LGHL Top 25 Week 2: Clemson impressive in win, ranked only behind Alabama, Ohio State

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of college football brought a lot of highly anticipated match ups, and the big games helped many teams, such as Clemson and LSU, climb higher in this week's edition of LGHL's top 25.

An exciting opening weekend of college football brought many fans exactly what they needed. First, a showdown featuring two top ten powers lived up to expectations between Clemson and Georgia. Another great game came with LSU and TCU, and we saw upsets galore, courtesy of a couple FCS programs in Eastern Washington and North Dakota State, to name a few.

After the weekend was finally over, our writers sent in their top 25 polls and we compiled them here for LGHL's top 25 poll for week 2:

Lghl-wordmark_medium
WEEK 2 BALLOT

RANK TEAM DELTA
1 I_medium Alabama Crimson Tide --
2 I_medium Ohio State Buckeyes --
3 I_medium Clemson Tigers arrow_up4
4 I_medium Oregon Ducks arrow_down1
5 I_medium South Carolina arrow_up1
6 I_medium Stanford Cardinal arrow_down2
7 I_medium LSU Tigers arrow_up6
8 I_medium Florida St. Seminoles arrow_up1
9 I_medium Texas A&M Aggies arrow_down1
10 I_medium Louisville Cardinals --
11 I_medium Texas Longhorns arrow_up1
12 I_medium Georgia Bulldogs arrow_down7
13 I_medium Florida Gators arrow_down2
14 I_medium Michigan Wolverines arrow_up2
15 I_medium Oklahoma State Cowboys --
16 I_medium Notre Dame Fighting Irish arrow_down2
17 I_medium Oklahoma Sooners arrow_up1
18 I_medium Wisconsin Badgers arrow_up6
19 I_medium Northwestern Wildcats arrow_up2
20 I_medium Miami Hurricanes arrow_up5
21 I_medium Nebraska Cornhuskers arrow_down4
22 I_medium
UCLA Bruins --
23 I_medium
Baylor Bears --
24 I_medium
Washington Huskies --
25 I_medium USC Trojans arrow_down3

Receiving votes: Fresno State, North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, TCU, Arizona State, Michigan State, Cincinnati

Dropped: TCU (19), Boise State (20), Michigan State (23)

Analysis

1-5: After a little bit of resistance from a much improved Virginia Tech defense, the Crimson Tide flexed its muscles over the Hokies and cruised to a 35-10 victory over Frank Beamer's team. The defense played as the Alabama defense we've been accustomed to seeing the past few seasons, but the special teams helped boost Alabama when Christion Jones returned both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns on the night, which seem to come at the most opportune of times.

Ohio State narrowly held on to their No. 2 ranking over Clemson, but managed to maintain it this week after putting away the Buffalo Bulls 40-20. The Buckeyes started fast, scoring 23 points in the first quarter alone, but cramping and some costly turnovers--along with depth issues on the defensive side-- would help the Bulls stay in the game. Clemson, meanwhile, finally was able to get over that big game hump as their high-octane offense helped them overcome a tough Georgia team in a 38-35 victory.

The combination of quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins proved to be too much for the Bulldogs, as Boyd went 18/30 passing for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Boyd also added two scores with his feet, giving him a total of five touchdowns for the night. Watkins hauled in six catches for 127 yards with one touchdown, but that one touchdown was pretty damn impressive.

Oregon blew by Nicholls State 66-3 without former head coach Chip Kelly. Clemson sneaks right above the Ducks with their marquee win, but we'll see if Oregon can maintain that success against Virginia next week. South Carolina rounds out our top five this week, but for reasons other than Jadeveon Clowney. Most people were a little surprised to see the Gamecocks perform so well on the offensive side behind quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Mike Davis as Clowney received a hefty amount of criticism for his "lack of effort". The 27-10 win over North Carolina was a good start to South Carolina's high expectation season.

6-10: Stanford got off with a BYE in the first week of action, which didn't do them any favors as they dropped out of the top five in favor of Clemson and South Carolina. The Cardinal open up the season this week against San Jose State. Les Miles and the LSU Tigers were impressive in their opening win against TCU, as the defense held the Horned Frogs to 259 yards of total offense. TCU really couldn't ever get things going, and LSU took full advantage as running back Terrence Macgee rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns with one coming on a 52-yard scamper. Florida State cruised to a  victory over Pitt on Monday night with redshirt freshman Jameis Winston leading the charge in a sensational performance. Winston will face tougher defenses this season, but you couldn't ask for a better start.

The return of Johnny Manziel seemed to come at just the right time for the Aggies, who were struggling with the Rice Owls until Manziel came in for the second half after serving his half-game suspension. Johnny Football threw for three touchdowns in the second half, and led A&M to a 52-31 victory. After some ill-advised trash-talking and an unsportsmanlike penalty called against Manziel, it seems the drama isn't finished in College Station, which could explain the drop of one spot. Also, they gave up 31 points to Rice.

Louisville finishes off LGHL's top ten for the second consecutive week after embarrassing what was supposed to be a decent Ohio team 49-7. Heisman candidate, and now possible front-runner, Teddy Bridgewater threw for five touchdowns in a game that was well over by the end of the first half. Bridgewater went 23/28 for 355 yards and five scores, with only one interception. With the addition of Michael Dyer, who carried the ball four times for 48 yards (46 of those coming in an excellent touchdown run), the Cardinals will be extremely tough to stop on the offensive side of the ball. The defense looked much faster than anyone expected, but you might be able to argue that the Bobcats' offense just wasn't having a very good day.

11-15: Texas slowly moves up a spot to No. 11 following a 56-7 pounding of New Mexico State. Quarterback David Ash threw for four touchdowns in the win, as Mack Brown looks to get his team back into the upper-echelon of college football. Georgia dropped to No. 12, and while some of our writers thought the Bulldogs to remain in the top ten, Mark Richt has just lost control of determining the Bulldogs' ranking.

Florida managed to avoid Kirk Herbstreit's upset pick of the day when the Gators were able to run past the Rockets thanks in part to running back Mack Brown, who was filling in for the sophomore Matt Jones (Jones is suffering from a viral infection and is likely to return this week). Brown had 112 yard on 25 carries, with two touchdowns, one coming on a tough 14-yarder that helped put Toledo out of reach. Michigan came out strong against against Central Michigan, blowing the Chippewas away in the 59-9 victory. Quarterback Devin Gardner is the clear-cut starter, and threw for a touchdown en route to the easy win. The Wolverines have their own set of running backs with true freshman Derrick Green and the senior Fitzgerald Toussaint. Brady Hoke appears to have his team ready to go, and it impressed most of our writers, who moved Michigan up two spots.

Oklahoma State remains at the 15th spot, as the Cowboys get the win over SEC opponent Mississippi State 21-3. The game was a bit sloppy on both sides, which helps clear up the score, but this was a solid win for Oklahoma State, who hope to stake their claim to a Big 12 championship.

16-20: Notre Dame took care of business against Temple, putting the game away with a 28-6 win. Tommy Reese quieted a few doubters, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns. After the Fighting Irish, Oklahoma comes in at the 17th spot, in part because quarterback Trevor Knight helped the Sooners defeat Louisiana-Monroe (the same team that upset Arkansas last season) through the air and on the ground. Knight threw for three touchdowns, and only went 11/28 for 86 yards, but also was the leading rusher with 13 carries for 103 yards.

Wisconsin rolled to a 45-0 victory over Massachusetts under new head coach Gary Andersen, as the Badgers had their way with the Minutemen. Big plays took the headline here, as running backs James White and Melvin Gordon both provided touchdown runs of over 50 yards. Jared Abbrederis (yes, he's still there) caught two touchdown passes over 50 yards as well. In all, it was an imposing showing for Wisconsin. Keeping it in the B1G, Northwestern showed off what they are capable of this season, as they managed to win a big game on the road against Cal in the 44-30 victory. After starting quarterback Kain Coulter went down with a concussion on the first drive, things were looking dim for the Wildcats. With the help of two interceptions being returned for touchdowns by linebacker Collin Ellis, Pat Fitzgerald was able to escape with a much-needed opening statement to the 2013 season.

Miami cruised to a 34-6 win over Florida Atlantic, highlighted by running back Duke Johnson, who had 186 yards on 19 carries. Johnson also managed to get a touchdown as well. Quarterback Stephen Morris was solid for the Hurricanes, going 15/27 for 160 yards and one touchdown.

21-25: Nebraska drops four spots to 21st after just barely sneaking by Wyoming at home with the 37-34 win. After going up 31-14, it seemed like the Cornhuskers were ready to call it a day late in the third quarter, but the Cowboys had different plans. Wyoming was unable to come all the way back, but it was enough to scare some of our writers this week when placing Nebraska in the polls. UCLA, Baylor and Washington all make their LGHL top 25 debut at 22, 23 and 24, respectively. The Bruins and Bears won in style with huge margins of victories over weaker opponents but land in the top 25 thanks to a couple of teams dropping out.

Of the three new teams, Washington had the most impressive win, coming against previously ranked Boise State. The Broncos were sitting at No. 20, but were outplayed by the Huskies as Washington got the 38-6 win. Quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey cut through the Broncos defense with ease.

Finishing off our top 25 this week is USC, who struggled mightily in the first half against Hawaii, who also had trouble doing much against the Trojans defense. Midway through the second quarter, Hawaii led USC 5-3 in what looked like a baseball score. USC quarterback Cody Kessler managed to get things going near the end of the first half, but our writers weren't overly impressed with the effort. USC will need to improve offensively if they want a chance to succeed in the Pac 12 this season.

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