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As Week 2 of the 2022 college football season came and went, we’re left with three open spots inside the top 10.The Baylor Bears, Notre Dame Irish and Texas A&M Aggies all fell victim to the upset bug.
Baylor lost a double-overtime thriller in Provo to #21 ranked BYU, while Notre Dame and Texas A&M both got exposed at home by the Sun Belt’s Appalachian State and Marshall. With their defeats, let’s see who are the lucky few to be apart of our new top 10 heading into Week 3.
1.) Georgia Bulldogs (2-0) defeated Samford Bulldogs 33-0
If you were standing far enough away from the TV, you would think that Georgia was playing the Penn State Nittany Lions at home. Once you got a little closer, you would see that it was the once per season SEC cakewalk against their FCS opponent. This tussle between Bulldogs was all Georgia from the start, as they were up 30-0 at the half and out-gained Samford 307-61.
The gap between No. 1 and No. 2 seems to be increasing over the first two weeks. Georgia just keeps executing on offense while that defense remains an impenetrable wall, allowing only three points through eight quarters of football.
Next Game: @ South Carolina Gamecocks
2.) Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) defeated Texas Longhorns 20-19
It’s safe to say that the Longhorns were not going to let the Tide come into Austin and blow them out. For the better part of three quarters, Texas was actually the better football team. If it wasn’t for a Longhorn missed chip shot to end the first half, or a controversial no-call on a possible safety, then maybe Alabama is heading home to Tuscaloosa with a loss.
However, everyone knows you can’t make mistakes in order to topple Nick Saban’s crew. Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young was phenomenal in the fourth quarter, leading his team down the field twice to take back the lead. Kicker Will Reichard’s clutch 33-yard field goal put the seal on the game with only 10 seconds to go. Alabama’s potential is still unquestioned and this close game is just a reminder of what can occur any given Saturday in the world of college football.
Next Game: Home vs Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
3.) Michigan Wolverines (2-0) defeated Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
In a game that was delayed, you could have suspected some slow play as the players tried to wake up. That was not at all the case as the Wolverines decided they wanted to beat down the Rainbow Warriors, early and often. In quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s first career start, the offense simply overpowered the opposition, putting 21 points on the board in just over 10 minutes of game time. His ability to lead this offense rightfully earned him the starting job the remainder of the way.
The defense was like a Venus flytrap as they smothered Hawaii, surrendering only 37 yards at the half. This is a very strong team that is gaining a lot of confidence, even if the opposition they have faced is, well…sub-par. One more confidence builder against UConn before they head into conference play should have them operating on all cylinders.
Next Game: Home vs UConn Huskies
4.) Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) defeated Arkansas State Red Wolves 45-12
In the absence of All-American wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka stepped up in a huge way. The duo combined for 11 catches, 302 yards and four scores. With their performances over the last three games going back to the Rose Bowl, it’s safe to say the torches from Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have officially been passed to these young “Bucks”. Quarterback C.J. Stroud was business as usual, leading the Buckeye offense to 38 points on 38 plays at one point in the third quarter.
On the defensive side of the ball, there was a minor letdown from the intensity they displayed week one against Notre Dame. Too many missed tackles allowed the Red Wolves to gain unnecessary yardage, quite a few times. They did do a good job of defending the endzone, forcing four field goals. The only real issue with the Buckeyes going forward is that they need to have better starts, as head coach Ryan Day has been frustrated with both first halves this season.
Next Game: Home vs Toledo Rockets
5.) Clemson Tigers (2-0) defeated Furman Paladins 35-12
Any other week with a performance at this level of mediocrity, the #5 ranked team would slide a few spots back. However, the four teams behind Clemson either struggled immensely or lost. When a FCS team out-gains you on your home turf, you shouldn’t really feel good about it, even if it’s a win.
The few positives in this game for the Tigers would be that it gave quarterback DJ Uiagalelei a chance to build some chemistry with his wideouts. Even though they were far superior athletes to the Paladin secondary, any game reps can help calm the nerves going forward. The Tigers’ defense has to play better than they did going forward because 384 yards isn’t going to keep this team in the top 10 for long, especially if the offense decides to struggle like last season.
Next Game: Home vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
6.) Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) defeated Kent State Golden Flashes 33-3
The Sooners didn’t necessarily play to their namesake in getting the lead. They took control of the game much later than they would like to, staring at the goose egg in their score column until the end of the first half. Once the Sooners took the lead, 7-3 with 18 seconds to go in the second quarter, they never relinquished it.
The third quarter showcased some of that typical Sooner firepower as they scored 24 points, two of those drives being 80-plus yards in under a minute. This was a game that had the contents of an upset, just like the previously mentioned Baylor, Notre Dame and Texas A&M. That is why hiring head coach Brent Venables is so valuable because there is a new defensive identity in Norman that wasn’t there under Lincoln Riley.
Next Game: @ Nebraska Cornhuskers
7.) USC Trojans (2-0) defeated Stanford Cardinal 41-28
The Trojans have all the firepower in the world on the offensive side of the ball. They jumped out to a 35-14 halftime lead in Palo Alto. The land where the transfer portal leads should have plenty of games where they come close to 500 yards of offense, but if Stanford wasn’t so careless having four turnovers, this could have been a different ball game. Regardless, quarterback Caleb Williams’ efficient night with 351 yards and four touchdowns helped USC stay far enough out in front to prevent a close finish.
Next Game: Home vs Fresno State Bulldogs
8.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0) defeated Arizona State Sun Devils 34-17
In the last few years, the Cowboys have gone as quarterback Spencer Sanders has, and so far this year has been no different. Sanders protected the ball except for one interception in the first half but after that, he was great. His ability to use his legs kept the Sun Devils honest and allotted for a very balanced 268 yards through the air and 197 on the ground.
The defense was key after being carved up for 546 yards in week one. They came back much better allowing only 354 yards this time out.
Next Game: Home vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions
9.) Kentucky Wildcats (2-0) defeated #12 Florida Gators 26-16
Is this a massive jump for the Wildcats, from #20 to #9? Yes, but it’s warranted as they would logically have to jump Utah, since Florida owns the head-to-head win over them. Utah would likely be sitting around the #10 spot following the three top 10 losses, so this seems the fair ranking for Kentucky.
Head coach Mark Stoops had his boys ready to play in “The Swamp”, and they took it to the Gators. The hungry defense did everything in their power to derail the Anthony Richardson hype train, creating a night he’ll soon hope to forget. Whether it was the strong rush, hands in the passing lane or the pick six, Richardson was never comfortable the entire game.
Wildcat quarterback Will Levis settled in early, finding tight ends up the seams on the play action, which opened up screens and the run game. His toughness and leadership is contagious, as he just kept going after taking numerous shots to the chin and body. Kentucky needs to take advantage of being out of conference the next two weeks to get healthy and get ready for Ole Miss on October 1st.
Next Game: Home vs Youngstown State Penguins
10.) Michigan State Spartans (2-0) defeated Akron Zips 52-0
Even though the Spartans are mostly sliding up by virtue of those falling in front of them, they are deserving of this spot. It was a toss up between them and BYU after their defeat of Baylor but BYU has sputtered in the past few years when receiving a high ranking. Head coach Mel Tucker just has this team trending in the right direction.
The UNLV transfer linebacker Jacoby Windmon, is playing at an All-American level. Windmon and Cal Haladay may be one of the most overlooked linebacker duos in the whole country.
Other transfers making an impact are in the running back room with Jalen Berger (from Wisconsin) and Jarek Broussard (from Colorado). They have given the Spartans a lightning and thunder approach which they will heavily rely on until quarterback Peyton Thorne can find his rhythm. Once playmaker Jayden Reed gets fully healthy, that should really help open up the passing game.
Next Game: @ Washington Huskies