NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Teams Ranked Too Low in Latest AP Poll

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Marshall Thundering Herd during the game on September 1, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Although college football teams have been proving themselves on the field in the first two weeks, a couple of them are better than the voters of the AP Poll believe.

It is often hard to distinguish schools this early in the year, especially with so many games against lower-quality opponents. However, a couple of squads in the middle and bottom of the Top 25 have the talent to be near the Top 10 by year's end.

Fortunately, there are plenty of games left for these teams to prove their worth.


No. 9 West Virginia

It is not customary to move up the rankings after a week off, but West Virginia should have already been higher in the polls prior to Week 2.

In the dominating 69-34 win over Marshall, quarterback Geno Smith played almost a perfect game. He completed 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. When you have as many touchdowns as incomplete passes, you had a good day. He also added 65 yards and a touchdown on the ground for good measure.

The Mountaineers face a new challenge in the Big 12 this season, but they have the talent to be successful in any conference in the country. 


No. 11 Clemson

In 2011, Clemson started the season 8-0 before youth and inexperience caught up. The Tigers lost four of the last six games last year, but they return most of an offense that was incredibly dangerous throughout the season.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington are among the best in the country at their positions, while sophomore receiver Sammy Watkins will be a huge addition when he returns from suspension. 

The Tigers still need to improve on defense, but the offense should be able to carry them through most of the ACC schedule and into the Top 10.


No. 15 Kansas State

The Wildcats won 10 games last season and dominated the first two of this year, but apparently that is still not good enough for most voters to put them near the top of the polls.

Kansas State has scored 103 points in the first two games behind Heisman candidate Collin Klein. The quarterback was second in the nation in rushing touchdowns last year and is off to another good start this year. He is also proving he can throw the ball efficiently as he has completed 71.8 percent of his passes. 

There are few offenses in the country that can score with this team, and they will continue to move up the rankings all year long.


No. 22 UCLA

Although Nebraska deserves to be lambasted after losing an early game while ranked No. 16 in the country, but not enough credit has gone to UCLA for pulling the upset. 

Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley has been a steady leader, but Johnathan Franklin has been one of the best running backs in the nation so far this year. The senior posted back-to-back 200-yard games and is averaging over 10 yards per carry. The rushing attack is helping the Bruins control possession and overcame any deficiencies on the defensive end.

In a top-heavy Pac-12, UCLA should rack up a lot of wins this season.


Week 3 AP Poll (via ESPN): 

1 Alabama (48)
2 USC (8)
3 LSU (4)
4 Oregon
5 Oklahoma
5 Florida State
7 Georgia
8 South Carolina
9 West Virginia
10 Michigan State
11 Clemson
12 Ohio State
13 Virginia Tech
14 Texas
15 Kansas State
16 TCU
17 Michigan
18 Florida
19 Louisville
20 Notre Dame
21 Stanford
23 Tennessee
24 Arizona
25 Brigham Young