NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Predicting the Top 25 After Week 7

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2013

Missouri tamed the Bulldogs, but the Tigers lost an important member of their team. Will it affect their poll standing?
Missouri tamed the Bulldogs, but the Tigers lost an important member of their team. Will it affect their poll standing?Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever appeared like a guarantee during Week 7 of the college football season ended up being far, far from a lock. Seven ranked teams suffered a loss, including Nos. 16, 17, 18 and 19 each being taken down.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller probably summarized it the best:

In the 2013 edition of the Red River Rivalry, No. 12 Oklahoma was derailed by Texas in stunning fashion, falling 36-20 at the Cotton Bowl.

Marcus Mariota led second-ranked Oregon to its 10th consecutive win over bitter rival and No. 16 Washington, throwing for 366 yards and tacking on 88 more rushing yards in the Ducks' 45-24 victory.

No. 3 Clemson avoided an upset at the hands of ACC foe Boston College by scoring 14 fourth-quarter points to win 24-14.

Fifth-ranked Stanford could not convert on a 4th-and-2 inside the Utah 10-yard line with less than a minute to play and dropped a 27-21 game to the Utes.

Penn State needed four overtime periods but defeated No. 18 Michigan 43-40, and Wisconsin dismantled No. 19 Northwestern 35-6.

As a result of the upsets, no one truly knows exactly what to expect in the Week 8 rankings.

And so, with that being said, the projections.

Note: Previous rankings based on Week 7 AP Top 25.


Fun Facts

Unsurprisingly, the SEC leads Week 8 projections with seven ranked teams; the ACC, Big 12 and PAC-12 keep four programs in the rankings; and the Big Ten has three schools.

This will be the first time Oklahoma, Baylor and Missouri have each been ranked in the Top 20 of the AP poll during the same ranking since Week 9 of the 1980 season.

The last time at least seven ranked teams lost in a single weekend was Week 13 last year. Granted, unlike this catastrophic weekend for programs in the polls, there were five ranked-vs.-ranked matchups.

Oregon will be ranked in the Top 10 for the 37th consecutive week, including 24 weeks as a Top Five team.


Falling: Oklahoma Sooners

This game wasn't supposed to be close.

Oklahoma's rushing attack had been dominant, and Texas' run defense was nowhere near good. Plus, David Ash, the Longhorns' starting quarterback, was sidelined.

But Case McCoy played the game of his life, completing 13 of 21 passes, tossing a 59-yard touchdown and leading Texas to convert an absurd 13 of 20 third-down situations. Johnathan Gray ran for 123 yards, and Malcolm Brown added 120 yards for the Longhorns.

Blake Bell struggled mightily, throwing two interceptions, and the Sooners managed just 130 rushing yards.

Oklahoma falls to 5-1 on the season but has a chance to rebound against a 2-3 Kansas team that should not pose a huge threat...but neither should have Texas.


Rising: Missouri Tigers

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12:  L'Damian Washington #2 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates their 41-26 win over the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia may be hampered by injuries, but Mizzou had no interest in excuses.

The Tigers unleashed their fury early, jumping out to a 28-10 lead at halftime before completing the upset with a 41-26 win.

Unfortunately for Missouri, however, James Franklin separated his shoulder and, per Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, will miss the final six games of the regular season.

Will the voters give the 6-0 Tigers their deserved count-it-on-two-hands rise? Or will they take into account that Franklin will be unavailable for the remainder of the regular season and leave Mizzou lower in the polls?


Falling: Stanford Cardinal

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 12: Quarterback Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal gets ready to be sacked by Nate Orchard #8 the Utah Utes during the second half of an NCAA football game October 12, 2013 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
George Frey/Getty Images

How did this happen?

Utah scored 20 consecutive points while not allowing Stanford into the end zone for 30 minutes and 57 seconds of game time.

Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery returned a kick for a touchdown for the second straight game, and he also hauled in eight passes for 131 yards and a score.

But the vaunted Cardinal defense surrendered 410 yards to Travis Wilson and Co., and the Utes pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the 2013 season so far.

Stanford drops to 5-1 and will be tested by a soon-to-be Top 10-ranked UCLA squad next Saturday afternoon.


Rising: Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes

Oct  20, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris (17) throws a pass against Florida State Seminoles during their game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Why include bitter rivals in the same section?

Both Florida State and Miami did not play on Saturday, but both will move up in the polls due to teams ahead of them suffering losses.

The 5-0 Seminoles will enter the Top Five for the first time since Week 6 of last season, while the 5-0 'Canes could be ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since Week 8 of the 2009 campaign.

FSU is preparing for a huge matchup with No. 3 Clemson next Saturday, and Miami travels to North Carolina for a Thursday night battle.

And for what it's worth, these two top-ranked teams will meet on November 2.


Falling: Georgia Bulldogs

Oct 12, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) is sacked and fumbles after being hit by Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Shane Ray (56) during the second quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY S
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Murray saved Georgia against Tennessee last weekend, tying up the game with just six seconds remaining, but the senior quarterback couldn't do it again.

Murray tossed a pair of interceptions on the Bulldogs' final two drives, and as mentioned earlier, the turnovers sealed Georgia's fate in a 41-26 loss.

J.J. Green (87 rushing yards) and Brandon Douglas (70 yards) filled in admirably for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, but the Bulldogs offensive unit was simply not the same without its two-headed monster.

Rontavious Wooten, Chris Conley and Douglas were each recipients of a Murray touchdown pass, but Georgia suffered its first SEC loss and is now 4-2 on the season.


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