College football is back and one thing is clear — Alabama is still the best team in the country by a wide margin.
One week of college football is in the books and we have a general idea of how the season might shake out.
Alabama will hold onto the top spot in our rankings after they dominated Miami on Saturday. Meanwhile, Georgia salted away a victory against Clemson in Charlotte. In other words, it’s all about the SEC so far this season.
Let’s dive into ESNY’s college football power rankings to see where the best of the best stack up.
Yeah, the Crimson Tide are holding onto their firm grip on this No. 1 ranking. Bama entered this season as the consensus top team and they proved that against Miami. Bryce Young looked like a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate as Nick Saban continues to churn out championship-quality teams.
2. Ohio State
Ohio State struggled out of the gate in their opening game, but they settled down in the second half. CJ Stroud looked comfortable as the game went on, eventually finishing with four touchdowns and just under 300 yards. The Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten and they look like Bama’s top competition for a championship.
Georgia needs to work out the kinks on offense, but the defense is already off and running. Georgia’s front seven dominated Clemson en route to a 10-3 victory in Week 1. The Bulldogs put constant pressure on D.J. Uiagalelei, even forcing him into a pick-six at one point. If Georgia’s defense plays like that all season, look out.
Oklahoma laid an egg in their first game of the season against Tulane, but a win is a win. Spencer Rattler didn’t look great, throwing two interceptions and just one touchdown. His Heisman Trophy odds are dropping, but Oklahoma’s chances at emerging from the Big 12 are still high.
Clemson is going to have to lick its wounds after a disappointing start to the season. They had no answer for Georgia’s physicality up front. On the bright side, Clemson won’t have to play anyone as tough as the Bulldogs until at least the College Football Playoff. Clemson might be down, but they are not out.
Cincinnati is the non-Power 5 school that could muck things up this year. The Bearcats took care of business and beat Miami (Ohio) by 35 in their season opener. With upcoming games against Indiana, Notre Dame, and UCF, these Bearcats will have a chance to prove that they are legitimate.
7. Texas A&M
Texas A&M is lurking as one of the more intriguing teams in the country. Alabama and Georgia are the class of the SEC, but this might be the year where the Aggies shake things up. Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King wasn’t completely sharp against Kent State, but that Aggies defense is going to be a brick wall this year.
8. Notre Dame
Notre Dame narrowly escaped Tallahassee with a win despite being big favorites against Florida State. However, they were able to avoid a loss which is most important. Even though head coach Brian Kelly wants to “execute” his team, the Fighting Irish are a bonafide top-10 squad.
9. Iowa State
Why does Iowa State always struggle against Northern Iowa? The little FCS school always seems to give the Cyclones problems. Despite the close win, Iowa State is going to be one of the better teams in the Big 12 this season. They have another matchup with an in-state rival this week.
Here comes Iowa. The Hawkeyes are taking on the Cyclones in one of the best rivalry games of the week. Iowa walloped Indiana in their season opener despite incoming hype for Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The Hawkeyes have a chance to make a statement this week against Iowa State.