Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Week 1

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Three Christion Jones touchdowns helped propel the top ranked Tide to a 35-10 win against Virginia Tech. (USATSI)
Three Christion Jones touchdowns helped propel the top ranked Tide to a 35-10 win against Virginia Tech. (USATSI)

Each Saturday night, the Eye on College Football takes its best guess at what we'll see on Sunday morning from the AP Top 25. (Or, this particular week, what we'll see after Labor Day.) Here's the Week 1 projection:

1. Alabama: The Tide defeated a projected ACC contender by 25 points and the general widespread reaction was still "that all they've got?"

2. Ohio State: The Buckeyes flirted with letting Buffalo back in the game after a torrid start, but didn't let it get serious enough to expect them to drop a spot.

3. Oregon: Not much to take away from 66-3 other than "maybe the Ducks should at least schedule a good FCS team."

4. Stanford: The Cardinal had a bye. That shouldn't be allowed for top-25 teams in Week 1, should it?

5. South Carolina: Clowney having an off-night and the Gamecocks still holding a Larry Fedora offense to 10 points says very, very good things about those other 10 guys on defense.

6. Clemson: Beating the AP's preseason No. 5 in a must-watch primetime thriller really ought to be enough for the Tigers to leapfrog the so-so Aggies.

7. Texas A&M: Of course Manziel's wild-horses-can't-be-tamed performance dominated the postgame chatter, but the Aggies' issues along the defensive front -- and the 303 rushing yards allowed to Rice -- loom much larger going forward.

8*. Louisville: This ranking assumes the Cardinals defeat (and don't have too much trouble) 20-point underdog Ohio Sunday.

9. Florida: Will last season's Sugar Bowl have any impact on the Gators' ability to move past the team a spot ahead of them here?

10*. Florida State: Again, this assumes the 'Noles survive their Monday night trip to Heinz Field -- and this being the 'Noles, that's not a given.

11. LSU: Voters might be impressed enough with a 10-point victory over a fellow ranked team to bump them past Florida State; the Tigers certainly don't lack for brand recognition and mostly looked like their usual selves vs. the Frogs. Problem is, neither do the two teams already in front of them.

12. Oklahoma State: If the Cowboys have a legitimate defense, and it looked like they did vs. Mississippi State, look out.

13. Notre Dame: Six points allowed to a Temple team that's breaking in a brand-new quarterback and offensive system? You might almost call it an off-game for the Irish D.

14. Texas: This assumes the voters look at the 56-7 final vs. New Mexico State and didn't notice it was 7-0 NMSU late in the first half. It also assumes they ...

15. Oklahoma: ... ignore that the Sooners walloped a much, much better ULM team in equally emphatic fashion. If they're paying attention, the Sooners should pass the 'Horns.

16. Michigan: Central Michigan wasn't really good last year, but they did squeeze their way into a bowl. Which is why a 59-9 obliteration isn't anything to scoff at.

17. Washington: Can the Huskies make their debut this high up the poll? They shoud, since no team other than maybe Clemson or LSU posted a more impressive Week 1 win than a 32-point win over the poll's previous No. 19 team.

18. Georgia: The Bulldogs won't fall all the way out of the poll after losing by three on the road to the ACC favorite ... but where will they wind up? Maybe just in front of the team that squeezed past Wyoming by 3 at home.

19. Nebraska: A highly efficient night for Taylor Martinez (did you know he led the Big Ten in passer efficiency rating in 2012?), but no one will notice after the defense gave up 599 total yards.

20. UCLA: If voters are struggling to decide between the Huskers and Bruins, they won't have long before the decision is made for them; the two teams meet in Lincoln Sept. 14.

21. Northwestern: No Kain Colter, no Venric Mark, and the Wildcats still pulled one out two time zones away against Pac-12 opposition. Not bad at all.

22. Wisconsin: UMass has made a habit of being annihilated by BCS competition -- 37-0, 45-6, 63-13, and 49-7 in four such games in 2012, and two of those beatings came at the hands of UConn and Indiana -- so it's going to be another week before we know a thing about the Badgers.

23. USC: The Trojans trailed 5-3 in the second quarter, looked mostly hapless in the passing game, and took three quarters to really put the Rainbow Warriors away. But it happened past nearly every voter's bedtime.

24. Baylor: Like a lot of other teams this weekend, Baylor took on a solid FCS opponent. Unlike a lot of other teams, they smoked them.

25. Michigan State: The Spartans were beyond lackluster in seeing off Western Michigan -- as in "12 offensive points" lackluster -- but as the "No. 26" team in the preseason poll, they could creep in anyway over Miami.

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