The first week of the college football season is in the books. There were plenty of good games to watch and some matchups had College Football Playoff implications. So who set themselves up well after week one to make the College Football Playoff?
Note: These rankings only take into account what has happened on the field. Teams will be moved accordingly based on the teams they beat. Teams who played a lower level of competition will not be in these rankings yet, but will have their chances to prove themselves in the coming weeks.
1. Auburn Tigers- Auburn takes the top spot after beating a Washington team that made the CFP two year ago and a New Year’s Six Bowl Game last season. The Tigers won 21-16 in a neutral site game in Atlanta, starting their season on the right foot. There is still a lot of work to be done, including a grueling SEC West schedule.
This week: vs. Alabama State Hornets (FCS 1-0)
2. LSU Tigers- LSU got a big non-conference win over Miami in Arlington, Texas to kick their season off. The headliner game on Sunday night let the Tigers display their skill on the national stage. The Tigers won 33-17 and were well ahead for most of the game. Their defense looks great and their offense looks improved over last season. Beating Miami, the ACC Coastal Division Champ of 2017 and number eight team in the country, sets LSU up nicely for the rest of their season.
This week: vs. SE Louisiana Lions (FCS 0-1)
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- Although they were home underdogs, the Fighting Irish came out victorious against their rivals in Michigan. Michigan may have been overrated in preseason rankings, but Notre Dame’s defense looks great and quarterback Brandon Wimbush looks like a different player throwing the football. Even if Michigan comes in fourth in the Big Ten East with an 8-4 or 7-5 record, it is a solid win for the Irish.
This week: vs. Ball State Cardinals (1-0)
4. Virginia Tech Hokies- The Hokies capped off the weekend of football with a big road win over Florida State. The Seminoles were ranked by almost every preseason publication, but do have a lot of things to work on for the time being. Virginia Tech lost a lot of key players from last season, so winning this game in a tough environment should boost their confidence moving forward.
This week: vs. William & Mary Tribe (FCS 1-0)
First Four Out
5. Alabama Crimson Tide- Alabama did nothing for them to lose their ranking in the polls, but for the purposes of looking at their resume as is, they fall right outside the top four. Louisville players talked trash before the game and Alabama swiftly took care of them, winning 51-14. Louisville will likely struggle more than recent years now that Lamar Jackson is gone, but it is a decent opening week win for Alabama.
This week: vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-0)
6. Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners don’t have Baker Mayfield anymore and that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Quarterback Kyler Murray and running back Rodney Anderson look fully capable of making a lot of plays after one week. Oklahoma gets a win over a Florida Atlantic, a team that had double-digit wins last season, to add to their case to be in the CFP. The fact that they dominated from the opening kickoff is just a bonus at this point.
This week: vs. UCLA Bruins (0-1)
7. West Virginia Mountaineers- Will Grier got his Heisman campaign started off well in leading the Mountaineers to a big win over Tennessee in Charlotte, North Carolina. Only time will tell if this win really helps West Virginia’s case, as Tennessee will likely struggle to make a bowl game. Nonetheless, the Mountaineers proved they will be a tough team to deal with this season.
This week: vs. Youngstown State Penguins (FCS 0-1)
8. Boise State Broncos- Boise State has a very minimal chance of making the CFP, but they did get a good win in week one. They went on the road and dominated Troy, a team that went 11-2 last season. There aren’t too many more notable games on the schedule, so Boise will likely slowing fall from these rankings.
This week: vs. UConn Huskies (0-1)
Next Four Out
9. Stanford Cardinal- The Cardinal won a revenge game against San Diego State at home in week one. They won handily 31-10 and had to find a different way to win, as Bryce Love was bottled up. Winning while he had only a minor impact, has to be encouraging moving forward when Love does get things going.
This week: vs. USC (1-0)
10. Maryland Terrapins- Texas was ranked in a lot of polls and let their fans down with a loss to Maryland for the second straight year. The Terrapins took advantage of Texas being too highly ranked and won the game. They likely won’t be in this spot for more than a week, but it’s a good story for the players who have been through a lot at the school.
This week: vs. at Bowling Green Falcons (0-1)
11. Ole Miss Rebels- In one of the most intriguing early-Saturday games, Ole Miss ran away with the game. They took advantage of a bad situation for Texas Tech, who had starting quarterback, McLane Carter, knocked out for the game. Even so, Ole Miss looked good in week one.
This week: vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (FCS 1-0)
12. BYU Cougars- BYU needed to rebound from a lackluster season in 2017. They got a big win on the road at Arizona, who had high expectations this season with Khalil Tate running the show. Arizona looked bad and BYU played well enough to get the win. They take the last spot in these rankings for the first week.
This week: vs. California Golden Bears (1-0)
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.