AP College Football Poll 2012: Winners and Losers from Week 7
The Week 7 AP poll is out, and there are some major shakeups this week.
Although No. 1 and 2 remain unchanged, three of the Top Five teams in the nation lost on Saturday, leading to some big shifts at the top.
There are also some new faces in the AP poll, while some teams have dropped out altogether.
Read on for a look at some of the winners and losers in the Week 7 AP poll.
Winner: Texas A&M Aggies
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
After a close loss to Florida in their season opener, which looks even better considering the Gators' success since then, the Aggies have gone on a four-game winning streak.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has been playing at a high level.
After notching its first SEC win in a 52-10 drubbing of Arkansas at home, and its first SEC road win against Ole Miss, A&M enters the Top 25 for the first time this season, landing at No. 22.
Loser: TCU Horned Frogs
Cooper Neill/Getty Images
TCU tumbled out of the AP Top 25 from its No. 15 spot in Week 7.
The Horned Frogs' 37-23 loss to Iowa State certainly played a part in their exit from the polls, but quarterback Casey Pachall’s indefinite suspension for a DWI arrest earlier in the week probably had a big impact on the pollsters as well.
Even if Pachall returns soon, TCU faces a ridiculous schedule for the rest of the year, including a trip to Baylor next week and ending the season against four teams currently ranked in the AP Top 15.
It seems unlikely that TCU will be ranked again this season.
Winner: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Louisiana Tech moved into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season on the strength of a 5-0 start.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that its spot in the poll may be short-lived, as the Bulldogs play host to a very strong Texas A&M squad next week.
If Tech can manage a win against the Aggies, the rest of its schedule looks very manageable. It may just run the table and have the best chance to be a BCS buster in 2012.
Loser: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Nebraska’s up-and-down ride in the AP Top 25 came to an end this weekend. The Cornhuskers dropped out of the poll for the first time this season after Ohio State crushed them, 63-38, on Saturday.
The Huskers might have a chance to climb back in the poll in the next few weeks. They square off against Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State—all winnable games for Nebraska.
But for now, the Cornhuskers are on the outside looking in.
Winner: Florida Gators
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Florida Gators had a very strong showing in their 14-6 victory against the then-No. 3 LSU Tigers at home in the Swamp on Saturday. The win propelled the Gators to the No. 4 spot in this week’s AP poll.
The Gators look better each week and are beginning to form an offensive identity to complement a very strong defense.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel didn’t have to do much against the Tigers, but he did complete 8-of-12 passes for 61 yards.
The real story this week for the Gators was running back Mike Gillislee, who gashed the vaunted LSU defense for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries.
If South Carolina can similarly get by LSU and Florida doesn’t get caught looking ahead against Vanderbilt, there will be a huge clash between these two Top Five teams in the Swamp two weeks from now.
Loser: Louisiana State Tigers
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
LSU fell five spots down to No. 9 in this week’s AP poll after losing to the Florida Gators on the road in Gainesville.
The Tigers defense has lost some of its swagger and seems to have taken a step backward from last season. LSU has been giving up points to lesser teams like Towson and Idaho, and Florida simply ran the ball at will.
Zach Mettenberger, who was supposed to be the answer to LSU’s offensive woes, has failed to live up to the hype so far this season.
LSU has a tough stretch of games ahead, starting with South Carolina next week, so don’t be surprised if the Tigers take another loss or two this season and continue to drop in the polls.
Winner: South Carolina Gamecocks
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Gamecocks put together their most complete game of the season Saturday night against the Bulldogs with a 35-7 thrashing of Georgia. On the strength of that win, South Carolina rose to No. 3 in the AP poll.
All of a sudden, Steve Spurrier has the Gamecocks looking like legit national championship contenders. In the next three weeks, South Carolina plays at LSU and Florida before hosting Tennessee.
If the Gamecocks can navigate that stretch unblemished, they’ll almost certainly move past an undefeated Oregon to No. 2 in the polls.
Even if South Carolina can run the table in the SEC, it still would most likely have to face Alabama in the championship game. No matter where they are ranked, a win against the Tide would almost certainly put the Gamecocks in the national championship.
Loser: Georgia Bulldogs
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Georgia fell nine spots from No. 5 to No. 14 in this week’s AP poll after being completely dismantled by South Carolina in Columbia.
The Bulldogs have a bye week to lick their wounds, but they could potentially fall even further in the polls next week, despite being idle.
With the exception of Florida, UGA’s schedule looks favorable the rest of the way, and it should stay in the Top 25 for the rest of the season.
On the other hand, a win against the Gators could put the Bulldogs right back in the Top 10 and headed to a very good bowl.