College Football Rankings 2013: Teams That Deserved a Bigger Drop
Week 4 of the college football season saw plenty of near-miss upsets that have some of the ranked teams lucky to be where they are ranked heading into Week 5.
The Michigan Wolverines' matchup with the UConn Huskies gave them more than they bargained for. It was much of the same for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and to a lesser extent, the Clemson Tigers.
All of these teams share one thing in common: They all played down to their competition last week.
Let's take a look at the entire Top 25 rankings (per the Associated Press) and why these three squads deserved to slip in the rankings.
Bleacher Report's official rankings can be found here.
Week 5 Rankings
|Ranking||Team||Previous Ranking||Points||BR Ranking|
No. 18 Michigan Wolverines (Last week: No. 15)
For the second week in a row, the Wolverines had a scare against a lesser opponent.
In Week 3, Michigan barely edged out the Akron Zips and needed a last-second defensive stop to do so. On Saturday, the Wolverines got outclassed by the UConn Huskies in the first half, only to suddenly wake up and take the win in the second.
After an impressive win against Notre Dame, the Wolverines seem to be taking their foot off the pedal. That's a dangerous way to play, because it's complacency that can cause a good team like Michigan to succumb to teams it should normally beat.
With next to no contribution from quarterback Devin Gardner throwing the ball, Michigan got bailed out by its rushing attack led by Fitzgerald Toussaint, and it needed a total shutout in the second half by its defense to emerge victorious.
It wasn't until the closing minutes that Michigan finally took back the lead.
That can't continue to happen, and if Michigan doesn't wake up soon, they could be out of the Top 25 altogether with a loss or a few more lackluster performances. These last two games are not those of a deserving, high-quality squad.
No. 22 Notre Dame (No change from last week)
Somehow the Fighting Irish were able to maintain their No. 22 ranking after a close call with the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.
Offensively, the Irish were awful, and if not for its defense, Notre Dame may have suffered its second loss of the season. Quarterback Tommy Rees looked dreadful, and the Irish compiled just 220 yards, compared to the Spartans' 254.
And don't forget that this game was tied going into the fourth quarter, giving Michigan St. a great chance to pull out the upset.
Teams will have letdown games here and there, but for the Irish this is two weeks in a row they nearly lost to an inferior competitor.
Following their Week 2 loss to Michigan, the Irish barely escaped West Lafayette with a 31-24 win over the Purdue Boilermakers. In that one, Purdue had a touchdown advantage going in the final quarter versus Notre Dame, which is a stark contrast to the beat-down the Boilermakers received from No. 23 Wisconsin.
No. 3 Clemson Tigers (No change from last week)
After dropping 38 points and stunning the Georgia Bulldogs in the season opener, you would expect a much better showing from Clemson's offense against a team like the N.C. State Wolfpack.
But that didn't happen. Instead, the Tigers could only muster up 415 total yards and 26 points. NC State actually found itself down by just six points going into the half and nearly gained more yards than their counterparts with 378.
If this type of performance were to happen against a top team, the Tigers will get waxed. BCS national-title aspirations are a very real thing for this program in 2013-14, but this game proved they are unworthy of such expectations for the moment.
Especially when looking at what teams like Ohio State and Stanford did behind them, Clemson simply doesn't deserve to be ranked in the top three after Week 4.
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