Week 2 brought more fireworks from top offenses across the country (Baylor putting up 70 on Buffalo, Oregon dismantling Virginia's defense) and helped prove some of the contenders after a shaky first week. With Week 3 on the way, and some key match ups to boot, we might find out more about who's really headed towards Pasadena in the national championship race.
Our staff have sent in their ballots, and we've compiled them here for our composite Top 25:
WEEK 3 BALLOT
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|2||Ohio State Buckeyes||--|
|7||Florida State Seminoles||1|
|8||Texas A&M Aggies||1|
|12||Oklahoma State Cowboys||3|
|13||South Carolina Gamecocks||8|
|21||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||5|
|24||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
Receiving votes: Arizona State, Fresno State, Ole Miss, North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, Michigan State, Bowling Green
Dropped: Texas (12), USC (25)
1-5: The Crimson Tide get a week of rest and preparation before their highly anticipated game against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M for a game that might prove as a barometer as to how good these teams really are. Ohio State remains at number two, but just barely. The Buckeyes took care of business against San Diego State 42-7, riding the seniority of Kenny Guiton and Jordan Hall. Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller suffered a minor MCL injury during the first drive of the game for Ohio State and did not return. Miller is expected to play against Cal this week, but he'll have to produce big numbers to keep the Buckeyes in the hunt for the championship.
Our writers were convinced this week with Oregon after the Ducks had their way with the Virginia defense in a 59-10 victory. Quarterback Marcus Mariota did his best to show why he should be considered as a contender for the Heisman trophy with a solid performance going 14/28 for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground with an astounding 122 yards on only 4 carries, including a 71-yard race to the endzone to open up the scoring. Clemson and Stanford round out the top five, as both teams looked strong in their lopsided victories.
6-10: LSU hops over Florida State for the number six spot, thanks to a five passing touchdown performance by quarterback Zach Mettenberger in a dominating 56-17 win over UAB. Florida State had the week off, following the debut of redshirt freshman Jameis Winston in the easy win over Pitt last week. Texas A&M were neck and neck against Sam Houston State, until Manziel finally was able to pull the Aggies away to a comfortable 65-28 win. The Aggies will face a much tougher opponent in Alabama, which will be a true test for this struggling defense.
Georgia reenters the top ten after a convincing 41-30 win over Jadevon Clowney and South Carolina. Murray threw for four touchdowns as the balanced Bulldogs attack was too much for the Gamecocks. Our writers were extremely impressed with the Wolverines this week as Michigan took down Notre Dame under the lights 41-30. Devin Gardner and the offense look very strong, and looking at their schedule, it really might come down to that final game against Ohio State when it's all said and done.
11-15: Louisville drops out of the top ten simply due to other teams' impressive showings, while Teddy Bridgewater continues to showcase his talents, leading the Cardinals to a 44-7 shelling of Eastern Kentucky. Oklahoma State provided some fireworks against UTSA 56-35, but the defense is going to have to step it up if the Pokes are serious about contending for a Big 12 championship.
The Gamecocks showed promise on the offensive side, as Connor Shaw and Mike Davis led the way for South Carolina, but they still have quite a bit to prove following this loss to Georgia. Oklahoma was able to escape West Virginia 16-7, thanks to a 170-yard performance from Brennan Clay and the leg of kicker Michael Hunnicutt, as he pushed in three field goals (44, 21, 32). Wisconsin produced a 48-0 shut out against Tennessee Tech, proving that their defense still has plenty of talent left from previous years. The Badgers face Arizona State in an important match up for both teams looking for an early statement to the season.
16-20: Miami didn't look great against the Florida Gators, but the defense came up big with five turnovers in the 21-16 victory. The Hurricanes were able to pull off the upset, but quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson need to be able to put forth a consistent effort on the offensive side. Northwestern didn't miss a beat against Syracuse, as they rolled to a 48-27 win over the Orange. The Wildcats came off a big victory at Cal, and with some momentum, look to continue it next week against Western Michigan.
Baylor's offense might be one of the most exciting to watch in the country, as the Bears put up 70 (and could have gone for more) against the Bulls from Buffalo. The Buckeyes last week had 40, but Baylor had no problems exploiting the Bulls defense amounting to 781 total yards of offense. Nebraska got a much-needed 56-13 win over Southern Mississippi, while UCLA got a bye as they get ready to take on the Cornhuskers in what should be a good game.
21-25: Notre Dame looked so-so against Michigan, but couldn't come up with the win at the Big House. The writers took pity on Tommy Reese and company, as the Fighting Irish remain in the top 25, but they'll have a lot of ground to make up for the rest of the season. Florida looked downright pathetic on the offensive side of the ball, as Jeff Driskel was inconsistent at best, throwing two interceptions to one touchdown (which came in the final couple of minutes). The Gators need to find an identity soon, otherwise they might face an ugly season in the SEC.
Washington got a bye week, as they rest up for the Illinois game this week. The Fighting Illini shown that they might surprise some people this year as they wreaked havoc on Cincinnati. Both teams have a lot to prove in this match up, and could decide who gets in to the top 25 and who's left out. TCU gets another chance, as they come back into the LGHL top 25 after a 38-17 win over SE Louisiana. Arizona makes their first appearance this season into the top 25, following a dominating 58-13 performance over UNLV. The Wildcats take on UTSA next week and Rich Rod will look to take his team to a 3-0 record to start off the 2013 season.