The first full week of the 150th season of college football is in the books, so it’s time for the first set of power rankings after actually seeing the teams on the field. Moving forward, college football power rankings will come on Mondays, but they are on Tuesday this week after Notre Dame and Louisville finished up the weekend with last night’s Labor Day matchup.
1. Clemson Tigers (1-0) | Last week: 1
While Clemson’s superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence was not on top of his game to open the year, the Tigers fired off three consecutive 14-point quarters en route to a 51-14 win against Georgia Tech—thanks in large part to 2018 ACC Player of the Year Travis Etienne, who had 205 yards on just 12 attempts for an absurd 17.1 yards per carry. Lawrence shouldn’t take much time to get into groove, but he might need to do it quick as his team takes on Texas A&M this weekend.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0) | Last week: 2
Some were wondering the issue with Alabama after just a 14-3 halftime lead over Duke, but the Crimson Tide turned it on in the second half with a 28-0 margin. 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns, but look for Alabama to get the rushing attack on better track this Saturday when they host New Mexico State.
3. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0) | Last week: 3
Kirby Smart had Georgia’s pass defense ready to go in their first game, as they limited SEC opponent Vanderbilt to just 109 passing yards and 3.4 yards per pass in a 30-6 win. The Bulldogs had 115 yards in penalties that they’ll want to shore up, and they were just 1-of-7 on third down conversions, but they’ll look to get everything right these next two weeks against Murray State and Arkansas State before playing Notre Dame.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) | Last week: 4
The Jalen Hurts era for Oklahoma went as well as possible offensively, as the former SEC Offensive Player of the Year totaled 508 total yards and six total touchdowns (three passing, three rushing) in his Sooners debut. The offense looks like it’ll be in great shape again despite losing a second consecutive Heisman quarterback. However, the defense is a concern after giving up 31 points to Houston.
5. LSU Tigers (1-0) | Last week: 5
LSU was a very heavy favorite against Georgia Southern, but it’s still a good sign that Joe Burrow threw more touchdowns (five) than incompletions (four) as he starts his second season as the program’s starting quarterback. The Tigers’ new spread attack will now go toe-to-toe with Texas this Saturday night in one of the best matchups all season.
6. Texas Longhorns (1-0) | Last week: 6
Texas lost eight starts on defense from last season, but they started off 2019 pretty well—especially against the run—in their 45-14 win versus Louisiana Tech. The Longhorns didn’t allow point until the fourth quarter, and the entire unit should have some confidence ahead of their primetime matchup against LSU.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) | Last week: 7
The Buckeyes overwhelmed FAU and made things look easy for sophomore quarterback Justin Fields in his debut for the school, as the team put up 28 first-quarter points before letting off the gas a bit and ultimately winning 45-21. Facing Cincinnati this Saturday should be a tougher test, but Ohio State looks to have plenty of talent after again losing another excellent group of players to the NFL.
8. Michigan Wolverines (1-0) | Last week: 8
The first game for the Wolverines was a bit sloppy, and they surprisingly gave up 14 points in the first half to Middle Tennessee. The spread offense looks like it’ll take more time for the unit to get used to, which should probably be expected for a group that’s been used to more of a bruising power attack. Senior linebacker Jordan Glasgow had two sacks in the season-opening win for Michigan.
9. Auburn Tigers (1-0) | Last week: NR
An epic ranked victory over Oregon is enough to get Auburn into the No. 9 spot in this week’s power rankings. True freshman quarterback Bo Nix showed that he’s a gritty player, and that Tigers defense really tightened up against an experienced quarterback in Justin Herbert and a fast Oregon offense to give Nix an opportunity to throw the game-winning score to Seth Williams with nine seconds remaining. If the offense is on, Auburn can arguably compete with any team in the nation.
10. Texas A&M Aggies (1-0) | Last week: 10
Florida was in the mix for each of these final two spots, but Texas A&M gets the edge for No. 10 after the defense played exceptionally well versus Texas State. The Aggies totaled 246 yards on the ground, and a balanced approach is a must for their upcoming matchup at Clemson, and it sounds like they’re confident despite being over-two-touchdown underdogs.