NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Unranked Squads Who Were Unfairly Passed over
Whether it's the first week of the season or the last, there are always going to be schools who find themselves on the outside of the AP Top 25 rankings and believe that a great injustice has been done.
For a variety of reasons—from strength of schedule to lack of name recognition—these teams simply don't get the respect that they deserve.
Let's take a look at three schools with a legitimate axe to grind with the pollsters this week.
San Jose State Spartans (10-2)
Coming off back-to-back wins against a BYU team that almost knocked off Notre Dame and the most potent scoring offense in the country, Louisiana Tech, there's no real reason for San Jose State to not have cracked the Top 25.
The Spartans nearly beat No. 8 Stanford in Week 1, losing 20-17, and their only other loss on the season came to another ranked squad, No. 24 Utah State.
With an offense and defense that ranks in the Top 30 nationally, San Jose State has as strong a case as anyone to be ranked.
Penn State Nittany Lions (8-4)
Penn State capped off a tumultuous season with a hard-fought, 24-21 overtime victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (7-5) at Beaver Stadium in Week 13.
Penn State knocked off a ranked Northwestern squad and would have beaten a ranked Nebraska team in Nebraska if not for one of the worst calls we've seen all year long, which robbed Penn State of the lead and turned momentum clearly in the Cornhuskers favor.
Ineligible for postseason play, Penn State did what nobody thought possible—they fielded a competitive squad—despite the departure of key players like RB Silas Redd (USC), WR Justin Brown (Oklahoma) and K Anthony Fera (Texas), who all transferred after unprecedented sanctions by the NCAA.
TCU Horned Frogs (7-4)
They lost 56-53 in triple overtime to No. 17 Texas Tech in Week 8 and fell 23-10 to Collin Klein and No. 2 Kansas State in Week 11.
They beat Geno Smith and the No. 21 West Virginia Mountaineers in Week 10 and took down No. 16 Texas in Week 13.
It's because of the Longhorns, who are ranked No. 23 in the latest AP Poll and have gone 1-2 against ranked competition, that TCU has a reason to complain.
There's simply no way that the Longhorns should be ranked ahead of the Horned Frogs.
AP Top 25 Poll (via ESPN)
1. Notre Dame
4. Ohio State
7. Kansas State
10. Texas A&M
11. South Carolina
13. Florida State
16. Oregon State
18. Kent State
19. Northern Illinois
20. Utah State
24. Oklahoma State
25. Boise State
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