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It’s solely Week 1 of the 2022 school soccer season, however the Pac-12 is sadly already in midseason type, shortly taking part in its approach out of the College Football Playoff dialog.
Well, not fully. AP No. 14 USC did put a 66-14 hurting on Rice with assist from not one, not two, however three decide sixes. But No. 11 Oregon obtained destroyed by No. 3 Georgia, and No. 7 Utah went into the Gainesville swamp and got here away with an L in opposition to an unranked Florida.
Temporarily unranked, that’s.
After knocking off Utah in Billy Napier’s debut as head coach, the Gators are going to skyrocket into the AP ballot, presumably all the best way into the Top 10. Anthony Richardson was each bit as electrical as we remembered from when he was wholesome early final season, and they’re not less than a high 10 workforce now so far as Bleacher Report’s school soccer consultants—David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Morgan Moriarty and Brad Shepard—are involved.
While that upset was happening on Saturday night time, AP No. 2 Ohio State steadily asserted its will for a 21-10 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame within the opening weekend’s primary occasion.
It was contact and go there for some time with the Fighting Irish gaining 54 yards (69 for those who depend the 15 yard roughing the passer penalty) on the very first snap of the sport, adopted by the Buckeyes shedding Jaxon Smith-Njigba to a leg harm (fingers crossed that it is not something severe) halfway by way of the primary quarter. But Ohio State simply had an excessive amount of expertise, an excessive amount of toughness and an excessive amount of Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson to be denied a marquee victory.
We will replace these rankings on Monday night time if Clemson struggles and even loses to Georgia Tech within the Chick-fil-A kickoff, however whereas we anticipate that remaining recreation of Week 1, here’s what our consensus Top 25 appears like heading into Week 2:
1. Alabama (Previous Rank: 1)
2. Georgia (3)
3. Ohio State (2)
4. Clemson (4)
5. Michigan (8)
6. Texas A&M (7)
7. Florida (NR)
8. Oklahoma (15)
9. USC (11)
10. Notre Dame (5)
11. Arkansas (16)
12. Michigan State (12)
13. Miami (17)
14 (tie). Baylor (14)
14 (tie). BYU (23)
14 (tie). Wisconsin (18)
17. Oklahoma State (9)
18. Utah (6)
19. Tennessee (NR)
20. Pittsburgh (25)
21. Penn State (19t)
22. Kentucky (24)
23. Houston (19t)
24. Texas (22)
25. NC State (10)
Also Receiving Votes: Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Mississippi State
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After breaking by way of and profitable the 2019 nationwide championship, LSU had 14 gamers taken within the NFL draft… and subsequently crashed and burned.
But for those who have been nervous that reigning nationwide champion Georgia would possibly endure the same destiny after having 15 gamers (together with 5 first-rounders) taken within the 2022 NFL draft, Saturday’s 49-3 annihilation of No. 11 Oregon ought to have quelled these irrational fears.
The passing assault was darn close to flawless. Stetson Bennett did many of the work, however Carson Beck additionally contributed to the 439 yards and three touchdowns by way of the air. The Bulldogs averaged almost 12 yards per cross try in opposition to what was presupposed to be an excellent Oregon protection underneath new head coach (and former UGA DC) Dan Lanning.
Simultaneously, it was Georgia’s protection that dominated the day, choosing off Bo Nix twice throughout the recreation’s first 20 minutes and limiting the Ducks to only one area objective. Prior to a meaningless prolonged drive within the remaining 10 minutes, Oregon had a modest 221 yards of whole offense.
The Dawgs did not get any sacks on this one, so it wasn’t fairly the identical “Holy cow, how is anyone going to score against this defense?!” kind of assertion that they made in final 12 months’s season opener in opposition to Clemson. Still, it was a dominant efficiency, not less than on par with what they used to do to Nix when he was the quarterback at Auburn for the previous three years.
If even Oregon could not remotely problem this Georgia workforce, it legitimately may not face a stiff take a look at till the projected SEC championship showdown with Alabama. The Bulldogs solely have one different recreation on the schedule in opposition to a ranked opponent, and that recreation at AP No. 20 Kentucky is two-and-a-half months away.
Get used to seeing these guys at or close to the highest of the rankings.
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The excellent news is NC State did not truly lose its season opener at East Carolina.
The dangerous information is the No. 10 workforce in our preseason rankings couldn’t have presumably impressed much less confidence in its 21-20 victory over the Pirates.
With assist from a blocked punt recovered for a landing, the Wolfpack carried a 21-7 lead into the intermission. But what we thought could be probably the most potent offensive assaults within the nation this season was held with no level from that time ahead.
It wasn’t for lack of alternative. On one drive, the Wolfpack marched 74 yards down the sphere earlier than fumbling on the ECU 1. And on their subsequent possession, they’d 1st and Goal on the ECU 1 earlier than Demie Sumo-Karngbaye obtained stuffed on the objective line on 4 consecutive carries.
That was the start of a stretch of greater than 12 minutes during which the Wolfpack offense ran 10 performs for minus-4 yards with an interception and a turnover on downs.
Meanwhile, ECU obtained what appeared just like the game-tying landing till Owen Daffer missed the additional level. He obtained an opportunity at redemption when an NC State three-and-out left the Pirates with loads of time to get into field-goal vary. Unfortunately, Daffer pushed the would-be game-winning 42-yard try extensive proper, permitting the Wolfpack to flee by the hair on its chinny chin chin.
All due respect to ECU—which did win seven video games final season and which has probably the most skilled quarterbacks within the nation in Holten Ahlers—however this recreation shouldn’t have come right down to the wire. Because it did, we’re left to noticeably query if NC State is definitely a high candidate to dethrone Clemson within the ACC.
The Wolfpack plummet in our rankings from No. 10 to No. 25.
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Well, the dream of No. 23 Cincinnati going to back-to-back College Football Playoffs is already useless.
Had the Bearcats gained their season opener at No. 19 Arkansas, the “Undefeated Season Watch” would have been formally underway. Road video games in opposition to SMU and UCF in late October will not be straightforward, however they actually ought to win every of their remaining 11 video games in the event that they’re even 85 % nearly as good as they’ve been over the previous few years.
Alas, Cincinnati obtained out to a painfully gradual begin within the first half in Fayetteville and could not totally get better, falling to the Hogs by a remaining rating of 31-24.
On Cincinnati’s opening drive of the season, Ben Bryant led the Bearcats down to simply exterior the crimson zone earlier than Arkansas DB Dwight McGlothern jumped an out route for an interception and returned 51 yards to flip the sphere.
Cincinnati had two different lengthy first-half drives that resulted in missed area targets.
But regardless of digging themselves an early 14-0 gap on the highway, they did virtually claw all the best way again.
On three consecutive possessions within the second half, they obtained the ball into Arkansas territory, needing a landing to tie the sport. Instead, they got here away with a area objective from a drive that began on the Arkansas 3, a punt on a drive that obtained as deep because the Arkansas 21 and a back-breaking strip-sack after a powerful Tre Tucker punt return.
Cincinnati did not look dangerous, racking up 438 whole yards in opposition to an SEC protection. This might effectively nonetheless be the Group of Five’s consultant within the New Year’s Six for a 3rd consecutive 12 months. It merely shot itself within the foot a number of too many occasions on this afternoon and suffered its first loss exterior of bowl season for the reason that 2019 AAC championship in opposition to Memphis.
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First and foremost on the Week 2 slate is the Noon ET showdown between AP No. 1 Alabama and unranked Texas. It’s the primary time in over a decade that the Crimson Tide have performed a real highway recreation in opposition to a Power Five nonconference opponent, and it comes in opposition to Nick Saban’s former assistant, Steve Sarkisian.
Should be a nutritious diet of rat poison over the subsequent seven days.
The lone matchup between groups from the preseason AP ballot is the nightcap (10:15 p.m. ET) of No. 25 BYU internet hosting No. 10 Baylor. The Cougars have crushed not less than one ranked opponent in every of the previous 4 seasons, however they misplaced to the Bears in Waco in final 12 months’s assembly. Slightly revenge in Provo would get BYU into the way-too-early College Football Playoff dialog.
Tennessee at No. 17 Pittsburgh (3:30 p.m. ET) also needs to be a battle between ranked groups when the brand new AP ballot comes out in a number of days. The Panthers look to construct on a chaotic Week 1 win over West Virginia within the reanimated Backyard Brawl whereas the should-be-ranked Volunteers prepare for an enormous take a look at after making fast work of Ball State on Thursday.
And then there is a trio of main convention showdowns, with No. 19 Arkansas internet hosting South Carolina (Noon ET), No. 20 Kentucky at Florida (7 p.m. ET) and No. 14 USC at Stanford (7:30 p.m. ET).
While there’s nothing fairly on the extent of Oregon-Georgia or Notre Dame-Ohio State, Week 2 ought to be each bit as entertaining as Week 1 has been—albeit contained virtually fully to someday quite than spaced out over a 100-hour window.