College Football Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Bounce Back After Big Drop

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IISeptember 17, 2012

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans reacts after throwing an interception during their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Week 4 college football rankings were released on Sunday after what was a ridiculous football Saturday.

Now that we've had a day to sink our teeth into the action, the rankings look completely different than last week.

Here are three teams that will bounce back in a major way. 


For Matt Barkley, talented wide receivers, a solid running back and an explosive offense to put up 14 points in a losing effort to Stanford is inexplicable.

I wouldn't have minded seeing USC drop farther than No. 13, but that's where they landed after the new rankings came out on Sunday.

Barkley was awful, throwing two interceptions against a team he hasn't been able to defeat at USC. We all expected more from the Trojans, but it's time to move on, as tough as that may be.

USC will now host conference rival California—boy, would I hate to be a Golden Bear this week.

The Trojans are about to drop 40 on them, and if they don't, something is wrong.

Maybe they aren't who we thought they were.

Prediction: USC 45, California 24. 

Virginia Tech

USC's loss was bad, but Virginia Tech's was worse. The only way the Panthers were going to defeat Virginia Tech was if they played a perfect game.

They did.

It also didn't help that the Hokies produced four turnovers. 

Pittsburgh deserves credit for running the ball down the Hokies' throat, but it's time to move on to the next game.

Bowling Green will travel to Blacksburg to play an unrated Hokies team. Yes, you read that correctly, the Hokies are now unrated.

If they aren't upset about their ranking, I'm not sure what's wrong with them. They are a better team than what they displayed on Saturday.

Logan Thomas is a much better quarterback than what we saw, and Bowling Green will receive a heavy dose of him through the air and on the ground.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 38, Bowling Green 10. 

Michigan State

Michigan State looked dreadful on Saturday night against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. They had three points and 237 yards of total offense. Standout running back Le'Veon Bell was held to 77 yards rushing.

Blame has to be put on the Spartans, but you have to give credit to Notre Dame as well.

The Irish came in with a game plan and executed it to perfection in Spartan Stadium.

Michigan State will bounce back in a major way against Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are 0-3 on the season with losses to Ball State, Illinois State and Purdue. All losses were by double digits.

The 21st ranked Spartans will demolish Eastern Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan State 58, Eastern Michigan 13.