Colorado and Duke both entered the AP Top 25 college football rankings on Tuesday after impressive Week 1 upsets, while Florida State received three first-place votes after beating LSU. Here’s what you need to know:
- In Deion Sanders’ first game, Colorado beat No. 17 TCU 45-42, its first road win against a top-20 team since 2002. The Buffaloes moved into the poll at No. 22, while TCU dropped out.
- Duke earned its first win against an AP top-10 team since 1989 with its 28-7 runaway win over Clemson. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 21, while Clemson slipped 16 spots to No. 25.
- Georgia, Michigan and Alabama are the top three, and Florida State moved up four spots to No. 4 after its 45-24 win against LSU, which fell from No. 5 to No. 14.
- Ohio State dropped two spots to No. 5 after its 23-3 win against Indiana.
Full AP Top 25
- Georgia (58)
- Michigan (2)
- Florida State (3)
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Kansas State
- Oregon State
- North Carolina
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Where should Florida State be ranked?
I was more conservative with the Seminoles than voters in the preseason, ranking them ninth compared to their spot at No. 8 in the polls. Now I’ve swung in the other direction, placing them second on my ballot while they’re fourth in the actual poll. Of course, three voters actually placed Florida State atop their ballot, so I’m hardly alone.
Voting early in the season is always tricky because we can’t help but stick with preseason perceptions, gradually filtering them out as the season goes on. In this case, Florida State getting credit for its win is entirely based on the preseason perception of LSU. But I’m fine with rewarding the Seminoles: They didn’t just beat LSU; they dominated in the second half to win by 21 — the largest opening loss by a top-five team since No. 3 Penn State beat No. 4 Arizona 41-7 in 1999. The Seminoles have one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Jordan Travis, and they’re loaded with size and athleticism.
Florida State looks like a Playoff contender that deserves to be rewarded for the most emphatic and impressive Week 1 win of any highly ranked team. – Matt Brown
Can Colorado stay in the rankings?
Colorado’s eye-opening win over TCU made an impact on voters. The Buffaloes showed up at No. 25 in the coaches poll but had a slightly bigger impact on the media, who slotted them at 22nd
“I ain’t mad at that,” Sanders said Tuesday of the Buffaloes’ coaches poll ranking.
It’ll take more good efforts for Colorado to stay in the rankings. It’ll host rival Nebraska on Saturday and opens Pac-12 play in two weeks with a trip to Oregon before hosting USC and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams.
Colorado was 1-11 last season and Sanders controversially brought 69 new scholarship newcomers to the program, which has just nine returning scholarship players from last year’s team. There was plenty of skepticism from coaches, media and fans about whether or not it would work but after one week, Colorado’s debut in the polls — its first appearance since 2020 — suggests that much of the cynicism around Sanders’ Buffaloes is waning. – David Ubben
How high can Duke rise?
How about the Blue Devils? After coach Mike Elko took Duke from three wins to nine wins in Year 1, it was difficult to imagine the Blue Devils matching that success in Year 2. But Monday night was a statement win for a Duke team that is now ranked for the first time since Week 5 of 2018.
Quarterback Riley Leonard has proven that he shouldn’t be overlooked in a quarterback-heavy ACC and the Blue Devils’ defense gave the Tigers all they could handle. Even more exciting for Elko and Co.? Duke has the potential to stay ranked in the weeks to come. Lafayette, Northwestern and UConn are Duke’s next three opponents before a date with Notre Dame on Sept. 30. — Grace Raynor
What’s next for Clemson?
So much was made of the Tigers this offseason and what they’d look like under offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, but Monday night was more of the same for a program that has lost its edge. It’s understandable that voters gave Clemson the benefit of the doubt heading into the preseason, but they were left with no choice after Week 1 but to drop the Tigers.
We won’t get another real look at Clemson until later in the month, when Florida State comes to town, considering the Tigers’ next two matchups are against Charleston Southern and Florida Atlantic. Maybe the Tigers will get their edge back before then, but in the meantime, the Seminoles sure do look like they’re on their way toward recapturing their spot atop the ACC. — Raynor
(Photo: Andy Cross / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)