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Power Rankings: Where did Coach Prime and Colorado debut?

Coach Deion Sanders said his Colorado Buffaloes were coming in 2023, and now they’ve arrived in our Power Rankings.

The Buffaloes’ 45-42 victory in Week 1 at No. 17 TCU, the national runner-up in the 2022 season, made believers out of ESPN’s writers. Colorado, which had only one win last season, went from unranked to No. 21. Now the Buffaloes get another chance to prove themselves, this time against Big Ten foe — and former Big 12 rival — Nebraska in their home opener.

The most impressive win of the week, though, belonged to Coach Prime’s alma mater. Florida State scored 31 consecutive points against No. 5 LSU on Sunday, and ESPN voters rewarded that effort by moving them from preseason No. 7 in the power rankings all the way up to No. 2.

Five consecutive days of football ended with a stunning upset as Duke took down No. 9 Clemson.

A look at the Power Rankings after the first full week of college football.

Ho-hum. Another dominant defense, another deep running game, another Brock Bowers touchdown. What else did you expect from the back-to-back champs? Yeah, quarterback Stetson Bennett is finally gone, but Carson Beck looked solid in his debut as a starter against Tennessee Martin, completing 21 of 31 passes for 294 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. All told, Georgia racked up 559 yards of offense, which should be plenty against one of the weakest schedules in the SEC this season. Ball State is up next in the quest to three-peat, followed by a home game against South Carolina. — Alex Scarborough

Up next: vs. Ball State (Noon ET, SEC Network)

It is hard to remember the last time the Seminoles completely dismantled an opponent the way they did LSU in the second half of a 45-24 victory on Sunday night. It may very well have been during the 2013 national championship season, and this just happens to be its 10-year anniversary. After a slow start, Florida State scored 31 unanswered second-half points to turn a close game into a rout. Quarterback Jordan Travis settled down after a shaky first half and scored five total touchdowns — one rushing, four passing. But the star of the game was transfer receiver Keon Coleman, who arrived from Michigan State in the offseason. LSU could not cover Coleman, and he made the plays that counted most. With three touchdown receptions and 122 yards, he was an exclamation point to start a season that began with high expectations, and those expectations have skyrocketed even higher. — Andrea Adelson

Up next: vs. Southern Miss (8:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

​​​No coach Jim Harbaugh, no offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore, no problem. With both serving suspensions, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter was the acting head coach against East Carolina and helped lead Michigan to its first win of the season. The offense, surprisingly, was led by the passing game and quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who threw for 280 yards and three passing touchdowns in three quarters of work. Running back Blake Corum had a rushing touchdown, but it was receiver Roman Wilson who put up the most points, catching three McCarthy touchdowns. Michigan’s defense held East Carolina scoreless until a field goal on the final play of the game. — Tom VanHaaren

Up next: vs. UNLV (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Jalen Milroe was nearly perfect against Middle Tennessee, accounting for 242 total yards (194 passing, 48 rushing), four touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and no turnovers. But was that enough to secure the starting job at quarterback? It might be a week too soon to say considering the caliber of competition. Next week against Texas will be the real litmus test about whether Milroe can handle the pressure and fit the ball into tight windows. But setting the QB battle aside, Crimson Tide fans can feel good about the receivers, particularly Isaiah Bond, and the defense, which consistently created pressure on the passing game. — Scarborough

Up next: vs. Texas (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

After taking care of business in Week 0 against San Jose State, the Trojans handled Nevada at home with even greater ease by a score of 66-14. Aside from a 72-yard pass that led to the Wolfpack’s first score of the game and a 77-yard pass that resulted in the other, the USC defense looked much-improved against a subpar offense that struggled to get anything going. Caleb Williams produced yet another flawless performance, throwing for 324 yards on 24 pass attempts. He had five touchdowns, while adding a healthy dose of his patented scrambling highlights, and didn’t have to play beyond the first drive of the third quarter. — Paolo Uggetti

Up next: vs. Stanford (10:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

It wasn’t exactly pretty, nor was it a memorable debut for rookie starting quarterback Kyle McCord, but Ohio State earned a Big Ten road win at Indiana. The Buckeyes are going to have to improve quickly if they want to remain a CFP contender. McCord completed 20 of 33 pass attempts for 239 yards and one interception. It wasn’t the kind of offensive performance Ohio State fans are used to, as the Buckeyes had the second-highest-scoring offense in the FBS last year and have averaged at least 41 points every season since Ryan Day succeeded Urban Meyer in 2019. Against IU, which had the worst defense in the Big Ten last year, Ohio State settled for three field goals and was 2-of-12 on third downs. It was also a quiet day for the Buckeyes’ superstars, as receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. had just two catches for 18 yards. — Heather Dinich

Up next: vs. Youngstown State (Noon ET, Big Ten Network)

Rod Gilmore and Sam Acho explain their worries about Ohio State after a 23-3 win over Indiana.

Coach James Franklin’s reluctance to name a starting quarterback couldn’t calm the excitement around Drew Allar, who predictably took the field first against West Virginia and played well. Penn State’s most decorated quarterback recruit since Christian Hackenberg (2013), Allar opened the season with 325 pass yards and three touchdowns, completing 21 of 29 attempts with no interceptions. He became the first PSU quarterback since Daryll Clark in 2009 to reach 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in an opener. Penn State’s offense took a while to get going, though, recording only 14 points through the first 36-plus minutes. The Nittany Lions missed two field goal attempts and didn’t really get their running game going consistently. Allar gives Penn State a different element in the passing game, as coordinator Mike Yurcich can stretch the field more with wideout KeAndre Lambert-Smith and others. — Adam Rittenberg

Up next: vs. Delaware (Noon ET, Peacock)

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