Mark Schmor’s Week Three College Football Top 25

Posted on September 15, 2021

  By Mark Schmor, SportsPac12

Week 2 of the faculty soccer season all the time serves as a very good reminder that you would be able to’t make an excessive amount of out of the primary weekend’s outcomes.

Groups that regarded nice towards lesser opponents can get uncovered towards higher competitors. Groups that regarded half asleep in house openers they have been favored to win can out of the blue look energized as highway underdogs.


Some folks thought I used to be out of my thoughts for placing Notre Dame within the high 5 after an extra time win over a Florida State workforce whose current observe document suggests they aren’t superb. By some folks, I imply my father.

My father thought I used to be out of my thoughts and he wasn’t actually satisfied that the spirit of the late Bobby Bowden ought to have performed a task in my rankings.

Honest sufficient.

blankTo show my father’s level, Notre Dame needed to scramble to drag out a win within the last minute towards Toledo. Then Florida State misplaced on a loopy final second landing go to Jacksonville State.

If the spirit of the late Bobby Bowden was able to forcing extra time towards Notre Dame, you’d assume it could be able to holding off Jacksonville State.

blankSo, what I assumed was a fairly good highway win for the Irish to begin the season is now fully devoid of worth. In consequence, you gained’t discover Notre Dame on this week’s rankings.

Don’t really feel too dangerous for Notre Dame. They’ll have loads of alternatives to get themselves again in these rankings starting this week with a recreation towards a 2-0 Purdue workforce.

blankThen they’ve Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, USC, and North Carolina. We must always have a really clear learn on the Irish by the top of October however for now they only appear to be a workforce that performs with fireplace towards mediocre competitors.

As I discussed final week, these rankings could have some wild swings week to week for the primary month of the season or so.

At this level, many of the emphasis is positioned on what a workforce has already carried out on the sector, not what they’re anticipated to do in future video games.

In case your favourite workforce is off to a 2-0 begin and also you’re questioning why you don’t see them greater, simply give it a while.

Tier 1

The entire groups in Tier 1 have carried out one thing up to now to ascertain themselves as playoff contenders. You’ll discover just a few groups lacking from this tier: Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.

Barring a significant upset, I’d count on all of these groups to enter Tier 1 within the close to future. It simply doesn’t make sense to rank any of them that top but when their greatest collective win was towards Tulane or Minnesota.

No. 1 — Alabama

blankAlabama had about as a lot hassle with Mercer as that they had towards Miami final week, which isn’t saying a lot for Miami (however possibly says one thing for Mercer?).

Alabama performs at Florida this week and there’s a very good likelihood the Tide will roll them in the identical vogue.

No. 2 — Georgia

blankI figured that after seeing Georgia fully shut down Clemson final weekend that they wouldn’t have any hassle shutting down a good UAB workforce.

What I didn’t count on was for Georgia to lose their beginning QB and nonetheless cruise to a 56-7 win over the defending Convention USA champs. Georgia now prepares to host their neighbors from South Carolina who struggled to place away their very own neighbors from East Carolina.

The Bulldogs ought to make life depressing for the Gamecocks.

No. 3 — Oregon

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12Oregon went into Columbus with out the very best go rusher within the nation in Kayvon Thibodeaux AND with out their main tackler from final week in Justin Flowe, they usually nonetheless managed to attain first towards No. 3 Ohio State after which maintain the lead the remainder of the best way in a 35-28 win.

It’s the most important win of the Mario Cristobal Period and former Oregon coach Wealthy Brooks steered it was the most important non-conference win in class historical past.

As with UCLA’s win over LSU final week, the massive story was how Oregon dominated the trenches. The Geese out-rushed the Buckeyes 269-128.

The Oregon offensive line additionally gave quarterback Anthony Brown a clear pocket all day whereas Oregon’s shorthanded defensive entrance was capable of break via and get a pair huge sacks of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud within the last minutes.

Tier 2

The entire groups in Tier 2 have a signature win over a ranked opponent, which separates them from the groups in Tier 3.

Once more, let me say that I count on a number of of these Tier 3 groups to leapfrog the groups in Tier 2 however I’m ready for some on discipline outcomes to dictate that transfer up the rankings.

No. 4 — Iowa

blankFinal week, Iowa crushed the desires of Indiana. This week Iowa crushed the desires of their arch rivals from Iowa State within the largest recreation in Cy-Hawk historical past. The ultimate rating of 27-17 doesn’t actually do justice to how this recreation felt.

The Hawkeyes compelled turnovers on three second half possessions in a row, which gave them a 27-10 lead and despatched Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to the bench.

It was a dominant efficiency on the highway towards a high 10 workforce every week after beginning the season with a dominant efficiency towards a high 20 workforce. No person has a greater pair of wins in school soccer proper now.

No. 5 — UCLA

blankSince UCLA began in Week 0 and was idle this week, let’s simply faux they began the season final week with an upset of LSU after which adopted that up by throttling Hawaii.

The Bruins host Fresno State this coming week. With how nicely Fresno performed Oregon final week, they need to have UCLA’s full consideration.

No. 6 — Penn State

blankIt’s not shocking that Penn State cruised to a simple win over Ball State, however bear in mind that they had simply recorded an enormous win of their season-opener at Wisconsin and this week they host Auburn.

Additionally remember the fact that Ball State is the defending champs from the MAC. This had “lure recreation” written throughout it, however the Nittany Lions sidestepped the lure with none hassle.

No. 7 — Arkansas

blankBear in mind final week after I elevated Texas in these rankings primarily based on their spectacular season opening win over what I thought-about to be a fairly good Louisiana workforce?

Nicely, that Louisiana workforce struggled to beat Nicholls State. As for that Texas workforce, they acquired totally dominated by an Arkansas workforce that ought to most likely end sixth or seventy within the SEC West this 12 months.

If I’m anticipating Arkansas to complete sixth or seventh of their division, why do I’ve them seventh in these rankings? As a result of they only dealt with a high 15 workforce and there’s only some groups that may say that proper now.

If Arkansas is overrated, we’ll realize it quickly sufficient as they play Texas A&M in two weeks. Texas A&M will certainly be favored in that recreation, however did anybody watch the Aggies on Saturday and assume they regarded higher than the Razorbacks?

No. 8 — Virginia Tech

blankVirginia Tech beat Center Tennessee 35-14 which is completely acceptable after a high 10 win over North Carolina final week.

Subsequent week they’ll need to go to Morgantown and face West Virginia so it is going to be fascinating to see what the Hokies can do after they’re away from Lane Stadium.

No. 9 — BYU

blankIn the identical week that it was introduced BYU could be becoming a member of the Massive 12, they beat Utah within the Holy Warfare for the primary time since 2009. It’s a very good time to be a BYU fan.

After additionally opening their season with a win over Arizona, the Cougars will attempt to make it three in a row over the Pac-12 in a matchup towards a gifted Arizona State workforce.

Whereas the Solar Devils have been ranked within the AP Ballot for the reason that preseason, I’ve held off together with them in my rankings as they’ve rolled to straightforward wins over Southern Utah and UNLV.

Ought to Arizona State go on the highway and beat a ranked BYU workforce, they’ll make up some floor fairly rapidly.

Tier 3

Groups in Tier 3 are groups that I’m assuming are actually good, however have both misplaced to the very best workforce they’ve performed or haven’t performed a ranked opponent but.

In different phrases, these are the fan bases probably to be horrified by being ranked outdoors the highest 10 (and I’ll enjoyment of conserving them outdoors the highest 10 so long as I can objectively defend it).

No. 10 — Oklahoma

blankOklahoma beat Western Carolina 76-0. So we all know Oklahoma is absolutely good. However with Texas and Iowa State each shedding over the weekend, one wonders how a lot of a check they’re going to get within the Massive 12 this 12 months.

The Sooners have the clearest path to an undefeated season of any workforce within the nation.

No. 11 — Ohio State

blankOhio State freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 484 yards in his second profession begin, however the Buckeyes misplaced at house to Oregon partially as a result of they did not convert three completely different fourth downs.

I’m not overly involved about their offense, however I’d be very involved about their protection if I used to be a Buckeyes fan.

Each Minnesota and Oregon have rushed for over 200 yards towards them, they usually play within the Massive Ten, the place each workforce appears to take particular pleasure in operating the ball down your throat.

No. 12 — Clemson

blankClemson annihilated South Carolina State in a recreation which informed us nothing.

Subsequent week they’ll host Georgia Tech of their ACC opener. Contemplating Georgia Tech misplaced their first recreation to Northern Illinois, I’m not anticipating to study a lot about Clemson in that recreation both.

No. 13 — Wisconsin

blankIn a pleasant bounce-back from their loss to Penn State, Wisconsin beat Jap Michigan 34-7 in a recreation that was not as shut as the ultimate rating signifies.

The Badgers ran for 352 yards, the Eagles ran for 16. The Badgers had 26 first downs. The Eagles had three. Now Wisconsin will get pleasure from an early-season bye earlier than assembly Notre Dame at Soldier Discipline in Chicago.

Tier 4

Tier 4 groups have given us some affirmation that they’re fairly good however nonetheless must play and beat some higher groups so as transfer up the rankings additional.

No. 14 — Michigan

blankIn the beginning of the season, Michigan followers circled their Week 2 assembly with what was anticipated to be a high 20 Washington tam as a chance for a significant non-conference win over a ranked workforce.

Then Washington pulled a no-show towards Montana and the air was taken out of the balloon.

Even with Washington’s horrible begin to the season, I figured the Huskies would bounce again and provides the Wolverines a recreation.

I figured their anemic offense would exhibit extra creativity and physicality, and I figured their protection would present itself as an elite unit able to conserving them in any recreation.

Then the Washington offense opened the sport with a delay of a recreation and a run up the center that was stuffed for a yard loss. It was clear from that time ahead that the offense wouldn’t maintain up their finish of the discount.

The Washington protection adopted swimsuit by giving up 343 dashing yards in a 31-10 route.

Whereas this recreation confirmed the fears of many Washington followers about this 12 months’s workforce, I’m undecided it informed us an excessive amount of about Michigan.

No. 15 — Cincinnati

blankCincinnati was truly tied with Murray State at halftime earlier than pulling away for a 42-7 win. Their two largest video games of the season happen within the subsequent three weeks towards Indiana and Notre Dame.

But, as I identified in my preseason rankings, the Bearcats actually wanted each of those groups to play as much as their preseason rankings to ensure that Cincinnati to gather a pair high quality wins. Neither the Hoosiers nor the Combating Irish have carried out so up to now.

No. 16 — Auburn

blankEvery week after beating Akron 60-10, Auburn beat Alabama State 62-0. Again to again 60s isn’t any small feat, however they’ll be fortunate to attain half that a lot subsequent week after they go to Penn State.

No. 17 — Coastal Carolina

blankVegas made Coastal Carolina 26.5 level favorites towards Kansas, which is totally insane for a Solar Belt workforce taking part in towards a Massive 12 workforce.

Contemplating this Kansas workforce entered the competition having misplaced 41 straight video games towards ranked opponents by a median of 31 factors per recreation, I assume the unfold made sense.

Nonetheless, it felt a bit like a lose-lose state of affairs for the Chanticleers.

Had Coastal snuck out a 50-48 thriller (like  No. 15 Texas did towards Kansas in 2019) or a 34-30 thriller (like #5 TCU did towards Kansas in 2014), the haters would have pointed to the shut rating as proof that this workforce wasn’t deserving of their rating.

The Chanticleers don’t have time for the haters. They beat Kansas by 27.

I level out the margin of victory solely as a result of it’s one of many few reference factors we’ve got in evaluating a workforce like Coastal. I dropped Liberty from these rankings partially as a result of their 21-13 win over Troy didn’t recommend they have been a High 25 workforce.

No. 18 — UCF

blankUCF beat Bethune-Cookman 63-14, so that they did what they wanted to do towards an overmatched opponent. If UCF is absolutely going to justify this rating, they’ll must win towards Louisville on the highway subsequent week.

No. 19 — Florida

blankI assume Florida is sweet. Every week after beating Florida Atlantic 35-14, they beat South Florida 42-20. These wins are high quality. Not nice, however high quality. The Gators host Alabama this coming week so that they’ll have to be higher than high quality.

No. 20 – Michigan State

blankI actually loved Michigan State’s win towards Northwestern in Week 1 and there was nothing of their convincing win over Youngstown State to make me query this rating.

I’m simply ready to see how MSU handles a visit to Miami this week. The Hurricanes adopted up their loss to Alabama with a really shut win over a scrappy Appalachian State workforce, however a win over Sparty could be extra substantial.

No. 21 — Maryland

blankOn this week’s episode of “Taking the Temperature of Taulia Tagovailoa’s Terrapins,” I’m informed that the Terrapins tormented Howard 62-0 due to a trio of landing tosses by Taulia Tagovailoa. Terrific!

No. 22 — Ole Miss

blankI most likely ought to have included Ole Miss in my rankings final week after they throttled Louisville on Labor Day, so I’ll rectify that now. They crushed Austin Peay over the weekend, which isn’t noteworthy.

What’s noteworthy is that subsequent week they host the identical Tulane workforce that gave Oklahoma all they may deal with in Week 1.

No. 23 — Texas A&M

blankTexas A&M entered this season as a consensus high 5 workforce within the preseason polls. After I put them sixteenth in my rankings after Week 1, it was primarily a mirrored image of them having performed Kent State.

I figured I’d transfer them up in the event that they regarded actually good towards Colorado.

They didn’t look good towards Colorado. They trailed nearly the complete recreation and have been fortunate to outlive with a 10-7 win. I nearly dropped them out of my rankings fully, however I’m leaving them right here out of respect to Colorado.

Tier 5

That is the place issues begin to get sophisticated.

In these rankings, I’m going to honor head-to-head rankings as a lot as doable, however that may show increasingly more tough because the season goes on. These final two groups illustrate the kind of conundrum that ballot voters need to reconcile.

No. 24 — Kansas St

blankKansas State had an uninspiring 31-23 win over Southern Illinois. So why am I transferring them into the rankings now? As a result of their 24-7 win over Stanford the earlier week now seems lots stronger than it did in Week 1.

A giant think about Kansas State’s struggles towards Southern Illinois was the lack of senior quarterback Skylar Thompson to a knee harm. Thompson has now been dominated out indefinitely so the Wildcats will lean on sophomore Will Howard as a substitute.

Subsequent week, the Wildcats host a Nevada workforce that already has claimed a win over Cal, in order that ought to be a very good litmus check of whether or not the Stanford win or the Southern Illinois win is a greater illustration of this workforce.

No. 25 — Stanford

blankThe rating of Kansas State leads us to the rating of Stanford. As dangerous as Stanford regarded towards Kansas State was pretty much as good as Stanford regarded towards USC. They beat USC so badly that Clay Helton was fired on Monday.

Whereas Kansas State’s fortunes could have shifted as a result of harm of their quarterback, a lot of Stanford’s enchancment week to week appears to be centered on the choice to provide sophomore Tanner McKee the reins at quarterback after beginning the season with senior Jack West.

I’ve a sense that if this new model of Stanford had a rematch with Kansas State, it could go fairly otherwise. However till Kansas State loses, I can’t justify transferring Stanford forward of them.

(NOTE: I can’t finish this portion with out mentioning that in my rating of USC final week, I pointed to their upcoming schedule of Stanford, Washington State, Oregon State, and Colorado and mainly predicted that they’d be 5-0 earlier than dealing with the robust portion of their schedule.

That is a part of the explanation I base these rankings on what has already occurred, not what I count on to occur. I’ve completely no thought what to anticipate from USC the remainder of the best way.)

blankGroups on the radar: TCU, Nevada, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Rutgers, Mississippi State, Purdue

Every of the groups above have a pair wins and no losses, which is a superb feeling after two weeks. I’ll be curious to see what number of of those groups are nonetheless undefeated on the finish of September.

This column additionally seems at and is syndicated with permission. Comply with Mark on Twitter @MarkSchmor.

—Current Mark Schmor Tales—

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