College Football Power Rankings: Longhorns, Fighting Irish make big jumps after week 2

The 2023 college football season has already provided some fantastic games just a few weeks in. In week one, Florida State and LSU provided the entertainment in their top 10 matchup. In week two, Texas and Alabama took center stage.

Texas beat the Crimson Tide 34-24 in Tuscaloosa, giving Steve Sarkisian his biggest win since taking over as head coach in Austin, and perhaps in his career.

If the Texas hype hadn’t already reached the stratosphere, it’s jumping into hyperspace after their 10-point win over the Tide.

It sets up the potential for an undefeated collision course when the Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners make the I-35 trek to Dallas to meet in the Cotton Bowl in a few weeks.

They’ll each have challenges to navigate, but Texas’ win gave the Red River Rivalry a little more juice.

Here’s a look at the College Football Power Rankings after week 2.

Dropped Out:

Texas A&M Aggies: Lost to Miami

Wisconsin Badgers: Lost to Washington State

Georgia Bulldogs (2-0)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1

Week 2 Result: Beat Ball State 45-3

This would have been the Oklahoma game for the Georgia Bulldogs. Instead, it was Ball State taking on the defending national champs. It was a lopsided affair as one would expect, but the Bulldogs get set to take on SEC East foe South Carolina in week 3.

Up Next: vs. South Carolina

Florida State Seminoles(2-0)

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 4

Week 2 Result: Beat Southern Miss 66-13

The good times continued for Jordan Travis and Florida State in their huge win over Southern Miss. Up next, the Seminoles begin ACC play with a trip to Boston College.

Up Next: at Boston College

Texas Longhorns (2-0)

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 16

Week 2 Result: Beat Alabama 34-24

This was an absolutely huge win for the Texas Longhorns. Quinn Ewers played the best game of his career, and the Horns exacted revenge for last year’s loss in Austin. Texas looks like a legit contender in 2023.

Up Next: vs. Wyoming

Michigan Wolverines (2-0)

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 2

Week 2 Result: Beat UNLV 35-7

Nonconference play hasn’t really revealed anything about the Michigan Wolverines. They’re taking care of business but haven’t been tested yet. Get to Big Ten play already.

Up Next: vs. Bowling Green

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0)

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 7

Week 2 Result: Beat NC State 45-24

Sam Hartman kept his impressive start to the season going with 286 yards and four touchdowns in Notre Dame‘s win over NC State. The Fighting Irish offense is averaging 47.7 points per game through three weeks, good for 12th in the nation.

Up Next: vs. Central Michigan

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)

Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 6

Week 2 Result: Beat Delaware 63-7

Penn State ran for 315 yards and six touchdowns behind their impressive offensive line. Drew Allar was an efficient 22 of 26 on a day when the Nittany Lions didn’t need to do much.

Up Next: at Illinois

USC Trojans (3-0, 1-0)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 10

Week 2 Result: Beat Stanford 56-10

USC’s offense continues to look more and more impressive by the day. The defense is getting better with each week. Can anyone stop the Trojans?

Up Next: Bye Week

Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0, 1-0)


Last Week: 5

Week 2 Result: Beat Youngstown State 35-7

Ohio State hasn’t looked all that impressive in their two wins, but they’re still a talented team. Marvin Harrison Jr. had seven receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He’s must-see television every week.

Up Next: Western Kentucky

Utah Utes (2-0)

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 8

Week 2 Result: Beat Baylor 20-13

Down going into the fourth quarter, the Utah Utes showed incredible resiliency to battle back and knock off the Baylor Bears in Waco. It hasn’t been pretty for the Utes to start the season, but that’s how they like it.

Up Next: vs. Weber State

Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 12

Week 2 Result: Beat Texas Tech 38-30

Oregon scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to beat Texas Tech in Lubbock. Bo Nix threw for 359 yards and two touchdowns to help the Ducks pick up a big nonconference win.

Up Next: vs. Hawaii

Alabama Crimson Tide (1-1)


Last Week: 3

Week 2 Result: Lost to Texas 34-24

The Alabama Crimson Tide hadn’t lost a nonconference game in their last 57 contests in the regular season. Jalen Milroe was just 14 of 27 passing, and the Crimson Tide were held to 3.1 yards per carry.

Up Next: at South Florida

LSU Tigers (1-1)


Last Week: 9

Week 2 Result: Beat Grambling State 72-10

It’s an impressive margin of victory for LSU, but anything less against Grambling State would have been a disappointment. Jayden Daniels threw for 269 yards and five touchdowns in the win.

Up Next: at Mississippi State

Tennessee Volunteers (2-0)

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 11

Week 2 Result: Beat Austin Peay 30-13

One would expect the Tennessee Volunteers to win by a more significant margin against a team like Austin Peay. Regardless, it was a 17-point victory for Josh Heupel’s Volunteers.

Up Next: at Florida

Washington Huskies (2-0)

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 13

Week 2 Result: Beat Tulsa 43-10

Michael Penix’s 403 yards and three touchdowns paced the Washington Huskies in their win over Tulsa. This marked the final tune-up game of the season before Washington faces tougher challenges like this week with Michigan State.

Up Next: at Michigan State

Clemson Tigers (1-1)

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 14

Week 2 Result: Beat Charleston Southern 66-17

We’re not quite ready to dump the Clemson Tigers from the power rankings. After a slow start against Charleston Southern the Tigers turned it on for the blowout win. Dabo Swinney’s crew has a lot to prove.

Up Next: vs. Florida Atlantic

Kansas State Wildcats (2-0)

Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK
Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 15

Week 2 Result: Beat Troy 42-13

Will Howard threw for three touchdowns and Phillip Brooks led the way with seven receptions, 94 yards, and a touchdown.

Up Next: at Missouri

Oregon State Beavers (2-0)

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 18

Week 2 Result: Beat UC Davis 55-17

Oregon State jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead and cruised to victory. D.J. Uigalelei didn’t have to do a whole lot in this one, only throwing for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Up Next: vs. San Diego State

Oklahoma Sooners (2-0)

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 20

Week 2 Result: Beat SMU Mustangs

Though it became a three-point game in the fourth quarter, the Sooners never looked in danger of losing to SMU. Once the Mustangs made it a three-point game, the Sooners took over, outscoring SMU 14-0 to finish the game.

Up Next: at Tulsa

North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0)

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 19

Week 2 Result: Beat Appalachian State 40-34

It took overtime, but UNC held on to beat Appalachian State, which has been a thorn in the side of Power Five squads for years. Omarian Hampton ran for 234 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way for the Tar Heels.

Up Next: vs. Minnesota

Ole Miss Rebels (2-0)

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 21

Week 2 Result: Beat Tulane 37-20

The Tulane Green Wave posed an intriguing matchup for Ole Miss and had a chance to be an upset in the making. It was a tie game going into the fourth quarter, but then the Rebels took over, outscoring Tulane 20-3 for the win.

Up Next: vs. Georgia Tech

Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0)

Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK
Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 22

Week 2 Result: Beat Iowa State Cyclones

It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was expected in the Hawkeyes 20-13 victory. Offense was optional, but Iowa got enough of it to stay unbeaten early in the season.

Up Next: Western Michigan

Colorado Buffaloes (2-0)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 24

Week 2 Result: Beat Nebraska 36-14

It was a tight ball game at halftime, but then Shedeur Sanders took over in crunch time to give the Buffaloes their second win of the season. It’s a remarkable turnaround from their 1-win season a year ago.

Up Next: vs. Colorado State

Duke Blue Devils (2-0)

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 23

Week 2 Result: Beat Lafayette 42-7

Riley Leonard and Henry Belin combined to go a perfect 20 of 20 in the Blue Devils win over Lafayette.

Up Next: vs. Northwestern

Washington State Cougars (2-0)

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: Unranked

Week 2 Result: Beat Wisconsin

Washington State made a statement with their 31-22 win over Wisconsin. The Cougars were up 24-9 at halftime, and the Badgers could never recover.

Up Next: vs. Northern Colorado

Miami Hurricanes (2-0)

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: Unranked

Week 2 Result: Beat Texas A&M 48-38

The Miami Hurricanes earned a big win for Mario Cristobal over Texas A&M. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw for 348 yards and five touchdowns.

Up Next: Bethune-Cookman

Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire