Power 5 conference power rankings

Week 1 provides one of the season's few opportunities to see how teams in the Power 5 conferences stack up against each other, but these rankings are about how teams rate against their same-league buddies.

Check out the TL;DR chart below and use the navigation bar to get full details on why we ranked teams how we did.

ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC


For years, the ACC has embraced marquee national games on opening weekend. But the results in Week 1 show the league still has some work to do in establishing more elite teams behind Clemson. Though Alabama was favored to beat Louisville, the biggest disappointment is the way Miami played against LSU on Sunday night in Dallas. The preseason favorite to win the Coastal Division, Miami showed the same flaws we saw at the end of 2017: shaky quarterback and offensive line play plus an ineffective run game. Miami has now lost four straight dating back to last season, and it's fair to ask why the Hurricanes didn't show any improvement between the Orange Bowl and now. If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now: This is Clemson's league to lose.

1. Clemson Tigers (1-0)
The Tigers did what they were supposed to do against Furman. Now a bigger challenge awaits at Texas A&M, where both Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence are expected to play.

2. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0)
Bud Foster's revamped defense was the story in a 24-3 win over Florida State. The Hokies had 14 tackles for loss and held the Seminoles to under 100 yards rushing.

3. Boston College Eagles (1-0)
Yes, the Eagles beat up on overmatched UMass. But what impressed was how crisp the offense looked, especially the passing game.

4. Miami Hurricanes (0-1)
The Hurricanes have plenty of work to do to move past their disappointing performance against LSU, starting on offense.

5. Florida State Seminoles (0-1)
Willie Taggart's debut as coach couldn't have been more disappointing. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 35 of their 63 of their offensive plays went for zero or negative yards.

6. Duke Blue Devils (1-0)
Daniel Jones had a strong performance against Army, while the defense showed discipline and forced two turnovers.

7. Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0)
Kenny Pickett scored three touchdowns to lead the Panthers over Albany, but a much bigger task awaits this Saturday in a rivalry game against Penn State.

8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0)
True freshman quarterback Sam Hartman showed great potential in a road overtime win against Tulane, though it was a slog for the Deacs until the end.

9. Louisville Cardinals (0-1)
A 51-14 loss to Alabama probably had more to do with just how ridiculously good the Tide will be this season. Jawon Pass showed some flashes to build on.

10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0)
The Jackets rolled up 439 yards rushing against Alcorn State.

11. NC State Wolfpack (1-0)
James Madison pushed the Wolfpack throughout NC State's 24-13 victory. They need to find more consistency in their run game.

12. Virginia Cavaliers (1-0)
Bryce Perkins had a solid debut at quarterback against Richmond, throwing for 185 yards, rushing for 108 and scoring four total touchdowns.

13. Syracuse Orange (1-0)
Eric Dungey is the real deal, and the only proof you need is the way Syracuse played when he was in the game against Western Michigan vs. when he was on the bench.

14. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1)
The offense is in desperate need of help.

Big 12

In Week 1, Oklahoma looked like a CFP possibility, while West Virginia looked like a potential Big 12 title contender.

But as for the rest of the Big 12? Well, it was pretty much a debacle.

Despite all of the offseason chatter from second-year Texas coach Tom Herman about culture and commitment, the Longhorns fell to Maryland, a program in total disarray, for the second consecutive season. The Terrapins now have only two wins over ranked teams since 2011, and both of them have come against Texas these past two years. It was yet another embarrassing performance from the Longhorns in a long line of them this decade.

Texas, however, wasn't alone in its Week 1 misery. Texas Tech's hyped defense got exposed by Ole Miss, Kansas State needed a late rally just to knock off South Dakota, while Kansas failed to pull off the upset of Nicholls in overtime.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
In his first start in the post-Baker Mayfield era, QB Kyler Murray smacked the Lane Train off the tracks.

2. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)
QB Will Grier showed his former conference why he's a legit Heisman favorite.

3. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)
QB Shawn Robinson accounted for five touchdowns in the first half, the first TCU player to do so in a dozen years.

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)
QB Taylor Cornelius looked shaky in his first career start, but the offensive skill contingent flanking him could be awesome.

5. Iowa State Cyclones (0-0)
The Cyclones move up two spots despite their game getting canceled due to weather; that's actually how bad the Big 12 teams now below them looked.

6. Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)
It was ugly, but it could have easily been worse without Isaiah Zuber, whose two fourth-quarter TDs staved off disaster.

7. Texas Longhorns (0-1)
Texas could be underdogs in four of its next five games, which means Tom Herman's seat could warm up fast.

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-1)
So much for that vaunted defense, though those Ole Miss receivers are ridiculously good.

9. Baylor Bears (1-0)
The Bears don't get much credit for beating down an FCS opponent, but at least it was a much better start to the season than last year.

10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-1)
Hello darkness, my old friend.

Big Ten

Billed as one of the top divisions nationally in the preseason, the Big Ten East took a hit in Week 1. Penn State and Michigan State narrowly escaped against less talented Appalachian State and Utah State. Michigan struggled mightily in a 24-17 loss at Notre Dame, rushing for 1.8 yards per attempt.

All of it raises questions about the strength of the division -- and the league as a whole.

Ohio State and Wisconsin provided bright spots with lopsided wins.

Maryland emerged from a troubling offseason with an emphatic win over a Texas team that was perhaps overrated. Nonetheless, it's a solid win for the league as a whole -- its best, in fact, on the opening weekend.

Northwestern survived a Purdue charge in the second half to earn the leg up on contenders in the West, which promises a wild race behind the Badgers, who still look like the class of the division.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)
The Buckeyes' defense left some room to improve, but Ohio State remains the cream of the crop thanks to Dwayne Haskins and his talented cast of weapons that posted 77 against Oregon State.

2. Wisconsin Badgers (1-0)
No sophomore slump for Jonathan Taylor, who rumbled for 145 yards with help from the nation's best offensive line against overmatched Western Kentucky.

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)
With the panic button within reach, credit Trace McSorley & Co. for making big plays in the second half and overtime to turn away upset-minded Appalachian State.

4. Michigan State Spartans (1-0)
The Spartans' history of rebounding well from sluggish starts will be put to an immediate test in Week 2 at Arizona State.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0)
School-record win No. 144 for coach Kirk Ferentz came in befitting fashion, powered by a tough defensive performance against Northern Illinois and nothing fancy on offense.

6. Northwestern Wildcats (1-0)
QB Clayton Thorson passed his first test on the rebound from ACL surgery, throwing for 172 yards in abbreviated action as the Cats stalled in the second half but held on to beat Purdue.

7. Michigan Wolverines (0-1)
The Wolverines aren't going to threaten for any Big Ten titles until they can figure out how to breathe new life into their stagnant offense.

8. Maryland Terrapins (1-0)
Quite a statement from the Terps and interim coach Matt Canada, who showed in holding off Texas that they plan to honor fallen teammate Jordan McNair with determination on the field.

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0)
Severe weather canceled the debut for coach Scott Frost against Akron, forcing the Huskers into a more uncomfortable opener against old nemesis Colorado.

10. Purdue Boilermakers (0-1)
True freshman Rondale Moore offered plenty of reason for optimism in defeat, accumulating 313 all-purpose yards to break the Boilermakers' single-game record.

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0)
The Gophers tuned up nicely for a tough Week 2 meeting with Fresno State by rolling New Mexico State behind freshman QB Zack Annexstad and Rodney Smith's 153 yards on the ground.

12. Indiana Hoosiers (1-0)
Looks like the Hoosiers have discovered some stability at QB with Peyton Ramsey, who completed 20 of 27 throws to power Indiana past an early deficit against Florida International.

13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0)
The Scarlet Knight defense looked great against Texas State, but next weekend in Columbus presents a much tougher test.

14. Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0)
After trailing 17-3 at halftime, the Illini followed new QB AJ Bush and linebacker Jake Hansen to win their 21st straight home opener, the fourth-longest streak nationally.


With 12 games to choose from, it's easy to find several positives, but collectively the Pac-12 underwhelmed to begin the season. Washington's loss to Auburn was particularly deflating because a win would have gone a long way toward improving the perception of the conference nationally. Whether perception actually matters is a separate matter, but that game was the only real opportunity to secure a meaningful win. It's not that the Pac-12's eight wins don't matter -- they do, of course -- it's that each of them was expected. The conference doesn't deserve much credit for a collection of Mountain West wins, especially when there are some really bad losses mixed in.

1. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)
Receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside, not Bryce Love, turned in the All-America-caliber performance against San Diego State.

2. USC Trojans (1-0)
JT Daniels was unfazed by the jump to the college level, and that makes USC dangerous.

3. Washington Huskies (0-1)
The Huskies went into Auburn territory, didn't play very well and still almost won. They'll be fine.

4. Oregon Ducks (1-0)
With Portland State and San Jose State coming up, Oregon might be averaging 60 points when conference play begins.

5. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)
Athletic director Ray Anderson's Great Herm Edwards Experiment couldn't have started much better than a 49-7 win over UTSA.

6. Utah Utes (1-0)
They got off to a slow start, but the Utes showed flashes of why they should contend in the South.

7. Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)
The Pac-12's best quarterback in Week 1? Steven Montez.

8. Washington State Cougars (1-0)
Wazzu's poor Week 1 track record makes its impressive road win against Wyoming that much more satisfying.

9. California Golden Bears (1-0)
Give Cal credit: It was the only Pac-12 team to beat a Power 5 opponent in Week 1, even if it was UNC, which ranks last in this week's ACC power rankings.

10. Arizona Wildcats (0-1)
With QB Khalil Tate coming back, there were high hopes in Tucson, but those feel undeserved after an uninspired loss to BYU.

11. UCLA Bruins (0-1)
Chip Kelly lost his debut at Oregon, too, and then went 46-6 during the rest of his tenure in Eugene.

12. Oregon State Beavers (0-1)
Good news: The Beavers scored 31 against Ohio State. Bad news: Pretty much everything else.


Things couldn't have gone much better for the SEC, as the conference went a combined 13-1 to start the season.

It wasn't just against the Coastal Carolinas of the world, either.

In high-profile matchups like Alabama-Louisville, Auburn-Washington and LSU-Miami, the conference rolled.

A common thread in those games: the strength of the West.

We all knew Alabama had playoff contender written all over it -- and the play of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa only solidified that thought -- but now the division doesn't look quite so top-heavy. Auburn hung tough against a playoff contender in Washington and finally won a game in Atlanta, and LSU and coach Ed Orgeron proved all the naysayers wrong by dismantling The U on a neutral field.

We can't forget about the state of Mississippi. Mississippi State is ranked for a reason, with one of the best defensive lines in the country (see: Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons, etc.). And Ole Miss, by lighting up Texas Tech in a 47-27 win in Houston, showed that it's not to be trifled with, either.

It was just one week of games, but it was certainly enough to create some optimism for the rest of the season.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)
Welcome to the Tua Tagovailoa Era. The lefty from Hawaii won the starting quarterback job from Jalen Hurts as the Crimson Tide steamrolled Louisville in Orlando.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)
The real test comes this weekend against South Carolina, but the Bulldogs were sharp and both quarterbacks, Jake Fromm and Justin Fields, played well in an opening salvo against Austin Peay.

3. Auburn Tigers (1-0)
It wasn't pretty, but Jarrett Stidham and the defense showed up late in a big way to secure a close win against Washington and a potential first step toward playoff contention.

4. LSU Tigers (1-0)
A statement win for the Tigers, though far from perfect. A great start and needed win with a daunting schedule ahead.

5. Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0)
Keytaon Thompson, who started in place of the suspended Nick Fitzgerald, threw for 364 yards and five touchdowns as the Bulldogs crushed Stephen F. Austin in a nice debut win for coach Joe Moorhead.

6. Texas A&M Aggies (1-0)
Jimbo Fisher's new team looked crisp and efficient in an easy win over Northwestern State.

7. Florida Gators (1-0)
It's hard to get carried away with a 53-6 win over Charleston Southern, especially when seven players were suspended, but the fact that Feleipe Franks threw five touchdowns is a good sign for what had been an anemic offense prior to coach Dan Mullen's arrival.

8. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0)
Jake Bentley continues to fly under the radar when it comes to quality young quarterbacks in college football despite throwing four touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 34-point win over Coastal Carolina.

9. Ole Miss Rebels (1-0)
Those Ole Miss receivers ... wow, what a bunch. The Rebels have an explosive offense worth watching.

10. Missouri Tigers (1-0)
More big numbers for last year's touchdown leader Drew Lock as the quarterback threw for 289 yards and four scores against UT Martin.

11. Kentucky Wildcats (1-0)
The Wildcats had a shaky start and four turnovers against Central Michigan but recovered to avoid becoming another Power 5 victim.

12. Vanderbilt Commodores (1-0)
Kyle Shurmur played well for the Commodores, throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions, but don't forget to give the defense credit for holding Middle Tennessee to one touchdown and less than 5 yards per attempt through the air.

13. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)
The Razorbacks threw it around the yard well against Eastern Illinois, giving Chad Morris a successful coaching debut.

14. Tennessee Volunteers (0-1)
On the bright side, the Vols kept it a game for one half. Then the West Virginia offense woke up and dominated a defense that has bright spots, but still has a long way to go under new coach Jeremy Pruitt.