Why AP Pollsters Got It Right Ranking the Michigan Wolverines in Top 25

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IIOctober 7, 2012

The Michigan Wolverines are ranked No. 25 in this week's AP Poll.
The Michigan Wolverines are ranked No. 25 in this week's AP Poll.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines dominated the Purdue Boilermakers 44-13 on Saturday and crept back into the AP Poll as a result of nine ranked teams losing games over the weekend. 

Michigan checks in at No. 25 in this week's AP rankings, which has several college football fans around the country in an uproar due to the Wolverines' 3-2 record and unimpressive resume through six weeks of the college football season.

However, the pollsters got this one right.

Michigan is ranked No. 25 in the latest AP Top 25.

— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) October 7, 2012


Michigan did not make their way back into the USA Today coaches' poll on Sunday, and for the first time in the history of the poll neither did any other member of the Big Ten Conference.

Wow. The Big Ten is without a ranked team for the first time in the history of the Coaches Poll:usat.ly/QIgkQK

— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) October 7, 2012


The Wolverines' only two losses this season came at the hands of the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide on a neutral field and on the road against the No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who are fresh off of a 41-3 rout of the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes at Soldier Field.

Michigan's three wins have come against the Air Force Falcons, UMass Minutemen and Purdue. The Falcons option attack gave the Wolverines some problems, but Michigan's defense has improved significantly since Week 2 and has held opposing offenses in check for three straight games. 

Senior quarterback Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense have been explosive as well in their three victories. Robinson has 1,159 total yards and nine touchdowns in games the Wolverines have won this season, and the Deerfield Beach, Fla., native has the potential to go off on every team left on the schedule.

While it can certainly be said that the Wolverines' struggles in their two losses alone should be enough to boot them from the Top 25, Michigan has just as many quality wins as everyone else at the back end of the AP Poll does, and it has gone out and played much better opponents than the other teams receiving votes.

The Cincinnati Bearcats' are ranked No. 21, and their only legitimate win came against the Virginia Tech Hokies, who boast a 3-3 overall record and are 1-3 against ACC and Big East opponents.

The No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies played a close game with the Florida Gators, beat up on the Southern Methodist Mustangs, South Carolina State of the Football Championship Subdivision and lowly Arkansas Razorbacks before struggling to get by the Ole Miss Rebels.

The No. 23 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs' best wins came against two below-average BCS Conference teams, and the No. 24 Boise State Broncos lost their only game against a major conference opponent.

Still don't think Michigan deserves that final spot compared to those teams that are already in? Well then, let's break down the teams just behind the Wolverines this week.

Fans hold the Ohio Bobcats victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions at the beginning of the season in rarefied air, but Michigan's win over Purdue carries just as much weight. The Bobcats have also looked sluggish as of late.

Ohio only managed to beat the Marshall Thundering Herd by three points, UMass by three points and the Buffalo Bulls by seven. Those three teams have a combined win-loss record of 3-14. 

The Baylor Bears have been able to put up points on just about everyone, but they have not beaten anyone of national relevance in their first four games and have one of the worst defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Iowa State Cyclones can make the best case at 4-1, but their best win came against the TCU Horned Frogs, who were without starting quarterback Casey Pachall. The Cyclones also lost to an unranked Texas Tech Red Raider squad.

A couple of those teams may eventually make their way into the Top 25, but until someone at the back end of the polls emerges with a marquee victory, there is no reason why the Wolverines, with the talent they have on their roster this season, should be kept on the outside looking in .