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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 04, 2018 9:10 pm

Sinn's AP Poll: Week 1

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Week 1 of the college football season featured a number of marquee matchups this year, in addition to several other games involving ranked teams that ended up being compelling. As usual after the first week, there was significant movement in the AP Poll, as observers learn which teams were worthy of their offseason hype (hello, Virginia Tech), which ones have work to do (Penn State) and which ones don't actually seem to be very good (Florida State).

Here is my poll following the first slate of games:

1. Alabama (1-0)

2. Ohio State (1-0)

3. Clemson (1-0)

4. Oklahoma (1-0)

5. Wisconsin (1-0)

6. Auburn (1-0)

7. Notre Dame (1-0)

8. Georgia (1-0)

9. LSU (1-0)

10. West Virginia (1-0)

11. TCU (1-0)

12. Stanford (1-0)

13. Virginia Tech (1-0)

14. Penn State (1-0)

15. Central Florida (1-0)

16. Washington (0-1)

17. USC (1-0)

18. Boise State (1-0)

19. South Carolina (1-0)

20. Michigan (0-1)

21. Miami (0-1)

22. Michigan State (1-0)

23. Mississippi State (1-0)

24. Oregon (1-0)

25. Northwestern (1-0)

The composite poll from all the AP voters can be found here:

Notre Dame is ranked No. 8 in the composite poll, up four spots from its No. 12 ranking in the preseason. I had the Irish No. 8 in the preseason and moved them up one spot to No. 7 after their 24-17 Week 1 victory over Michigan. I was very impressed with Notre Dame's win and thought they physically dominated most of the game against the Wolverines, a very good sign for the rest of their grueling schedule. I only moved them up one spot because I still feel they're a tier below the truly elite teams of the Top 6. Unfortunately for the Irish, they won't really have another chance to impress the voters until Sept. 29 against No. 10 Stanford. I think it's pretty clear at this point, however, that they're a bona fide Top 10 team and should remain there for the foreseeable future.

The biggest riser in my poll this week was LSU, which completely manhandled Miami at AT&T Stadium in Texas. The Tigers' defense is one of the best in the country and they seem to have found a running back in Nick Brosette. As usual, their quarterback play was lackluster (Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow went 11 for 24 for 140 yards), but Burrow made some good throws and could have a big season.

New to the poll are Mississippi State, Oregon and Northwestern, while Arizona, Texas and Florida State exit. Northwestern was solid in a tough road victory over Purdue on Thursday and owns the longest winning streak in the country among Power Five teams at nine games. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, I dropped Penn State and Michigan State several spots after they barely eked out victories over Appalachian State and Utah State. I had Michigan State No. 18 in the preseason poll (far lower than their actual spot at No. 11) and I remain skeptical of the Spartans and quarterback Brian Lewerke.