Explanations after the jump.
THE TOP FIVE
SEC bias takes over.
Some people won't drop a team down the rankings after a win. Well, we're not just some people. USC falls to No. 3 despite manhandling Hawaii 49-10. Alabama jumps to No. 1 -- yes, it hurts to type that -- after tar-and-feathering Michigan in Dallas. 'Bama was the only top-five team to play a real opponent in Week 1, and because of that, the Tide gets rewarded for the big win. LSU moves up to No. 2 because it had two running backs break the 120-yard barrier. Oregon and Florida State remain at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, because they didn't do anything wrong in their cupcake beat downs. Although, the loss of defensive end Brandon Jenkins may hurt the 'Noles in the future.
West Virginia moves on up.
The Mountaineers disassembled their in-state rival, Marshall, rolling up 69 points and 655 total yards. West Virginia managed an astounding 8.9 yards per play and were almost perfectly balanced, gaining 331 yards on the ground and 324 through the air. The 'Eers did allow 535 yards and 34 points, which is a big troubling until you remember that they now play in the Big 12 and that conference doesn't allow defense.
Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and Wisconsin all pretty much sucked.
None of these teams looked very good in Week 1. The Sooners and Badgers both struggled against seriously inferior competition, Carolina barely escaped Nashville with a win over Vandy, and Georgia's defense looked mediocre for long stretches against Buffalo. If one Internet meme could perfectly describe these teams' play, it would be this one.
Oklahoma State makes a nice jump.
We still don't really know how good the Cowboys can be this season, but any team that wins 84-0 must be ranked in the top 15.
Not a whole lot of moving and shaking.
Most of this group remained fairly stagnant. Teams that were ranked below Michigan moved up a spot, but Michigan State and Clemson didn't get much credit for victories over quality competition. The Spartans edged Boise State at home, and the Broncos only returned five total starters this season. Clemson beat Auburn in the Georgia Dome, but Auburn wasn't that impressive, and at times, neither were Dabo's Tigers.
Utah validates its preseason ranking.
Northern Colorado isn't exactly the stiffest foe the Utes could have faced in the first week, but Utah's defense was great. The Bears amassed a measly 114 yards and seven first downs in a 41-0 blowout. Utah has the best defense in the Pac-12 and one of the best in the country.
THE FINAL FIVE
Say "hello" to Tennessee and North Carolina.
The Tar Heels almost made the final cut of our preseason poll, but just like alleged academic fraud in Chapel Hill, that didn't happen. A 62-0 win over Elon gets the Heels in at No. 24. Tennessee joins us at No. 23 after putting on a nice offensive display against N.C. State. The Vols' passing game is superb and makes Tennessee the SEC's biggest sleeper this season.
Say "good-bye" to Auburn.
The Tigers could have been victorious against Clemson, but they could have lost by two or three touchdowns, too. Poor tackling, inconsistent QB play and a lack of playmakers at receiver are few of the things that cost Auburn in Atlanta. Unless Gene Chizik and co. turn things around quickly, it might be a while before the Tigers make it back into the poll.