NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Teams That Deserve Lower Position in AP Poll

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2013

Sep 14, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Akron Zips wide receiver L.T. Smith (3) makes a catch on the one yard line over Michigan Wolverines defensive back Raymon Taylor (6) in the fourth quarter at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Some big-name college football teams are receiving too much respect in the Associated Press poll.

This week's updated rankings were released on Sunday, with Arizona State and Texas Tech joining the party after notching impressive victories. Alabama unsurprisingly maintained its throne after topping Texas A&M in an epic shootout.

Most of the seeding makes sense, but a select few teams are still riding high despite recently enduring some difficulty. A perception bias has some top programs getting the benefit of the doubts at the expense of unheralded schools.

Here's a look at the new rankings along with three schools that should rest a little lower.


Georgia (No. 9)

Georgia, whose only crime was running into No. 3 Clemson early in the season, resides at No. 9 while Texas A&M drops to No. 10 after losing to No. 1 Alabama.


Both Georgia and Texas A&M are premier squads that simply fell short against better teams, so neither should drop too far down the polls. But if they're both being punished for a singular loss, why is Georgia ranked higher despite Texas A&M facing the tougher foe?

The Aggies lost by seven points while the Tigers beat the Bulldogs by three, so that may factor into the voters' consideration. Then again, Johnny Manziel taking the Crimson Tide's world-class defense to task with 42 points should generate some brownie points.

This is nitpicking at its finest, but these two schools should swap places.


Michigan (No. 15)

Almost doesn't count, except in horseshoes and college football rankings.

When all the top squads are dismantling poor competition, teams that don't pile up the score are treated less kindly. As a result Michigan dropped four spots from No. 11 to No. 15 after suffering a severe scare against Akron.

The Wolverines were favored to destroy the Zips by 36 points (via Bovada), so it stunned the nation when they needed a last-second stop to fend off a monster upset. 

How shocking was it to see Akron keep the game so close in a 28-24 defeat? ESPN Stats & Info shared some numbers depicting the school's prior ineptitude.

Even though Michigan paid for the ugly victory, it could have fallen a couple spots more behind Miami (FL) and Northwestern.


Notre Dame (No. 22)

Would Notre Dame be anyone near this high if it weren't Notre Dame?

The brand name and team prestige have fooled voters into bestowing the Fighting Irish with a national rank, but what have they done lately to preserve that honor?

A week after losing by 11 points to a Michigan squad that showed major flaws against Akron, Notre Dame needed a fourth-quarter surge to slither past 1-2 Purdue. 

While the Fighting Irish touted an elite defense last year that propelled them to the BCS National Championship Game, they're now a shaky unit allowing 23.7 yards per game.

Rob Henry, who entered the contest with 311 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions for the Boilermakers, compiled 256 yards and three touchdowns in their showdown with the Fighting Irish.

If any other school produced the same results, it would not sniff the Top 25. But alas, Notre Dame gets special treatment.