The ESPN 2023 college football Power Rankings after Week 1

The ESPN 2023 College Football Power Rankings

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Coach Dion Sanders said that his Colorado Buffaloes were coming in 2023, and now they’ve made their mark in our power rankings. The National runners-up from the 2022 season, ranked 17th in the TCY Top 25, had a 45-42 win over Buffalo in Week 1 that convinced ESPN’s writers. Colorado, who had only one win in the previous season, has climbed to the 21st spot in the rankings.

Buffalo now has another chance to prove themselves, this time against their home opener’s Big Ten foe – and former Big 12 rival – Nebraska. However, the most impressive win of the week belonged to Coach Prime’s alma mater. Florida State racked up a consecutive 31-point lead against No. 5 LSU on Sunday, and ESPN voters rewarded them by moving them up from No. 7 to No. 2 in the power rankings.

College football’s first full week concludes with a look at the power rankings after the first complete week.

Number 1 Georgia Bulldogs of college football (1-0) Hmm-hmm. Another dominant defense, another deep run game, and another Brock Bowers touchdown. What else could you expect from the back-to-back champions? Yes, quarterback Stetson Bennett is finally gone, but Carson Beck started solid in his debut against Tennessee Martin, completing 21 of 31 passes for 294 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.

All told, Georgia’s offense amassed 559 yards, which should be quite impressive considering their seemingly weaker schedule in the SEC this season. Ball State is up next, followed by a home game against South Carolina. — Alex Scarborough Next: vs. Ball State (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Number 2 Florida State Seminoles (1-0) It’s hard to remember the last time the Seminoles thoroughly dismantled an opponent the way they did in the second half of Sunday night’s 45-24 win over LSU. Perhaps it was during the 2013 national championship season, and this marks its 10th anniversary. After a slow start, Florida State turned a close game into a blowout by scoring 31 unanswered points in the second half.

Quarterback Jordan Travis settled down after a shaky first half and accounted for five total touchdowns – one rushing and four passing. But the star of the game was transfer receiver Keon Coleman, who came from Michigan State. LSU couldn’t cover Coleman, and he made plays that mattered most. With three touchdown receptions and 122 yards, he was a surprising standout to kick off the season, and the expectations have only grown higher. Andrea Adelson Next: vs. Southern Miss (8:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

Number 3 Michigan Wolverines (1-0) No coach Jim Harbaugh, no aggressive coordinator Mike Macdonald—no problem. With both sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, defensive coordinator Jessi Minter stepped in as interim head coach against East Carolina and helped deliver Michigan’s first win of the season. Remarkably,

it was offense that shone through for Michigan. Quarterback Cade McNamara, who threw three-fourths of the work, threw for 280 yards and three passing touchdowns. Running back Blake Corum quickly scored a touchdown while the defense kept East Carolina scoreless until a field goal in the game’s final minutes. — Tom VanHaaren Next: vs. UNLV (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Number 4 Alabama Crimson of the College Football Tide (1-0) Bryce Young was nearly perfect against Middle Tennessee, totaling 242 yards (194 passing, 48 rushing), four touchdowns (three passing, two rushing), and no turnovers. But was this enough to secure the quarterback’s starting job? It might be too early to say, given the competition.

Next week’s matchup against Texas will be a true litmus test for whether Young can handle the pressure and fit the ball into tight windows. But, with the quarterback battle aside, Crimson Tide fans can feel good about their receivers, especially Jahmyr Gibbs and the defense, which looked much improved against an overmatched offense. — Scarborough Next: vs. Texas (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Number 5 of the college football club USC Trojans (2-0) After handling business against San Jose State in Week 0, the Trojans took care of Nevada even more comfortably on their home field with a 66-14 score. Besides the 72-yard pass that gave the Wolfpack their first score and the 77-yard pass that led to their second, USC’s defense looked much better against a lesser offensive threat that was struggling to gain anything.

Caleb Williams threw for 324 yards in 24 passing attempts, adding another impressive performance to his highlight reel. With five touchdowns and not having to play from behind after the first drive of the third quarter, Williams was the standout of the game, alongside receiver Roman Wilson, who caught three of Williams’ touchdown passes and gathered the most yards. USC’s defense kept East Carolina scoreless until the game’s final minutes, securing a shutout victory. — Paolo Uggetti Next: vs. Stanford (10:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

Number 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)

This was not at all beautiful, nor was it a memorable start for quarterback Kyle McCord. However, Ohio State secured a Big Ten road win against Indiana. If the Buckeyes want to remain contenders for the CFP,

they’ll need to improve quickly. McCord completed 20 out of 33 passes for 239 yards and one interception. It wasn’t the kind of explosive performance Ohio State fans are accustomed to, as the Buckeyes had the second-highest scoring offense in the FBS last year and have averaged at least 41 points per season since Ryan Day took over as head coach in 2019. Against a struggling IU defense, Ohio State managed three field goals and had only 2 of 12 third-down conversions. It was also a quiet day for Buckeyes’ superstars, as receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. caught only two passes for 18 yards. — By Heidar Dinech


Number 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)
Coach James Franklin couldn’t contain the enthusiasm around his young quarterback Drew Allar’s college football debut, who performed well against what was expected to be a challenging West Virginia team. Allar, the most highly touted college football quarterback recruit for Penn State since Christian Hackenberg in 2013, had a solid start to the season with 325 passing yards and three touchdowns on 21 completions out of 29 attempts with no interceptions.

the college football Allar became the first PSU quarterback since Daryl Clark in 2009 to surpass 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in an opener. Penn State’s offense struggled to find momentum, scoring just 14 points in the first 36 minutes of the game. The Nittany Lions missed two field goal attempts, and their running game didn’t quite click. All-American college football adds a new dimension to Penn State’s passing game, as offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich can stretch the field with wideouts Keandre Lambert-Smith and others. — By Adam Rittenberg

Number 8 Washington Huskies (1-0) the college football
Start a Washington game, and you’re likely to see quarterback Michael Penix Jr. of college football targeting wide-open receivers repeatedly. Coach Kalen DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb’s aggressive game plan makes the Huskies’ offense a force to be reckoned with.

In a dominant 56-19 win over Boise State, Penix kickstarted his Heisman Trophy campaign with 450 passing yards and five touchdown passes, completing 21 out of 29 attempts. As expected, Washington’s top receiving trio – Rom Odunze (7 catches, 132 yards, 1 TD), Jalen Polk (3 catches, 101 yards, 1 TD), and Jalen McMillan (8 catches, 95 yards, 2 TDs) – were equally impressive. — By Kyle Bonagura

Number 9 the college football Tennessee Volunteers (1-0)
Tennessee the college football was favored with four touchdowns against Virginia in their season opener, and while the Vols stumbled with some early miscues, there was never a real threat of an upset in Nashville. Joe Milton III at quarterback was solid with 201 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns in three quarters, while Henning Hooker added to the mix with a strong 499-yard performance.

However, the story of the game for Tennessee was its defense. The Cavaliers managed to get past the Vols’ 50-yard line three times in the first half, but Tennessee’s defense allowed only one field goal, setting the tone for the rest of the game. — By Chris Low

Number 10 Utah Utes (1-0) the college football
Utah avenged last year’s season-opening loss to Florida, starting their campaign with back-to-back Pac-12 titles. Despite several injuries, Utah managed to secure a 24-13 win, thanks in large part to their defense.

Though Utah and Florida were separated by just 13 points, Bryson Barnes (12 of 18, 159 passing yards, and two touchdowns) and Nate Johnson (six carries, 45 yards, and one touchdown) played key roles for Utah, which effectively split its quarterback representatives, finding success in both the air and on the ground. Utah’s defense kept the game scoreless until the fourth quarter. — By Ugo Uzuetta

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