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College Football Power Rankings: A new team rises to No. 1 after Week 2.

By Martin Rickman
September 09, 2014

In the 1988 movie Cocktail, character Brian Flanagan, played by Tom Cruise, frequently takes advice from a fellow bartender named Doug Coughlin. (In this fictional world I like to pretend he is the brother of New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.) As is the custom in '80s flicks, Cruise is trying to get the girl, make his dreams come true and listen to some cool tunes.

Coughlin doles out his advice in the form of “Coughlin’s Laws.” They include:

• “Anything else is always something better.”

•​ “Never show surprise, never lose your cool."

•​ “Beer is for breakfast around here. Drink or be gone.”

•​ "Bury the dead, they stink up the place.”

Those seem like fine rules to follow when it comes to ranking college football teams (especially that third one). But the most important one is last.

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I won’t go so far as to bury the Big Ten after Week 2, but that conference played poorly from top to bottom on Saturday. Even the ACC, famous for laying eggs to opponents such as Richmond or William & Mary, was likely impressed by the extent of its league-wide struggles. But one bad week won’t define the season. When we look up in December, some Big Ten teams will be in contention for prized bowl berths and possibly a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Other conferences will have bad days, too, and we’ll overreact accordingly.

As for “anything else is always something better,” that’s where we stand. There’s a new No. 1 in my Power Rankings. I’ll try to not show surprise or lose my cool when I’m judged harshly in the comments.

Next five: Penn State, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Utah, Tennessee

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