College Football Rankings 2012: Underrated Teams That Will Climb the Polls

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2012

Sep 8, 2012; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein (7) runs away from Miami Hurricanes defensive back Vaughn Telemaque (7) and linebacker Eddie Johnson (44) during the Wildcats' 52-13 win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

If you thought Week 1 of college football season was good, I hope you didn't miss Week 2's menu. Saturday's slate featured a handful of absolutely stunning results.

The rankings have been shaken up. You can check them out here, and you'll notice that some familiar names are no longer there. Wisconsin, Arkansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma State are all on the outside looking in.

The new polls also feature some new faces. Two of those teams, plus one overlooked holdover, should have your attention as we enter Week 3.

Let's take a look at those three dangerous squads.


UCLA Bruins

UCLA's Week 1 win over Rice was nothing to write home about, but their victory over Nebraska on Saturday is a different story.

Not only did it land the Bruins at No. 22 in the new batch of rankings, but they've emerged as one of this year's teams to watch.

The Bruins are currently the No. 2 rushing team in the country, thanks in large part to two consecutive 200-yard efforts from Johnathan Franklin. That shouldn't be tested in their Week 3 matchup against Houston, and Franklin should deliver another big game.

Brett Hundley will make the difference in the long run. He must provide consistent quarterback play, and he's done that so far. His 507 yards and six touchdowns have been instrumental in UCLA's first two wins.

UCLA won't face another ranked team for awhile, but this team is on the right track. Look for them to climb the polls slowly, but surely.


Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee will play Florida in one of Week 3's better matchups, and fans should expect the Volunteers to come away with the win.

As good as the Gators' defense is, Tyler Bray and the Tennessee attack are just as good. Bray has over 600 yards passing through the first two weeks, and he's thrown six touchdowns.

Bray has two legitimate targets to throw too—Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Both are athletic, vertical threats, and they will give the Florida secondary issues.

The Volunteers broke into the poll this week at No. 23, but their SEC schedule will give them multiple opportunities to climb the charts.

This attack will mature as the season moves along, and the defense has looked better than expected. The Volunteers will get their program back on track this season.


Kansas State Wildcats

I don't know about you, but I expected Kansas State to receive a stiff challenge from Miami in Week 2. Instead, the Wildcats pummeled the Hurricanes 52-13.

Bill Snyder's squad will have a chance as long as Collin Klein is running the show. He's full of heart and has six total touchdowns this season. His ability to pick through a defense gives his squad a major advantage.

North Texas comes to Manhattan, KS in Week 3 before the Wildcats travel to face Oklahoma in Week 4. That contest against the Sooners will provide a true barometer as to where this team really is.

Kansas State's offense causes problems because it's unique. Klein isn't the fastest or most athletic player, but he's smart and determined. John Hubert complements him well in the backfield, and he completes enough passes to keep the defense honest.

Snyder's squad surprised people last season, and they will again this year. Their style makes them easy to sleep on, but that's not wise.