Just like last year, the Power Rankings top half remains relatively the same, while the bottom continues to fluctuate. Week 2 had some similarities to Week 1 in that the surprises were good and bad. ECU was part of one of the good surprises while Temple and SMU’s seasons are part of the bad. Here’s how the teams stack up after Week 2.
1. UCF (2-0)
Even when McKenzie Milton played his worst game, the Knights left no doubt about who was the better team. A 38-0 win over South Carolina proved that timing is everything when your star isn’t at his best.
2. Houston (2-0)
A 31-0 halftime lead shrunk too quick for Houston’s liking when the backups went in, but the starters came back and finished the job. The Cougars offense has the potential to be the best in the conference this year, and Ed Oliver continues to be unblockable despite double and triple teams being sent his way.
3. USF (2-0)
Blake Barnett is taking his first legitimate chance to start, and is running with it. The newcomer made some clutch plays down the stretch against Georgia Tech, leading the Bulls to 21 fourth quarter points to beat the Yellow Jackets at home.
4. Cincinnati (2-0)
This was a trap game if we’ve ever seen one, and the Bearcats came prepared to avoid a letdown. Cincinnati relied heavily on the running game (only attempted 11 passes), and the defense pitched a shutout. It appears Desmond Ridder is going to be the starter for the foreseeable future, meaning it’s the last we’ve seen of Hayden Moore. Mike Warren II continues to play well for Gerrid Doaks, who has been out with an injury.
5. Memphis (1-1)
Mother nature got the best of the Tigers Saturday against Navy. Rain limited Memphis’ ability to pass the football, and the Midshipmen stunned the visitors, 22-21. Darrell Henderson rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, but the defense got worn down by the Navy triple option attack. In better conditions, this would have been lopsided the other way.
6. Navy (1-1)
A loss to Hawaii was tough, but Navy is tougher at home. Granted, the rain certainly helped the defense since Memphis’ offense became one dimensional, but they still pulled off the upset. Malcolm Perry gave Navy a tough performance, and made some big plays late.
7. Tulane (1-1)
Last week’s loss was tough, but the Green Wave took their frustrations out on Nicholls, 42-17. This time, the running game was the highlight as Corey Dauphine stole the show with 152 yards and three touchdowns rushing.
8. Tulsa (1-1)
Oh what could have been. Tulsa fell behind by 21 in the first half, but still had a chance. They pulled within seven points late in the game before Texas scored again. Still, the Golden Hurricane fought back to respond with a score of their own. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything left in the tank after that, giving Texas a 28-21 win. It appears this team is significantly better than their 2-10 season in 2017.
9. ECU (1-1)
So, let’s get this straight. ECU can’t beat an FCS team, but can win by 22 against an ACC team? The Pirates pulled off a stunning win, and blew out a Tar Heels team that was favored by 16. We’re as confused as everyone else.
10. UConn (0-2)
We knew this test was going to be tough, and it was. UConn went to the blue turf to get destroyed by Boise State, 62-7. The Huskies will get their first legitimate shot to win a game against Rhode Island next.
11. SMU (0-2)
The defense has been as bad as expected, but the offense may be worse. Ben Hicks looks awful right now, and the Mustangs have fallen behind big in their two games before they can even do something about it.
12. Temple (0-2)
What is happening to the Owls? A potential dark horse team has turned into a team with a dark season. Temple used three quarterbacks in their loss to Buffalo this weekend, and the defense couldn’t stop Bulls’ quarterback Tyree Jackson. This is a free fall that no one saw coming.