The Southeastern Conference may not occupy the top two spots in my Top 25 this week, but it’s sure well represented, with nine SEC schools featured in my first 21 teams. Teams are hard to rank at this point due to the generally uncompetitive nature of the college football schedule so far, but here’s my best guess. Note: this does include Auburn’s 20-14 victory over Kansas State from last night.
1. Oregon (3-0): OU’s 19-point romp over Michigan State still ranks as the season’s best performance, in my opinion.
2. Auburn (2-0): The Tigers’ road victory at Kansas State is the start of what may be one of the most brutal 10-game runs in college football history. The good news is that Auburn’s defense last night looked far better than it did a year ago.
3. Oklahoma (3-0): Ask Tennessee and Alabama, the Sooners have the speed everywhere to go toe-to-to with anyone.
4. Florida St. (2-0): Those first two efforts by the Seminoles haven’t exactly been inspiring, but then again, being defending champions counts for something, right?
5. Alabama (3-0): I’d be quite surprised if Alabama finished this low–the Tide were my preseason national title pick–but the body of work lags a bit behind the teams in front of them right now for 2014.
6. Baylor (3-0): The Bears are doing what they did last year, which is, starting the season with a beat-down of a bunch of overwhelmed opponents.
7. LSU (3-0): Tigers have scored the last 108 points in the games they’ve played.
8. Texas A&M (3-0): The Aggies rank fourth in the country with 54.3 points per game.
9. Georgia (2-1): The Bulldogs are going to win in Columbia one of these years, right?
10. Michigan St. (2-1): After taking it on the chin at Oregon, the Spartans get tune-up games against Eastern Michigan and Wyoming before getting Nebraska at home.
11. Ole Miss (3-0): People will have reservations about my putting the Rebels this high, but quickly, name one team behind them that’s looked better so far?
12. Notre Dame (3-0): A 16-point win over Purdue impressed nobody, but we can excuse the Irish if they got a little bored last week.
13. South Carolina (2-1): Yes, the Gamecocks looked bad in Week 1, but they’re 2-1 against what might be the nation’s toughest schedule so far.
14. Wisconsin (2-1): With the Big Ten so weak, the Badgers might not be tested again until November.
15. UCLA (3-0): No, I don’t know what to make of the Bruins, either, after three closer-than-they-should-have-been wins–especially if quarterback Brett Hundley misses significant time.
16. USC (2-1): Just after the Trojans looked like a top-10 team after that win at Stanford, they drop a stunner at Boston College. After being nearly on par with the SEC a year ago, could this be a sign that the Pac-12 took a huge step back?
17. Stanford (2-1): The Cardinal, meanwhile, rebounded with a 35-0 whipping of Army, which tells us little.
18. Missouri (3-0): The way Missouri’s winning games looks eerily similar to last year, doesn’t it?
19. Kansas St. (2-1): The Wildcats, while not able to beat Auburn, did what few others have done in slowing Gus Malzahn’s offense last night.
20. Arizona St. (3-0): The Sun Devils are also a bit of a mystery, having played nobody of consequence and now, star quarterback Taylor Kelly’s out a while, too.
21. Mississippi St. (3-0): Untested Bulldogs ride a six-game winning streak into LSU.
22. Clemson (1-1): The Tigers catch a break with FSU’s Jameis Winston suspended for a half, but on the other hand, good luck winning in Tallahassee…
23. BYU (3-0): With 689 passing yards and 356 on the ground, quarterback Taysom Hill could be a dark horse candidate for a trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
24. Virginia Tech (2-1): Up-and-down Hokies couldn’t follow up on that historic win at Ohio State.
25. Ohio St. (2-1): Meanwhile, the Buckeyes responded with a 66-0 pounding of lowly Kent St.
Also considered: Oklahoma State, Louisville, East Carolina, North Carolina