College Football AP Rankings 2012: Where Did the Voters Get It All Wrong?

Mark GoldbergCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Running back Chris Thompson #4 of the Florida State Seminoles stretches before play against the South Florida Bulls September 29, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. ( Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Another exciting week of college football is behind us, and a new set of AP Rankings has been released. Putting aside the Stanford debacle for a minute, there were no major upsets to shake up the rankings too much. 

As with each week, there was some movement in the poll. There wasn't much that I disagreed with, but there was one item at the top of the poll and one item at the bottom that irked me a bit.

In theory, the AP Rankings are supposed to represent the Top 25 teams in the country. What seems to happen more often, however, is that teams on hot streaks get voted for over legitimate teams after a loss to another legitimate team.

There was, I believe, an example of this at the bottom of this week's poll.

Michigan State was 3-1 and ranked 20th in the nation before its home loss to No. 14 Ohio State. Sparty's struggles on offense have been well documented this year, but they put up a good fight against Urban Meyer's new team. After all was said and done, they lost a one-point game at home to a team that was, by the AP's own standards, better than them. 

If there were more deserving teams to knock MSU out of the Top 25, I wouldn't mind so much. But I'm not sure UCLA deserves to be ranked again simply because it blew out a very bad Colorado team. I also don't think Washington is the 23rd best team in the nation just because it upset Stanford.

I believe Rutgers and Northwestern have earned Top 25 consideration for the time being, but does anyone really believe that Washington and UCLA are better than Michigan State?

While on the subject of who can beat whom, does anybody think that Florida State would stand a chance against LSU?

Granted, while this is not the same LSU team that made it to the National Championship game last year, the Tigers do still sport one of the best defenses in college football. If you take away the low score from LSU's dogfight with Auburn, the Tigers would average more than 45 points per game on offense.

Florida State may be statistically in the Top 10 in points scored and points allowed, but consider the competition. The Seminoles blew out two teams from very weak conferences. Then they blew out the worst team in their conference.

I will give credit where it's due. Their win against Clemson was huge. But a win over a dreadful USF team sees them jump LSU? I just don't understand that move.

I'm not saying that Florida State is not a Top 10 team. Its numbers warrant a spot near the top, no matter who they've played. But the 'Noles shouldn't have jumped LSU after a week in which they both won games that they were expected to win.

Looking ahead, Florida State doesn't play another legitimate opponent until Florida comes to town in the last week of the season.  Assuming neither LSU or FSU blow a game down the stretch, are we to assume that FSU will finish the season ranked higher than LSU?

Those BCS playoffs can't get here soon enough.


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