Big Ten

See how they stack up: Week 1 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 1 college football top 25 rankings

With a wonderful Week 1 in the books, here's my top 25.

1. Alabama (1-0)

The Tide looked otherworldly against another real good team in Florida State. Going to take one heck of a performance to do much of anything against that defense.

2. Clemson (1-0)

Deshaun who? No, the champs aren’t ready to forget Deshaun Watson yet, but his replacement Kelly Bryant led a 56-3 crushing.

3. Michigan (1-0)

In a great weekend for the Big Ten, no one looked better than the Wolverines. The defense looked incredible with 10 new starters. Ten!

4. Oklahoma (1-0)

Baker Mayfield is so good he was almost perfect in Oklahoma’s blowout win, completing 19 of his 20 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns.

5. Penn State (1-0)

Saquon Barkley was expectedly terrific in a blowout win. He might be the Heisman frontrunner already with a couple other preseason faves struggling.

6. Ohio State (1-0)

The Buckeyes had a tougher test than most with a conference game in the season-opener. Their early struggles were erased by a runaway second half.

7. Auburn (1-0)

The Tigers outgained Georgia Southern 535-78 and had two running backs rack up 136 rushing yards apiece.

8. Wisconsin (1-0)

Another Big Ten contender with a sketchy first half showed why it could run the table with 59 unanswered points.

9. Oklahoma State (1-0)

Mason Rudolph passed for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the Big 12 should #FearTheMullet.

10. Virginia Tech (1-0)

The Hokies have a real good young quarterback in Josh Jackson, who had an answer every time West Virginia punched back on Sunday night. Impressive win in a rivalry game at a rocking FedEx Field.

11. Stanford (1-0)

The Trees lit up Rice through the air in Australia, Keller Chryst just part of the 369-yard, three-touchdown air attack. Oh, and Bryce Love rushed for 180 yards.

12. LSU (1-0)

The Bayou Bengals’ defense held BYU to a negative rushing total while their running back, Derrius Guice, went for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

13. USC (1-0)

A huge game by Ronald Jones helped bail out Sam Darnold. There’s still plenty of reason to have faith in the Trojans, but that effort against a Fleck-less Western Michigan team was concerning.

14. West Virginia (0-1)

The Mountaineers had their issues Sunday night, but that was a very good Virginia Tech team they lost to. And boy can Will Grier air it out.

15. Maryland (1-0)

The Terps probably won’t stay here for long, but that 51-point performance in Austin deserves some love. And they did it while sustaining an injury to their starting quarterback.

16. California (1-0)

Bears quarterback Ross Bowers threw four touchdown passes to give Justin Wilcox a road win against a Power Five team in his first game as head coach.

17. Louisville (1-0)

Despite getting an unexpected challenge from Purdue and fumbling three times, the Cards got a Heisman-esque performance from Lamar Jackson: 485 total yards and two touchdown passes.

18. Florida State (0-1)

The defense managed to look pretty impressive in a losing effort against the best team in the country. Hard to see the Noles staying here for long, though, now that Deondre Francois is out for the season.

19. Notre Dame (1-0)

The Irish destroyed Temple while piling up 606 total yards, 422 of them coming on the ground.

20. UCLA (1-0)

Left for dead once they went down 44-10 late in the third quarter, the Bruins pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. Josh Rosen my goodness.

21. Duke (1-0)

The Devils piled 60 points on North Carolina Central and held a 524-158 total yardage advantage. Look out, Northwestern, who’s at Duke this weekend.

22. Miami (1-0)

An offensive clinic by the Canes. Malik Rosier threw for three touchdowns, and a pair of Miami backs combined for a monster day on the ground.

23. Tennessee (1-0)

While we were all busy raving about Georgia Tech’s offense, the Tennessee offense was working, too. John Kelly and Marquez Callaway had big nights, and the Vols had no turnovers in that double-OT win.

24. Kansas State (1-0)

Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz: 333 passing yards and four, count ‘em, four touchdown passes.

25. Georgia Tech (0-1)

TaQuon Marshall is about to be a star after that sensational night against Tennessee. The Jackets racked up 655 yards of offense and had the ball seemingly the whole game. But turnovers killed them.

Others receiving votes:

Washington (1-0)

Last year’s Playoff team was pretty well stopped by Rutgers’ defense. Rutgers. Still put up 30-plus and came away with a road win.

Georgia (1-0)

Nick Chubb didn’t get to 100 yards and the Bulldogs benefitted greatly from Appy State racking up more than 100 yards of penalties.

Texas Tech (1-0)

Eastern Washington isn’t the easiest FCS foe, but the Raiders smoked ‘em, throwing for 449 yards as a team, with Nic Shimonek throwing for 384 and three touchdowns.

South Carolina (1-0)

The quarterback-wideout combo of Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel shone for the Gamecocks, who held on for a Power Five win.

North Carolina State (0-1)

Two NC State fumbles immediately led to South Carolina touchdowns, but the Wolfpack went over 500 yards of total offense on the road in the SEC.

Oregon (1-0)

Is that Chip Kelly in a Willie Taggert mask coaching these Ducks? The Quackers went for 77 points and 703 total yards in a rout of Southern Utah.

Washington State (1-0)

Luke Falk and James Williams teamed up in a 31-0 shutout of Montana State. Williams caught 13 passes for 163 yards and a pair of scores.

Illini play freshman quarterback Cam Thomas for first time, but still fall at Minnesota

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Illini play freshman quarterback Cam Thomas for first time, but still fall at Minnesota

While Saturday's trip to the Twin Cities featured some more of the same for the Fighting Illini, it marked important step in Lovie Smith's rebuilding project.

Freshman quarterback Cam Thomas, a Marian Catholic product, saw action for the first time in his collegiate career, Smith busting out a new option at the game's most important position. Thomas threw a nasty pick six, but he did lead Illinois in rushing in a 24-17 loss at Minnesota.

Thomas only made four throws, completing two of them and landing a third in the hands of a Minnesota defender, but his play injected a bit of excitement into what's looking like another dreadful season of Illinois football, with Smith's team falling to 2-5 through the first seven games of his second season at the helm of the program. Thomas mostly starred with his feet Saturday, rushing for a team-high 79 yards in the defeat.

His first appearance came following the first of the Illinois' defense's three takeaways. Thomas ran for a nine-yard gain on his first carry, and the Illini tied the game with a touchdown on the next play. Thomas was interchanged with starting quarterback Jeff George Jr. from there on out.

While the Illini defense kept the Gophers at bay for much of the day thanks to those three takeaways, P.J. Fleck's team had no trouble racking up rushing yardage, finishing with a whopping 292 rushing yards. Minnesota engineered a 12-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter exclusively running the ball to break a 10-all tie and go up 17-10.

Thomas threw a pick six on the very next play from scrimmage, sending the Gophers up 24-10 to effectively seal the deal. George led an Illinois touchdown drive on the next possession, but the Illini couldn't make up the suddenly big gap in the limited amount of time.

Illinois finished with only 282 yards of offense. George was 18-for-23 for 128 yards and a touchdown. Ra'Von Bonner carried the ball 18 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

The defeat dropped the Illini to 2-5 on the season and 0-4 in conference play. One of just two teams without a Big Ten win (Indiana is the other), Illinois faces off against a top-10 Wisconsin team next weekend.

Big play from Justin Jackson sets up Northwestern's overtime win over Iowa

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Big play from Justin Jackson sets up Northwestern's overtime win over Iowa

Justin Jackson is one of the top 10 rushers in Big Ten history for a reason: He's very, very good at this football thing.

But it was a big play Jackson made not as a ball-carrier but as a pass-catcher Saturday that set up Northwestern's second straight win, a 17-10 takedown of Iowa in Evanston.

Jackson took a pass from quarterback Clayton Thorson and went all the way down to the 1-yard line, picking up 23 yards and shedding multiple tacklers on the game's biggest play.

Two plays later, Thorson plunged in for the go-ahead score. Iowa failed on a fourth-down conversion attempt on its ensuing overtime possession, ending it with a dropped pass that finished the game.

The game's result rapidly altered the social-media conversation, which moments prior had been mighty critical of Pat Fitzgerald, who made a controversial decision at the end of regulation.

Iowa tied the game at 10 on a field goal inside of two minutes to play, forced to kick after a false start was committed on fourth and 1. Fitzgerald had a minute and a half and two timeouts to try to get his own team into field-goal range for a shot at a win but instead ran the clock out and headed to overtime.

Fitzgerald explained after the game that the blustery wind at Ryan Field played a big role in that decision, plus his team had a long way to go against an Iowa defense that played well throughout the game.

Northwestern's defense was very strong, too, holding Iowa to 312 total yards, only 89 of which came on the ground. Hawkeyes quarterback Nathan Stanley was also picked off in the second half for the game's only turnover.

Jackson finished with 93 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards. Thorson was 21-for-36 passing the ball for 192 yards. Backup running back Jeremy Larkin scored the Wildcats' lone regulation touchdown.

The win improved Northwestern to 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in Big Ten play. After a 2-3 start, the Cats have won back-to-back games and take on a ranked Michigan State team next weekend.