A week after Texas failed to make a statement another traditional power fell by the wayside. Florida lost to Kentucky for the first time in 31 years. Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils picked up a huge win over Michigan State, while Georgia throttled South Carolina in Columbia.
Florida State was lucky to survive in Willie Taggart’s second game in Tallahassee — overcoming a 13-point deficit to defeat Samford — and Scott Frost’s winning-streak came to an end as Nebraska lost at home to Colorado.
Here’s a look at New Arena’s Top 25 Poll for Week 3 of the 2018-2019 College Football season:
25. USC Trojans
Week 2 result: Lost to Stanford 17-3
Up next: @ Texas
The Trojans were humbled on The Farm this past weekend. Stanford completely shut down the Trojans’ offense, giving freshman QB JT Daniels a rude welcoming to the Pac-12. Daniels and Southern Cal travel to Austin to take on a mediocre Texas squad. A loss to the Longhorns could lead to a disastrous year for USC.
24. Colorado Buffaloes
Week 2 result: Defeated Nebraska 33-28
Up next: vs. New Hampshire
The Buffaloes have the appearance of a contender in the Pac-12 South. Colorado went into Lincoln and ruined Scott Frost’s homecoming, as QB Steven Montez and wide-out Laviska Shenault Jr. outclassed the Cornhuskers in the closing moments of the game. Through two weeks Shenault Jr. has been one of the nation’s best players, accumulating 388 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.
23. Utah Utes
Week 2 result: Defeated Northern Illinois 17-6
Up next: vs. Washington
The Utes have been dominant defensively thus far. While the offense is still trying to find its rhythm, the Utes have effectively shut down both of their opponents. A determined Washington group comes to town next, providing the Utes with their first major test of the early season. A win over the No. 10-ranked Huskies would be a massive statement for coach Kyle Whittingham and his team.
22. Arizona State Sun Devils
Week 2 result: Defeated Michigan State 16-13
Up next: @ San Diego State
When the Sun Devils named Herm Edwards their new coach much of the nation laughed. After an upset over the then-ranked Michigan State Spartans, the Sun Devils are earning respect nationally. ASU took down Sparty on a last-second field goal, giving Edwards his first marquee victory as a college coach.
21. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Week 2 result: Defeated South Alabama 55-13
Up next: vs. Boise State
The Cowboys have smoked their competition thus far, but that is to be expected when the opposition is Missouri State and South Alabama. A lot will be learned this weekend as OSU takes on Boise State in a showdown of ranked teams. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius will have to do a better job taking care of the ball — three interceptions — if the Cowboys hope to stave off the Broncos.
20. Michigan Wolverines
Week 2 result: Defeated Western Michigan 49-3
Up next: vs. SMU
The Wolverines rebounded nicely following their Week 1 loss to Notre Dame. Shea Patterson accounted for three touchdowns, and the Maize and Blue rushed for 308 yards. SMU shouldn’t pose any threat to Michigan, giving Jim Harbaugh extra time to think about a matchup with Nebraska the following week.
19. UCF Knights
Week 2 result: Defeated South Carolina State 38-0
Up next: @ North Carolina
Make it 15 straight for the Knights. UCF has started the season just where they left off, outscoring their two opponents 94-17. The Knights travel to Chapel Hill to face a disappointing North Carolina team. With Lane Kiffin and the FAU Owls looming, the Knights will want to get out of Carolina healthy and with a 16th straight victory under their belt.
18. Boise State Broncos
Week 2 result: Defeated UConn 62-7
Up next: @ Oklahoma State
After a highly impressive road victory over Troy to open the season, the Broncos absolutely annihilated UConn in their home debut. Boise will enter their showdown with Oklahoma State full of confidence. If Boise has any hopes of reaching the CFP or a New Year’s Six bowl, they must take down the Cowboys.
17. Oregon Ducks
Week 2 result: Defeated Portland State 62-14
Up next: vs. San Jose State
Justin Herbert is looking like a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, and the Ducks are on the rise as a result. Admittedly, the first three games will have come against cream puffs — Bowling Green, Portland State, San Jose State — but if the Ducks come out of Saturday’s game unscathed, an epic showdown with Stanford awaits.
16. Penn State Nittany Lions
Week 2 result: Defeated Pittsburgh 51-6
Up next: vs. Kent State
After narrowly avoiding an upset in Week 1, the Nittany Lions took all their frustration out on instate rival Pittsburgh. This game showcased a completely different Penn State team than the one that struggled to open the season. The Lions next two opponents — Kent State and Illinois — should be nice tuneups before facing Ohio State and Michigan State in back-to-back games.
15. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Week 2 result: Defeated Kansas State 31-10
Up next: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
The Kansas State team the Bulldogs went up against this past weekend isn’t one of Bill Snyder’s best, but nonetheless Mississippi State went into a hostile environment and dominated a decent foe. Looking at their schedule, there is a good chance that the Bulldogs enter their matchup with Auburn undefeated.
14. TCU Horned Frogs
Week 2 result: Defeated SMU 42-14
Up next: vs. Ohio State
The Horned Frogs have taken care of business so far. A 30-point road victory at SMU has set the Horned Frogs up for a much-hyped showdown with the Urban Meyer-less Ohio State Buckeyes. Although it will be considered a home game for the Frogs, the game will not take place on TCU’s campus — but instead at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. TCU has the chance to make an enormous statement against the Buckeyes, one that can jump-start their chase for the CFP.
13. LSU Tigers
Week 2 result: Defeated Southeastern Louisiana 31-0
Up next: @ Auburn
It’s natural to have a down-tick in performance after such a big victory like the one LSU had over Miami in their opener. The Tigers shut out Southeastern Louisiana this past week, but their performance wasn’t exactly inspiring. LSU travels to Auburn in a battle of the Tigers — a game which can have massive implications in both the SEC West and the hunt for a berth in the CFP.
12. West Virginia Mountaineers
Week 2 result: Defeated Youngstown State 52-17
Up next: @ NC State
The Mountaineers started the season in resounding fashion by dominating Tennessee and Youngstown State. Will Grier has been absolutely sensational — 761 passing yards and nine touchdowns — and the offense is clicking on all cylinders. NC State hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but they could provide a tough test for West Virginia.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies
Week 2 result: Defeated William & Mary 62-17
Up next: vs. East Carolina
The Hokies had a quick turnaround following their impressive victory over Florida State as they stomped William & Mary only five days after their season opener. Tech’s defense once again came to play as they forced three turnovers in their blowout victory. The Hokies should have no trouble with East Carolina as they continue their non-conference schedule.
10. Washington Huskies
Week 2 result: Defeated North Dakota 45-3
Up next: @ Utah
A tough opening loss to Auburn was not the way the Huskies wanted to open their season, but a thrashing of North Dakota will certainly help their psyche. UDub travels to Salt Lake City this week to take on a tough-minded Utah team. Utah is typically a very good team at home and should provide a good barometer of just how good Washington is. Another loss will surely end their CFP hopes, so expect the Huskies to come out swinging.
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Week 2 result: Defeated Ball State 24-16
Up next: vs. Vanderbilt
Much like LSU, Notre Dame followed up their massive victory with a very uninspiring performance. The Irish struggled mightily on offense against Ball State, due in large part to Brandon Wimbush’s three-interception day. Notre Dame welcomes a Vanderbilt squad that will be brimming with confidence following two 20-plus point victories.
8. Wisconsin Badgers
Week 2 result: Defeated New Mexico 45-14
Up next: vs. BYU
Wisconsin struggled to get going against New Mexico on Saturday, trailing 7-3 after the first quarter before taking a 10-7 lead into the half. Jonathan Taylor exploded after halftime en route to a 253-yard, three-touchdown performance. Wiscy will have to rectify their slow starts if they want to succeed in conference play.
7. Stanford Cardinal
Week 2 result: Defeated USC 17-3
Up next: vs. UC Davis
The Cardinal avenged their two losses to USC last year by stifling the Trojans in Palo Alto. Bryce Love rebounded from a rocky start to finish the game with 136 yards and a touchdown. Stanford’s defense looks very good after two weeks but it will be put to the test when they travel to Oregon in Week 4.
6. Auburn Tigers
Week 2 result: Defeated Alabama State 63-9
Up next: vs. LSU
Staying true to usual SEC scheduling practices, Auburn was gifted a matchup with an FCS opponent ahead of a big-time conference affair. The Tigers took care of business and now await LSU. A victory this week would further Auburn’s early case as one of the best teams in America, as well as their position in the CFP hunt. A loss would not be devastating, but with road games against Mississippi State, Georgia, and Alabama on the horizon, this game may be a must win.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
Week 2 result: Defeated Rutgers 52-3
Up next: @ TCU
The final game before the completion of Urban Meyer’s suspension will be Ohio State’s first test of the season. After opening the year with games against perennial cellar-dwellers (Oregon State, Rutgers), the Buckeyes travel to Arlington to face a dangerous TCU team. The Horned Frogs are firing on all cylinders and would love nothing more than to knockdown the Buckeyes.
4. Oklahoma Sooners
Week 2 result: Defeated UCLA 49-21
Up next: @ Iowa State
The Sooners took care of business in an easy victory over a young UCLA squad. While the scoreline looks nice, the Sooners may have come out losers on Saturday. Superstar tailback Rodney Anderson hurt his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season. Oklahoma has talented players throughout the depth chart but Anderson is a big loss.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
Week 2 result: Defeated South Carolina 41-17
Up next: vs. Middle Tennessee State
Georgia made the biggest statement of the weekend. In traveling to Columbia and dismantling the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs showed the country that they are ready to return to the CFP. They are clearly the best team in the SEC East, and should challenge Alabama for conference supremacy. Georgia will be a serious player throughout the season.
2. Clemson Tigers
Week 2 result: Defeated Texas A&M 28-26
Up next: vs. Georgia Southern
It wasn’t the best week for Clemson. Their highly-talented defense allowed over 500 yards of offense, and were lucky to survive their trip to A&M. Regardless, a win is a win. The Tigers should be able to sleepwalk through Georgia Southern before opening ACC play against Georgia Tech in Week 4.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 2 result: Defeated Arkansas State 57-7
Up next: @ Ole Miss
Another week, another blowout. Alabama is outscoring its opponents 108-21 through two weeks. The Tide head to Ole Miss to face a 2-0 Rebels team coming off a slug-fest with Southern Illinois. While the Rebels have been able to score at will (123 points) they have been awful defensively (68 points). Bama should waltz through Oxford and head back to Tuscaloosa with a 3-0 record.
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