NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Where Surprise Contenders Stand in Week 3 AP Poll

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NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Where Surprise Contenders Stand in Week 3 AP Poll
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After another wild week of college football, it’s time to analyze the AP’s Week 3 rankings and find where the biggest surprise contenders stand moving forward.

All of following teams were expected to have solid seasons in 2013, but each is already making a serious case as a viable contender in the BCS.

Expect all of the following programs to continue their winning ways.

 

No. 3 Clemson Tigers

Led by senior quarterback Tajh Boyd, the Clemson Tigers have started the season 2-0 including a huge win over the Georgia Bulldogs. While Boyd was unimpressive in the team’s win against South Carolina State, the role players and the defensive unit looked much sharper.

Boyd will be the key in the big matchups on the schedule (Florida State in October and South Carolina to close the regular season), but the program proved it has the depth and talent at other positions to carry it to a victory when the QB play isn’t elite.

Most fans expected the Tigers to be a Top 15 team this season, but with the Georgia win and key losses to teams around them in the AP rankings, they've slid up to No. 3.

With three straight games on the schedule the Tigers should easily win, there is plenty of time for them to find their perfect rhythm before heading through the difficult final two months of the season.

 

No. 15 Miami Hurricanes 

The Miami Hurricanes were discussed as a possible Top 25 team coming into the 2013 season, but were stuck on the outside looking in once again. They beat Florida Atlantic in Week 1, but still the Hurricanes once again found themselves excluded from the rankings.

However, after beating the No. 12 Florida Gators in Week 2, the AP can’t deny this program any longer.

Miami proved that it can stand toe to toe with the tough defenses in the SEC. While there were far too many turnovers (the Gators also turned the ball over and lost opportunities to win the game), the Hurricanes showed the unwavering ability to stick to the game plan.

The team's upcoming ACC schedule is not as difficult as it has been in the past, and as long as the Hurricanes can get past Florida State on Nov. 2, there is a chance they run the table and contend for a spot in BCS National Championship.

 

No. 11 Michigan Wolverines

In a thrilling game, the Michigan Wolverines stunned the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Week 2 and will continue to climb the rankings over the course of the season. Led by quarterback Devin Gardner, the Wolverines will be legitimate contenders for a top spot in the rankings as the season progresses.

As long as Gardner continues to develop into a consistent passer that makes smart decisions (three interceptions in two games is too many), Michigan will use the huge 41-30 victory over Notre Dame to build serious momentum.

With tough tests against Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State, the Wolverines will need all the confidence and momentum they can as they face one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

 

Week 3 AP College Football Rankings

Rank

Team (first-place votes)

Record

Votes

Previous

1

Alabama (57)

1-0

1,494

1

2

Oregon (1)

2-0

1,385

2

3

Clemson (1)

2-0

1,332

4

4

Ohio State (1)

2-0

1,327

3

5

Stanford

1-0

1,271

5

6

Texas A&M

2-0

1,133

7

7

Louisville

2-0

1,105

8

8

LSU

2-0

1,075

9

9

Georgia

1-1

1,036

11

10

Florida State

1-0

1,011

10

11

Michigan

2-0

872

17

12

Oklahoma State

2-0

834

13

13

South Carolina

1-1

829

6

14

Oklahoma

2-0

675

16

15

Miami (FL)

2-0

615

Not Ranked

16

UCLA

1-0

488

18

17

Northwestern

2-0

452

19

18

Florida

1-1

405

12

19

Washington

1-0

392

20

20

Wisconsin

2-0

378

21

21

Notre Dame

1-1

333

14

22

Baylor

2-0

295

23

23

Nebraska

2-0

277

22

24

TCU

1-1

170

24

25

Mississippi

2-0

78

Not Ranked

 

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