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NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Hits and Misses from Week 5 Polls

T.J. McaloonContributorSeptember 23, 2012

NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Hits and Misses from Week 5 Polls

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    With the release of the new Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, there were once again several winners and losers in the rankings. 

    Some of the hits now get their first taste of being among the best 25 teams in college football. But other teams suffered losses that sent them crashing out of the polls. 

    And then you have the teams that just stayed put because they were idle this week. Luckily for those teams, they got the chance to rest up before their games next week. 

    Here are your hits and misses from Week 5's polls. 

Hit: Oregon Ducks

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    Associated Press: No. 2

    USA Today: No. 2

    The Ducks were a huge winner this week after they dismantled the Arizona Wildcats, 49-0. This would have been enough to make them a winner, as they looked like the best team in the country that wasn't in the SEC. 

    However, the LSU Tigers struggled against Auburn, which allowed the Ducks to vault the Tigers into the No. 2 spot in both of the polls. 

    It is early, but if Oregon can continue on this path, it could lead to a fantastic game of speed between Oregon's offense and Alabama's defense in the BCS title game. 

Miss: West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Associated Press: No. 9

    USA Today: No. 7

    West Virginia isn't a loser in the coaches poll; however, what in the heck were the voters in the AP Poll thinking when they dropped the Mountaineers one spot after a victory? 

    I could understand if they were idle and thus moved down for a team coming off of a huge upset.

    But WVU looked great in their 31-21 victory over Maryland. 

    Maybe the voters who make up the AP wanted to see five touchdowns from Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith, instead of three. 

Hit: Georgia and South Carolina

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    South Carolina: 

    Associated Press: No. 6

    USA Today: No. 6

    Georgia:

    Associated Press: No. 5

    USA Today: No. 5

    These two teams get to share the title of winner this week. They each moved up in the new polls and proved that the SEC East has a nice one-two punch like the SEC West does in LSU and Alabama. 

    They play each other on Oct. 6, which will be the unofficial SEC East championship game. However, with the way that both have played this year, they have proven that they can contend with the winner of the SEC West in the conference championship game. 

Miss: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Associated Press: No. 10

    USA Today: No. 11

    Now before you Irish fans kill me for calling your team a miss, despite a great defensive performance against Michigan, hear me out. 

    First off, the Irish are only a miss in the AP Poll. In the Coaches Poll, they moved up four spots from No. 15 to No. 11. However, despite beating a fellow ranked team, the AP Poll felt it fitting to only move them up one spot. 

    Instead, the Irish should have leaped over Stanford, who sat idle this week. 

Hit: The SEC

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    Number of teams in the Top 20 of the Associated Press Poll: 5

    Number of teams in the Top 20 of the USA Today Poll: 6

    The SEC is a huge winner this week, with five—count them, five—teams in the Top 15 of the latest polls. In fact, the SEC has four teams in the Top Six. 

    After those six teams, the SEC as a conference has been pretty weak. Arkansas, Kentucky, Auburn and Vanderbilt are 1-3. And newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri have yet to get their first conference wins.

    But to have half of your conference in the Top 20 in at least one poll is a very impressive accomplishment.  

Miss: The Pac-12

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    Teams that dropped from Associated Press Poll: 2

    Teams that dropped from USA Today Poll: 2

    The Big Ten may have had the worst week in total conference play; however, the Pac-12 had the most teams drop out of the latest polls. 

    Arizona dropped after getting thumped by Oregon, while UCLA fell out after losing a tough game to Oregon State. 

    The Pac-12 is a deep conference with a number of good teams. However, this week, they had the worst week in the polls. 

Hit: The Big East

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    Rutgers: 

    Associated Press: No. 23

    USA Today: No. 25

    Louisville:

    Associated Press: No. 19

    USA Today: No. 17

    Hey, just because the Big East is falling apart as a BCS conference doesn't mean that, with two teams in the polls, it cannot be considered a winner. 

    Sure, it has the lowest number of teams in the polls among the other BCS conferences; but, before the season, it had only one team in the AP and none in the Coaches Poll. 

    So any improvements can be viewed as progress for the conference. 

Miss: Oklahoma Sooners

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    Associated Press: No. 16

    USA Today: No. 15

    Oklahoma took quite the tumble in the polls this week, as they dropped 10 spots in each poll, from No. 6 in the AP and No. 5 in the Coaches Poll.

    Luckily for the Sooners, they play in the Big 12, which means they'll get a chance to go up against higher ranked teams like West Virginia and Texas. 

    However, if the way their offense played against Kansas State this weekend is any implication of how good they are, then we may be seeing the Sooners drop out of the polls very soon. 

Hit: Kansas State Wildcats

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    Associated Press: No. 7

    USA Today: No. 8

    For the second straight week, we saw a Top 10 team fall in an upset to a team in the middle of the pack. This week, Kansas State leapt from No. 15 in the AP and No. 13 in the Coaches Poll after pulling off the upset over Oklahoma. 

    The win rocketed the Wildcats into the Top 10 and established them as a team that is a serious threat to win the Big 12.

    The win also made them the highest ranked team in the conference. 

    The Wildcats' move into the Top 10 of both polls was the biggest hit of the week. 

Miss: Boise State Broncos

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    Associated Press: No. 24

    USA Today: NR

    This is a big-time miss on the AP Poll's behalf. At least the coaches were smart enough to keep the Broncos off the poll for another week. 

    However, somehow Boise State made their way back onto the AP Poll after a win against Miami (OH) and stayed there after struggling against BYU. 

    So, for another week, the Broncos take up a spot that another team like Northwestern or Virginia Tech should have. 

    This was the biggest miss in the polls this week. 

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