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NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 3 Polls

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2013

NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 3 Polls

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    Georgia earned its way back into the Top 10 of the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls after knocking off then-No. 6 South Carolina in Week 2, proving to be the major winner in the Week 3 rankings.

    The other big Week 2 winners, Michigan and Miami, also vaulted to their highest poll positions in the 2013 college football season.

    Meanwhile, two traditional powerhouses, Texas and USC, were thumped out of the rankings after upsets over the weekend.

    Note: Rankings are based on the Week 3 Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

Hit: Bulldogs Back in Top 10

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    Georgia showed definitively it belongs in the Top 10 as the highest-ranked one-loss team in the nation.

    After a close Week 1 loss on the road to Clemson, the Bulldogs rebounded in a big way with a thrilling 41-30 win over then-No. 6 South Carolina.

    UGA has two of the best players in the country at their positions in quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley. With that duo, the Dawgs will always have a shot at victory.

    In need of a win to stay in BCS title contention, the Bulldogs' stars came through, and they are now in control in the SEC East Division.

    After facing a rougher start to the season than any other team in the country, UGA has earned its spot in the Top 10.

Miss: Media Too High on Miami

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    Miami came through with one of the biggest wins of the weekend despite being beaten in every aspect of the game—aside from ball security.

    Florida generated nearly double the offensive output of Miami, tallying 413 total yards to the Hurricanes' 212. UF made 22 first downs, while Miami moved the chains just 10 times—and the Hurricanes were just 1-of-11 on third down.

    Miami only escaped with a victory because of Florida's five turnovers.

    Credit is due to the 'Canes for forcing the turnovers, and they certainly deserve a jump into the Top 25. The coaches were much more accurate with the Hurricanes, slotting them in a tie for No. 18 with Wisconsin, while the media was a bit overzealous, moving them to No. 15.

Hit: Baylor's Stock Is Up

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    Baylor is yet to be tested by a difficult opponent, but the Bears have looked as impressive as any team in the country nonetheless.

    Racking up 500 yards by halftime this week against Buffalo, BU ended up with 781 yards of total offense in a 70-13 annihilation of the Bulls.

    This came just one week after Ohio State topped Buffalo in much less decisive fashion, winning 40-20.

    The effort sent Baylor from being unranked to No. 22 in the coaches poll and from No. 23 to No. 22 in the AP poll.

    Baylor is a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12 Conference and should also be considered a dark-horse national title candidate.

Miss: Oklahoma on the Rise

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    Oklahoma posted a hideous 16-7 win over West Virginia at home this weekend but somehow saw a rise in both polls.

    OU notched four turnovers and just one touchdown against the vaunted WVU defense—the same defense that allowed 38 points per game last season.

    The only reason the Sooners escaped their own backyard with a victory is because the Mountaineers committed four turnovers of their own.

    Oklahoma's ranking will be further tested in the coming weeks, as it takes on Notre Dame, TCU and Texas in consecutive games.

Hit: Michigan Up but Not Yet in Top 10

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    Michigan received a deserved bump from No. 17 in both polls to No. 11 in the AP and No. 12 in the coaches' rankings.

    The voters were right to move the Wolverines up while also keeping them out of the Top 10 for now.

    While the win at home over Notre Dame is great, UM still has some work to do before being considered a legitimate national title contender.

    For now, Michigan looks to be right on Ohio State's heels in the Big Ten Conference.

Hit: Ole Miss Cracks Both Polls

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    Who would have thought Ole Miss would be ranked higher than Texas going into their clash in Austin?

    After the Rebels' 2-0 start and Texas' upset at the hands of BYU, that scenario is a reality.

    The Longhorns dropped all the way out of the Top 25 after being dominated by the Cougars, and Ole Miss is now No. 25 in both polls.

    While the Rebels were originally thought to be a major underdog against Texas, their chances for victory are looking bright, particularly with star running back Jeff Scott facing the suspect UT rush defense.

Miss: Nebraska's Big Coaches' Poll Jump

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    Nebraska dropped from No. 18 to No. 19 in the coaches' poll after a close Week 1 win over Wyoming.

    Then the Cornhuskers shot back up to No. 15 after trouncing Southern Miss.

    While Nebraska did look much better in Week 2, a little more consistency is in order for a Top 15 ranking. The media was a bit more grounded, keeping the Huskers back at No. 23.

    Their first true test will come this week as they host UCLA.

Hit: Mercy on Some, Not on Others

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    Both polls rightfully sent traditional powers USC and Texas packing after upset losses in Week 2.

    At the same time, the voters were right to have mercy on Florida, Notre Dame and South Carolina for losing to good teams.

    Florida was a turnover away from avoiding an upset at the hands of Miami, while Notre Dame was in a similar situation against Michigan.

    South Carolina is still a contender in the SEC after losing to a Georgia team that had its back against the wall at home.

    Texas and USC, meanwhile, will have an uphill battle back into the polls as head coaches Mack Brown and Lane Kiffin fight to keep their jobs.

Miss: Clemson Sedentary in Coaches' Poll

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    The AP poll made the right move, slotting Clemson at No. 3 after Georgia turned around and beat South Carolina.

    Right now, the Tigers have the best resume of any team in the country with their win over the Bulldogs.

    The coaches are behind the curve on Clemson, still ranking the Tigers No. 5 behind Stanford and Ohio State.

    In terms of quality wins, no team has Clemson matched at this point in the season.

Hit: Ohio State Falls

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    Ohio State fell from No. 3 to No. 4 in the AP poll and from No. 2 to No. 3 in the coaches' poll.

    While still a serious national title contender, OSU deserved its drop.

    Clemson leaped over OSU in the eyes of the media, with its win over Georgia looking even better after the Bulldogs' win over South Carolina.

    Meanwhile, the coaches sent Oregon to No. 2, as the Ducks have dominated in both of their first two contests and look as strong as any team in the nation.

    Ohio State also has a major concern with the status of Braxton Miller. According to Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com, coach Urban Meyer said Miller could have returned to action against San Diego State and there is a chance he will play next week.

    While it is still early in the season, the Buckeyes need a healthy Miller to make a national title run.

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