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College Football Rankings 2013: Teams Poised to Sneak into Top 25

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Bo Wallace #14 of the Ole Miss Rebels scores a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2013

The second week of the 2013 AP college football rankings had plenty of surprises, such as Georgia dropping completely out of the Top 10 and TCU remaining in the rankings despite an upset in its opening game.

Much of the unpredictably of the college football rankings comes from teams that sneak into the Top 25 each week like Baylor did in Week 2.

With a full slate of huge matchups on the schedule for this weekend, deciphering which teams have the best chance of sneaking into the Top 25 when Week 3 rankings are released can be a tough task.

Here are three to watch.

Note: Week 2 poll courtesy of ESPN, poll projections based off current AP Top 25

 

Ole Miss Rebels

Don't look now, but the Ole Miss Rebels just survived a scare against Vanderbilt in Week 1 and now have plenty of momentum to ride the rest of the way.

Were it not for a 75-yard scamper from Jeff Scott, Ole Miss would not be in this discussion. Scott torched Ole Miss' heated rival in the closing moments of the game to help the Rebels pull off a 39-35 win.

The combination of Scott on the ground (138 yards on just 11 carries) and quarterback Bo Wallace in the air (331 total yards, two touchdowns) will keep the Rebels in most games.

This weekend, the Rebels have an easy contest against Southeast Missouri State, which will allow the team to look strong. The Rebels are just outside of the Top 25 but won't be there for long.

 

Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans are another team sitting just outside of the Top 25 as Week 2 action gets underway.

That simply won't last.

Michigan State looked sound against quality competition in Week 1 with a 26-13 win over Western Michigan. Junior running back Jeremy Langford was the star of the show for the Spartans with 94 yards and a touchdown.

Offensively, the Spartans need to improve through the air, with both quarterbacks Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook failing to reach the 100-yard mark.

Two defensive touchdowns led the way for the Spartans last Saturday, and this defensive prowess will continue to do so. This weekend's opponent is South Florida, a team in shock after an opening-weekend loss to McNeese State. Michigan State will win with a strong defensive performance once again and find its way into the Top 25.

 

Cincinnati Bearcats

The Cincinnati Bearcats are a scary team that has the looks of a squad set to make a run.

Cincinnati dismantled the Purdue Boilermakers in convincing fashion last week by winning 42-7.

Quarterback Munchie Legaux is the reason the Bearcats are so dangerous thanks to his ability on the ground and through the air. Legaux tallied 200 total yards and two touchdowns against Purdue. He's reinforced by a trio of backs that combined for 151 yards and three touchdowns.

Cincinnati is now tasked with traveling to Illinois for what should be a quality test.

With a stellar committee approach at running back, the Bearcats will wear down Illinois and earn a spot in the official rankings.

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.

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