College football rankings 2023: Projected Week 2 AP Top 25 after Georgia, Ohio State sleepwalk, Colorado upsets TCU

  • Georgia, Ohio State and Top 10 teams sleepwalking through Week 1
  • Colorado upends TCU in Coach Prime's debut for Buffs
  • UNC lays down the law on the "real Carolina"
Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deon Sanders talks to quarterback
Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deon Sanders talks to quarterback / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Projected AP Top 25 college football rankings after Week 1: No. 8-7

8. LSU Tigers

After going into halftime with a 17-14 lead, LSU Tigers fans had to be feeling great about where they stood in the overall hierarchy of college football. 30 minutes of game time later, they probably didn't feel the same.

LSU undoubted should still be considered a contender to play for the SEC Championship in early December, but Sunday night probably showed that the Tigers might not necessarily be ready to play in the College Football Playoffs. Florida State, on the other hand, is. Jayden Daniels and the offense, though extremely talent-laden, are not on that caliber and the defense should get better throughout the year as the defense coalesces, particularly in the secondary.

Even still, the Tigers are a quality team and they just went up against and even better team in Week 1 of the season. If I had to take bets, that could legitimately be the only game that LSU loses in the regular season.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions

The debut of Drew Allar as the Penn State starting quarterback wasn’t necessarily as electric as those in Happy Valley dreamed of, but it was plenty good enough to give Nittany Lions fans reason to believe that this team does have a much higher ceiling than they did with Sean Clifford helming the offense. 

People are going to downplay West Virginia with Neal Brown firmly on the hot seat entering this season, but the Mountaineers are still a decent enough Power 5 program and a quarterback making his first start looked incredibly poised and ready for the moment throughout. Moreover, the defense, after coming off of the blocks with a bit of lackluster effort, righted the ship and showed the immense talent this team has on that side of the ball. 

The scoreboard isn’t going to win Penn State any popularity contests, but among the three Big Ten contenders this year, I’d argue that handling West Virginina in the manner the Nittany Lions did was the most impressive feat among them.