NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Hits and Misses from Week 3 Polls

T.J. McaloonContributorSeptember 9, 2012

NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Hits and Misses from Week 3 Polls

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    The year's second round of college football polls have been released and they look entirely different from the previous week. The top-six teams haven't changed much —except in one poll which I'll get into later— in both the USA Today Coaches and the Associated Press polls. 

    However, after those top six teams both polls took a drastic change. 

    There were some teams that fell completely out of the poll after taking losses to an unranked teams. And then there are the newcomers to the polls who have started their season off hot at 2-0. 

    The new polls did some good things this week, but they also missed big time on how they ranked some teams. Here's who were the hits and misses in the second set of polls. 

Hit: Tennessee at No. 23 in the AP Poll

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 23

    USA Today: NR

    This week the Volunteers made their way into the AP poll after throttling Georgia State 31-10. The win over Georgia State isn't that impressive, but their body of work was built primarily on their opening season win over North Carolina State.

    Tennessee quarterback, Tyler Bray, has put together a solid start to the season as he has yet to throw an interception and has back-to-back games of 300 or more yards.

    Tennessee could be that surprise team in the SEC East that makes their way to the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship game.  

Miss: Arizona at No. 25 and No. 24 in the Polls

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 24

    USA Today: No. 25

    Arizona had an impressive 59-38 win over Oklahoma State at home. The win vaulted them into the Top 25 in both polls. However, as great as their win was, they should not have leaped the Cowboys—who they beat—in both polls. 

    The Wildcats had to get by with an impressive offensive outburst. However, they allowed over 500 yards on offense to Oklahoma State, which is far from being worthy of a Top 25 team. On top of the bad defense, there were teams left off of the Top 25 list like Mississippi State or Baylor. 

    Instead of putting Arizona at No. 25, the voters should have kept them in the honorable-mention pool and placed a team like Mississippi State or Arkansas into the Top 25. 

Hit: Wisconsin Being Dropped from the AP Poll

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    This Week's Rankings: 

    AP: NR

    USA Today: No. 22

    Wisconsin struggled in their first game against Northern Iowa, winning 26-21. This led to Oregon State completely exposing this team as a mediocre club this year. 

    After Oregon State's 10-7 victory, it dropped the Badgers completely out of the AP poll. However, the coaches saw it differently, as they only dropped Wisconsin nine spots from No.13 to No. 22. 

Miss: LSU Being Moved Ahead of USC in the USA Today Poll

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    This Week's Rankings: 

    AP: No. 3

    USA Today: No. 2

    The AP got it right this week, keeping LSU at No. 3 and USC at No. 2. But what were the coaches thinking moving the Tigers ahead in the new rankings? 

    Both LSU and USC took on and dominated BCS level schools. LSU destroyed Washington at home, while USC had to travel across the country to take on Syracuse. 

    So were the coaches just looking at the final score and making that their deciding factor? Or did they just want to pump the SEC up again and have the No. 1 and 2 teams from that conference? 

    LSU should have stayed at No.3 with USC still at No.2. 

Hit: UCLA at No. 22 and No. 23 in the Polls

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 22

    USA Today: No. 23

    Now some of you may be wondering what the difference is between Arizona and UCLA. I didn't like the Wildcats making the polls, but I'm approving of the Bruins. Well, while Arizona did play well against Oklahoma State, they did little to nothing to shut down the Cowboys offense. 

    UCLA, on the other hand, played a complete and dominant game in their upset victory over Nebraska.

    The Bruins have looked very impressive over their first two games behind freshman quarterback, Brett Hundley. 

    They will not win the Pac-12 this year, but with Hundley the future looks very bright. 

Miss: BYU at No. 25 in the AP Poll

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 25

    USA Today: NR

    While I questioned what the coaches were thinking in their voting of LSU over USC, I have to question what the AP voters were thinking putting BYU into the Top 25. 

    If you look at the USA Today Coaches Poll, you'll see that BYU is not only in the honorable mention portion, but they are behind four other teams. 

    The AP should have kept BYU out of this week's poll and instead kept Arkansas in the Top 25. 

Hit: Alabama Staying at No. 1 Overall in Both Polls

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 1

    USA Today: No. 1

    The voters could have yanked the rug out from underneath the Crimson Tide like they did to USC and LSU after Alabama's opening season victory over Michigan. This week, Alabama was playing a small school, while LSU and USC took on BCS caliber teams.

    However, the voters got it right by voting Alabama the overall No. 1 team in the country for a second straight week. 

Miss: Texas Moving Up to No. 12 in the USA Today Poll

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 14

    USA Today: No. 12

    Texas has had two impressive wins to open their season. However, both of those wins came against the likes of Wyoming and New Mexico, and both were at home. So neither win was that earth-shattering or deserving of a vault into the cusp of the Top 10.

    Texas takes on Ole Miss next week and should win. If this does happen, then the Longhorns should be moved up from their preseason ranking of No. 15 in the AP and USA Today polls. 


Hit: Nebraska Dropping out of the AP Poll

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: NR

    USA Today: No. 23

    Nebraska looked great during their opening season win against Southern Miss. However, against UCLA, they struggled because they were forced into a passing game, which resulted in them struggling to find points in the second half. 

    Nebraska will get back into both polls when they defeat Arkansas State next week. However, for now, on the outside of the AP poll, looking in, is right where they should be. 

Miss: Oklahoma and Florida State Tying at No. 5 in the AP Poll

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    This Week's Rankings:

    AP: No. 5 (tie)

    USA Today: FSU-No. 6 Oklahoma-No.5

    The one thing that college football is celebrated for is the lack of ties in their games. So why is there a tie in one of their polls? 

    Instead of having both Oklahoma and Florida State as the fifth best team in college football, they should just use last week's rankings as a tie-breaker. 

    That would mean Florida State would stay at No. 6, while Oklahoma would still be at No. 5.