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2016 Post Week-One College Football Playoff Power Rankings

DeMarcus Walker, Florida State
After a long awaited start, the 2016-2017 college football season is officially underway. The opening weekend of the year did not disappoint; a flurry of upsets occurred and plenty of early statements were made. While it is extremely early, every week has a major impact on the College Football Playoff picture down the line. After just one week of football, here is what the Playoff picture is shaping up to look like:

The Four 

1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1-0 (0-0 SEC)
It is beginning to be a pretty common theme on Labor Day weekend: Alabama smacking around an opponent. Whether it is Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech or USC, the Tide have proven they can shake off rust in a hurry. They opened up poorly this weekend against USC, but quickly found their rhythm behind a quick passing game and a powerful rushing attack. True freshman Jalen Hurts wasn't perfect but showed he could make plays, and Damien Harris and Bo Scarbough look like the terrifying backfield we expected them to be. Alabama was dominant defensively, as end Jonathan Allen and linebacker Tim Williams were nearly unblockable. The Tide should be able to keep that momentum rolling right on to SEC play in a few weeks.

2 Clemson Tigers 1-0 (0-0 ACC)
After coming within minutes of a National Title and 15-0 2015, Clemson was out to prove they were the team to beat in '16. They faced a rebuilding but dangerous Auburn team and looked like the better team. The offense was still working things out, but QB Deshaun Watson looked like a real Heisman candidate and the ground game was solid. The defense was strong for much of the game, but the youthful secondary will need to grow up quickly. The Tigers didn't blow out Auburn but it was enough to show they are a quality team this season. As expected, they look like the cream of the crop in the ACC, along with Florida State.

3 Florida State Seminoles 1-0 (0-0 ACC)
Is the 2016 Florida State team the reincarnation of the 2014 version? Much like what they did often in 2014, FSU came down from a big deficit and poor showing in the first half to come out on top in the second half. After some early issues, the offense really found its stride. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois took a beating, and still finished with 419 total yards. Dalvin Cook didn't dominate, but should have better opportunities to gain some momentum as the schedule lightens. On defense, FSU looked absolutely dominant in the second half. They shut down the weak Ole Miss ground attack all night, and DeMarcus Walker and Derwin James were absolute beasts. The opener wasn't pretty for the Seminoles but it was a quality win over a good SEC team, and proved this team had plenty of fight.

4 Michigan Wolverines 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)
It is hard to really get a gauge on Michigan football in 2016 after their opener. They were dominant, but beat up on lowly Hawaii, at the Big House. It was definitely reassuring to see the passing game open up under the reigns of new QB Wilton Speight, and the ground game looked great. However, it is hard to know just how the Wolverines will stack up against elite competition from one pretty easy home test. The thing is, Michigan's non-conference slate is extremely weak this season, as their toughest test is probably Colorado who went 4-9 a year ago (but did look good in their opener against rival Colorado State). That may not be a bad thing for the Wolverines, who are still working out things on their offense. For now, they are able to get into the field with losses in front of them.

Four More in the Hunt

5 Ohio State Buckeyes 1-0 (0-0 Big Ten)
Much like Michigan, Ohio State opened up their season with a relatively soft opener, although Bowling Green did win the MAC last year. Quarterback J.T. Barrett looked confident and in perfect form, chucking the ball all over the field. The defense caused plenty of havoc and took advantage of a Falcons' team breaking in a new quarterback and new head coach. Overall, it was certainly an impressive start to the year for the Buckeyes. However, much like Michigan, they will have to continue to prove themselves as the weeks progress.

6 Houston Cougars 1-0 (0-0 AAC)
How did Tom Herman and Houston back up their 13-1 2015 campaign? Only by taking down one of the most prestigious football teams in the nation, rolling past an Oklahoma team widely picked to win the Big 12. Greg Ward Jr. showed that he could dominate even against wonderful competition, and puts his name in the Heisman conversation. The Cougars also looked good defensively, which was important, considering the fact UH lost a lot of solid contributors from an up-and-down unit a year ago. Clearly being the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference, Houston has a shot to run the table if they can handle Louisville down the stretch (the Cards looked great in their opener). A 13-0 season with wins over UL and Oklahoma? Maybe that would be enough to sneak a Non-Power Five team into the bracket.

7 Stanford Cardinal 1-0 (0-0 Pac-12)
Stanford opened up their season against a sneaky Kansas State team, who has pulled some memorable upsets under head coach Bill Snyder. The Cardinal looked terrific in the first half, behind new QB Ryan Burns and Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey. After that, Stanford struggled by comparison, and nearly let K-State back into the game. Yet, the defense was able to stop a pretty one-dimensional Wildcats attack and help the Cardinal open up the new year with a win. It wasn't a statement win for the Cardinal, but it was important to see the passing attack look crisp. This win won't stand out, but it gives Stanford a quality win to work with moving forward.

8 Oklahoma Sooners 0-1 (0-0 Big 12)
Throughout much of the offseason the big question in Norman was this: could the Sooners finally answer the bell with high expectations, after disappointing when expected to be in the National Title mix over the past few years? An opening loss to Houston wasn't the way to quell those questions. Although it was disappointing, Oklahoma is not dead in the water yet. It is much better to lose earlier in the year than later, and the Sooners have ample opportunities to prove themselves once more to the committee, as they play Ohio State non-conference, and get TCU, Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma State in the Big 12. It is looking doubtful after an uninspired opener, but if OU runs the table they will certainly be in good position.

Others in the Mix
Tennessee Volunteers
Michigan State Spartans
Washington Huskies
Georgia Bulldogs
Louisville Cardinals
Texas Longhorns
Texas A&M Aggies
Wisconsin Badgers
LSU Tigers
Iowa Hawkeyes
Florida Gators
Baylor Bears
TCU Horned Frogs
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Miami Hurricanes

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