College Football 2023: B/R’s Top 25 Rankings After Week 2

College Football 2023: B/R’s Top 25 Rankings After Week 2

College Football 2023: B/R’s Top 25 Rankings After Week 2

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    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 09: Quinn Ewers #3 of the Texas Longhorns looks to throw the ball during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Another busy Saturday of college football is in the books, and after Week 1 provided little in the way of major upsets to shake up the Top 25 poll, this week’s action had a far greater impact on the national landscape.

    The high-profile clash between Alabama and Texas was the biggest game of the day, and the Longhorns made a major statement with a 34-24 victory, announcing themselves as serious national title contenders.

    The other matchup of AP-ranked teams saw Ole Miss score a 37-20 victory over Tulane, who was without star quarterback Michael Pratt. The Rebels used a 20-point fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

    The biggest upset of the day almost belonged to Appalachian State, who took North Carolina to double overtime. Instead, it was Miami (vs. Texas A&M) and Washington State (vs. Wisconsin) who shook things up as unranked teams with victories over AP-ranked opponents.

    Here’s how Bleacher Report’s college football writing staff—David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Morgan Moriarty, Joel Reuter and Brad Shepard—lines up the top 25 teams in the nation:

    1. Georgia
    2. Michigan
    3. Florida State
    4. Texas
    5. USC
    6. Penn State
    7. Washington
    8. Notre Dame
    9. Ohio State
    10. Oregon
    11. Tennessee
    12. Alabama
    13. Oklahoma
    14. Utah
    15. Oregon State
    16. Duke
    17. Ole Miss
    18. LSU
    19. Kansas State
    20. Colorado
    21. North Carolina
    22. Miami
    23. Clemson
    24. Washington State
    25. Arkansas

Who’s Hot: The Texas Longhorns and Their Future in the SEC

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    Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers

    Texas quarterback Quinn EwersKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    One of the first big dominoes in the widespread conference realignment that has swept the NCAA landscape over the past year was Texas and Oklahoma announcing their plans to move from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2024.

    Saturday provided a preview of what awaits the Longhorns next year as they faced Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and Quinn Ewers and company were up to the task in a 34-24 victory that should immediately thrust Texas into the national title conversation.

    The sophomore quarterback threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns, and the Longhorns scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a seven-play, 85-yard drive with 8:23 remaining that was capped by a 39-yard pass from Ewers to Adonai Mitchell.

    Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe was picked off twice, and the Longhorns defense limited the Crimson Tide to 5-of-14 on third down in an impressive all-around victory.

    With Texas checking in at No. 11 in the latest AP poll, while Alabama was No. 3 in the nation, this game will have major ramifications on this week’s poll.

    Looking ahead, the matchup between Texas and Oklahoma in Dallas on Oct. 7 is quickly shaping up to be one of the most important games of the season.

Who’s Not: Drake Maye’s Heisman Candidacy

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 02: North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) during the Duke's Mayo Classic college football game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks on September 2, 2023 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.  (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The North Carolina Tar Heels are 2-0 to start the year, but only by the narrowest of margins after surviving a 40-34 victory over Appalachian State in double overtime on Saturday.

    For quarterback Drake Maye, it’s been a forgettable first two weeks under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, who was hired away from UCF to replace Phil Longo after he left for the same post at the University of Wisconsin during the offseason.

    After throwing for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns during a breakout 2022 campaign, Maye entered the year as part of the second tier of Heisman candidates behind front-runners Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr.

    However, his first two games have sent him sliding down the award pecking order:

    • Week 1: 24-of-32, 269 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
    • Week 2: 21-of-30, 208 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

    The Tar Heels are still undefeated, and running back Omarion Hampton stole the show on Saturday with 234 rushing yards and three touchdowns to give him five rushing scores on the year, but Maye will now need to play his way back into the Heisman conversation.

Fun Fact: Tyler Van Dyke Makes Miami QB History

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 01: Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke #9 of the Miami Hurricanes warms up prior to a game against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Hard Rock Stadium on September 01, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

    The University of Miami has had some memorable quarterbacks over years, including Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde (1986) and Gino Torretta (1992), as well as more recent standouts like Ken Dorsey, Jacory Harris, Brad Kaaya and Stephen Morris.

    None of those quarterbacks ever accomplished what Tyler Van Dyke did on Saturday.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

    Tyler Van Dyke is the 1st player in Miami history to throw 5 Pass TD against an AP Top 25 team. pic.twitter.com/fGbcvLelby

    After throwing for 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman, Van Dyke dealt with injuries and inconsistency last season, and he had a somewhat forgettable Week 1 performance with 201 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a win over Miami (Ohio).

    “Last year is not the way I pictured everything to go,” Van Dyke told reporters. “This gives me a lot of confidence.”

    With 374 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-33 victory over No. 23 Texas A&M on Saturday, the Hurricanes are now 2-0 and trending toward the AP poll, and Van Dyke has etched his name in the team record book.

Looking Ahead: Shedeur Sanders and Colorado on ESPN

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    Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders

    Colorado quarterback Shedeur SandersDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    There is nothing in the Week 3 slate that compares to the heavyweight clash between Alabama and Texas we saw in Week 2, but there are still plenty of exciting matchups on tap across the day’s action.

    An SEC showdown between LSU and Mississippi State headlines the early slate of games, and another loss for the Tigers would all but extinguish any national title hopes after they lost to Florida State in Week 1.

    Florida State (at Boston College), Penn State (at Illinois) and Kansas State (at Missouri) also face moderately difficult road tests in the early games.

    The second wave of games includes a tough nonconference test for Oregon State when they welcome San Diego State to Corvallis, while Heisman hopeful Michael Penix Jr. and Washington play on the road against a Michigan State team coming off a pair of lopsided victories.

    Another SEC clash is part of the evening slate, with Tennessee traveling to Florida, but all eyes will be on upstart Colorado at home against in-state foe Colorado State at 10 p.m. ET with ESPN College GameDay on hand to further drive the Colorado hype train.

    Can Shedeur Sanders further build his Heisman candidacy on national TV?

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