Rankings based on who I’d make favored over whom on a neutral field.
1–Alabama: LB Will Anderson was injured in a 48-14 win over Mercer. He reportedly practiced Tuesday and could be ready to go against the Gators, who haven’t beaten ‘Bama since 2008.
2-Georgia: I see you Stetson Bennett, who threw five TD passes in a 56-7 win over UAB. However, Bennett (back spasms) and JT Daniels are ‘questionable’ vs. South Carolina.
3-Oklahoma: The Sooners are 22 or 22.5-point home favorites vs. Nebraska.
4-Clemson: The Tigers’ games at NC St. (9/25) and vs. BC (10/2) are looking easier after injuries to the Wolfpack’s star LB Payton Wilson and the Eagles’ star QB Phil Jurkovec.
5-Florida: UF is hoping Anthony Richardson’s hamstring will be okay for the Crimson Tide’s first visit to The Swamp since 2011. The defense’s heart and soul, LB Ventrell Miller, also left the win at USF and did not return.
6-Oregon: The Ducks won at The ‘Shoe as 14.5-point road underdogs without their star Kayvon Thibodeaux.
7-Ohio St.: After giving up 52, 31 and 35 points in their last three games, it’s clear that the Buckeyes’ defense has issues galore.
8-Texas A&M: The Aggies dodged a Buffalo-sized bullet in Denver, and now Zach Calzada is the starting QB for at least the next month.
9-Iowa: The offense doesn’t have to produce big numbers if the defense keeps scoring TDs and producing turnovers galore.
10-Ole Miss: Tulane QB Michael Pratt’s ability to run and throw is going to present challenges for the Rebels’ defense.
11-Penn St: We find out a lot more about Auburn and Penn St. on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The James Franklin-to-USC rumors have already heated up.
12-Cincinnati: The Bearcats bounced back from a rough first half to pull away and cover against Murray St. Through two games, QB Desmond Ridder has completed 34-of-47 passes for 538 yards with a 6/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also has a rushing score.
13-UCLA: The Bruins have had two weeks to prepare for a Fresno St. team that’s hoping to spring an upset Saturday in Pasadena.
14-Auburn: Can Bo Nix put his road woes behind him as a junior QB that now has 26 career starts to his credit?
15-Kentucky: QB Will Levis and WR Wan’Dale Robinson have added a bunch of firepower to a previously pedestrian offensive attack.
16-Wisconsin: Nice bounce-back game from Graham Mertz and the Badgers in dominating Eastern Michigan from start to finish.
17-Michigan: Is this the year Michigan finally breaks through under Jim Harbaugh? Only time will tell, but the chances of it happening are a whole lot better than they were a few weeks ago.
18-Arkansas: The Hogs just took the Horns in the backyard for a Saturday-Night Assbeating in The Ozarks.
19-Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have flirted with defeat in back-to-back weeks, but they remain unscathed. Now Purdue comes calling.
20-Arizona St.: The Sun Devils are hoping to survive a trip to Provo that their division-rival Utah couldn’t handle in Week 2.
21-Coastal Carolina: QB Grayson McCall now has a 30/3 career TD-INT ratio and eight career rushing TDs.
22-Va. Tech: The Hokies take a 2-0 record into Morgantown in Week 3, and they’re going to have to overcome the loss of of TE James Mitchell to a season-ending injury.
23-Iowa St.: Nobody is going to win many football games when it is -4 in turnover margin. That’s why the Cyclones went down at home in Week 2.
24-Tulane: The Green Wave couldn’t quite pull the shocker in Norman in its season opener. Now Willie Fritz’s bunch will try for an upset in Oxford. Tulane does have to travel for the third consecutive weekend.
25-Texas: Sark has named Casey Thompson as his starting QB vs. Rice.
26-Mississippi St.: A lot of teams would’ve had a hard time winning in Starkville this past Saturday night.
27-BYU: Can the Cougars knock off two of the Pac-12 South’s best teams in consecutive weeks?
28-North Carolina: Sam Howell has a 72/17 career TD-INT ratio and 10 rushing TDs.
29-LSU: RB John Emery is out for the season due to academic issues. The last time Jim McElwain coached in Death Valley, his team won outright as a double-digit underdog. But this time around, he’s bringing the Chippewas to Redstick rather than the Gators.
30-TCU: The Frogs have an open date in Week 3 before hosting SMU and Texas.
31-Missouri: The Tigers refused to go away in front of a raucous crowd at Kroger Field last Saturday night, only to come up a bit short.
32-UCF: The Knights take aim at a Power-Five foe in Louisville this Saturday.
33-Utah: If the Utes don’t play better than they did last week at BYU, they’ll lose Saturday at San Diego St.
34-Maryland: Baby Tua and the Terps are at Illinois on Friday night.
35-Fresno St.: The Bulldogs, who are 11-point underdogs at UCLA, are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as road underdogs.
36-Miami: The Hurricanes survived a feisty App. St. bunch, but here comes a revived Sparty squad with Kenneth Walker, who has rushed for 321 yards and five TDs on just 30 totes.
37-USC: A 14-point loss as a 17-point home favorite vs. Stanford got Clay Helton canned after Week 2. Will this spark the Trojans or send their season into the abyss?
38-Boise St.: The Broncos bounced back from their heartbreaking loss at UCF to thump UTEP. After its home game vs. FSU got nixed by the pandemic last year, BSU gets to host a Power-Five program in Oklahoma St. on Saturday.
39-NC St.: The injury to LB Payton Wilson is a crushing blow. The Wolfpack host Clemson on Sept. 25.
40-Army: The Black Knights have a great chance to be 5-0 with two weeks to prepare for Wisconsin at Camp Randall on Oct. 16.
41-Liberty: The 2-0 Flames host ODU before a trip to The Carrier Dome to face The ‘Cuse next Friday night.
42-Boston College: The indefinite loss of star QB Phil Jurkovec is a killer, but backup QB Dennis Grosel has eight career starts and a 16/6 career TD-INT ratio.
43-Nevada: The Wolf Pack don’t to have to face dual-threat QB Skylar Thompson (out indefinitely with a lower-body injury) in Saturday’s trip to K-St.
44-West Virginia: The Mountaineers host Va. Tech before going to Norman in Week 4.
45-Appalachian St.: App. St. took the ‘Canes to the wire in South Fla. before losing a 25-23 decision. Three of its next five games are against Marshall, UL-Lafayette and Coastal Carolina.
46-Wake Forest: The Deacs host an FSU squad still seeking its first victory.
47-Michigan St.: Mel Tucker bolstered his team’s talent level by landing 14 transfers, including 12 from Power-Five programs. The best is Walker, who hopes to lead Sparty to victory over the ‘Canes on Saturday.
48-Oklahoma St.: Can Mike Gundy’s club win Saturday on the smurf turf?
49-Western Ky.: Bailey Zappe and the ‘Tops have two weeks to prepare for Indiana’s trip to Bowling Green, KY.
50-Rutgers: After RU beats Delaware at home, it’ll take a 3-0 record to The Big House in Week 4.
BEST OF THE REST: Pitt, San Jose St., Kansas St., Stanford, UTSA, Minnesota, Indiana, Virginia, Marshall, Louisiana, San Diego St. and South Carolina.