AP Polls College Football 2013: Most Overrated Teams in Week 4 Rankings

Nicholas GossCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) rushes the passer against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated South Carolina 41-30. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the college football season was headlined by the highly anticipated matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M.

The game didn't disappoint as the Crimson Tide avenged their only defeat from last year with a thrilling 49-42 victory in College Station. The Aggies' loss created some movement in the latest AP poll, primarily in the bottom half of the Top 10.

Let's take a look at three overrated teams from the new rankings as we look ahead to Week 4.


No. 12 South Carolina

The Gamecocks and Heisman Trophy-caliber defensive end Jadeveon Clowney have failed to meet expectations through the first three weeks of the season.

Following a good-but-not-great performance in a win over North Carolina in Week 1, South Carolina allowed 41 points to then-No. 11 Georgia in its first loss of the year. Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray, who was 1-6 against Top 10 teams prior to the game, dominated the South Carolina defense with 309 yards passing and four touchdowns.

On Saturday, the Gamecocks responded with a shaky game against Vanderbilt in which they won 35-25 after opening the game with a 21-0 first-quarter lead. The Commodores outscored South Carolina 25-14 in the final three quarters and forced three turnovers.

It was a sloppy game by Steve Spurrier's team, which has allowed 25.3 points per contest to open the season.

Luckily for South Carolina, it only has two more games against teams currently ranked in the Top 25 (No. 19 Florida and No. 3 Clemson) on the schedule, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the Gamecocks aren't legitimate contenders for this year's SEC title.


No. 15 Michigan

The Wolverines were lucky to escape Saturday's game with a 28-24 victory over the unranked Akron Zips, a team that hasn't defeated a Big Ten opponent since 1894. Akron actually led Michigan with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but a touchdown run by Fitzgerald Toussaint with 2:49 left in the game sealed the Zips' fate.

Michigan's signature win thus far came in a Week 2 matchup against an overrated Notre Dame team that barely beat Purdue on Saturday.

From an offensive standpoint, the Wolverines rank 50th among FBS teams in passing yards per game and 52nd in rushing yards per game. Michigan has also committed eight turnovers in just three games, with an overall turnover margin of minus-two.

The Wolverines don't play another opponent currently ranked in the Top 25 until Nov. 16, when they travel to Northwestern, so we might not find out how good this team is for a while.


No. 22 Notre Dame

The only good opponent that the Fighting Irish have played this season is Michigan, but they lost to the Wolverines 41-30 in Ann Arbor in Week 2.

Notre Dame followed that disappointing defeat with another lackluster performance against an unranked Purdue team on Saturday. Brian Kelly's team needed a 21-point fourth quarter to avoid an embarrassing upset and improve to 2-1 with a 31-24 victory over the Boilermakers.

The Fighting Irish defense, which was the key component to the team's run to the BCS title game last season, has struggled over the past three weeks, giving up 23.7 points per game (57th-best in the nation). This unit must improve before Week 5, or the high-powered Oklahoma Sooners will come into South Bend and earn an important nonconference victory.