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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.

1
1Oregon Ducks
last week: 2
record: 2-0

Last game: Beat Michigan State, 46-27
Next game: Saturday vs. Wyoming

2
2Florida State Seminoles
last week: 1
record: 2-0

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Clemson

3
3Oklahoma Sooners
last week: 5
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee

4
4Alabama Crimson Tide
last week: 4
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Southern Miss

5
5Georgia Bulldogs
last week: 7
record: 1-0

Next game: Saturday at South Carolina

6
6Auburn Tigers
last week: 6
record: 2-0

Next game: Sept. 18 at Kansas State

7
7USC Trojans
last week: 13
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Boston College

8
8Texas A&M Aggies
last week: 14
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Rice

9
9Baylor Bears
last week: 9
record: 2-0

Last game: Beat Northwestern State, 70-6
Next game: Friday at Buffalo

10
10LSU Tigers
last week: 12
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Louisiana-Monroe

11
11Notre Dame Fighting Irish
last week: 15
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Purdue (in Indianapolis)

12
12Ole Miss Rebels
last week: 17
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

13
13Michigan State Spartans
last week: 3
record: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Eastern Michigan

14
14Stanford Cardinal
last week: 8
record: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Army

15
15Virginia Tech Hokies
last week: NR
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. East Carolina

16
16Arizona State Sun Devils
last week: 16
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Colorado

17
17Missouri Tigers
last week: 22
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. UCF

18
18Wisconsin Badgers
last week: 20
record: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Bowling Green

19
19Kansas State Wildcats
last week: 18
record: 2-0

Next game: Sept. 18 vs. Auburn

20
20UCLA Bruins
last week: 10
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Texas (in Arlington, Texas)

21
21Ohio State Buckeyes
last week: 11
record: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Kent State

22
22Louisville Cardinals
last week: NR
record: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Virginia

23
23BYU Cougars
last week: NR
record: 2-0

Next game: Thursday vs. Houston

24
24South Carolina Gamecocks
last week: 21
record: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia

25
25Clemson Tigers
last week: 23
record: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 at Florida State

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

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