AP College Football Poll 2012: Winners and Losers from Week 3
The second week of college football was a wild one, and the polls certainly reflect that notion.
Who would have guessed that the Arkansas Razorbacks would be unranked after playing against UL-Monroe or that Wisconsin would be outside of the Top 25 after playing Oregon State?
But here we stand.
With the third AP poll of the season announced, these are the biggest winners and losers from a compelling Saturday full of surprises.
Winner: Ohio State
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Chalk this ranking up to Urban Meyer.
Because Meyer is now the head coach at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are given newfound respect despite struggling early in their game against UCF on Saturday.
Then again, it doesn't hurt when your quarterback is doing his best Cam Newton impression. Regardless, the Buckeyes beat UCF 31-16, and they find themselves ranked as the 12th-best team in the nation.
As good as Braxton Miller may be in Meyer's offense, that's a tough sell. This is just another example of how name recognition can grant you an inside track in the polls.
The Buckeyes better thank their lucky stars they're ranked this high, because quite frankly, they're still unproven.
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How could this happen?
Arkansas losing to UL-Monroe was such a ridiculous notion that it wasn't even entertained. This is a small school in Louisiana that gets the recruits that LSU chooses to pass up on, and it beat Arkansas?
When ULM tied the game and sent it into overtime, the team received somewhat of a pass because Tyler Wilson was pulled from the game at halftime after taking multiple big shots to the head.
But after studying the box score, there's no excuse present to redeem this loss. In fact, the Hogs gave up 550 total yards to the Warhawks. You serious, Clark?
It seems like the SEC West is once again down to LSU and Alabama. Arkansas may never get back into this race.
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Texas is 2-0 this season, so it deserves a top ranking, right?
Not so fast, my friend. When it comes to voting, it's not all about the win-loss record. It's about how you get those wins and who you lose to, but somehow the voters seemed to have let that slip their minds when voting for Texas.
Look, no team feels like it has more to prove than Texas after experiencing a couple of down seasons, so let the Longhorns prove themselves before anointing them with such a high ranking.
So far, they beat Wyoming in Week 1 in a sloppy showcase and defeated New Mexico 45-0 after getting off to a somewhat slow start.
The Longhorns might be a national power again this season, but as far as the voters go, it seems the jury is already sold without conclusive evidence.
Loser: Oregon State
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ULM wasn't the only team creating shock waves in the college football universe.
Oregon State pulled off an incredible upset against 13th-ranked Wisconsin, but what was most impressive about the victory was the number 35.
That's how many rushing yards Wisconsin had against Oregon State.
Wait a minute, isn't this the same team that had a running back listed as a Heisman finalist last season? And isn't that same running back still on the team?
The Beavers held Montee Ball in check with only 61 yards, and their defensive effort should be commended.
However, the voters weren't impressed enough to reward the Beavers with a Top 25 ranking.
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The Michigan Wolverines got dismantled by Alabama and barely escaped Air Force, yet they're ranked 17th in the nation?
Voters are getting more and more gracious these days, aren't they?
A blowout loss to Alabama is somewhat permissible, but barely winning against Air Force the following week is inexcusable. What happened to being motivated after losses?
Still, the Wolverines ended up pulling off a 31-25 victory in "The Big House," and they managed to move up a few spots in the poll because of it.
Looks like these rough two weeks haven't affected the way voters view #armpunt and the Wolverines.
Loser: Mississippi State
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Mississippi State is a Top 25 team.
It's as simple as that, and to take it a bit further, it might be the third-best team in the SEC West.
Obviously, it's still early in the season, but the Bulldogs just won decisively against Auburn, and Arkansas just lost to a team that struggles to win in the Sun Belt Conference. Where's the love?
The Bulldogs have one of the best secondaries in football with Corey Broomfield and Johnthan Banks anchoring the unit, and Tyler Russell looks to be the real deal at quarterback.
It's unfortunate the Bulldogs aren't getting the respect they deserve following a 28-10 victory against the Tigers.
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Don't look now, Tennessee, but your Vols are ranked in the Top 25 again.
After beating NC State 35-21 in Week 1, the Vols followed that performance up with a 51-13 beatdown of Georgia State.
Most likely it's not the wins that gave Tennessee this ranking. Rather, it's the speed that was showcased against NC State on ESPN and Tyler Bray's incredible stats against Georgia State.
Bray completed 18 of 20 passes for 310 yards with four touchdowns. Bray should have been cast in S.W.A.T. with that kind of accuracy. "Colin Farrell get at me, LL Cool J get at me!"
Can't help but picture Derek Dooley smiling somewhere in Tennessee.