AP Polls College Football 2013: Teams That Need Strong Week 5 to Avoid Drop

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AP Polls College Football 2013: Teams That Need Strong Week 5 to Avoid Drop
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The college football rankings remained relatively untouched after an uneventful Week 4, but the upcoming weekend threatens to alter the sport's landscape.

Anyone looking at the updated AP Top 25 would be forgiven for thinking they accidentally posted last week's rankings. None of the first 14 teams shifted places, and another narrow victory for Michigan cost it just three spots.

While the rumblings remained quiet this week, it's merely the calm before the storm. Some schools could plummet faster that the silhouette in Mad Men's opening credits with a poor showing on Saturday.

These three teams need a big win to stay afloat among college football's elite.

College Football AP Poll - Week 5
Rank Team Last Week
1 Alabama 1
2 Oregon 2
3 Clemson 3
4 Ohio State 4
5 Stanford 5
6 LSU 6
7 Louisville 7
8 Florida State 8
9 Georgia 9
10 Texas A&M 10
11 Oklahoma State 11
12 South Carolina 12
13 UCLA 13
14 Oklahoma 14
15 Miami (FL) 16
16 Washington 17
17 Northwestern 18
18 Michigan 15
19 Baylor 20
20 Florida 19
21 Mississippi 21
22 Notre Dame 22
23 Wisconsin 24
24 Texas Tech 25
25 Fresno State N/A



Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish survived yet again.

A week after escaping Purdue with a close win, Notre Dame fended off Michigan State in an ugly 17-13 victory. The Spartans accrued more yards but cost themselves a victory with four pass interference penalties and an interception thrown by a wide receiver on a trick play.

Notre Dame sits firmly at No. 22 despite two single-digit victories, but facing a ranked opponent could knock them out of the Top 25. Oklahoma, seeded at No. 14, is well rested after a week off and is waiting to take them down.

A week after orchestrating little offense, the Fighting Irish will gave to deal with the Sooners, who have surrendered just nine points per game. They're fierce on the other side of the field as well now that Blake Bell has taken the reigns under center.

Notre Dame lives to fight another day, but their time could be running out.


Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Despite beating Tennessee on Saturday, Florida swapped places with Baylor from No. 19 to No. 20. The Gators have bigger concerns on their hands after losing their starting quarterback for the season.

Jeff Driskel broke his leg in the first quarter against the Volunteers and will miss the remainder of the season. The junior had amassed 477 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions before suffering the crushing blow.

Tyler Murphy looked sharp in Driskel's place, completing eight of 14 passes for 134 yards and a score along with 84 rushing yards. He led the Gators to a big 31-17 victory over their SEC rivals, avoiding their second loss after previous falling to the Hurricanes.

In his first start, Murphy will be tasked with keeping Florida's ranking intact against Kentucky, who played No. 7 Louisville tough in a 27-14 defeat.

While Kentucky's offense has played sharp football, the defense has surrendered 103 points in three games, providing Murphy with a golden opportunity to start his tenure as Florida's starting quarterback on a positive note.


Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

How can a team with two losses remain in the top 10?

Even after losing its season opener to Clemson, Georgia has held a cushy spot at No. 9 in the AP poll. But continuing its brutal schedule this week could spell doom for the Bulldgos. 

Georgia now must combat another premier squad in No. 6 LSU, who has beaten its four opponents by a 95-point margin.

Zach Mettenberger has matured during his senior season, completing 64.8 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and one interception. The LSU quarterback will face a shaky Georgia defense that has allowed 28.7 points per contest.

The voters did not give up on Georgia after fighting Clemson to the wire, but it will be hard to keep them too high with a .500 record, regardless of how the school attained those losses.

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