NCAA Football Rankings: Overachieving Teams Guaranteed to Slip Up

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2012

TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 20:  Runningback Johnathan Franklin #23 of the UCLA Bruins rushes the football against the Arizona Wildcats during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on October 20, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the fourth weekend of the 2012 College Football season on the horizon, it's time to burst some early-season bubbles. 

As is the case every fall, a handful of teams in the AP Top 25 rankings are not what they seem. Despite their hot starts, these overachieving squads are destined to slip up some time down the road. 

Whether they are the beneficiaries of weak opening schedules or riding the sensational play of a star player, one thing is for sure: They will not be among the elite for long.

Let's take a look at three overachieving teams guaranteed to slip up this fall

No. 11 Notre Dame

Few, if any, predicted that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish would go into Spartan Stadium and deliver a 20-3 beatdown to Michigan State last Saturday night. Still, at 3-0, the Irish have a long way to go before they are BCS bowl bound. 

Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma and USC are all left on the schedule, and Notre Dame will have to play the Sooners and Trojans on the road. 

Sure, the Irish deserve plenty of praise for their hot start, but that won't prevent them from slipping up this fall once their schedule stiffens beginning this weekend in South Bend when they host the Wolverines. 

No. 14 Florida

Despite looking very beatable in their season opener against Bowling Green, Will Muschamp's Florida Gators have played better and better each week. After earning conference road wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee, Florida is 3-0. 

Unfortunately for the Gators, their October schedule will pit them against three Top 10-ranked SEC squads at home. After squaring off against Kentucky in the Swamp this weekend, Florida will host LSU, visit Vanderbilt and then host South Carolina and Georgia.

Muschamp's Gators will be underdogs in each of those three home games. Consider Florida lucky if it is 6-2 or better heading into November.

No. 19 UCLA 

Thanks to the heroics of senior running back Johnathan Franklin, the UCLA Bruins are 3-0 heading into conference play. Franklin is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate this year, having rushed for more than 540 yards in three games.

Still, even if UCLA's first few Pac-12 games are winnable, the back half of its schedule looks anything but promising. The Bruins host Arizona, USC and Stanford in three of their last four games of the season.

Unless UCLA can tighten up defensively and maintain its No. 5-ranked rushing attack, it will have plenty of opportunities to slip up this fall and no doubt take advantage of more than one. 

2012 NCAA Football Rankings - Week 4

Rank Team Record Points
1 Alabama (58) 3-0 1,498
2 LSU (2) 3-0 1,433
3 Oregon 3-0 1,356
4 Florida State 3-0 1,275
5 Georgia 3-0 1,203
6 Oklahoma 2-0 1,181
7 South Carolina 3-0 1,081
8 West Virginia  2-0 1,051
9 Stanford 3-0 1,009
10 Clemson 3-0 899
11 Notre Dame 3-0 854
12 Texas 3-0 816
13 USC 2-1 776
14 Florida 3-0 743
15 Kansas State 3-0 683
16 Ohio State 3-0 680
17 TCU 2-0 535
18 Michigan 2-1 448
19 UCLA 3-0 429
20 Louisville 3-0 366
21 Michigan State 2-1 318
22 Arizona 3-0 296
23 Mississippi State 3-0 106
24 Boise State 1-1 95
25 Nebraska 2-1 80

*All Information Courtesy of

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more College Football take, reaction and analysis.

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter


    Lane Kiffin Signs 10-Year Extension at FAU

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Lane Kiffin Signs 10-Year Extension at FAU

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Michigan Adds 3 in One Day, Two 4-Stars

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Michigan Adds 3 in One Day, Two 4-Stars

    Tom VanHaaren

    Buckeyes Flip 4-Star QB Dwan Mathis

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Buckeyes Flip 4-Star QB Dwan Mathis

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Five Freshmen Who Could Make an Instant Impact

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Five Freshmen Who Could Make an Instant Impact