2012 College Football Week 5 Rankings: Oregon No. 2 in AP and USA Today Polls?

Jeremy Eckstein@https://twitter.com/#!/JeremyEckstein1Featured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2012

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 22: Kenjon Barner #24 of the Oregon Ducks is pursued by Dominique Austin #92 of the Arizona Wildcats on September 22, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

College football’s 2012 Week 4 is set to unveil its AP and USA Today coaches polls. Several big games will shake up the polls in this projection of how the media and coaches could rank these teams.

No. 1 Alabama cruised in a glorified scrimmage and looks to cruise in their next four games. The Crimson Tide are rolling along as the deserved and consensus power of college football.

While LSU hung on for dear life in a classic Les Miles escape, No. 5 Georgia flexed its muscle again, leading to the following scenario. If the Bulldogs go undefeated and defeat 'Bama in the SEC title game, would they meet again in Miami? SEC possibilities are everywhere.

Suddenly the Oregon Ducks are no longer hiding behind USC. They undressed the Arizona offense behind big-play defense, and then poured it on behind Marcus Mariota and company. It would be amazing to see them square off against FSU, but it’s a long season.

Here is a look at how the AP poll could shape their rankings, with brief commentary and some of the USA Today coaches poll differences noted with the analysis.

1. Alabama              Can we just put them in the NFC South?

2. Oregon                Oregon defense? Will they push past LSU in both polls?

3. LSU                      Offense needs playmaking to support Ford and Ware.                

4. Florida St.           Adversity game to flex their explosive scoring. They’re back.

5. Georgia               Remember when Mark Richt was on the hot seat?

6. South Carolina   Getting better every week, and showdown with Georgia looms.

7. West Virginia      Defense gave up 305 yards passing. Trouble for Big 12 play?

8. Stanford              Bye week, but will be at Washington for ESPN Thursday.

9. Notre Dame         Notre Dame shuts down the state of Michigan. Top 10 time!

10. Texas                 Bye week, and Longhorns ready to brand the Big 12.

11. Kansas St.         One large step for Klein, one giant step for K-St.

12. USC                    Can the Trojans become one-loss contender?

13. Florida                 So far so good. Bye week to ready for LSU and early BCS bid.

14. TCU                    Unheralded team, but favored to keep winning for awhile.

15. Ohio St.              Trailed 12-7 late first half for the sanctioned Big Ten contender.

16. Oklahoma           Exposed, but don’t count them out from winning the Big 12.

17. Clemson             Blew their BCS hopes in a huge opportunity. This hurts.

18. Mississippi St.   Likely to be undefeated 7-0 in late October vs. 'Bama.

19. Nebraska            Angry scoring this week, but UCLA loss was costly.

20. Oregon St.          Three years and back to Top 25. Defense is for real.

21. Louisville            Nobody’s impressed. Rutgers the class of the Big East?

22. Northwestern     Undefeated! Ready for Rose Bowl run with soft schedule.

23. Rutgers               Will there be oranges in January?

24. Michigan St.       May not remain in the Top 25. Simply ugly offense.

25. Boise St.             Might be better to throw BSU out of the Top 25. BCS is history.


Bear Market

UCLA, you had many around the country believing you were for real, but you don’t drop a home game against lunch-pail Oregon St. Nebraska must still be smarting over this one.

Michigan is through as a title contender, but can still get to the Rose Bowl in the anemic Big Ten. Denard Robinson’s three first-half interceptions were as ugly as it gets. Will Brady Hoke groom a new quarterback if things continue to go south?

Speaking of Michigan fallout, Rich Rodriguez and Arizona got a rude awakening in Pac-12 play on ESPN. Raise your hand if you thought their offense would get shut out?

Arkansas is officially the Humpty Dumpty of college football. Tyler Wilson could be starting for the Miami Dolphins or Cleveland Browns. Guess it was not in the script.


BCS Bowl Market

SEC still looking great to get three BCS teams. South Carolina and Georgia in the East are completely overshadowed, but both are very much in the championship and Sugar Bowl discussions.

Pac-12 is the clear No. 2 conference, but the middle teams could spoil some dream seasons from the big guns. At least they get the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl if Oregon doesn’t make it to Miami.

Big 12 still looking to sort out big-season potential with Kansas St., Texas and West Virginia. Oklahoma St. doesn’t look too good after Oregon shut out Arizona.

Don’t say it too loudly, but could Notre Dame run the table? NBC is gleeful.

What’s your take? Cast your own comments below.


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