AP Top 25 Poll: Utah And USC Climb, Stanford And Washington Fall

The second week of the college football season brought plenty of close games, overtimes as well as upsets.

Clemson picked up more first-place votes after taking down then-No. 12 Texas A&M at home and LSU jumped up to No. 4 after beating then-No. 9 Texas on the road. Michigan dropped three spots (No. 10) after needing two overtimes to beat Army. Auburn and Florida each jumped up two spots to give the SEC five teams in the Top 10.  

Following a solid 35-17 victory at home against Northern Illinois, Utah climbed up two spots to No. 11. The Utes gave fans a scare in its home opener as they trailed by seven at the end of the first quarter. Fears were quickly abated, however, after the Utes scored 21 points in the second quarter, and added two touchdowns in the second half while shutting out the Huskies in the process. Zack Moss ran over several NIU players en route to two touchdowns and Tyler Huntely also had two touchdowns and added more than 200 yards in the air. The Utes defense looked as good as ever, as they stopped the Huskies 10 times on third down and allowed just two conversions on third down.

As good as they look in the second half, it’s interesting to note that the Utes frequently start games slow. Against BYU in week one they didn’t score an offensive touchdown until the third quarter, and last season the Utes ended the first quarter trailing in a total of seven games. This could be problematic moving into Pac-12 play. 

Utah still remains king of the Pac-12 as the Utes are the highest ranked team in the Pac-12 for the second consecutive week. Stanford dropped out of the Top 25 following a blowout loss to USC. Washington dropped nine spots in a loss to California and the Trojans check in at No. 24, for the program’s first ranking this season. 

No. 6 LSU Takes Down No. 9 Texas, 45-38

After losing its starting quarterback in the season opener, USC’s season looked bleak as the Trojans have one the the toughest schedules to start the season. Kedon Slovis, who replaced the injured JT Daniels, has a phenomenal debut as the freshman threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 28 passes on 33 attempts. The Trojans silenced critics and will take their ranking on the road to play BYU on Saturday and on national television.

The Utes and Trojans will play each other on September 20th at the Coliseum. This will be a key matchup for both teams in terms of Pac-12 Championship hopes and a potential Rose Bowl berth. As of right now, ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Trojans a slight advantage, with a 55% probability of beating the Utes. A major factor for this game will be home field advantage, as the Utes have not won at USC since 1916. This is one game that should be on the radar of many football fans, because it has the potential to turn into a classic. 

Here’s the entire AP Top 25 poll:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Georgia
4. LSU
5. Oklahoma
6. Ohio State
7. Notre Dame
8. Auburn
9. Florida
10. Michigan
11. Utah
12. Texas
13. Penn State
14. Wisconsin
15. Oregon
16. Texas A&M
17. UCF
18. Michigan State
19. Iowa
20. Washington State
21. Maryland
22. Boise State
23. Washington
24. USC
25. Virginia

Others receiving votes: Iowa State 96, California 95, Mississippi State 73, TCU 66, North Carolina 48, Army 42, Colorado 21, Oklahoma State 20, Memphis 12, Arizona State 4, Boston College 2, Kentucky 2, Appalachian State 2, Syracuse 2, Minnesota 1

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