Week 1 of the 2023 college football season was an exciting beginning to the season, giving us plenty of storylines to follow. The now Deion Sanders-led Colorado Buffaloes squad downed the reigning National Championship runners-up to assert themselves to the college football world. Along with the Buffs, Duke and Ole Miss also join the rankings. The Blue Devils of Duke took down Clemson on Monday night as the other big upset in Week 1. Following the first week of action, let's dive into the full Top 25 rankings.
1. Georgia (1-0)
Last week: 1
Week 1: 48-7 over UT Martin
Next up: vs. Ball State on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
It was obviously against a not-so-quality opponent, but the Bulldogs look like the same dominant team that annihilated TCU en route to a national title last season - despite losing a ton of talent to the NFL. Georgia was in charge the entire way against the FCS UT Martin Skyhawks. They took some time to get going offensively but out-gained the Skyhawks 559 yards to 260 yards. The Dogs' defense stu fed UT Martin consistently. Georgia's top receiver, Ladd McConkey, was out of the game with some back pain, and head coach Kirby Smart said on Monday that the junior receiver is day-to-day. The country's top tight end, Brock Bowers, had a strong game. He hauled in five catches for 77 yards and scored on a three-yard run.
2. Michigan (1-0)
Last week: 3
Week 1: 30-3 over Eastern Carolina
Next up: vs. UNLV on Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.
Led by a near-perfect day by J.J. McCarthy, the Wolverines left no doubt in its season-opening win. It would have been a shutout, but Eastern Carolina hit a 33-yard field goal with just five seconds left in the game. McCarthy completed 26 of 30 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were thrown to senior receiver Roman Wilson, who finished the day with six catches for 78 yards and the three touchdowns. Senior running back Blake Corum, a top prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft, ran for a solid 72 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
3. Alabama (1-0)
Last week: 4
Week 1: 56-7 over Middle Tennessee
Next up: vs. 15 Texas on Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m.
It doesn't look like the Crimson Tide have missed a beat with Bryce Young going to the NFL. Jalen Milroe has taken the reigns in stride as Young has moved on to play for the Carolina Panthers. In his second career start, the redshirt sophomore accounted for five touchdowns and 242 yards of offense. Milroe threw for 194 yards and three touchdowns while rushing seven times for 48 yards and the other two scores. The five total touchdowns are tied for the third-most in Tide history. He certainly shared the wealth, as eight different receivers caught at least one pass, with Isaiah Bonds leading the way with five catches for 76 yards and a score. Saturday's matchup against Texas is a prominent early-season litmus test for both squads.
4. Florida State (1-0)
Last week: 10
Week 1: 45-24 over LSU
Next up: vs. Southern Miss on Saturday, September 9 at 8:30 p.m.
The Seminoles certainly got off to a great start as they dismantled a fellow top-10 team. Although, perhaps I should admit that, seeing how LSU played, they shouldn't have been in the top 10. But that's why we watch the games to get the complete picture of who these teams are. Without overreacting too much to one week, Florida State proved to be a contender for The Playoff. Even if LSU isn't a top-10 team, they are certainly not a bad team, and the Seminoles dominated in every facet. After trailing 17-14 at halftime, Florida State floored it in the second half, scoring 31 points behind a solid performance from potential Heisman candidate Jordan Travis. The redshirt senior completed 21-of-31 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns - three of which were to transfer receiver Keon Coleman.
5. Ohio State (1-0)
Last week: 2
Week 1: 23-3 over Indiana
Next up: vs. Youngstown State on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
Although it was a 20-point win, Ohio State entered as 30-point favorites against Indiana, and it was a very shaky day offensively for the Buckeyes. First-year quarterback Kyle McCord struggled to make quality throws despite completing 20-of-33 passes. McCord threw an untimely interception in the first half, which was just a poor decision all around as he threw across his body into traffic. The other issue I had watching the offense was the playcalling, which was everywhere. The nation's top receiver, Marvin Harrison Jr., was essentially a non-factor, who caught just two passes for 18 yards on six targets. Ohio State's No. 2 receiver, Emeka Egbuka, was only targeted four times and brought down three of them for 16 yards. After a week of film study and practice, I expect the Buckeyes will be able to iron out the kinks. But they have a lot to work on in the post-CJ Stroud era.
6. USC (2-0)
Last week: 6
eek 1: 66-14 over Nevada
Next up: vs. Stanford on Saturday, September 9 at 10:30 p.m.
The defense showed massive improvement from their Week 0 win, and it was the same dominant Caleb Williams-led Trojans offense. The biggest defensive play came in the fourth quarter when USC was already leading 45-7. 275-pound defensive lineman Stanley Ta'ufo'ou scooped and' scored for 23 yards to put the defense in on the scoring action. Williams was 18-for-24, passing for 319 yards and five touchdowns- two of which went to redshirt senior receiver Tahj Washington. The Trojans put up 668 yards of total offense - the most under head coach Lincoln Riley. Again, this will be one of the top offenses in the country.
7. Penn State (1-0)
Last week: 7
Week 1: 38-15 over West Virginia
Next up: vs. Delaware on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
The Drew Allar era began in Happy Valley and got off to a great start on Saturday. The true sophomore quarterback was nearly flawless, throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns to no interceptions on 21-of-29 passing. He and the Nittany Lions' top receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith developed a strong connection - beginning with a 72-yard touchdown pass and catch on Penn State's opening drive. Overall, Lambert-Smith totaled 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only four catches. The dynamic duo of Nich las Singleton and Kaytron Allen helped to give the offense a well-balanced attack. The pair combined for 110 yards, 70 from Singleton and 51 from Allen, with Singleton finding paydirt in the second quarter. The defense was solid, allowing just 310 total yards, and the Mountaineers to convert only four of 14 third downs. Junior linebacker Curti Jacobs led the team with ten tackles.
8. Notre Dame (2-0)
Last week: 8
Week 1: 56-3 over Tennessee State
Next up: at NC State on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
It was another dominating victory for the Fighting Irish as they held the Tigers of Tennessee State to just three points. It is the first time since 1975 that Notre Dame has held its opponents without a touchdown through the first two games. Taking a 35-3 at halftime, Sam Hartman didn't come back onto the field in the second half. In the first half, he was 14-of-17 passing for 194 yards, two touchdowns, and one rushing score. Junior running back Aud ic Estimé rushed for 116 yards and a five-yard touchdown. While they certainly won't overlook their next two opponents, the first big (HUGE) test for Notre Dame comes on September 23 when they face Ohio State at home. If they each take off business, it will be a top-10 matchup.
9. Utah (1-0)
Last week: 11
Week 1: 24-11 over Florida
Next up: vs. Baylor on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
The Utah defense dominated the Gators, holding their Week 1 opponent to just 13 yards rushing and 1-of-13 on third down conversions. The Utes recorded five sacks, seven tackles for loss, and an interception. Junior safety Cole Bish p led the defense with 11 tackles and a forced fumble, while junior edge Jonah Elliss recorded four tackles and a career-high two sacks. Utah will face a Baylor team without their starting quarterback, redshirt junior Blake Shapen, who will miss 2-3 weeks with an MCL injury.
10. Tennessee (1-0)
Last week: 12
Week 1: 49-13 over Virginia
Next up: vs. Austin Peay on Saturday, September 9 at 5:00 p.m.
The Volunteers offense picked up right where it left off last season after Hendon Hooker went to the NFL. Redshirt senior Joe Mil on III stepped right into Hooker's shoes during the final two games last year when the latter tore his ACL. Milton kept it going Let's Saturday, completing 21-of-31 passes for 201 passing yards and a pair of passing and rushing touchdowns without further ado. He led a Tennessee offense, which put up 499 yards of total offense. Ten different Vol receivers caught passes, with sophomore receiver Squirrel White leading the way with six receptions for 45 yards. The Tennessee defense allowed just 201 yards of total offense to Virginia. Knoxville will be rocking for the Vols' home opener on Saturday.
11. Washington (1-0)
Last week: 13
Week 1: 56-19 over Boise State
Next up: vs. Tulsa on Saturday, September 9 at 5:00 p.m.
12. Oregon (1-0)
Last week: 14
Week 1: 81-7 over Portland State
Next up: at Texas Tech on Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m.
14. LSU (0-1)
Last week: 5
Week 1: Lost 45-24 to FSU
Next up: vs. Grambling State on Saturday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m.
13. Texas (1-0)
Last week: 15
Week 1: 37-10 over Rice
Next up: at Alabama on Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m.
15. Kansas State (1-0)
Last week: 16
Week 1: 45-0 over SEMO
Next up: vs. Troy on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
16. North Carolina (1-0)
Last week: 17
Week 1: 31-17 over South Carolina
Next up: vs. App State on Saturday, September 9 at 5:15 p.m.
17. Oklahoma (1-0)
Last week: 18
Week 1: 73-0 over Arkansas State
Next up: vs. SMU on Saturday, September 9 at 6:00 p.m.
18. Oregon State (1-0)
Last week: 21
Week 1: 42-17 over San Jose State
Next up: vs. UC Davis on Saturday, September 9 at 9:00 p.m.
19. Clemson (0-0)
Last week: 9
Week 1: Lost 28-7 to Duke
Next up: vs. Charleston Southern on Saturday, September 9 at 2:15 p.m.
20. Wisconsin (1-0)
Last week: 20
Week 1: 38-17 over Buffalo
Next up: at Washington State on Saturday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m.
21. Tulane (1-0)
Last week: 24
Week 1: 37-17 over South Alabama
Next up: vs. 24 Ole Miss on Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.
22. Colorado (1-0)
Last week: Unranked
Week 1: 45-42 over TCU
Next up: vs. Nebraska on Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
23. Iowa (1-0)
Last week: 23
Week 1: 24-14 over Utah State
Next up: at Iowa State on Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.
24. Ole Miss (1-0)
Last week: Unranked
Week 1: 73-7 over Mercer
Next up: at 21 Tulane on Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.
25. Duke (1-0)
Last week: Unranked
Week 1: 28-7 over Clemson
Next up: vs. Lafayette on Saturday, September 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Dropped out: TCU, Texas Tech, South Carolina
Main Image Credit: From Getty Images