College Football Rankings 2012: Teams Ready to Vault into Top 25

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 17, 2012

The Top 25 of college football is constantly changing. 

Even after a week with only a few minor upsets, three teams departed from this week's AP rankings: Virginia Tech, Tennessee and BYU. 

As we enter conference play and the matchups became, well, more fair, the upsets will increase and the rotation of the rankings will intensify.

With that being said, let's take a look at teams who are primed to enter next week's rankings.

Note: You can find this week's Top 25 at the bottom of this page.


Baylor Bears

No Robert Griffin? No problem.

OK, the Bears have two unconvincing—albeit huge—wins over Southern Methodist and Sam Houston State, and this team is far from what it was last year, but if you have an offense that can move the ball with ease, you can beat anyone.

And even without the legendary RGIII, this team can move the ball. 

Nick Florence, who has arguably the biggest shoes to fill in the nation, has completed 45 of his 71 throws for 653 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks through two games. He's also chipped in 12 carries for 104 yards as he continues to establish himself as a threat in all aspects of the game. 

He also has weapons all over the field in Terrance Williams, Jarred Salubi, Tevin Reese and Lanear Simpson.

Again, the huge numbers Baylor has been putting up have been against cupcakes, almost literally.

But a win this week over everyone's new favorite school, Louisiana-Monroe, which beat Arkansas and took Auburn to OT at Jordan-Hare Stadium, at Louisiana-Monroe, should be enough to vault BU into the Top 25. 


Northwestern Wildcats

Not many teams in the entire country can boast a 3-0 record with three wins over BCS squads, but oddly enough, Northwestern is one of those teams after a road win over Syracuse and two home wins over Vanderbilt and Boston College. 

If that's not the most underrated start to the season, I'm not exactly sure what is. 

The Wildcats, who have proven to have a better defense than usual and an offense capable of moving the ball under stud Kain Colter, should probably already be ranked, but with games upcoming against South Dakota and Indiana, it's only a matter of time.

In fact, looking at the schedule, it wouldn't be surprising to see Northwestern at 7-0 in the middle of October with Nebraska coming to town. 


Oregon State Beavers

Thanks to a postponed game against Nicholls State and a bye last week, the Beavers have only played one game.

But what an impressive game it was. 

Mike Riley's squad looked like it belonged in the SEC with its stout 10-7 win over then-No. 13 Wisconsin. 

Despite that being the Beavs' only chance to impress the voters so far, it would only take one more convincing win to propel them into the Top 25. 

Enter UCLA.

The Bruins have been surprisingly dominant through three games and host Oregon State next week as they look to improve to 4-0. Nonetheless, don't be surprised if the Beavers' defense slows down a ridiculously potent UCLA offense (40.7 points per game) and turns this one into a nail-biter. 


Here is a full look at Week 4's Associated Press Top 25

 1. Alabama
 2. LSU
 3. Oregon
 4. Florida State
 5. Georgia
 6. Oklahoma
 7. South Carolina
 8. West Virginia
 9. Stanford
 10. Clemson
 11. Notre Dame
 12. Texas
 13. USC
 14. Florida 
 15. Kansas State
 16. Ohio State
 17. TCU
 18. Michigan 
 19. UCLA
 20. Louisville
 21. Michigan State
 22. Arizona
 23. Mississippi State
 24. Boise State
 25. Nebraska


    Report: FSU's LT Suspended Amid Alleged Violence

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Report: FSU's LT Suspended Amid Alleged Violence

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Christie Says NJ Will Have Legal Sports Betting by June

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Christie Says NJ Will Have Legal Sports Betting by June

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Former USC Assistant McNair Loses Case vs. NCAA

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Former USC Assistant McNair Loses Case vs. NCAA

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Why McNair Lost the Defamation Lawsuit

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Why McNair Lost the Defamation Lawsuit