NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Hits and Misses from Week 7 Polls
This week, there were no changes at the top of the polls, as Alabama and Oregon continued to assert themselves as the top two teams in the country. In fact, even with Alabama on a bye week, it still was able to grab all 60 of the votes in the AP while getting 58 of the 59 votes in the coaches' poll.
After those two teams, though, there were plenty of hits and misses in the new polls.
Hit: Cincinnati Ranked in Both Polls
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AP: No. 21
USA Today: No. 20
Last week, the Bearcats were left out of the AP poll after their last-minute upset victory over Virginia Tech. The coaches, on the other hand, recognized how good this team is and placed it at No. 23.
This week, after another victory—52-14 over Miami (OH)—the voters in the AP could not ignore the Bearcats anymore and put them where they belong: among the 25 best teams in the country.
By joining Rutgers and Louisville, Cincinnati is the third team from the Big East to make it into the polls.
Miss: The Big Ten Having Zero Teams in the Coaches' Poll
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The only Big Ten teams ranked this week are Ohio State at No. 8 and Michigan at No. 25, both in the AP poll. Because of NCAA sanctions against the program, Ohio State is not allowed to be ranked in the coaches' poll.
With that, the Big Ten has zero—count them, zero—teams that are ranked in the USA Today coaches' poll.
Michigan could make a case that it should have cracked the latest coaches' poll. However, because of two losses, it remains in the "Honorable Mentions" and behind teams like Louisiana Tech and Iowa State.
Hit: Texas A&M Cracking the Polls
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AP: No. 22
USA Today: No. 21
The Texas A&M Aggies may have the best game-breaking quarterback in the SEC West in Johnny Manziel.
Manziel ranks second in the division in passer rating with a 162.8 QB rating, has 1,285 passing yards and ranks second in touchdowns with 11.
However, what separates Manziel from his fellow quarterbacks is his ability to run the football. Through five games this year, Manziel has seven touchdowns and 495 yards on 72 carries.
He will give SEC defenses headaches with that ability to find open receivers or break a long run.
Miss: Stanford Moving Up to No. 17
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AP: No. 17
USA Today: No. 17
The Cardinal did survive a wild shootout at home against Arizona, winning 54-48. However, the win moved them up only one spot in the latest polls from No. 18 to 17. If anything, the win should have vaulted them above fellow one-loss teams like Texas, Clemson or Oklahoma.
Texas lost to West Virginia, while Clemson and Oklahoma beat teams that were not ranked in both polls last week.
Yes, Stanford's win was against an unranked Arizona, but at least the Wildcats were at No. 22 and 21 before dropping out of the polls in Week 5.
Hit: South Carolina at No. 3
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AP: No. 3
USA Today: No. 3
The Gamecocks are rolling after their blowout victory against division rival Georgia 35-7. The win rocketed the Gamecocks up the polls from No. 6 up to right outside of the BCS title game at No. 3.
However, South Carolina can make a case to overthrow the Oregon Ducks as the No. 2 team in the country if it can win the next two games. It is on the road at No. 9 LSU next week and the following week at No. 4 Florida.
Two big games could cement the Gamecocks firmly in the BCS title game picture.
Miss: Florida at No. 4 in the AP Poll
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AP: No. 4
USA Today: No. 6
Let me answer a question before I get into my rationale for why UF at No. 4 is a miss.
Did it have an impressive win over LSU at home?
But that win was against an LSU team that fell two consecutive weeks in the polls before its game against UF. So the win is tainted, and thus the Gators should not have moved ahead of two Big 12 teams: Kansas State and West Virginia.
The coaches who vote in the USA Today poll agree, as they kept the Gators—who are a good team—behind the top teams in the Big 12.
Hit: Louisiana Tech Cracking Both Polls
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AP: No. 23
USA Today: No. 24
It has taken seven weeks and a ton of points scored by the Bulldogs, but they finally have cracked the Top 25 polls this week.
In case you have missed some of Louisiana Tech's huge victories, let me catch you up:
* 56-49 win over Houston
* 52-24 win over Illinois
* 44-38 win over Virginia
Who cares if this team is giving up 35.8 points per game? It ranks third in the nation in points per game with 53.2. This team is exciting and should continue to climb the polls throughout the rest of the season.
Miss: Keeping Iowa State out of the AP Poll
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USA Today: No. 25
I understand that from No. 21 through 25, the teams are basically a crapshoot. Every one of them is about as even as the team either in front of or behind it. However, the Cyclones should be ranked ahead of No. 25 Michigan in the AP because of their win over TCU last week.
Yes, TCU was playing without its starting quarterback and running back, but Iowa State still took down a team that held the longest winning streak in college football.
Accomplishing that should have been enough to put them into the Top 25 in both polls, not just the coaches' poll.