Skip to main content

Oregon grabs the top spot in Power Rankings after thrilling Week 2 win

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

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.

STAPLES: What are the Big Ten's playoff chances?; Punt, Pass & Pork

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. Oregon Ducks

PREVIOUS: 2

RECORD: 2-0

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

Image placeholder title

2. Florida State Seminoles

PREVIOUS: 1

RECORD: 2-0

SI Recommends

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Clemson

3. Oklahoma Sooners

PREVIOUS: 5

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee

4. Alabama Crimson Tide

PREVIOUS: 4

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Southern Miss

5. Georgia Bulldogs

PREVIOUS: 7

RECORD: 1-0

Next game: Saturday at South Carolina

6. Auburn Tigers

PREVIOUS: 6

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Sept. 18 at Kansas State

7. USC Trojans

PREVIOUS: 13

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Boston College

8. Texas A&M Aggies

PREVIOUS: 14

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Rice

9. Baylor Bears

PREVIOUS: 9

RECORD: 2-0

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

10. LSU Tigers

PREVIOUS: 12

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Louisiana-Monroe

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

PREVIOUS: 15

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Purdue (in Indianapolis)

12. Ole Miss Rebels

PREVIOUS: 17

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

13. Michigan State Spartans

PREVIOUS: 3

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Eastern Michigan

14. Stanford Cardinal

PREVIOUS: 8

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Army

15. Virginia Tech Hokies

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. East Carolina

16. Arizona State Sun Devils

PREVIOUS: 16

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Colorado

17. Missouri Tigers

PREVIOUS: 22

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday vs. UCF

18. Wisconsin Badgers

PREVIOUS: 20

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 vs. Bowling Green

19. Kansas State Wildcats

PREVIOUS: 18

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Sept. 18 vs. Auburn

20. UCLA Bruins

PREVIOUS: 10

RECORD: 2-0

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

21. Ohio State Buckeyes

PREVIOUS: 11

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Kent State

22. Louisville Cardinals

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Saturday at Virginia

23. BYU Cougars

RECORD: 2-0

Next game: Thursday vs. Houston

24. South Carolina Gamecocks

PREVIOUS: 21

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Saturday vs. Georgia

25. Clemson Tigers

PREVIOUS: 23

RECORD: 1-1

Next game: Sept. 20 at Florida State

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