College Football

College Football Rankings 2013 Week 5: Teams That Deserve Higher Spot in Top 25

Sep 21, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Evan Spencer (6) celebrates with running back Dontre Wilson (1) after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Florida A&M Rattlers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2013

Thank goodness a playoff is coming, because the most recent AP Poll looks like it will cause some major problems down the line.

Right now, the poll is in that weird place where it has to balance its preseason rankings with the results on the field. Teams are dropping two or three spots despite not having lost yet.

If you're going to have a preseason poll in the first place, it doesn't make a lot of sense to drop a Top Five team too far when it's still undefeated.

If you want to base the polls off results, why have a preseason poll in the first place? You'd get a more accurate picture of the college football landscape after six or seven weeks.

However, this is the best college football has, so we have to make the best of what we've got.

Here's the AP Top 25, followed by three teams that should feel hard done by the voters in the most recent poll.

 

Ohio State Buckeyes

Sep 21, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Jordan Hall (2) sidesteps fallen umpire Jim Krogstad as Florida A&M Rattlers defensive back Jonathan Pillow (19) tries to catch him at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

How in the world did this happen? How did the Ohio State Buckeyes drop two spots without actually losing a game or really even coming close to losing?

The Bucks went from No. 2 to No. 3 in Week 2 and then from No. 3 to No. 4 in Week 3. Putting Oregon in the second spot is one thing, but having Clemson jump ahead of the Buckeyes is a bit of a stretch.

Sure, Ohio State hasn't really beaten a team close to the caliber of Georgia, like the Tigers have. But this is a team that went 12-0 last season and remains unbeaten in 2013. It also won its last two games without its best player.

The Buckeyes can only beat the teams that are put in front of them, and they've done so in convincing fashion.

Clemson deserved to rise in the rankings after beating the Bulldogsand it did, jumping from fourth to eighth in the Week 2 poll. And then it jumped again. To have Clemson move ahead of OSU off of wins against South Carolina State and NC State is a bit too much.

 

UCLA Bruins

Sep 21, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) throws a pass against the New Mexico State Aggies during the game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When you get past the Top 10, it's hard to sort out which teams are better than others. You've got so many teams with 4-0 or 3-0 records and just about equal resumes. Then there are the South Carolina Gamecocks, whose only loss came against the Georgia Bulldogs.

With that said, it's hard to see how the UCLA Bruins are ranked No. 13. Their wins against Nevada and New Mexico State are pretty much meaningless. They won handily, just as you would have expected them to.

The difference between the Bruins and some of the teams around them is that they went into enemy territory and walked away with a 20-point win. Nebraska might have fallen out of the Top 25, but it's not easy to walk into Lincoln and come back from 18 points down and score 38 unanswered points.

If anything, swapping UCLA with Oklahoma State makes the most sense.

 

Arizona State Sun Devils

Sep 21, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) looks for a receiver during the second half against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 42-28. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils have reason to feel aggrieved. They lost their spot in the Top 25 after a loss to No. 5 Stanford. It wasn't an embarrassing loss, and it's understandable that some voters might have them drop out of the poll.

What seems a bit off is that Wisconsin is ranked No. 23.

The Badgers fell 32-30 to the Sun Devils on Sept. 14. So a team that already beat Wisconsinand has the same number of lossesis ranked behind the Badgers. Who cares if the game ended in a bit of controversy? That play alone didn't decide the outcome of the game.

Arizona State's biggest mistake was losing to what should be one of the best teams in the country.

It must be the wins against Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech that make the difference for Wisconsin.

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