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A crazy week two has turned our power rankings upside down. With the stunning Arkansas loss to Louisiana-Monroe, the Razorbacks are no longer in our top 25, Meanwhile, the Utes take a tumble out after their loss at Utah State and the Cougars continue to climb.
1. Alabama.(Last Week: 1) The Crimson Tide were a little rusty in week two, but still had no problem with Western Kentucky. They may be tested a little bit at Arkansas this week, but the Tide should handle the Razorbacks pretty easily. One concern going forward: the injury to running back Jalston Fowler. Alabama has rotated three backs, including starter Eddie Lacy. Bama, however, would have a great run offense with me in the backfield behind that monstrous offensive line.
2.LSU**.*(3)* I know, I know. Here we go again. USC struggled late with Syracuse last week, and they will be tested even more this week. The Tigers slip above the Trojans because of that and their dominant demolishing of Washington last week. The Tigers are dangerous again, but this time even more so because they finally have a quarterback in Zach Mettenberger.
3.USC**.*(2)* Like I said, the Trojans struggled against Syracuse last week. A lot of that could have been because of a lack of discipline (shocking at USC, right?), but it looks like USC’s defense is not as strong as we all thought.
4. Oregon.(4) The Ducks are fast, which is weird because, ya know, they are typically so slow. Not only did the Ducks not miss a beat with the loss of LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, it looks like they somehow got better. De’Anthony Thomas was thought to be the Heisman candidate on this team, but right now he’s not even the best running back on his own team … and he’s averaging 16 yards per carry.
5. Georgia.(6) I have been on the Georgia bandwagon since before the season started, and their hard-nosed performance last week against Missouri is making me feel more and more confident on said wagon. It was clear that the Bulldogs have the SEC depth that Missouri does not yet have. By the way, Aaron Murray is my unofficial 2012 man crush.
6. Florida State.(5) I still think the Seminoles will be playing in the national title game in January, largely because of their very soft schedule. Talent-wise, they belong here. The defense is disgustingly strong, but EJ Manuel still has a lot to prove. So far through two games, Florida State 124, Opponents 3.
7. West Virginia.(13) The offense that put up 70 points on Clemson in last season’s Orange Bowl seems to be back in 2012. I’m picking the Mountaineers to win the Big Twelve in their first year in the conference. One thing is for sure, there are going to be some really entertaining games down the stretch in the Big 12 conference.
8. Michigan State.(9) The Spartans are the class of a very weak Big 10 this season. The defense is solid and Michigan State doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. The quarterback situation is still a big question mark, but Le’Veon Bell is a beast and one of my Heisman sleepers. The Spartans will win the battle of the trenches every weekend. Ugly, but good.
9. Ohio State.(8) The skill players are still weak, but this team is very well coached. The Buckeyes will not lack motivation all year long. They’re playing with a giant chip on their shoulder and Urban Meyer is using it to his advantage. Braxton Miller fits the system perfectly, but is still not performing as well within it as he could. When he does turn that corner, look out.
10. Clemson.(10) The Tigers have been missing one of the best receivers in the country for the first two games of the season, but it hasn’t mattered. Sammy Watkins will likely be back against Furman this week. Big test. The road will get much tougher when Clemson plays in the de facto ACC Atlantic Division championship game against Florida State next week.
11. Oklahoma.(12) Beat Florida A&M, 69-13.
12. South Carolina.(17) Beat East Carolina, 48-10.
13. Michigan.(16) Beat Air Force, 31-25.
14. Virginia Tech.(19) Beat Austin Peay, 42-7.
15. Boise State.(20) Bye.
16.TCU**.*(21)* Beat Grambling State, 56-0.
17. Kansas State.(NR) Beat Miami (FL), 52-13.
18.NotreDame.(18) Beat Purdue, 20-17.
19. Florida.(25) Beat Texas A&M 20-17.
20. UCLA.(NR) Beat Nebraska 36-30.
21. Texas(23) Beat New Mexico, 45-0.
22. Arizona.(NR) Beat Oklahoma State, 59-38.
23.BYU**.*(24)* Beat Weber State, 45-13
24. Stanford.(NR) Beat Duke , 50-13.
25. Louisville.(NR) Beat Missouri State, 35-7.
Dropped out: Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma State.
New: Louisville, Stanford, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas State.
For more rankings and bowl projections, as well as the new week two podcast with coach Ron McBride previewing the Utah-BYU game, visit BYUtahInsiders.com.
Trevor Amicone is the founder of byutahinsiders.com, which covers BYU, Utah and national college football with weekly polls, bowl projections, opinions and analysis. Follow its brand new Twitter page at @BYUtahInsiders and Trevor's at @TrevorAmicone.