College Football Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Take Step Back in Week 2
Most of the Top 25 went unscathed in Week 1 (sorry, Michigan and Boise State), but Week 2 presents plenty more opportunities for a shakeup in the rankings.
We still aren't to the point where every other top team will face nail-biting battles, but with SEC play getting underway for the newbies, and considerably less cupcakes on the schedule, upsets are abound.
What's more, teams, of course, don't necessarily have to lose to drop in the rankings.
So let's take a look at what teams—whether it be via loss or narrow win—are primed for a drop in the Top 25.
Note: You can find the complete Top 25 entering Week 2 right here.
No. 7 Georgia
The Bulldogs, led by Aaron Murray, are a legitimate Top 10 team. This is arguably Mark Richt's best team since 2008. However, while this talented, young offense will have no problem scoring the ball against Missouri, the defense has shown some early holes.
In Week 1, Alex Zordich—yes, 2-star Alex Zordich—led the powerhouse that is known as Buffalo to 148 passing yards, 83 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
If you were wondering, James Franklin is not Alex Zordich, although he plays a similar style.
Should Georgia's Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree once again sit out due to suspension, Franklin is going to have a field day for Mizzou.
Both teams should find the end-zone paint with consistency in this not-so-SEC battle, but I'll take the home team that will be pumped up for its very first SEC game. That's Mizzou.
No. 21 Kansas State
Kansas State's 51-9 win over Missouri State wasn't nearly as impressive as it looks on first glance.
The Wildcats got a ridiculous 35 fourth-quarter points to extend their ugly 16-9 lead, they barely outgained the Bears in Manhattan, and though pretty efficient, Collin Klein struggled to move the ball through the air.
Of course, when you have a team that can gain 324 yards via 40 carries like the Wildcats did versus Missouri State, your quarterback doesn't necessarily need to light it up passing.
Enter Miami, Kansas State's Week 2 opponent.
The Hurricanes' 41-32 road victory over Boston College wasn't picture perfect, but they gained 200 yards via both the air and the ground. Most importantly, they held the Eagles to 96 rushing yards on 34 carries.
That's a meager 2.1 yards per carry. That's not good for Collin Klein and Kansas State.
The Wildcats may be favored at home, but the Hurricanes have the type of team to give them fits.
No. 3 LSU
Is LSU—a 23.5-point favorite, by the way—on this list because I'm a University of Washington alum? Absolutely.
But do the Huskies at least possess the tools to give the Tigers a scare in Baton Rouge on Saturday? Um, kind of.
UW's offensive line struggled against San Diego State in Week 1 and the run game could be non-existent without Jesse Callier. But Keith Price is at quarterback, who is flying under the radar. If he comes out gunning to Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Huskies can at least give LSU's secondary, which lacks experience, plenty of fits.
Also, Steve Sarkisian brought in a live tiger to Tuesday's practice, so there's that. That has to mean something.
Then again, this is all incredibly biased and if I'm being honest, I would just be happy to see Washington come within two touchdowns. So I'll give you a fourth team.
Who is most likely to lose?
No. 11 Michigan State
Trap game? I think so.
The Spartans are coming off a grinding 17-13 win over Boise State and host No. 22 Notre Dame on September 15.
In between those key showdowns, however, is a trip to Central Michigan.
The Chippewas, as evidenced by their 324 rushing yards in Week 1 against Southeast Missouri State, play a very similar game to Michigan State. They don't have as good of a defense, but they can make it a low-scoring game by grinding it out on the ground.
When the amount of possessions are limited, an upset is always possible.
The Spartans are busy tweeting about Denard Robinson and probably looking ahead to the Irish. Look for them to escape Mount Pleasant, but in an ugly fashion that drops them in the rankings by a spot or two.
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