse teams like the No. 17 Louisville, No. 20 Washington State and No. 21 South Florida should all be in gear to make a run at the title.
Jacob Hord is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.