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College Football Rankings 2013 Week 7: Teams That Must Justify Rise in AP Poll

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:  Jordan Lynch #6 of the Northern Illinois Huskies points as he looks to pass against the Florida State Seminoles during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2013

The updated college football rankings generated some changes among the AP Top 25. Now, the squads that moved up must prove the collaborators right this Saturday.

Only eight teams held firm in the rankings, bringing about a hefty helping of alterations among college football's best and brightest. Some teams inched further to the top, while three others made the Top 25 cut.

When Week 7 rolls along, these squads will be bestowed with the task of legitimizing their move up the leaderboard by snatching another impressive win.

 

No. 15 Baylor

After scoring at least 70 points for the third straight week (they only mustered 69 the first week), Baylor continues its climb upward.

The Bears improved two spots to No. 15 after trouncing West Virginia in a 73-42 victory. At 4-0, Baylor leads the FBS in points scored (70.5) and passing yards accrued (432.3) per game.

But it has not exactly come against the steepest competitor. Baylor obliterated Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe by a combined 186 points. While Lashe Seastrunk and Shock Linwood each ran for more than 100 yards against West Virginia, Baylor committed four turnovers while allowing 394 total yards to the Mountaineers.

Kansas State is far from a heavyweight at 2-3, but it recently gave No. 22 Oklahoma State a run for its money in a tightly contested 33-29 defeat. Baylor's defense can prove it's not simply riding the offense's coattails to glory by containing junior Jake Waters on Saturday.

 

No. 23 Northern Illinois

IOWA CITY, IOWA- AUGUST 31: Wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley #11 of the Iowa Hawkeyes is brought down during the second quarter against cornerback Jhony Faustin #5 of the Northern Illinois Huskies on August 31, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iow
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

At 5-0, the voters could not ignore Northern Illinois much longer.

They have yet to beat a ranked opponent, and their 12.4-point margin of victory is not spectacular by college standards. Yet the Huskies remain undefeated behind an explosive rushing attack, so it's time to monitor them carefully.

Behind running back Cameron Stingily and quarterback Jordan Lynch, the Huskies have compiled 303.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks fifth in the FBS. The MAC underdog has already topped two Big Ten teams in Iowa and Purdue.

This weekend, they play 1-5 Akron, who gave Michigan a fierce scare by nearly pulling off the colossal upset. Akron has not notched a victory since, but perhaps the school relishes the spotlight.

 

No. 25 Missouri

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 05:  Marcus Murphy #6 of the Missouri Tigers stiff arms Javon Marshall #31 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Congratulations to Missouri for nabbing a spot in the Top 25. Now go play Georgia.

Missouri improved to 5-0 after earning a 51-28 victory over Vanderbilt, but now it faces a supreme test in SEC rival Georgia. The Bulldogs have won their last two games each by just three points, one of those came against No. 8 Louisville while their only loss was handed to them by No. 3 Clemson.

The SEC is really good.

Missouri is about to find that out the hard way when they play Georgia, Florida and South Carolina over the next three weeks. All three schools currently boast rankings above Missouri, which should probably enjoy its spot in the Top 25 while it lasts.

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