College Football Rankings 2012: Ranked Squads Put on Notice in Week 2 Action
With only the night games remaining on tap for the second week of the college football season, we’ve seen one upset of a Top 25 school and quite a few others involved in games that were much closer than they, or anyone else, originally expected.
A win is a win, and at the end of the day winning is what matters, no matter how lucky a team may have gotten or how ugly it looked in accomplishing its goal.
But things don’t get any easier from here on out, and these teams had better get themselves moving in the right direction quickly, for if they don’t, their spot in the AP Top 25 will certainly be handed to a more deserving group of athletes.
No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1)
Memo to Wisconsin: Montee Ball is your best player, and you need to run the ball in order to win.
Maybe the Badgers will get the point now that their 33-game nonconference winning streak has come to an end, falling to the Oregon State Beavers 10-7 in a game that was nowhere near as close as that score would lead you to believe.
Wisconsin could do nothing against the Beavers defense, gaining just 207 yards, its lowest total in five years. Ball was stymied all day long and finished the game with 61 yards on 15 carries.
Danny O’Brien was ineffective in moving Wisconsin down the field, averaging a meager 4.5 yards per attempt on a day that saw him go 20-of-38 for 172 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Wisconsin is in for a precipitous drop in the poll as it is, and with a game up next against a Utah State team that upset Utah this week and held the Utes to 96 yards on the ground, things aren’t going to get any easier for the Badgers' woeful offensive line.
No. 24 Florida Gators (2-0)
The Gators overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to beat Texas A&M 20-17, but they leave College Station with major issues on offense.
Were it not for senior running back Mike Gillislee putting the offense on his back—rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter—Florida loses this game.
Don’t let Gators QB Jeff Driskel’s stat line fool you; while he finished 13-of-16 for 162 yards passing on the day, he looked like he didn’t have a clue what to do with the ball for most of the game.
Florida’s offensive line, while it opened some holes for Gillislee, couldn’t stop the Aggies from getting to its quarterback, as he was sacked eight times.
With a date against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville next weekend, the Gators not only need to figure out how to protect their quarterback, but also need an offensive game plan that will put points on the board.
Another subpar effort will result in a Gators loss and their dismissal from the Top 25.
No. 22 Notre Dame (2-0)
After pushing Navy’s offensive line around like rag dolls, opening up gaps you could drive a tank through en route to racking up 293 yards on the ground in its opening game, Notre Dame’s offensive line was unable to do anything against Purdue’s talented front four.
The Irish finished the day with only 52 yards on the ground, and QB Everett Golson was sacked five times.
The Irish need to get their offensive line back in working order well in advance of their matchup with the No. 11 team in the land, the Michigan State Spartans, next Saturday night if they plan on staying a ranked team.
AP Top 25 Poll (First-Place Votes)
1. Alabama (45)
2. USC (11)
3. LSU (4)
6. Florida State
9. (tie) South Carolina
9. (tie) West Virginia
11. Michigan State
14. Ohio State
15. Virginia Tech
18. Oklahoma State
21. Kansas State
22. Notre Dame
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