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

The AP Top 25 college football poll is out, and every team is eligible to join in the fun this week. That means big moves throughout, as teams such as Ohio State and Oregon enter the mix. Here's where each team in the rankings stands, whether they've started the season or not, and where they're going from here.




No. 1 Clemson (2-0)

Clemson has not been challenged in its two wins this season and goes into its next game against Virginia off an open date to try to get a few players healthy, most notably starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis. Truthfully, though, the Tigers might not get a huge challenge this Saturday, either. Clemson beat Virginia 62-17 in the ACC championship game a year ago, and now the Cavaliers have a revamped offense with a new quarterback. Trevor Lawrence has yet to play a complete game, yet he has completed 81.1% of his passes, thrown for 519 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.-- David M. Hale



No. 2 Alabama (1-0)

Mac Jones doesn't need to be Tua Tagovailoa for the Crimson Tide to be effective this season. Not when the defense is as solid as it is, led by veteran middle linebacker Dylan Moses. And not when Jones has so many weapons to work with -- not to mention an experienced and talented offensive line. The trio of running back Najee Harris and wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith means Jones doesn't have to be Superman to score a bunch of points.-- Alex Scarborough



No. 3 Florida (1-0)

Nobody is going to be happy with the defensive performance in a win over Ole Miss, as Florida allowed 613 total yards -- the first time it has allowed more than 600 yards since giving up 672 to Alabama. The issues went beyond losing safety Shawn Davis on the first drive of the game to a targeting penalty. Ole Miss had receivers open all game long and took advantage of gaping holes in the middle of the field. Florida has some young players in the secondary, but there isn't a large margin of error this season since there are no cupcake games. The issues need to be corrected before South Carolina comes to town. -- Andrea Adelson



No. 4 Georgia (1-0)

The Bulldogs continue to get the benefit of the doubt as a perennial playoff contender, but Kirby Smart's squad has some serious questions to answer this week, especially on offense. The addition of Todd Monken as coordinator didn't engender confidence in the season-opener as Georgia was ineffective and the play-calling uninspiring, but no question looms larger than that of quarterback. Does Smart return to D'Wan Mathis? Did he see enough from Stetson Bennett IV? Or will former USC transfer J.T. Daniels get medically cleared and ride in to the rescue?-- Scarborough



No. 5 Notre Dame (2-0)

After an impressive start to the season, Notre Dame has come to a pause. The Irish had 13 players last week put in isolation and/or quarantine because of COVID-19 issues and they paused all football-related activities, leading to the postponement of Saturday's Wake Forest game. On the field, the Irish showed enough on both sides of the ball in their first two games that they might be the only real threat to Clemson this season in the ACC. Yes, it still sounds bizarre to be talking about Notre Dame and the ACC race. But, then, bizarre and 2020 kind of go hand-in-hand.-- Chris Low



No. 6 Ohio State (0-0)

The Buckeyes have a great chance at making the College Football Playoff and possibly winning the whole thing. Of all the Big Ten teams, the Buckeyes likely stand to gain the most from the conference restarting the season. With quarterback Justin Fields returning and offensive lineman Wyatt Davis and cornerback Shaun Wade deciding to opt back in for the season, this is a loaded team once again. The only questions for the Buckeyes are how they replace defensive end Chase Young, some of the pieces in the secondary and running back J.K. Dobbins. The way the team has recruited, that shouldn't be an issue as Ohio State looks to make a title run this season. -- Tom VanHaaren



No. 7 Auburn (1-0)

Auburn meets Georgia in Athens for our first top-10 matchup of the season. Bo Nix made some impressive throws in the Tigers' win over Kentucky, some of which went to wideout Seth Williams, who looked great with 112 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. They'll be going up against a strong Georgia defense that didn't allow Arkansas to do much of anything offensively. Now, if the Bulldogs' offense struggles the way it did against Arkansas, it could be a good week for Auburn.-- Harry Lyles Jr.



No. 8 Miami (3-0)

The Rhett Lashlee-D'Eriq King marriage has worked as well as Manny Diaz could have possibly hoped, and the Canes have looked outstanding and explosive in racing to a 3-0 start. They now get a rest week before the biggest game of the season: a trip to Clemson. That will tell them exactly where they stand, and even if they lose, they could still work their way toward a rematch in the ACC title game.-- Connelly



No. 9 Texas (2-0)


The Longhorns achieved peak Big 12 on Saturday with a 63-56 overtime win over Texas Tech. They avoided a disaster on a day when Oklahoma could not, so that's a bonus. But tackling was a big problem, and the offense stalled midgame. But Sam Ehlinger and a solid receiving corps give Texas insurance for any more looming shootouts. Now Gary Patterson, who's 6-2 against Texas since TCU joined the Big 12, including a 37-27 win last year, will try to put on the brakes.-- Wilson



No. 10 Penn State (0-0)

While Penn State continues to wait on news about star linebacker Micah Parsons and whether he might opt back in for the 2020 season, the Nittany Lions' chief Big Ten East rivals, Ohio State, got a couple of stars -- Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis -- back at practice. That can't help PSU's Big Ten title hopes, but the Nittany Lions prep for a tricky season-opening trip to Indiana with loaded lines and an experienced quarterback. There are worse things in the world than that.-- Connelly



No. 11 UCF (2-0)

It's fairly obvious Dillon Gabriel is in firm control of the offense headed into its home opener against Tulsa on Saturday. And as much as coach Josh Heupel wants to keep the focus there, it's impossible to ignore a few glaring issues as the season moves forward. First, UCF had a whopping 19 penalties in its win over East Carolina. The Knights can overcome those types of mistakes against an overmatched opponent, but when it comes to the better teams in the American, it simply can't have as many penalties as that. The second is the run defense, which allowed 244 yards on the ground. That's two weeks in a row the Knights have given up 200+ yards on the ground.-- Adelson



No. 12 North Carolina (1-0)

After two straight weeks off -- one because of COVID-19 issues at Charlotte, one previously scheduled -- it will be interesting to see what the Tar Heels look like when they return to action against a solid Boston College team next week. The opener feels like a long time ago, but UNC was incredibly uneven in that game and needs to show a more consistent offensive attack next time out. Perhaps Mack Brown has used the two-week intermission as a chance to refine the rough edges.-- David M. Hale



No. 13 Texas A&M (1-0)

Jimbo Fisher took responsibility for a lackluster showing in the Aggies' 17-12 win over Vanderbilt, saying he'd be angry all week. A sloppy first game will do that. But there's no margin for error this week. The hopes for a breakthrough in Year 3 of the Fisher era will get a test with Alabama. The Aggies' defense, particularly along the defensive line, looks like it can hold up enough to keep them in games. But Kellen Mond and the A&M receivers need to find a rhythm -- and Fisher's offense in general needs a jolt -- to threaten the Tide.-- Wilson



No. 14 Oregon (0-0)

Good news: Oregon, and the rest of the Pac-12, will play in 2020. Bad news: The Ducks aren't nearly as formidable as they expected to be in early August after four key players chose to opt out of the season, including a pair of potential first-round picks in LT Penei Sewell and DB Jevon Holland. Still, coach Mario Cristobal has been a recruiting machine since taking over in Eugene and the Ducks are the de facto favorite in the conference. --- Kyle Bonagura



No. 15 Cincinnati (2-0)

Prior to playing Army on Saturday, Cincinnati had lost 15 of its last 16 games against ranked teams. The Bearcats beat No. 22-ranked Army, though, and have now won 15 straight games at home. That was a good test for Cincinnati early on in the season with a good Army defense and a typically tough run game. Getting tested early on like this could be a big help for when conference play starts up and SMU, Memphis, Houston and USF show up on the schedule. Cincinnati has some things to clean up, especially on offense with Desmond Ridder's accuracy, but there were plenty of positives that came out of this game, including the defense's performance, to give the Bearcats some excitement looking ahead in the schedule.-- VanHaaren



No. 16 Mississippi State (1-0)

Mike Leach's debut as an SEC coach was one to remember. K.J. Costello's SEC debut was even better. In fact, it was historic. The graduate transfer quarterback from Stanford carved apart defending national champion LSU's defense for an SEC-record 623 passing yards and five touchdowns, and Mississippi State shook things up in the SEC's Western Division with a 44-34 upset of LSU. And to fully process what happened Saturday in Tiger Stadium, the Bulldogs could have won even more convincingly had Costello not thrown two interceptions and lost two fumbles.-- Low



No. 17 Oklahoma State (2-0)


The Cowboys have much improvement to make, but being 2-0 while playing less than your best is a decent place to be. The Pokes' defense, which has allowed only 20 points to date, has been a key part of the team's early success. And though Chuba Hubbard hasn't been at his peak, LD Brown has been a reliable option in the backfield. The timing of starting QB Spencer Sanders' return is key, as true freshman Shane Illingworth has performed admirably but also showed signs of his inexperience. The Pokes have a road trip to Kansas on deck, then an open date, meaning if they play their cards right, they have a shot at 3-0 heading into the meat of their league schedule.-- Khan Jr.



No. 18 Oklahoma (1-1)

The Sooners have bounced back before from a loss to still make a run to the College Football Playoff (heck, last year they lost to this very K-State team and did it), but they have some work ahead of them. The defense still needs to figure out how to get takeaways and minimize chunk plays. Redshirt freshman QB Spencer Rattler looks like a star in the making, but the Sooners will have to get him more comfortable in the pocket than they did Saturday and he'll have to take care of the ball better. And, most importantly, the Sooners need to finish. A tough road trip to Ames is ahead as Oklahoma visits Iowa State next.-- Sam Khan Jr.



No. 19 Wisconsin (0-0)

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst is relaxed enough about his team that he was going into depth on local radio about the glories of crew neck sweatshirts. His team cruises along as the likely Big Ten West favorite with a returning quarterback, strong line play and only a need for one or two new skill corps standouts. And the Badgers get to start their season with an early revenge attempt, hosting an Illinois team that took them down in Champaign last year. Motivation won't be a problem.-- Connelly



No. 20 LSU (0-1)

Where do the Tigers go from here? After losing at home to unranked Mississippi State, coach Ed Orgeron said of his beleaguered secondary, which gave up an SEC-record 623 passing yards to K.J. Costello, "Welcome to the SEC. You've got to be better." But that applies to all areas of his team because the linebackers and defensive line weren't without blame. Even the offense, which scored 34 points, was inconsistent. For LSU to right the ship, the offensive line must play better and quarterback Myles Brennan has to limit mistakes.-- Scarborough



No. 21 Tennessee (1-0)

With one conference road win in the books and a seven-game winning streak still alive, Tennessee is one more win away from the most high-stakes Tennessee vs. Georgia game in years. But first, a trip home to face a Missouri team that just lost to Alabama. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was mostly solid against a good South Carolina defense -- 19-for-31 for 259 yards, a touchdown and no picks -- but the Vols' secondary will look to sharpen up after allowing quite a few explosive passes to the Gamecocks.-- Connelly



No. 22 BYU (2-0)

It's not too early to start preparing for the possibility that BYU will finish the season undefeated at 8-0. The Cougars will be a heavy favorite in every game left on their schedule, with the lone exception being their trip to Houston on Oct 16 and a possible game against Boise State that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said Friday could still be put back on the schedule. The schedule is too soft for playoff consideration, but a New Year's Six bowl berth is possible.-- Bonagura



No. 23 Michigan (0-0)

The Wolverines are breaking in a new quarterback after Shea Patterson graduated and the job will go to either Joe Milton or Cade McNamara. Milton has received a ton of hype this offseason and seems to be the frontrunner. The offense under offensive coordinator Josh Gattis built up some momentum late in the season and they're hoping to build off of that into this season. Replacing four starters along the offensive line and some big names at receiver are where most of the questions arise, but confidence is high in Ann Arbor for this season. Whether that confidence flows into the final game of the season, against rival Ohio State, is what everyone is waiting to see.-- VanHaaren



No. 24 Pittsburgh (3-0)

How good can Pitt's offense be? That's the overriding question for the Panthers and it might be the difference between a good team and a special one. There's little doubt that the defensive front, led by Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones, is among the best in the country, but Kenny Pickett and the offense still have some huge question marks. Pitt settled for field goals too often in Saturday's win, and the receivers continued to come up short when they needed to make a play. Still, there's time for the unit to work its way into a better form moving forward, with its next two games against teams that have struggled on defense -- NC State and BC -- before showdowns with Miami and Notre Dame to round out October.-- Hale



No. 25 Memphis (1-0)

The Tigers canceled their Week 4 game against UTSA due to coronavirus precautions and are scheduled to play their first game in nearly a month this week against SMU. Memphis is still considered an American Athletic Conference favorite, but the Mustangs could be a difficult game considering all the time off spent since their first contest.-- Lyles Jr.

Related Video
Nix does it all with his arm ... and his leg
Nix does it all with his arm ... and his leg
Bo Nix impresses with two punts inside the 10-yard line, then he shows off his arm, throwing three touchdowns in Auburn's win over Kentucky.
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.