College Football Rankings 2012: Top Teams That Will Stumble on Saturday

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 08:  Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 21-17.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are a number of captivating Top 25 showdowns set to take place across the college football landscape this weekend.

The No. 20-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will travel to East Lansing to take on the No. 10 Michigan State Spartans in a rematch of last year's blowout in South Bend. 

Meanwhile, down south the No. 18-ranked Florida Gators will face off against the No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers in a rivalry clash between two of the SEC East's best programs.

So, which top squads will stumble on Saturday?

Here are three ranked teams set to fall in Week 3.


No. 14 Texas

The SEC's Ole Miss Rebels will host the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night in a game that Mack Brown's side would be considered lucky to escape unscathed. 

Ole Miss boasts the nation's ninth-best rushing attack through the season's first two weeks, averaging more than 283 yards on the ground per game thus far. Quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Randall Mackey join running back Jeff Scott as Ole Miss players who have rushed for more than 100 yards in two games this season.

Although Ole Miss flies under the radar as one of the perennial SEC bottom-feeders, it has an underrated advantage playing at home in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a late, 9:15 p.m. ET kickoff.


No. 18 Florida 

The Gators are on the road at Tennessee in Week 3. Both teams are 2-0 so far this season, but the Volunteers will have the benefit of playing at home in a matchup of two pretty even teams.

I consider Tennessee's junior quarterback Tyler Bray the difference in this SEC East showdown. Bray has thrown for more than 640 yards and six touchdowns in two games this fall, and he will be much more effective than Florida's Jeff Driskel. 

Sure, the Gators' scoring defense has been solid, but the Volunteers possess the country's ninth-ranked aerial assault, led by the accurate Bray. 


No. 20 Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are in for a tough time on Saturday night in East Lansing, where they will attempt to move to 3-0 this season by beating the No. 10-ranked Michigan State Spartans in front of a raucous crowd. 

With ESPN's College GameDay on site, Brian Kelly's squad will have to overcome a Spartans defense that has allowed just 10 points per game so far this season and one that held Boise State to just 13 points in Week 1. 

It also should be noted that Notre Dame beat Michigan State by 18 points in South Bend last season. The Spartans will be looking for revenge at home on Saturday night, and they have the defense capable of knocking the Irish out of the AP Top 25. 


College Football AP Top 25 Rankings Week 3

Rank Team Record Points
1. Alabama 2-0 1,486
2. USC 2-0 1,414
3. LSU 2-0 1,404
4. Oregon 2-0 1,299
5. Oklahoma 2-0 1,160
5. Florida State 2-0 1,160
7. Georgia 2-0 1,155
8. South Carolina 2-0 1,025
9. West Virginia 1-0 1,017
10. Michigan State 2-0 995
11. Clemson 2-0 868
12. Ohio State 2-0 772
13. Virginia Tech 2-0 734
14. Texas 2-0 716
15. Kansas State 2-0 714
16. TCU 1-0 542
17. Michigan 1-1 429
18. Florida 2-0 427
19. Louisville 2-0 316
20. Notre Dame 2-0 310
21. Stanford 2-0 260
22. UCLA 2-0 250
23. Tennessee 2-0 177
24. Arizona 2-0 149
25. Brigham Young 2-0 110

*AP Poll information courtesy of


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