College Football Rankings 2012: Biggest Impostors After Week 1 Action
One thing's for certain after the first week of action in college football: There are some major impostors who don't even come close to deserving the ranking they were given to start the season.
Whether it was a close call against a lesser squad, or a high-ranked team receiving a thrashing by a quality opponent, some teams simply didn't look as good as their rankings suggested.
Here are some college football squads that fit the bill.
Michigan Wolverines (8)
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Alabama smoked Michigan, plain and simple. After the 41-14 beatdown the Wolverines received at the hands of the Crimson Tide, it's quite clear this team isn't competing for a national championship this year.
Michigan's offensive line wasn't able to protect Denard Robinson enough for him to play his normal two-headed style of attack. Instead, Robinson was forced to remain in the pocket, facing immense pressure from all sides.
And on top of that, 'Bama stopped Michigan's rushing attack, holding it to just 69 yards in total.
At the defensive end for Michigan, 'Bama imposed its will on the Wolverines, gaining 199 yards through the air and 232 yards on the ground, 111 of which were supplied by freshman T.J. Yeldon.
After being dominated by one of the better teams in college football, it looks like the Wolverines' initial rank of No. 8 should have at least had a "1" in front of it.
Wisconsin Badgers (12)
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The Badgers had an extremely disappointing start to their 2012 campaign, and they didn't even lose their matchup with Northern Iowa. The Panthers gave the Badgers a run for their money, narrowly missing an enormous upset by five measly points.
Offense wasn't the problem for the Badgers. They gained 219 yards through the air and 168 on the ground.
It was their pass defense that caused the most problems.
Wisconsin allowed Northern Iowa freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen to throw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start in college football.
The Panthers had their chance to win this game with a late drive in the fourth quarter, but they fell just short.
If the Badgers plan on doing big things this season, they had better improve quickly or it will be a long season in Wisconsin. After Saturday, the Badgers look like an unranked team.
South Carolina Gamecocks (9)
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Heading into the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks found themselves down by a field goal, 13-10. Thanks to Vanderbilt, South Carolina had to sweat through its first game of the season.
But luckily for South Carolina, Vandy lost its momentum and failed to score in the fourth quarter, helping the Gamecocks' only touchdown in the second half become the difference in this one.
While the Gamecocks' rushing attack looked impressive, racking up 205 yards in total, it was their passing attack that left a lot to be desired. Connor Shaw was only able to muster 67 yards through the air, and he turned the ball over once with an interception.
Defensively, the Gamecocks allowed the Commodores to throw the ball all over the field, surrendering 214 passing yards to quarterback Jordan Rodgers. On the bright side, Vandy was only able to gain 62 yards on the ground.
South Carolina's season-opening performance makes its No. 9 ranking laughable. The Gamecocks are another team that looks to be of the quality of an unranked squad.
Stanford Cardinal (21)
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The Cardinal played its first game without Andrew Luck, and it certainly showed. Thanks to a fourth quarter field goal, Stanford was able to break a 17-17 tie and avoid embarrassment.
The "other" Spartans were actually able to better Stanford through the air, racking up 216 yards. San Jose State wasn't too bad on the ground, either, beating Stanford's defense for 72 yards in that department.
To think that the Cardinal could be topped in the passing game was unthinkable up until this season, but that was the case on Saturday as Stanford could only gain 125 yards with its passing attack. In fact, it was its rushing attack with 155 yards that made the difference in this game.
Stanford got away with playing poorly this week, but it won't be ranked for long at this rate. After this game, it's hard to make a valid argument in favor of Stanford's No. 21 ranking.
Oklahoma Sooners (4)
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The final score might have been 24-7, but UTEP gave Oklahoma all it could handle in this season-opening showdown.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Sooners had but a field goal lead over the lowly UTEP squad, and it took two touchdowns down the stretch to ultimately seal the deal.
UTEP was never able to get anything going with its passing attack, but the Miners lit up the Sooners for 201 yards on the ground. Just imagine what will happen to the Oklahoma defense when it has a more formidable opponent that can both run and throw the ball.
Granted, the Sooners did win by three scores, but that doesn't erase the fact that UTEP was in this game until the very end.
No. 4 ranking? That's far too generous for an Oklahoma squad that was lucky to escape with a win against an unranked opponent.