NCF Nation: power rankings 2
2. Pittsburgh (0-1): Yes, the Panthers lost and had some problem areas exposed in the process. But falling on the road in overtime to a really good Utah program in the opening week isn't reason to penalize Pitt too much.
3. Connecticut (0-1): The 30-10 loss to Michigan was wildly disappointing. Still, had the Huskies converted a couple of opportunities deep in Wolverines territory, the game would have been a whole lot more interesting. I maintain that the Huskies will have a good season.
4. Cincinnati (0-1): There was almost nothing to like about Cincinnati's performance from about the final three minutes of the first half until the end. Yet I'm going to give the teams that lost on the road in tough spots a break this week. But they'd better improve in a hurry.
5. Rutgers (1-0): The defense looked terrific, but it should look terrific against Norfolk State. The offense took way too long to get going. Not sure how much more we'll know about this team after Week 2 when it plays Florida International.
6. South Florida (1-0): The Bulls scored 59 points. They were also tied 14-14 with Stony Brook at one point. This is an incredibly young and inexperienced team that will show what it's made of this week in The Swamp.
7. Syracuse (1-0): I know, I know. The Orange were the only Big East team to beat an FBS team in the opening week, and they did it convincingly on the road. So why aren't they higher? Well, I'm not convinced that Akron is any good at all, and I want to see more from Syracuse before I vault it up in the rankings. If the Orange pull off the win this week in Washington, they'll do just that.
8. Louisville (0-1): After Kentucky raced to an early 20-3 lead on Saturday, I thought I was going to have to create a new No. 9 spot for the Cardinals. Give them credit, though. They made adjustments and played much tougher in the second half, losing only by a touchdown. This team will compete hard under Charlie Strong. It will also probably come up short against most good teams on the schedule.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Don't look now, but Vanderbilt is the only team in the SEC unbeaten in league play after its 24-17 win over South Carolina last Thursday night. Auburn has found its quarterback. LSU has another potential hurricane to worry about, and Georgia's already scored more than 100 points in two weeks. Here are the latest power rankings after two weeks in the SEC. We have a new No. 1 this week:
1. Georgia -- The killer schedule starts to kick in this week when the Bulldogs hit the road for the first time against South Carolina. But they've been awfully impressive offensively. Knowshon Moreno is playing at another level, and the defense is one of the most underrated in the nation. Two games in, Georgia has been better than anybody else in the league and deserves to occupy the top spot.
2. Florida -- It looks like Tim Tebow is still pretty much Florida's running game, and that's not necessarily a bad thing as long as the Gators keep winning and he remains in one piece. The offense had its problems against Miami, but there are plenty of playmakers on this team and the defense is much improved.
3. LSU -- Once again, there's another storm potentially bearing down on the Louisiana coast. The Tigers postponed their game with Troy last week. You know it has to be difficult to concentrate solely on football with so much going on around you. But LSU coach Les Miles managed it nicely in 2005, and the Tigers still have the best front seven defensively in the league.
4. Auburn -- Now that we know Chris Todd is Auburn's quarterback, how much better can he get as the Tigers move into the SEC part of their schedule? He knows Tony Franklin's spread offense and has been around it since he was in the 10th grade. The next step for Todd is proving that his shoulder is well enough to hurt teams throwing the ball down the field.
5. Alabama -- Nick Saban warned everybody about lowering their guard, and that's exactly what Alabama did in slumbering to an unimpressive 20-6 victory over Tulane. Left offensive tackle Andre Smith didn't play in the game, and that certainly had an impact on Alabama not being able to control the line of scrimmage. It's a good thing special teams were solid, or the Tide could have been looking at another Louisiana-Monroe disaster.
6. Vanderbilt -- How about those Vanderbilt Commodores? I'm sure some of you are looking at their No. 6 ranking this week and saying, "What the ...?" Question it all you want. This is a solid football team with a senior quarterback, speed on defense and a coaching staff that has it going on. If the Commodores can stay healthy, they will be a tough out for everybody they play this season.
7. Kentucky -- The hard part with Kentucky is that the Wildcats really haven't played anybody. Barring a collapse, they're going to be 4-0 heading into the Alabama game on Oct. 4. The offense is still very much a work in progress, and freshman Randall Cobb may be the answer. But that defense is the real deal, having given up only three points in the first two games.
8. Ole Miss -- Even though the Rebels lost, I thought about putting them sixth or seventh this week. They remain shorthanded in their defensive line, but still went to Wake Forest and outplayed the nationally ranked Demon Deacons for much of that game before losing, 30-28, in the final seconds. You gotta love Jevan Snead, and he's got some playmakers around him. This could be one of those teams in late October that nobody wants to face.
9. Tennessee -- The Vols move up one spot this week despite being idle. That's because South Carolina looked so bad last week in losing to Vanderbilt. Tennessee still has the nucleus to be a good team this season, and Jonathan Crompton will be better at quarterback the more he plays. But it's like Phillip Fulmer said this week: The Vols will play six or seven teams the rest of the way that are better than UCLA.
10. South Carolina -- Did you ever think you'd see a Steve Spurrier team this average on offense? Really, saying the Gamecocks have been average might be generous, at least on offense. The quarterback job is back in the air. There's not a dynamic running back. Star receiver Kenny McKinley is hurt, and the offensive line has been shaky. At this rate, it will be a long year in Columbia.
11. Miss. State -- The Bulldogs bounced back with a convincing win over Southeastern Louisiana. But after losing to Louisiana Tech in the opener, they're not getting any love in this poll until they beat somebody that counts. They get their shot this weekend when Auburn rolls into Starkville. The Bulldogs are always going to be stout defensively, but you just can't win every week in the SEC 17-14 or 20-17.
12. Arkansas -- Say this for the Hogs: They make it exciting after coming back to win in the final minutes for the second straight week. The only problem with that was that the opponents were Louisiana-Monroe and Western Illinois, not exactly SEC competition. Bobby Petrino has 21 true and redshirt freshmen in the two-deep. It's going to take some time, but it could turn ugly starting with Texas this Saturday.
Last week's rankings -- 1. Florida, 2. Georgia, 3. LSU, 4. Alabama, 5. Auburn, 6. South Carolina, 7. Ole Miss, 8. Kentucky, 9. Vanderbilt, 10. Tennessee, 11. Miss. State, 12. Arkansas.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
No changes from last week.
1. USC -- Help me out here: Who does USC play this weekend? Ohio State? Wow. Why haven't I heard more about this one? Buckle up for this week's Game of the Century, though watching the Buckeyes struggle with THE Ohio University made many wonder if this one could transform into another Trojans romp.
2. Oregon -- There's nothing to learn from pounding Utah State. Guessing the Ducks will get tested this weekend at Purdue.
3. Arizona State -- All QB Rudy Carpenter needs to carve up up a defense is adequate time in the pocket. He'll get that this weekend against UNLV -- but will he get it in two weeks against Georgia?
4. California -- The Golden Bears bandwagon suddenly looks very appealing -- like they're offering a free seafood buffet and an open bar with business class seating. Might this trip to Maryland sneak up on them though as they, perhaps, start to admire their reflection in the mirror?
5. UCLA -- The Bruins probably weren't scared by what they saw out of BYU at Washington because they have the defense to slow the Cougars. But UCLA does have a pattern of ruining a great moment by going rear-end-over-tea-kettle shortly thereafter.
6. Arizona -- If the Wildcats turn in a third-straight beatdown, this time at a respectable New Mexico State program, then it's time to buy shares of that Mike Stoops stock that folks have been shorting the past few months.
7. Stanford -- The Cardinal is a much improved team, but Arizona State showed them how far they still have to go. No reason they can't take another step forward at TCU, though.
8. Oregon State -- I'm not going to type anything nice about the Beavers after singing about their upset potential last week earned me some mean, gloating e-mail from Penn State fans. Get back to me, Beavers, when that typical second-half surge takes place.
9. Washington -- The referees reminded Washington that there are no celebrations in college football. The officious officials need not worry, though, things are pretty dreary around this once proud program right now, and they don't figure to get better with Oklahoma headed to town.
10. Washington State -- Worst defeat in program history? It's going to be a long season in Pullman.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Every Big Ten team won in Week 2, but some made it look easier than others. Ohio State retains the top spot, but the Buckeyes certainly appeared beatable against Ohio. Penn State and Minnesota posted big wins, and Wisconsin turned a poor start into a blowout. It's tough to get a great read on Iowa and Indiana because of weak competition, but both teams look solid on offense.
There's no dramatic moves in the rundown -- those should come next week -- and the bottom of the league has plenty of parity right now.
1. Ohio State -- The Buckeyes wasted an opportunity against Ohio and visit top-ranked USC with several questions, none bigger than the health of running back Chris "Beanie" Wells. Their defensive stars stepped up with several takeaways on Saturday -- a big plus -- but the unit struggled on third down.
2. Wisconsin -- If the Badgers want to keep this spot, they better avoid a slow start on the road against Fresno State. The offense showed its explosiveness by scoring 51 unanswered points against Marshall, but health and red-zone execution remain concerns.
3. Penn State -- You don't want to face the Nittany Lions offense right now. Stocked with playmakers, Penn State ran all over Oregon State and showed tremendous focus despite the suspensions of three players last week. The Lions should be 6-0 when they head to Madison, Wis., on Oct. 11.
4. Illinois -- Juice Williams continues to put up monster numbers, setting a career best with 174 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Eastern Illinois. There were still some signs of bad Juice (2 INTs, fumble) and Illinois' run defense remains spotty, but the Illini hold their spot.
5. Michigan State -- The Spartans took care of business against poor competition, and Javon Ringer no longer has to share touchdown opportunities with another back. Plus, Michigan State's 7-point loss to Cal looks better after the Golden Bears stomped Washington State.
6. Iowa -- The Hawkeyes might have found a starting quarterback in Ricky Stanzi, and Shonn Greene has energized what looked like a shaky run game. Plus, the defense has allowed three points in its first two games.
7. Michigan -- Rich Rodriguez picked up his first win as Wolverines coach, but not without some tense moments. Led by a strong front four, the defense will keep Michigan in games this fall, but the quarterback play has to improve soon.
8. Indiana -- Quarterback Kellen Lewis continues to look good and finally got some help from his running backs against Murray State. The defense has been solid against terrible competition. They'll face a much tougher test from Nate Davis and Ball State in two weeks.
9. Northwestern -- The Wildcats drop two spots after they should have dropped a game to Duke on Saturday night. Their quest for a perfect nonconference record remains intact, but quarterback C.J. Bacher and a senior-laden offense need to get on track in a hurry.
10. Purdue -- It's hard to fault the Boilers for a 32-point win, but Northern Colorado rivals Coastal Carolina for the weakest Big Ten opponent this season. Things get much tougher for Purdue this week against Oregon, but Joe Tiller's squad has a chance to make a big move up the list.
11. Minnesota -- I'm tempted to bump up the Gophers after an impressive road win against Bowling Green, but none of their Big Ten brethren stumbled this week. Quarterback Adam Weber is on track for a huge season, though the defense still needs to prove itself in league play.
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
Here are the latest Big East power rankings. And this week, we use the word 'power' lightly.
1. South Florida (2-0) -- The bull's-eye is now on the Bulls, as they become the league's showcase team. They'd better carry the banner Friday vs. No. 13 Kansas.
2. Connecticut (2-0) -- The defense has given up 12 points in eight quarters and one overtime period, and Donald Brown is probably the league's offensive MVP through the first two weeks.
3. West Virginia (1-1) -- It's possible, I suppose, that the Mountaineers could get back in the BCS title picture by running the table. That would include victories over Auburn, Colorado and South Florida. But they'd need piles of national wreckage like last season to have any chance.
4. Cincinnati (1-1) -- Give credit to the Bearcats for going to Oklahoma and playing with the imposing Sooners for a half. They won't see anything that tough the rest of the way. The question now looming: Can Tony Pike handle the quarterback spot with Dustin Grutza on the shelf for at least a month?
5. Pittsburgh (1-1) -- The Panthers evened their MAC record by taking down Buffalo on Saturday. They've got to continue to get better in the next two weeks before taking on Iowa at home next Saturday.
6. Rutgers (0-1) -- We'll see what adjustments Greg Schiano and his staff made after the Fresno State fiasco on Thursday night when North Carolina comes to Piscataway.
7. Louisville (1-1) -- The Cardinals dominated both sides of the ball in a 51-10 win over lowly Tennessee Tech. That was the only appropriate result after laying an egg against Kentucky in the opening week.
8. Syracuse (0-2) -- Back in the familiar eight hole, where the Orange figure to stay for the rest of the season.
1. East Carolina: With two ranked wins under their belt, the schedule gets a little easier with Tulane and NC State in the next two weeks. It will be interesting if ECU can keep up the same level of enthusiasm.
2. Fresno State: The benefit of the bye week is that Fresno State gets to keep its power ranking. The Bulldogs will be tested this weekend against No. 10 Wisconsin.
3. BYU: Max Hall has this offense moving, but the defense is still a question. BYU should have handled Washington fairly easily and that's why the Cougars fall in the power rankings.
4. Tulsa: Quarterback David Johnson abused North Texas this week and solidified Tulsa once again as the team to beat in C-USA West. It should have no trouble with New Mexico this weekend.
5. Utah: The first half was pretty ugly, but the team rebounded to blow out a UNLV team that defeated the Utes a season ago. A game against Utah State this weekend shouldn't present a challenge.
7. Arkansas State: Quietly the Red Wolves are gaining momentum and looking more and more like a team that could challenge for the Sun Belt. Scoring 83 points on any team is pretty impressive.
8. Boise State: The Broncos benefited in the power rankings with a bye week, but the next two games against Bowling Green and Oregon should speak to whether Kellen Moore can lead this team back to prominence.
9. TCU: The Horned Frogs didn't play the toughest opponent in Stephen F. Austin, but it asserted itself in the win and now prepares to face a decent Stanford team.
10. Rice: The Owls are the only team in the country that can say that it is 2-0 in conference play. They beat SMU to start the season and a strong defensive play led them to a win over Memphis.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
A change in the top has been reported after Oklahoma's second-straight impressive victory to start the season:
1. Oklahoma -- Surging Sooners hope for better luck -- and better officiating -- at Washington than they received on their last trip to the Pacific Northwest.
2. Missouri -- No problems with the Tigers, even though the decision to play Jeremy Maclin against SE Missouri State looks a little more dubious with the final margin of victory.
3. Texas -- A bow to the past this week as Arkansas visits. Only trouble is that Bobby Petrino is anything but the normal Razorback coach that Texas fans have loathed over the years.
4. Texas Tech -- Defense saves the Red Raiders from crapping out in Nevada, despite a career-worst start for Graham Harrell, in terms of completions.
5. Kansas -- Remember when Jocques Crawford talked about rushing for 2,000 yards? The lack of a productive running game is the Jayhawks' biggest concern heading into the South Florida showdown.
7. Kansas State -- Maybe Josh Freeman wasn't bragging. He is playing like the best of the Big 12's quarterbacks, even though he hasn't played against a competent defense yet.
8. Nebraska -- The Cornhuskers' defensive woes get more serious with the loss of top pass-rusher Barry Turner for the season. And it's coming at a bad time as pass-happy New Mexico State approaches.
9. Colorado -- The Buffaloes have work to do as they prepare for West Virginia's visit. CU's defense improved in the second half, but was still lucky to escape with victory over plucky Eastern Washington.
10. Iowa State -- The Cy-Hawk Trophy has looked good in the Cyclones' athletic offices the last few years. Gene Chizik would like nothing more than claim his second-straight win over Iowa.
11. Texas A&M -- Hold off on a potential quarterback controversy because of their week off. But Jerrod Johnson's improvisational skills might be better suited for working with A&M's young line.
12. Baylor -- Beating up on Northwestern State felt good for the Bears. It also represented Robert Griffin's impressive coming-out party as a starting college quarterback.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Wake Forest -- The Demon Deacons are off to a 2-0 start and the ACC's lone representative in the AP top 25. They were able to beat a much-improved Ole Miss team despite not playing their best football.
Clemson -- The Tigers got what they needed from their game against the Citadel -- big plays on both sides of the ball and some rushing yards. While the loss to Alabama won't be forgotten, this was the first step in regrouping.
Georgia Tech -- The Yellow Jackets got their first conference win and are also off to a 2-0 start heading to Blacksburg on Saturday.
Miami -- If the Hurricanes play the way they did in the first half for four quarters all season, Miami has a legitimate shot at the Coastal Division title. This group is bound to improve over time, but there is still a learning curve for these baby Canes.
Florida State -- The Seminoles brushed aside Western Carolina even without almost a dozen suspended players, but we won't know how good this team really is until Wake Forest rolls into Tallahassee on Sept. 20.
Virginia Tech -- The Hokies didn't exactly dominate Furman (it was 3-0 at the half), and will have an even tougher challenge when Georgia Tech visits this weekend. And the whole quarterback situation is beginning to wear on Sean Glennon.
Boston College -- Georgia Tech fumbled the ball three times and the Eagles still lost. Quarterback Chris Crane was hit with the reality of just how tough it's going to be to replace Matt Ryan when he was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
UNC -- The Tar Heels were off this past weekend, but still seem to have more answers than Maryland offensively, especially considering the opening performance of Brandon Tate and the fact that T.J. Yates can hit his open guys in the numbers.
Maryland -- There's enough talent on this team that it should be 2-0 right now and fans have to be scratching their heads over the poor execution in the Middle Tennessee State game. Where is the Chris Turner we saw against Rutgers? And where is the "freakish athlete" named Josh Portis we heard so much about?
Duke -- The Blue Devils put up one heck of a fight against Northwestern, and still have back-to-back home games on their schedule to improve upon last year's one-win season.
NC State -- The Wolfpack finally scored some points, but guess what? So did William & Mary. It should help that Russell Wilson is expected to return against Clemson.
Virginia -- The Cavaliers did little, if anything, to redeem themselves from an embarrassing opening weekend route against USC. The defense is the one thing they could feel good about from the win over Richmond as they head to UConn.