NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Disappointing Teams That Will Redeem Themselves

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, AR - SEPTEMBER 8:   Tyler Wilson #8 hands off the ball to Knile Davis #7 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during a game against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at War Memorial Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Warhawks defeated the Razorbacks 34-31.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Let's remember Week 2 of the college football season as "Drop Week."

In the AP Poll, four teams were dropped from the rankings. While turnover in the polls is a regular occurrence each week, it's rare that you see four teams all ranked 18th or higher fall out of the AP Poll.

Yet that's what we saw on Saturday. It was pretty shocking.

But that doesn't mean these teams will stay down and out for the rest of the season. In fact, I think we'll see a few of them recover from early-season disappointments quite nicely. Let's offer some encouraging words for some teams that probably could use them right about now.



Listen up, Badgers—you have only yourselves to blame. Really, you do. Let's not take anything away from Oregon State here—they played a great game—but you are much better than what you showed on Saturday.

If teams take away Montee Ball—and teams are going to do everything in their power to take him away—you need to find a way to move the ball anyway. Scoring just seven points is ridiculous. Time of possession of 24:25 is not acceptable. A complete lack of rhythm offensively has to be addressed. 

Danny O'Brien, you need to do better than a 20-for-38 for 172 yards, one touchdown and one interception. This team won't go very far if you can't pick up the slack when defenses slow Ball, whose touchdown streak wasn't going to last forever anyway.

But I know you're a better team than what you showed, Wisconsin. I believe in your defense. I believe you'll find ways to keep defenses honest so you can pound the rock with Ball. I believe you still have a chance to win the Big Ten. 

So chins up, gentlemen—this season is far from over.



Oh Arkansas—it really can't get worse than this. And that's something, right?

Yes, I know you are heartbroken after dropping from No. 8 in the rankings and right out of the AP Poll this week after your shocking overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe. I know you are crushed that your national championship dreams are ruined. I know you are probably pretty embarrassed.

But listen up—you probably weren't going to win a national championship this year. Hell, winning the SEC West is a longshot at best with Alabama and LSU to compete against. Besides, after losing your head coach to a scandal this offseason certainly shook things up before the season.

But you are still a very talented football team. You have enough excellent players to recover from this loss during the SEC schedule, as difficult as that will be. Besides, Louisiana-Monroe is no stranger to knocking off good teams from the South—back in 2007, they beat Alabama.

And that just so happened to be Nick Saban's first year on the job.

You will recover. Things will look good once again. Believe.



The Pac-12 sure made life miserable for the Big Ten this weekend, huh?

Of all of the teams on here, you lost to the best squad, Nebraska. You did so on the road. And you certainly didn't play poorly, unlike Wisconsin and Arkansas.

I think we can all forgive your performance.

Losing the turnover battle hurt you. Giving up a safety was killer. Getting crushed in time of possession was surprising for a team that butters its bread running the ball. Losing the fourth quarter obviously did you in.

But as we've seen early on already this season, the Big Ten should be wide open. Wisconsin and Michigan have already been humbled. A tough loss like this isn't the end of the world, not when you have the chance to return to Southern California to play in the Rose Bowl.

So keep your heads up, Cornhuskers—you'll be back in those rankings in no time at all. 


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