NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Week 1's Biggest Losers

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12: A fan sets up his Penn State flag before the Penn State against Nebraska football game at Beaver Stadium on November 12, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Penn State is playing their final home football game against Nebraska.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With the first weekend of college football all but over, the talk has shifted from the teams that stole the spotlight to the ones that dropped the ball.

As much as everyone wants to talk about Alabama, USC and Oklahoma State’s huge wins, the following teams were supposed to come out on fire but fizzled out like a Labor Day sparkler, minus all the fun.


Penn State

After the worst year in the history of Penn State, the school has turned the page and started a new chapter under former New England Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien.

Unfortunately, Page 1 of the new chapter started with a terrible loss to Ohio on Saturday.

Penn State took the early lead, but the Nittany Lions looked lethargic and eventually lost 24-14. With nothing positive on offense but the play of the tight ends and the defense giving up yards like a sieve, the Nittany Lion program is in trouble.

As much as this loss hurts, it lowers the already rock-bottom expectations of the team and frees even more of the burden from the shoulders of the senior football players who have given so much to the school.


South Carolina

The South Carolina Gamecocks were heralded as one of the nation’s best teams. Their No. 9 national ranking was one of the best in school history.

SC was on top of the world, or were before before Vanderbilt brought the Gamecocks back down to earth. While South Carolina won 17-13, the game was closer than that.

If Steve Spurrier wants to lead his team to an SEC title, he will have to bring his team more prepared than they were for Week 1. If they don’t, LSU, Georgia and others will mop the floor with them.



As the No. 8 team in the preseason rankings, the Michigan Wolverines were supposed to be one of the nation's best teams. But one Alabama Crimson Tide drubbing later, Michigan is back to square one.

Denard Robinson did nothing to dispel the notion that he comes up small in the biggest situations, only furthered the talk that he is not an elite quarterback.

As for a Michigan defense that was supposed to be one of the most improved in college football, the Crimson Tide did whatever they pleased and could have scored more if they hadn’t taken their foot of the gas pedal.

The Wolverines must go back to the drawing board.


AP Preseason Top 25
Rank Team Record
1 USC (25) 0-0
2 Alabama (17) 0-0
3 LSU (16) 0-0
4 Oklahoma (1) 0-0
5 Oregon 0-0
6 Georgia 0-0
7 Florida State 0-0
8 Michigan (1) 0-0
9 South Carolina 0-0
10 Arkansas 0-0
11 West Virginia 0-0
12 Wisconsin 0-0
13 Michigan State 0-0
14 Clemson 0-0
15 Texas 0-0
16 Virginia Tech 0-0
17 Nebraska 0-0
18 Ohio State 0-0
19 Oklahoma State 0-0
20 TCU 0-0
21 Stanford 0-0
22 Kansas State 0-0
23 Florida 0-0
24 Boise State 0-0
25 Louisville 0-0


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