College Football Top 25: Preseason Darlings That Should Be Worried

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 11, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, AR - SEPTEMBER 8:   Tyler Wilson #8 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks on from the sidelines 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

You know what they say about college football preseason polls: They mean nothing.

After two weeks of college football, that couldn't be more true, as several preseason darlings have disappointed already.

Whether they be teams trying to make up for their losses in the offseason or squads that frankly have awful defenses, some teams have already started to implode.

Here's a look at teams ranked in the preseason polls that have faltered early on.

Michigan (1-1)

The way Michigan has played so far, the Wolverines shouldn't even be ranked. The only reason they are is because they were ranked No. 8 in both polls to start the season.

The Wolverines got blown out by Alabama, 41-14, suggesting they didn't belong in the Top 10, and then barely beat Air Force. Yet, the AP ranks Michigan No. 17 in the country?

I don't buy it.

I had high hopes for the Wolverines coming into the season, but Alabama's dominance on both lines suggested Michigan's offseason losses can't just be swept under the rug, and Denard Robinson can't keep turning the ball over. He has three interceptions in two games.

The fact remains: When Robinson faces a strong run defense, he's not nearly the same player, because he's still not an adequate pocket passer.

Notre Dame (2-0)

I was all about Notre Dame after a season-opening 50-10 victory over Navy, but I was misguided.

After a measly 20-17 win over Purdue, quarterback issues remain the center of debate for the Fighting Irish.

Starter Everett Golson's numbers against Purdue actually look impressive (21-of-31, 289 yards, one touchdown), especially compared to the numbers Notre Dame quarterbacks put up last season. 

But the running game was miserable, the Fighting Irish racked up eight penalties for 52 yards, and Golson can't keep on taking sacks. (He was sacked five times.) That is what allowed Purdue to get back into the game.

Nebraska (1-1)

Nebraska may have been ranked No. 16 by the AP before meeting UCLA, but the Bruins embarrassed the Cornhuskers in Week 2, 36-30.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has had his fair share of struggles at Nebraska, went 17-of-31 for 179 yards and an interception against the Bruins, and the defense allowed 653 total yards. That is frankly disgraceful.

Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley embarrassed Nebraska, going 21-of-33 for 305 yards and four touchdowns, and running back Johnathan Franklin exploded, rushing 26 times for 217 yards and adding three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.

There's a good chance UCLA was underrated coming into the season. Still, that's no excuse for Nebraska's performance.

Oklahoma State (1-1)

Oklahoma State had Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon last season, which allowed the Cowboys to win ballgames despite allowing 25.8 points per game.

The problem is that Oklahoma State doesn't have Weeden or Blackmon anymore, and the defense showed against Arizona that it hasn't improved much since last season.

If you take away Jonathan McKnight's interception for a touchdown, Arizona still scored 52 points against Oklahoma State's defense in Week 2. That included senior quarterback Matt Scott throwing for 320 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Ka'Deem Carey rushing for 126 yards and totaling four touchdowns.

Earth to Oklahoma State: You don't have Weeden and Blackmon anymore. Start playing defense.

Arkansas (1-1)

Let me be clear: Nobody should pin Arkansas' loss to Louisiana-Monroe on quarterback Tyler Wilson.

Did Wilson have a below-average performance by his standards? Yes, he went 11-of-20 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

But the defense also gave up 550 total yards to the Warhawks.

Junior quarterback Kolton Browning passed for 412 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. He also added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He found nine different receivers, including senior wideout Brent Leonard, who caught 11 balls for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Remember, Arkansas also gave up 24 points to Jacksonville State. This is a disturbing trend for Razorback Nation.

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