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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 03, 2019 8:30 pm

Sinn's AP Poll: Week 1 2019

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

One week of college football's 2019 season is in the books after Notre Dame's victory over Louisville on Monday night. For the second straight season, I am an AP Poll voter, given the honor of ranking the best 25 teams in the sport every week. 

Each week, after the composite poll is published, I'll post my poll in this space and break down some of the spots in which I differed the most with the voter consensus. At the end of each week's post, I'll make one bold pick from the following week's slate of games. If you recall, I picked Purdue over Ohio State last season. What I'm saying is, you should listen to me.

The first week of the 2019 season featured only one top 25 matchup and only one truly big upset (Wyoming over Missouri), meaning there was little movement in my rankings this week. This was my poll heading into Week 2.

1. Clemson (1-0)

2. Alabama (1-0)

3. Georgia (1-0)

4. Oklahoma (1-0)

5. Ohio State (1-0)

6. LSU (1-0)

7. Notre Dame (1-0)

8. Texas A&M (1-0)

9. Penn State (1-0)

10. Florida (1-0)

11. Texas (1-0)

12. Michigan (1-0)

13. Washington (1-0)

14. Wisconsin (1-0)

15. Utah (1-0)

16. Auburn (1-0)

17. Oregon (0-1)

18. Washington State (1-0)

19. Central Florida (1-0)

20. Iowa (1-0)

21. Syracuse (1-0)

22. Stanford (1-0)

23. Michigan State (1-0)

24. Iowa State (1-0)

25. Boise State (1-0)

The full poll can be found here: https://www.collegefootball.ap.org/poll

The only top 25 matchup of the week was Auburn-Oregon, which went to the Tigers, 27-21. The Ducks led most of the game, which was played at AT&T Stadium (aka JerryWorld in Arlington), before Auburn rallied for 21 straight points in the second half and won. Of course, there was plenty of overreaction after this game and Auburn moved up six spots to No. 10 in the overall poll, but in my opinion neither team in this game was particularly impressive. Auburn might have found its quarterback in true freshman Bo Nix, who engineered the late comeback, but he only completed 42% of his passes. I'm not sold on this Tigers team and I don't think they're a top 10 group. As for Oregon, blowing a two-touchdown lead against a true freshman quarterback is bad enough. I wasn't high on either team in the preseason and my opinion hasn't changed much. So, yes, I have Auburn lower than everyone else (one voter has the Tigers No. 4), but I have no doubt I'll be vindicated as the season goes on.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have Penn State ranked higher than everyone else. The Nittany Lions are No. 9 in my poll (up one spot from No. 10 in my preseason rankings), but just 15th in the overall rankings. I was impressed with PSU before the season began and their 79-7 win over Idaho in Week 1 certainly did nothing to dissuade me of my belief that this is a contender in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have athletes all over the place on both sides of the line scrimmage and redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Clifford shook off some early jitters in his first game as the starter to throw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Penn State was certainly more impressive than Michigan, which looked half-asleep in a win over Middle Tennessee State. Yet Penn State is No. 15 and the Wolverines are No. 7 this week. Ho hum.

I kept the Irish at No. 7 in my poll after they had an up-and-down season-opening win over a clearly-improved Louisville team on the road. They moved up one spot to No. 8 in the overall poll, though they are still behind the Wolverines, which I believe to be a mistake, at least until I see Michigan come through in a truly big game. We'll know much more about Notre Dame after its Week 4 matchup against Georgia.

Bold Pick of the Week: Colorado 34, Nebraska 27

The Cornhuskers are ranked No. 25 in the overall poll this week, but I dropped them from my rankings after having them 25th in my preseason poll. They went 4-8 in 2018 and the only real reason they were ranked in the preseason is because quarterback Adrian Martinez seems to be really good and Scott Frost is overwhelmingly believed to be a terrific coach entering Year 2 with the 'Huskers. I'm not sure that's enough to make them a top-25 team. Nebraska is a touchdown favorite in this one, but Colorado hung 52 on Colorado State in Week 1 and the Cornhuskers looked suspect in a 35-21 win over South Alabama. Of course, when has Colorado ever pulled a surprise upset of Nebraska? I can't remember one. 

dsinn@jg.net