At least the front runners are on track. Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas did nothing to dispel their frontrunner status in the ACC and Big 12. They won their openers by a combined 171-29 with Trevor Lawrence, Spencer Rattler and Sam Ehlinger all putting on performances that kicked off their Heisman Trophy candidacies.
Elsewhere, it was uneven. The ACC and Big 12 -- the first Power Five conferences to play -- were a combined 7-4 against nonconference competition.
Embarrassment was rampant. The Big 12 went 0-3 against the Sun Belt. While not a conference game, Florida State -- looking for a hot start under new coach Mike Norvell -- allowed Georgia Tech to roar back from down to 10 to win as a 12.5-point underdog at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The SEC is scheduled to join the battle in a couple of weeks when it kicks off its 10-game conference schedules on Sept. 26. Until then, we wade through the season hoping for the best as postponements are abound. The three biggest games of Week 3 will not be played this weekend, and the new Baylor-Houston game added to the slate was scheduled just seven days before kickoff.
With that in mind, we tiptoe out to the edge of the cliff diving in on the first Power Rankings of the 2020 college football season.
|Three quarterbacks played for the Tigers. Wake Forest did not play the role of spoiler. It added up to the perfect kickoff (37-13) to this truncated season for Clemson. Trevor Lawrence threw for 351 yards. Travis Etienne ran for 100 yards. What else do you want?||--||2-0|
|Missouri State took the game for money. Oklahoma took the game seriously. Spencer Rattler kicked off his first start with more touchdown passes (four) than incompletions (three). The shutout for OU was its first in five years.||--||1-1|
|Two weeks to go until the opener at Missouri. Shouts of "run the damn ball" already being heard in T-Town.||--||1-0|
|A veteran offensive line wasn't overly impressive, but it was enough in a two-touchdown win over Duke. Weird to see the Fighting Irish tied for the ACC lead.||--||2-0|
|It's JT Daniels' job to lose. With D'Wan Mathis coming on, might that happen? Kirby Smart can't afford to lose either now that Jamie Newman is gone.||--||1-0|
|Exactly what you would expect from a game against UTEP. Sam Ehlinger threw five of the Longhorns' seven touchdown passes. Texas piled up almost 700 yards.||--||2-0|
|It's the Gators that are supposed to be on fire this season, not their stadium. Let's hope the Saturday blaze at The Swamp isn't a bad omen.||--||1-0|
|If anyone else leaves, Ed Orgeron will have to conduct tryouts. Just kidding. It just seems like the only similarity between last year's champions and this year's title defenders are the uniforms.||--||0-1|
|"Our Time" was a behind-the-scenes ESPN look at the Cowboys. Considering a controversial offseason, the show might not be family viewing. Tulsa comes to town this week for the Pokes' opener.||--||2-0|
|Over the weekend, 10 players (five of them starters) missed a scrimmage with coronavirus-related issues. Time is running out before the Sept. 26 opener against Kentucky.||--||1-0|
|No fans, plenty of points at Kenan Stadium. Javonte Williams ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Tar Heels pulled away from Syracuse, 31-6. The defense sacked Tommy DeVito seven times.||--||1-0|
|Injuries and opt outs have raised questions about a once-promising season. Vanderbilt opens the season at Kyle Field in two weeks.||--||1-0|
|The Hurricanes have an identity after a 17-point win over UAB. D'Eriq King went for 224 yards in total offense, giving the team a new dimension. Cam'Ron Harris ran for 134 yards and two scores. Dare we say the Canes looked ... tough?||--||3-0|
|The Knights season just got a bit more interesting. UCF starts its trek with an opener at Georgia Tech this week. That would be a ranked Georgia Tech (in this week's Power Rankings).||--||2-0|
|The Tigers got a boost to their strength of schedule when Week 1 victim Arkansas State beat Kansas State. Memphis doesn't play again until Sept. 25 against UTSA.||--||1-0|
|Yes, there are questions about why the Bearcats are able to play while residing in the same state as Ohio State. Those will fade when Cincinnati opens Saturday against Austin Peay.||--||2-0|
|Maybe the most impressive piece of the win at Iowa State was the Ragin' Cajuns' speed. They blew past the Cyclones on several occasions. This one was for D.J. Looney, the Louisiana assistant who passed away in the offseason.||--||3-0|
|In what might be the best matchup of the SEC's opening weekend on Sept. 26, the Wildcats play at Auburn. Will Kentucky challenge in the SEC East?||--||0-1|
|Three blocked kicks on the road. The loss hurt Florida State deep. Georgia Tech QB Jeff Sims was once an FSU commit. The Yellow Jackets hadn't won an ACC road game to open a season since 1996.||--||1-2|
|Credit to athletic director Tom Holmoe for cobbling together a schedule at the last minute. There will be 19 days between the Labor Day win over Navy and Game 2 against Troy on Sept. 26. This week's game against Army was postponed.||--||2-0|
Army West Point
|The Black Knights have been dominating over the first two weeks. They've outscored Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe by a combined 79-7. Army also has four more rushing touchdowns (10) than anyone in the country.||--||2-1|
|The "it" team of the SEC can't wait to get going. The Volunteers' six-game winning streak is tied for fourth-longest nationally.||--||1-0|
|Scott Satterfield continues to burnish his reputation. Coming off an eight-win season, the Cardinals beat up Western Kentucky, 35-21. There were four scoring plays of at least 85 yards. QB Micale Cunningham accounted for four touchdowns.||--||1-2|
|The game with Louisiana Tech was canceled due to COVID-19. AD Mack Rhoades quickly picked up a nonconference game this week against Houston.||--||1-0|
|You don't see this every day. Pitt was up so big at halftime (42-0), the Panthers and Austin Peay agreed to play 10-minute quarters in the second half. A 55-0 laugher included Kenny Pickett running and passing for a touchdown.||--||3-0|