College Football Rankings 2012 Week 4: Teams That Jumped Too High in AP Poll

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 17, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 15:  Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish throws a third quarter pass as he is hit while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium Stadium on September 15, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Notre Dame won the game 20-3. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The third full week of college football certainly altered the landscape of the national title race, but some teams were given too much credit for their performances and deserve to take a step or two back in the Week 4 AP poll (courtesy of 

While the story of the college football weekend was undoubtedly the upset of the former No. 2 USC Trojans by way of rivals Stanford, they weren't the only team that moved considerably in the rankings. The Trojans fell from second in the poll to No. 13.

Even though SEC powerhouses Alabama and LSU have risen to the top of the rankings, there are no shortage of national title contenders. Many of them rose too high in last week's rankings, and it's time to call them out.

Let's take a look at three teams that were given too much credit for their wins Saturday.


Mississippi State Bulldogs

There is no team that got more undeserved credit for their win on Saturday than Mississippi State, as they were out of the Top 25 at 30th last week and climbed to No. 23 this week.

Head coach Dan Mullen's Bulldogs gave up 572 total yards against Troy, a team that Mississippi State was heavily favored against. They barely squeaked out a 30-24 win and could've easily given up a huge upset on the road.

Maybe AP voters felt the need to replace Tennessee (No. 23 last week) with another formidable SEC team since the back end of the Top 25 isn't exactly loaded with Southeastern Conference teams. Regardless, the Bulldogs don't deserve to have jumped at all after last week's win over Troy.


Stanford Cardinal

You can't discredit the Stanford Cardinal for their big upset win over former No. 2 USC this weekend, but they rose 12 spots from No. 21 to No. 9 even though USC dropped 11 spots.

I understand giving Stanford a big boost after a surprising win over a team that many college football followers expected to be in the national title game, but if you're going to drop USC so much after the game, then why boost the Cardinal even more?

It has to be one way or another. If the voters are going to put Stanford up 12 spots, then that should keep USC from falling more than six or seven spots. The voters need to decide which is more extreme—the good that Stanford showed, or the bad showcased by the Trojans.

Though it was a massive win for Stanford, USC played its way out of this game and deserve to fall more than the Cardinal should rise.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame jumped all the way from No. 20 to 11 after a 20-3 victory over Michigan State, who dropped 11 spots from No. 10 to 21. 

This is another case of which team was more at fault. Was Notre Dame that good, or were the Michigan State Spartans that bad?

The Spartans were just that bad. They struggled all game with silly mistakes and could not avoid dropping the ball (literally) on every solid offensive opportunity that they had.

Notre Dame QB Everett Golson only completed 14 passes, far from a solid number for a dominating win. The Spartans offensive line couldn't contain Notre Dame's pass rush, which sacked QB Andrew Maxwell four times and aggravated him even more than that. 


AP Top 25 Poll: Week 4

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


    Illinois Lands 5-Star Athlete Isaiah Williams

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Illinois Lands 5-Star Athlete Isaiah Williams

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Email Reveals Leach Was Ready to Accept Vols Job

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Email Reveals Leach Was Ready to Accept Vols Job

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Tua's Dad: Finger Injury Required Surgery

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Tua's Dad: Finger Injury Required Surgery

    Web Staff
    via KHON

    10 Players Set to Shock the CFB World

    College Football logo
    College Football

    10 Players Set to Shock the CFB World

    Brad Shepard
    via Bleacher Report