NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Impressive Teams on the Rise in Week 3

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Morris #17 of the Miami Hurricanes passes during a game against the Florida Gators at Sun Life Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There was plenty of movement in the college football rankings following a wild Week 2. 

While Miami (FL) and Clemson turned out to be the big winners, powerhouses like South Carolina, Florida and Notre Dame all fell back down to earth after suffering stringing losses on the road. All along a handful of teams continued to impress.

Below we'll take a closer look at the current Top 25 rankings, breaking down a trio of impressive teams on the rise that show no signs of slowing. 

Week 3 AP Top 25 College Football Rankings
RankingTeamPointsPrevious RankingBR Ranking
4Ohio State1,32733
6Texas A&M1,13377
10Florida State1,0111010
12Oklahoma State8341313
13South Carolina829611
15Miami (FL)615NR15
21Notre Dame3331419
25Ole Miss78NRNR

*Poll information courtesy of Associated Press. 

No. 15. Miami (FL) Hurricanes

While the Miami Hurricanes got plenty of help from Florida in their upset victory over the Gators in Week 2, a win is a win, and Miami is now 2-0 heading into a bye week.

Even more shocking than Miami's win over its in-state rival this past weekend was how far the 'Canes climbed in the Week 3 rankings, jumping all the way up to No. 15 after previously being unranked. 

Still, it's hard to argue that Miami hasn't been impressive to start the year. After holding Florida Atlantic to just six points in its season-opening win, the 'Canes were able to force five Florida turnovers and hold the Gators to just 16 points this past Saturday.

Miami currently ranks 12th in the nation in turnover margin and 18th in the country in scoring defense.

Following a week off, the 'Canes will be back in action against Savannah State in what should be a blowout win. With an away clash against No. 10 Florida State on Nov. 2 looking like the only sure loss on Miami's schedule, Miami has a real shot at starting 7-0 in 2013.

No. 17. Northwestern Wildcats

A lot of college football fans forget that Northwestern won 10 games a season ago. And already the Wildcats are 2-0 to start 2013.

But unlike some of the nation's other top programs, Northwestern has beaten some quality opponents early in the season.

After putting up 44 points in a road win at California in Week 1, the Wildcats put on another impressive display at home against Syracuse, scoring 48 points in a 21-point win over the Orange. The Wildcats racked up over 580 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers in the rout.

Heading into Week 3, Pat Fitzgerald's squad ranks 14th in the nation in passing offense and looks poised to continue its rise through the rankings with upcoming home matchups against Western Michigan and Maine before a colossal showdown with No. 4 Ohio State on Oct. 5.

No. 22. Baylor Bears

Say what you want about the level of competition Baylor has faced through the first two weeks of the season. But averaging 735 total yards and 69.5 points per game through two games is awfully impressive.

After two dominant displays against Wofford and Buffalo, the Bears are up to No. 22 in the current rankings—not bad considering they were unranked when the season began.

Baylor's early success should come as no surprise, though. Although Art Briles' squad slipped under the radar following a four-game losing streak last October, the Bears won five of six games to end the season, picking up monumental wins over Kansas State, Oklahoma State and UCLA to end the year.

Baylor, which boasts the nation's fourth-best aerial attack, has now won six straight dating back to last season and should build on that streak with home matchups against Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia still to come. 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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