College Football Rankings 2012 Week 1: Top Teams That Didn't Justify Poll Slot

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Travon Van #7 of the Marshall Thundering Herd celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game on September 1, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The first week of college football season solidified some teams atop the national rankings, but it also showed potentially fatal flaws for others.

For many top-ranked teams, it's not enough to just win the game. They are expected to dominate every facet of the game en route to a lopsided victory.

Some teams didn't do that. The score isn't going to jump out at you, but a few things in the box score will.

Let's take a look at three teams that didn't justify their high ranking in Week 1.


Georgia Bulldogs

The No. 6 Bulldogs struggled against Buffalo, despite their 45-23 victory. They allowed 347 total yards, 199 of which came on the ground.

This can't be a trend that continues if they want to win games this year. The SEC is loaded with excellent running backs, and those teams have the offensive line necessary to gain yardage.

Georgia's front seven was pushed around on Saturday. Granted, six starters were suspended or inactive, but it's Buffalo. Maybe it's just me, but 199 yards is inexcusable regardless of who is on the field.

Georgia's offense was consistent and Todd Gurley was nothing short of amazing, but Georgia must get tougher in the trenches.


West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia is No. 11 in the nation, but its defense was pitiful on Saturday. The Mountaineers defeated their in-state rival Marshall 69-34, but they gave up 545 yards in the process.

Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato had 413 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Geno Smith bested his counterpart, but that doesn't cover the holes on the Mountaineers defense.

With Dana Holgersen calling plays, there's no doubt that West Virginia will score a plethora of points.

The run defense wasn't bad, but Cato threw all over the Mountaineers secondary. They aren't in the Big East anymore, and the Big 12's offenses will embarrass this unit far worse than Marshall did.

It won't matter how well Smith plays if their defense turns in performances like this consistently.


Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers didn't have any major holes in their game, but they came close to letting their game against Northern Iowa slip away. They held on to win 26-21, but that's not satisfactory for the No. 12 team in the nation.

Danny O'Brien was sufficient in his Badger debut, but freshman Sawyer Kollmorgen threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

The Wisconsin defense struggled to pickup running back David Johnson out of the backfield and receiver Terrell Sinkfield provided their offense with a possession element.

A win is a win, but this was too close for comfort. They were outscored in the second half by an inferior team, and that should make you uneasy entering Week 2 of the season.