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SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 suffered its first loss in nonconference play — thanks, Arizona — but still managed an impressive 18-0 start to the season. In the end, the conference finished 20-3 through Week 2.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t start this out by acknowledging that Texas is back!
I’m in no way a Texas fan — even if I’m writing this in Austin, Texas — but after years or ironically using the phrase “Texas is back” at the beginning of each season, the Longhorns may actually have a team that is worthy of being a national championship contender.
Before we get too crazy, it’s a good reminder that the season is only two weeks old, but Texas is legit back this time … until the Longhorns lose to Wyoming next week or something. But then we can all collectively go back to using the phrase ironically again. It’s the circle of life.
Also, how about Colorado taking the world by storm for another week? At this rate, Deion Sanders will have every college football player pleading to transfer to Boulder by Week 4. It’s a fun storyline to watch, and it’s good for the sport to have so many people interested in a team that’s not Alabama, Georgia, Texas, USC, etc.
Here’s the ballot I submitted to the Associated Press this week that will be counted toward the official consensus poll released later today.
Is Georgia going to play anybody yet? Moving on …
I could say the same thing for Michigan. I will mention, though, that this is the second week Michigan hasn’t covered the spread — even if it is a large spread. Outside of that, who cares.
3. Florida State
A 53-point win over Southern Miss? Next …
Reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams makes opposing teams look like outmatched high school programs. Yes, Stanford is bad, but the Trojans put up 49 points on the Cardinal without seemingly trying … and that was just the halftime score. USC is a load to handle right now. Circle that USC-Colorado matchup on Sept. 30.
The Texas era is here, and Alabama has been dethroned, though you could argue that really started to take shape last season. And though Texas has always had the talent, it’s the trench play that is separating this Longhorns team from those before it. It’s time to start taking Texas seriously.
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes scored 35 points on Youngstown State. I’m not going to make too much of this, but Ohio State doesn’t quite feel like it’s there yet. For that reason, I’m leaving the Buckeyes at No. 6 this week, especially when the teams just above them have looked better.
7. Penn State
Penn State took care of business against Delaware. Enough said.
Michael Penix Jr. continued his hot start. He threw three touchdowns and had 409 yards passing against a Tulsa team that was outmatched before the game kicked off. So far, nothing is slowing down the Huskies.
It’s weird to see the Crimson Tide this far down the list, but teams are finding a way to get to Alabama (not just Texas this year; it’s been kind of a small trend as of the last couple years). Alabama still remains one of the best teams in the sport, but their dominance isn’t at the level it used to be. There’s talent at QB with Jalen Milroe, but he’s not quite there yet.
10. Notre Dame
Notre Dame took care of business — and then some — against an NC State team that was expected to keep the game within a touchdown, at least according to Las Vegas. The Fighting Irish saved much of its scoring for the second half, where it overwhelmed the Wolfpack behind Sam Hartman’s four touchdowns and 286 passing yards in a double-digit win.
Checking in: Kansas, Miami and Washington State
Dropping out: Texas A&M, Tulane and Wisconsin
In consideration: UCLA, Mississippi State, UCF, James Madison, Clemson, Fresno State, Wyoming, Wake Forest, Cincinnati
If you can’t see my full ballot below, click here.