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College Football Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Plummet After Week 3

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans walks off the field after the Trojans turned the ball over on downs for the last time in the fourth quarter of their loss to the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IISeptember 16, 2012

Saturday was the day that officially welcomed us to the return of college football.

We saw crazy upsets, outcomes we couldn't dream of seeing and great college football atmospheres. 

Now that we can digest and take in everything that happened, let's predict some teams that will plummet in the next college football poll.

 

Virginia Tech

For Virginia Tech to fall at Pittsburgh Saturday, the Panthers had to play the perfect game offensively and defensively. 

Surprisingly enough, they did.

Pittsburgh, a team that was blown out by Cincinnati on the road by 24 and at home to Youngstown State by 14, didn't receive a fighter's chance against Virginia Tech and rightfully so.

However, that's why they play the game, and that's why college football is so special. Virginia Tech will be plummeting down the standings not just because they lost by 18 to a team that was awful through two games, but because of how they played, too.

The Hokies were dominated at the line of scrimmage; freshman running back Rushel Shell grabbed 157 yards on 23 carries and Ray Graham chipped in with 94 yards on 24 carries.

Pittsburgh set the tone from the very beginning with the running attack. Also, senior quarterback Tino Sunseri finally played like a senior quarterback. He has been average at best throughout his career, but he looked like a completely different person Saturday.

Virginia Tech deserves the blame on defense for allowing a weak offense to go up and down the field at will. But also, Logan Thomas threw three interceptions and the Hokies fumbled once to add to the pain of defeat.

The Hokies looked terrible, and its No. 13 ranking deserves to be close to being out of the Top 25 if not out of it completely. 

 

Michigan State

Le'Veon Bell didn't do much of anything with his 19 carries. They were no big plays, impact moments or touchdown runs—all the credit has to go to Notre Dame's defense.

Michigan State looked pretty bad against the Fighting Irish on Saturday night. Offensively they couldn't move the ball, totaling 237 yards of total offense. Defensively they couldn't force any turnovers to change the tone of the game.

Notre Dame came into Spartan Stadium—a place where the Spartans were 15-2 since 2010—and whooped them.

Losing at home, losing by 17 points, only scoring three points and seeing how it's only the beginning of the season suggests that Michigan State is slightly overrated.

When the rankings come out, Michigan State will be placed where they deserve—out of the top 20.

 

USC

High-powered offense, Heisman Trophy candidate in Matt Barkley, two dynamic receivers, a talented running back and all sorts of other talent across the field. 

That's what USC provides when they step on the field. Yet, for some strange reason, they can't defeat Stanford despite the Cardinal losing Andrew Luck to the 2012 NFL Draft?

Barkley was terrible in his efforts throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns, and he couldn't move the markers on third down (1-for-13).

Really?

Stanford barely slid up San Jose State to start the year. The Spartans even scored more points than the Trojans (17). 

Are you serious, USC? 

That alone should drop you at least a dozen spots in the standings. I wouldn't be shocked if it's more.

 

My College Football Rankings After Week 3

1. Alabama

2. LSU

3. Oregon

4. Florida State

5. Oklahoma

6. Georgia

7. South Carolina

8. West Virginia 

9. Clemson

10. Ohio State

11. Texas

12. Kansas State

13. Notre Dame

14. USC

15. Stanford

16. Florida 

17. TCU

18. Louisville

19. UCLA

20. Arizona

21. Michigan State

22. Mississippi State

23. Nebraska

24. Virginia Tech

25. Boise State

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