We didn’t learn a whole lot about college football’s best teams in Week 1, and Week 2’s not gonna be the most important Saturday of 2018 either.
But! As always, we kept track of each current top-25 game from the College Football Playoff committee’s most likely December perspective. This means judging each team’s win not by how it looks right now, but by how it’s most likely to look by the end. If this is too convoluted for you, well, at least the final scores are here.
Remember the things the committee has mostly demonstrated it rewards: wins over final top-25 teams, wins over bowl teams, road wins, dominant wins, weirdly excusable losses, being Alabama, and not being a mid-major. It does not care what your opponent’s AP ranking was at kickoff.
All rankings AP, for now. Final scores in italics.
Games in which the winning team will likely have a pretty high-quality Week 2 pelt by season’s end. It just so happens all these teams are also currently AP-ranked.
- No. 2 Clemson (2-0) 28, Texas A&M (1-1) 26: The Aggies put a damn scare into the Tigers, but based on how QB Kellen Mond looked against Clemson’s proven defense, this Clemson W looks likely to wind up quality.
- No. 3 Georgia (2-0) 41, No. 24 South Carolina (1-1) 17: So, um, UGA just about locked up the SEC East in Week 2 LMAO, adding a solid road win in the process.
- No. 10 Stanford (2-0) 17, No. 17 USC (1-1) 3: I don’t really know why the Pac-12 likes to have this game early every year, ensuring one of its few national programs picks up a September loss, but the committee doesn’t seem to care when you lose. Stanford’s in nice shape.
- Arizona State (2-0) 16, No. 15 Michigan State (1-1) 13: hahahahahaahhaa
Games in which the winner will probably have beaten a decent bowl team (or better), and I’m being slightly generous in Week 2, because this is a light schedule.
- No. 1 Alabama (2-0) 57, Arkansas State (1-1) 7: Whapping the potential Sun Belt champ is nice, not that Bama needs the same kind of committee-impressing material as the rest of us.
- No. 13 Penn State (2-0) 51, Pitt (1-1) 6: A definitive road stomping of one of many .500-ish ACC teams.
- No. 18 Mississippi State (2-0) 31, Kansas State (1-1) 10: K-State probably isn’t very good, but still a Power 5 road win.
- No. 21 Michigan (1-1) 49, WMU (0-2) 3: Probably a blowout of a minor bowl team.
- Kentucky (2-0) 27, No. 25 Florida (1-1) 16: The end of the streak is of more interest than any theoretical New Year’s impact, but both teams could make lesser bowls.
Better not lose!
The following FBS games seem unlikely to involve multiple bowl teams each, so you better win comfortably:
- No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) 52, Rutgers (1-1) 3
- No. 5 Wisconsin (2-0) 45, New Mexico (1-1) 14
- No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) 49, UCLA (0-2) 21
- No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0) 24, Ball State (1-1) 16
- No. 16 TCU 42 (2-0), SMU 12 (0-2)
- No. 20 Boise State (1-0) vs. UConn (0-1), 10:15, ESPNU
And the Playoff committee doesn’t care about your FCS games, unless you look really terrible:
- No. 7 Auburn (2-0) 63, FCS Alabama State 9
- No. 9 Washington (1-1) 45, FCS North Dakota 3
- No. 11 LSU (2-0) 31, FCS Southeastern Louisiana 0
- No. 12 Virginia Tech (2-0) 62, FCS William & Mary 17
- No. 14 West Virginia (2-0) 52, FCS Youngstown State 17
- No. 19 UCF (2-0) 38, FCS South Carolina State 0
- No. 22 Miami (1-1) 77, FCS Savannah State 0
- No. 23 Oregon (2-0) 62, FCS Portland State 14