There was a recurring theme over the weekend in college football to kick off the 2017 season: top-ranked teams struggling to put away the opposition. A number of teams in the top 25 waited until late in the game to seal a victory, versus others who raced out early and established themselves in the contest.
No. 11 Michigan was one of those aforementioned slow starters on Saturday, putting themselves behind against a depleted No. 17 Florida team. But the Wolverines hunkered down in the second half and outscored the Gators 20-0 with a dominating performance on defense., winning by a final score of 33-17.
The victory over a ranked SEC team on a neutral site, coupled with some notable sluggish performances from teams ahead of them, earned them an uptick in the Week 2 rankings from the Associated Press.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) September 5, 2017
Michigan ultimately hurdles three teams in the latest polls: Wisconsin (stays put at No. 9), Florida State (goes from No. 3 to No. 10), and Oklahoma State (goes from No. 10 to No. 11).
Five AP voters ranked Michigan No. 5 (highest), two voters ranked Michigan No. 14 (lowest) this week.
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 5, 2017
Our very own Don Drysdale accurately predicted (or spitballed) the Wolverines to be slotted at No. 8 in his projections, but did not fare as well with some other teams.
The Seminoles had the biggest drop of teams who still remain in the AP Poll after Week 1, after losing 24-7 to top-ranked Alabama and subsequently losing starting quarterback Deondre Francois for the remainder of the season due to injury.
Other notable slips on the polls include No. 4 USC, who fell back to No. 6 this week after needing four quarters to put away an unranked Western Michigan team at home on Saturday.
Alabama and Ohio State stay put at No. 1 and 2, respectively. With the drops from both Florida State and USC, moving up two spots each are Clemson, Penn State, and Oklahoma to round out the top 5.
Expect to see more notable changes in next week’s polls. There are three games this coming weekend featuring two ranked teams squaring off: No. 5 Oklahoma travels to No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson hosts No. 13 Auburn, and No. 6 USC welcomes in No. 14 Stanford.
The new No. 8-ranked Wolverines, meanwhile, will look to improve to 2-0 on Saturday when Cincinnati pays a visit to the Big House in Ann Arbor.