Ranking every college football team after Week 2: Kentucky, Arkansas jump into top 10 – The Athletic

The Athletic

There’s nothing wrong with overcorrections in college football rankings this early in the season.

Through another two weeks of football, there have been many upsets and surprising results. Three top-10 teams lost this past Saturday to teams outside the Power 5 conferences. alabama almost lost to Texas and its backup quarterback. We don’t know what to expect before the end of the year, but we should also recognize that some things we expected this season didn’t work out.

In these rankings, teams are rewarded for big wins. Therefore, Kentucky and Arkansas moved into the top 10 of The Athletics 131.

Will they be there before the end of the season? Maybe not. But Kentucky just went to Florida and pushed around the Gators in a 26-16 win. a week ago, Utah could not do the same. The Wild cats brought the Anthony Richardson hype train back to the station, holding him to 14-for-35 passing with two interceptions and only four rushing yards (including a sack). Kentucky won 10 games last year and finished second in the SEC East. The Wildcats were picked to finish second in the East again this year. Florida got a lot of love after the Utah win and Tennessee seems to be on the way back under Josh Heupel, but don’t forget Kentucky. The Wildcats made us remember that on Saturday.

Arkansas struck Cincinnati in Week 1 and then handled South Carolina 44-30, rushing for nearly 300 yards. The Razorbacks jumped up in these rankings early in the season and then fell back at times in recent years. It could always happen again. But a quarterback KJ Jefferson has looked elite so far, completing 76.6 percent of his passes for 8.2 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, plus two rushing touchdowns. The Razorbacks have a tough schedule coming up. After Missouri State this week, they play Texas A&M, Alabama, Mississippi State and BYU, but I’d give them a chance in most of those now. Maybe Alabama is more vulnerable than we thought. Maybe not. But there’s no reason not to reward teams that win, especially at a time when it seems almost anyone can beat anyone.

A reminder that teams can go up after a loss or down after a win. Teams can be jumped on because someone else had a more impressive win. They can also be effected when a previous win or loss looks better or worse with more results. The rankings will solidify once everyone plays quality opponent. Head-to-head won’t be the only factor as the year goes on, simply because it can’t be, but it is heavily emphasized early in the year and acts as an equalizer between close teams.

Here is the Week 3 edition of The Athletics 131.

Georgia was already No. 1 in these rankings after Week 1, and that became more solid after Alabama avoided Austin with a 20-19 win. Along with Kentucky and Arkansas, USC and Oklahoma State moved into the top 10. The Lincoln Riley-Caleb Williams USC offense looks like the best case scenario nowafter a 41-28 win at Stanford it was 41-14 going into the fourth quarter. The defense has been average, allowing 21 points per game, but the Trojans have eight takeaways. Can this continue?

11-25

Rank team Record previous

11

2-0

21

12

2-0

14

13

2-0

22

14

2-0

17

15

1-1

10

16

1-1

11

17

2-0

34

18

1-1

15

19

1-1

7

20

2-0

23

21

1-1

24

22

2-0

32

23

2-0

57

24

1-1

25

25

2-0

26

BYU’s overtime win vs Baylor vaults the Cougars, and it’s not unreasonable to start talking about them as a College Football Playoff contender with a few more wins. Tennessee’s overtime win at Pitt has the Vols looking legit. Kansas State is 2-0 after a dominant 40-12 win against Missouri. I’m surprised the Wildcats are not ranked in the polls. Florida falls next its loss to Kentuckybut the Gators stay ahead of Utah because they, you know, beat the Utes last week.

Oregon State moves into the top 25 after a win at Fresno State in the final play. The Beavers are 2-0 against two of the best in Group of 5, coupled with the comfortable win against Boise State last week Marshall jumps into the top 25 as well after its 26-21 win at Our Lady.

Texas moves up a few points after nearly knocking off Alabama because the Longhorns did looks much better than expected. But I have seen too many losses TCU and Iowa State fully believe in them still, especially with Quinn Ewers sidelined. Texas A&M falls out of the top 10 and into this group later 17-14 home loss to Appalachian State. It’s behind the Mountaineers, who are behind North Carolina because of the victory of the Tar Heels in Boone last week. Notre Dame also falls out of the top 10 and into this group later the loss to Marshall. The Fighting Irish lack playmakers and haven’t done much since a moderately successful first half against Ohio State. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

Washington State ascends after a great victory in Camp Randall Stadium over Wisconsin. Texas Tech’s overtime win vs Houston results in the Red Raiders jumping up as well.

East Carolina followed up its narrow loss against NC State with a solid 39-21 win against Old Reign. Syracusethe dominant victory against Louisville last week looks even better now after Louisville won at UCF. Illinois‘ 24-3 win against Virginia might be the quietest Power 5 win over a Power 5 team all season.

Kansas is 2-0 for the first time since 2011 after an overtime win at West Virginia. Has Lance Leipold turned this thing around yet? Duke is 2-0 in the Mike Elko era after a win at Northwest. Georgia Southern’s 642 yards were the most ever allowed by a Nebraska at home, and Clay Helton’s team adapted quite well from the triple-option offense. Virginia Tech bounced back from its ODU loss with a 27-10 win against Boston College.

UCF’s loss to Louisville was amazing for a team that is supposed to contend for the AAC title this season. Georgia State is 0-2 with two competitive losses to South Carolina and North Carolina. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers make noise in the Sun Belt. South Alabama was a touchdown underdog but came out of Central Michigan with a 38-24 win. Utah State’s 35-7 loss to FCS Weber State was one of the most surprising results of the weekend, and the Aggies fell as a result.

(Photo by Will Levis: James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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