One week of college football is in the books and what a week it was. Ohio State more or less took care of business against Minnesota, but beyond that, we definitely had some expected results. And yeah, some teams still showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
ESPN took stock in what it saw from the first full week of college football returning to a campus, television, and/or streaming device near you, and has released its Power Rankings for Week 1.
Many like to rail on the so-called “worldwide leader in sports programming” for what often appears like biased coverage towards the SEC, and if you are one of those, you are probably going to be disappointed by these rankings as well.
However, more than that, where does ESPN staff have Ohio State and what’s the rationale for placing the Buckeyes where it does?
NEXT … Ohio State in the ESPN Power Rankings
No. 3 – Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes Thayer Munford (75), Haskell Garrett (92), Miyan Williams (28), and defensive coordinator Kery Coombs sing Carmen Ohio after beating Minnesota Golden Gophers 45-31 in Huntington Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 2021.
What ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg Says
“The Buckeyes’ big-play offense is alive and well in the post-Justin Fields era. Even after a shaky first half, coach Ryan Day told new starting quarterback C.J. Stroud to ‘keep swinging,’ and continued to call aggressive plays. Getting help from a talented collection of receivers and backs, Stroud threw four second-half touchdown passes of 38 yards or longer and averaged 47.2 yards per completion. Stroud predictably has room to grow, but his teammates will give him every chance to shine.”
NEXT … What we say
Ohio State as No. 3 in the ESPN Power Rankings?
Sep 2, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (2) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
What We Say
There are a lot of people questioning Ohio State’s performance against Minnesota, calling it a “struggle.” Don’t buy it. Sure, there were some kinks to work out and quarterback C.J. Stroud was inconsistent, but the Golden Gophers sure looked like they’ll give other teams fits this year. The defense is still a work in progress but the playmakers on offense were obvious. No. 3 at this point seems about right knowing too that we should see improvement from this young team.
NEXT … The rest of the ESPN Power Rankings
The Rest of the ESPN Power Rankings
Projecting what the knee-jerk College Football Playoff Rankings could have been after Week 1