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College Football Rankings: Teams That Will Slide After First BCS Table Release

Mark GoldbergCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

College Football Rankings: Teams That Will Slide After First BCS Table Release

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    The first BCS rankings table will be released after next weekend's games. One can safely assume which teams will be on that list, though where they're ranked will be in question. It's also possible to look at which teams' tenures on the BCS table will likely be short-lived.

    Unlike the AP and USA Today polls, the BCS waits until there is enough data to present a more accurate list of the 25 best teams in the nation. The computer system, however, does not look at future games or speculate on where the teams will be week after week.

    That's my job.

    Here's a look at five teams that I expect to slide once the BCS rankings are released.

Mississippi State

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    Mississippi State has gotten off to a red-hot start. Some may argue that their record is a result of a soft schedule, but the Bulldogs have played great defense and have run the ball efficiently in their first five games.

    Junior QB Tyler Russell has looked very good for Mississippi State so far. The question remains, however, how good he will look when he goes up against some of the SEC's stouter defenses.

    The Bulldogs play Tennessee next on a national stage. The Volunteers have not looked very good this year, and if Mississippi State gets past them, the Bulldogs should appear on the first BCS table.

    From there, things get more difficult.

    They shouldn't have much trouble with Middle Tennessee State, but they then travel to Alabama, host Texas A&M and travel to LSU.

    A loss to any of those teams will likely be enough to knock Mississippi State off of the BCS table.

Kansas State

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    Collin Klein and and John Hubert have run Kansas State into the Top 10 of the AP poll. A win against Iowa State should see Kansas State at around the same position in the first BCS table.

    Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their first game after the BCS list comes out will be a road contest against West Virginia.

    The Mountaineers offense has been ridiculous. Geno Smith is the early Heisman frontrunner with almost 2,000 passing yards, 24 TD passes and 0 INT. No, that's not a typo.

    As good as Kansas State has looked this year, I can't see it getting past that WVU offense. KSU is a very talented team, but it will slip in the BCS rankings after that game.

South Carolina

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    After a blowout win against the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, South Carolina vaulted to No. 3 in the AP poll. I'm not saying that South Carolina is overrated by any means, but I don't know if I've seen enough to have total confidence in this team going forward.

    This week, the Gamecocks will have to travel to Baton Rouge to face off against the struggling, yet ninth-ranked LSU Tigers. If the Gamecocks win, they'll surely be ranked in the top three in the first BCS table.

    Things won't get any easier for them, however. South Carolina will have to travel to "The Swamp" the following week for an even tougher test against the resurgent Florida Gators.

    I don't have a lot of faith that the Gamecocks will come out of these next two games unscathed. On the bright side, if they do, their national championship dreams will suddenly become very tangible.

Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame's tough defense has helped them secure a 5-0 record. The Fighting Irish have proved the doubters wrong by beating two good teams in Michigan State and Michigan, and they've trounced teams that didn't deserve to be on the same field.

    And yet, I still doubt.

    The Irish have not shown enough on offense for me to feel comfortable picking them every week. If they find themselves in a shootout with a high-powered offense, I'm not sure Notre Dame will come out on top.

    Don't get me wrong. I understand that ND has already played some high-powered offenses, and the Irish defense has shut them down. But even the best defenses have bad days.

    On the other hand, looking ahead to Notre Dame's upcoming matchup with BYU, both teams will come in sporting a Top 10 defense. If a defensive struggle ensues, the outcome of the game could come down to a coin toss.

    I think Notre Dame is a very talented team, but I expect the Irish to drop one of their next three games.

LSU

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    After a few weeks of surviving by the skin of their teeth, LSU finally succumbed to Florida last week, suffering their first loss of the year. LSU's preseason ranking and previous body of work kept it in the AP's Top 10, but the Tigers have South Carolina up next.

    If the Tigers get past the Gamecocks, the LSU faithful will breathe a sigh of relief. But the storm is just beginning to brew.

    A loss to South Carolina would probably see LSU remain in the top 20 on the first BCS table. The schedule from that point includes three ranked teams in a row, one of them being the No. 1 team in the nation—Alabama.

    If LSU continues to play the way it has been over the last few weeks, I don't think it is a stretch to imagine the Tigers falling off the BCS table entirely.

     

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