AP Top 25 college football poll reaction: What's next for each ranked team?

The AP Top 25 college football poll is out, and after a wild weekend of games-- in which three top-12 teams lost -- there's some movement high in the rankings. Here's what's next for each ranked team:




1.Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)


Previous ranking: 1

Consistency will be the key a week after dominating Miami. Mercer won't be much of a challenge, of course, but not looking ahead to Florida the following week could be. Rest assured, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will have something to say about that. He needs to see how quarterback Bryce Young follows up his first career start, how his revamped offensive line continues to come together and how he can replace outside linebacker Chris Allen, who was lost for the season with a fractured foot. He needs to see whether Jahleel Billingsley, the preseason All-SEC tight end who was demoted to second string, can get his act together and become the contributor we all expected. -- Alex Scarborough



2.Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)


Previous ranking: 5

Bulldogs fans hoped for a more potent offense with JT Daniels under center and Todd Monken calling plays for a second season. But with a handful of wide receivers and tight ends sidelined with injuries and other issues, Georgia managed only 256 yards of offense and didn't score an offensive touchdown against Clemson. The O-line did a good job of protecting Daniels from the Tigers' vaunted defensive line, but his receivers struggled to get separation for much of the night. Still, Georgia's relentless defense was doggone impressive, and that should be more than enough in upcoming games against UAB, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas.-- Mark Schlabach



3.Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)


Previous ranking: 4

Coach Ryan Day is hopeful that cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown both return this week. The Buckeyes often had their fifth and sixth cornerbacks on the field against Minnesota, which exposed the young players at times. Oregon has a much more talented passing offense, and the Ducks will attack Ohio State's secondary in different ways. Quarterback C.J. Stroud's development for the Buckeyes is worth watching, but Ohio State needs to improve significantly on defense and identify its best 11 players.-- Adam Rittenberg



4.Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)


Previous ranking: 2

After a tougher-than-expected 40-35 Week 1 win over Tulane, the Sooners get a chance to work out some kinks against Western Carolina, an FCS team that lost to East Carolina on Saturday and went 1-8 last season. Lincoln Riley said Saturday night that some of his players need a little more seasoning. The Sooners should pour it on in this one.-- Dave Wilson



5.Texas A&M Aggies (1-0)


Previous ranking: 6

Give the Aggies some time before you hold them to last season's standard. Haynes King has loads of potential, but the young quarterback needs to figure things out and learn to limit his mistakes. The same can be said for the new-look offensive line, which is breaking in four new starters. If the Aggies find the answers, this team could be onto something with an already stout defense and a talented running game to lean on. With unranked Colorado and New Mexico remaining before SEC play begins, Texas A&M has a few weeks to come together. -- Alex Scarborough



6.Clemson Tigers (0-1)


Previous ranking: 3

It's too early to rule the Tigers out of another College Football Playoff appearance, but the Georgia loss certainly puts a dent in their chances of reaching the playoff for a seventh straight season. Clemson is still an overwhelming favorite to win the ACC again, but the rest of its nonconference schedule (South Carolina State, UConn and South Carolina) won't do much to impress the committee. It also doesn't help that the Tigers won't play North Carolina or Miami during the regular season. The good news: Clemson won't face a defense as formidable as Georgia's in the ACC. --Mark Schlabach



7.Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0)


Previous ranking: 8

Luke Fickell's Bearcats get a tuneup against Murray State this Saturday, then the season begins in earnest with trips to Indiana on Sept. 18 and Notre Dame on Oct. 2. They couldn't have asked for much more from their season opener against Miami (Ohio): Quarterback Desmond Ridder looked amazing (20-for-25 for 295 yards and four TDs), running back Jerome Ford was explosive and early indications are that no one got seriously hurt. -- BillConnelly



8.Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)


Previous ranking: 9

The Irish have plenty of work to do on defense before playing Toledo on Saturday, starting with its run D. Headed into Sunday's game, Florida State had struggled running the ball consistently, but the Seminoles found a groove, rushing for 264 yards and 5.5 yards a carry. On the bright side, Notre Dame starting quarterback Jack Coan provided some answers to his critics, going 26-of-35 for 366 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He had some beautiful passes that he put where only his receivers could reach. --Andrea Adelson



9.Iowa State Cyclones (1-0)


Previous ranking: 7


Now that the warm-up game is out of the way, the season can begin. After keeping as many cards as close to the vest as possible in a 16-10 slog against Northern Iowa, Iowa State welcomes both Iowa and College GameDay to Ames on Saturday. The Cyclones will have a lot to grapple with -- Iowa was fantastic in the season opener against Indiana -- but they also will likely have some wrinkles to reveal. One thing is certain: Breece Hall will need a bit more space. He carried 23 times for just 69 yards against UNI. -- Bill Connelly



10.Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0)


Previous ranking: 18

The Cy-Hawk game is always big in Iowa, but it carries unprecedented national significance this year. Iowa is in the unfamiliar role of spoiler, as coach Kirk Ferentz aims to continue his mastery of Matt Campbell's Cyclones. Ferentz is 5-0 against Campbell, although the past two games in Ames have been decided by a total of four points. Iowa will lean on its playmaking defense against signal-callerBrock Purdybut likely needs more from its own quarterback,Spencer Petras,as well. -- Adam Rittenberg



11.Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)


Previous ranking: 19

The Nittany Lions' defense came up big against Wisconsin -- specificallyJaquan Brisker, who picked off Graham Mertz on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Penn State. There were blocked field goals, a fumble recovery and an interception that helped the Lions keep the Badgers to just 10 points. On the opposite end, the Penn State offense ran into a buzz saw in Wisconsin's D. The run game still needs some work, only gaining 50 yards on the ground. But again, that could be attributed to Wisconsin's stout defense and having to face the Badgers in Week 1.-- Tom VanHaaren



12.Oregon Ducks (1-0)


Previous ranking: 11

After an uninspiring win against visiting Fresno State to open the season, the Ducks turn their attention to the Pac-12's single most important nonconference game. A win at Ohio State would buoy the perception of the conference and, of course, the Ducks in a way no other matchup can this year. The biggest question coming out of Saturday's victory: Will Ducks star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux be able to play? It's unclear after he suffered an ankle injury versus the Bulldogs. -- Kyle Bonagura



13.Florida Gators (1-0)


Previous ranking: 13

The Gators are going to do things a little differently this year. With no Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts or Kadarius Toney, the passing game will take a bit of a back seat. Emory Jones showed in his debut as starter that while he is a talented running quarterback, he isn't as refined of a passer yet. Pairing him with a deep set of backs, including Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce, could lead to a more run-heavy offense that should help ease the burden of a defense that struggled for much of last season. -- Alex Scarborough



14.USC Trojans (1-0)


Previous ranking: 15

The Trojans have Stanford at home after beating San Jose State 30-7. Stanford lost 24-7 to Kansas State in its first game, and not much went right for the Cardinal. USC held San Jose State to 68 rush yards, and Stanford only had 39 rushing yards against Kansas State. If the defense does its job, USC will need wide receiver Drake London to have another big game and help put points on the board if it wants to start the season 2-0. --Tom VanHaaren



15.Texas Longhorns (1-0)


Previous ranking: 21

The Longhorns met the challenge of a very good Louisiana team and won by 20, despite missing on some of the more explosive play attempts. Steve Sarkisian was very pleased with the poise shown by new starting QB Hudson Card, who led the Longhorns to seven straight chances to score after an initial three-and-out, with Texas committing zero turnovers. The solid performance is a confidence boost going into a hostile environment against an old rival in Arkansas. -- Dave Wilson



16. UCLA Bruins (2-0)


Previous ranking: unranked

The secret is out. Last year, the Bruins made significant strides, even if it didn't always show up in the standings. Blown leads and late losses defined the abridged season in 2020. But after Saturday's emphatic win over LSU, it's clear this team has turned a corner. Now the question for UCLA might have changed from "Are the Bruins ready to compete?" to "How will this team handle success?" Fresno State is next up for UCLA, and Oregon found out last week that the Bulldogs are no pushover. If the Bruins spend too much time celebrating success rather than focusing on Fresno State, the party might end before it truly gets started.-- David M. Hale



17.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-0)


Previous ranking: 22

The Chanticleers picked up where they left off after going 11-1 last season, jumping out to a 38-0 lead on The Citadel during the season opener before running away to win 52-14. Quarterback Grayson McCall was his usually efficient self, completing 16 of 19 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. Most impressive, though, was the running game, as six ball carriers combined for 266 yards and five touchdowns. Up next: Kansas on Friday night. -- Alex Scarborough




18.WisconsinBadgers (0-1)


Previous ranking: 12

The Badgers take on Eastern Michigan after a first-week loss to Penn State, which held their offense to 10 points. Getting quarterback Graham Mertz going and cleaning up some of the mistakes -- including the quarterback-running back exchange -- will be crucial this week, as the Badgers travel to Chicago to play Notre Dame at Soldier Field for their third game on Sept. 25. The defense looked in midseason form against Penn State, but the offense has some work to do. --Tom VanHaaren



19. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0)


Previous ranking: unranked

No team outperformed expectations in Week 1 quite like Virginia Tech, which went from fielding questions about Justin Fuente's job security to suddenly being the favorite to win the ACC Coastal. Fuente spent the offseason touting the impact of QB Braxton Burmeister, and the Hokies' offense certainly appeared improved in the Week 1 win over UNC, but the bigger surprise was the impressive performance of the defense, highlighted by edge rusher Amare Barno and a shut-down secondary. Now an early schedule that appeared daunting -- UNC, at West Virginia, home against Notre Dame in the first five weeks -- suddenly looks far more manageable, and the Hokies might soon be talking more about a possible conference title than a possible coaching change.-- David Hale



20.Ole Miss (1-0)


Previous ranking: unranked

Step 1 this week should be to avoid targeting. That was perhaps the only significant issue the Rebs experienced during their convincing Week 1 win over Louisville. The offense certainly wasn't, and the defense looked to be improved after allowing zero first-half points. While there isn't much of a threat posed by Austin Peay this weekend -- ESPN's FPI gives the Govs just a 1.5% chance of pulling off the upset -- this isn't a game Ole Miss should overlook. Not when you're a team still trying to create consistency on defense, and not when you're a team a few weeks away from going on the road to No. 1 Alabama (Oct. 2). -- Alex Scarborough



21.Utah Utes (1-0)


Previous ranking: 24

Holy War week has arrived, and for Utah, that means the opportunity to extend its winning streak over BYU to a record 10 games. This week's game carries a new storyline with BYU expected to submit an application to join the Big 12 this week. Though the Utes have dominated the series over the past decade, their wins have been mostly very competitive games, and it's reasonable to expect the same this time. -- Kyle Bonagura



22.Miami Hurricanes (0-1)


Previous ranking: 14

The opener was ugly for Miami, but that just puts the Canes on a long and distinguished list of teams who've been embarrassed by Alabama. The question is how Miami responds. In years past -- think about the stretch run in 2019, for example -- the Hurricanes have allowed a hangover to last way too long, and with Appalachian State up next, there's no time to let the Bama loss linger. Miami is still a good team and has a chance for a solid season, but that means putting Week 1 in the rearview mirror. -- David M. Hale



23.Arizona State Sun Devils(1-0)


Previous ranking: 25

After opening the season with a win against FCS foe Southern Utah, the Sun Devils get UNLV, a team that lost to Eastern Washington (another FCS team) in its opener. UNLV shouldn't provide much of a challenge, which makes it hard not to look ahead to the trip to BYU the following week. QB Jayden Daniels wasn't needed to do much against Southern Utah, but this week should be a good opportunity to get him into a rhythm as ASU builds toward conference play with high expectations. -- Kyle Bonagura



24.North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1)


Previous ranking: 10

Well, so much for those playoff aspirations. The offseason love for North Carolina was perhaps a bit misplaced, but we've seen this from the Tar Heels before. (Remember the Florida State game last year?) The UNC roster still looks exceptional on paper, and Sam Howell didn't suddenly forget how to throw a football. The bigger concerns are health (Beau Corrales and Khafre Brown were missed at receiver) and resiliency. Will the balloon bursting in Week 1 derail the whole season? Mack Brown insists it won't, and the Tar Heels should have a chance to work out the kinks against Georgia State this week.-- David Hale



25. Auburn Tigers (1-0)


Previous ranking: unranked

Auburn has been able to ease into the post-Gus Malzahn era, with a 60-10 rout of Akron in Week 1 and an upcoming tilt with Alabama State in Week 2. But things will get a lot tougher for Bryan Harsin and Co. from there, starting with a trip to State College to face the No. 11 Nittany Lions on Sept. 18. And after a game with Georgia State, the Tigers begin their always-unforgiving SEC slate, that includes trips to LSU and Texas A&M, plus home dates with Georgia and Alabama.

Dropped out: LSU (16), Indiana (17), Washington (20), Louisiana (23)

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