College Football Rankings 2013: Teams That Will Be Undervalued by Voters

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2013

Oct 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner (40) gets tackled by Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Tariq Edwards (24) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The day every college football fan is satisfied with the polls is the day there's no more college football.

The polls are always an inexact science. There's generally too much weight given to the preseason rankings, and you're also relying on sportswriters to have watched more games than humanly possible. But if you throw it all to computers, you're running the risk of having meaningless metrics used to determine who plays in the national title game.

There never will be a perfect method. Even when the playoff comes and possibly expands, you'll have plenty of fans of the schools left out arguing about the flaws in the system.

We just have to work with what we have, which is admittedly much better than it's been in the past.

That doesn't mean we always have to like what we have.

Here's a look at what the Top 25 might look like going into Week 8, followed by three teams that will probably be feeling hard done by the voters.


Miami Hurricanes

Oct 5, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive back Kacy Rodgers (22) reacts during the first quarter against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami hasn't been Miami for so long that when it's actually Miami again, nobody will believe it's really Miami.

Does that make sense?

The Hurricanes haven't been to a BCS bowl since 2003 and haven't won a bowl game since 2006. While that's not a major problem for most schools, it's a century for Miami. Fans watched while Randy Shannon wasn't able to steer the program back to prominence, and they're waiting to see if Al Golden can help Miami take that next step again.

This could be the season that happens. Miami has that big win against the Florida Gators, but perhaps its more important victory was last week against Georgia Tech. That's normally the kind of conference game where Miami trips over itself and snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

After going down 17-7, the Canes persevered and came out with a 45-30 win. That's the strongest evidence yet in favor of the idea that this team has turned the corner.

Even though the Hurricanes have looked really good and are unbeaten, they'll still probably be behind UCLA, LSU and Texas A&M. You could easily put Miami over any or all three of those schools.


Virginia Tech Hokies

Oct 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas (3) looks to pass the ball during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Lane Stadium. The Hokies defeated Pitt 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Where did Virginia Tech come from?

Following that opening-week loss to Alabama, you would've thought the Hokies were hurtling through space like the villains from Superman II.

Since that defeat to the Crimson Tide, Frank Beamer's team has been rolling.

You can count on Beamer getting his defense in line. What's been more surprising has been the turnaround of Logan Thomas.

Through the first four games of the season, Thomas had six interceptions. In his last three games, he's had none. The senior quarterback has also become a threat on the ground again. If he continues playing this well, the Hokies could be the class of what has become a tough ACC.

That loss to Alabama is still going to be fresh on voters' minds, which is a shame for Virginia Tech. It's moved past that game.

Those are always the hardest games to win. The true test of a team is how it handles pressure situations. How many times have you seen teams that have rolled through their nonconference games with ease crack the first time they're actually challenged?

With that defense, the Hokies can win ugly games, and that's an underrated attribute for a team.


Louisville Cardinals

Oct 10, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals cornerback Andrew Johnson (15) celebrates after breaking up a Rutgers Scarlet Knights pass during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Rutgers 24-10.  Mandatory Credit
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Undervaluing an undefeated team in the Top 10 isn't an easy thing to do. You're going to see it happening with the Louisville Cardinals.

You can see a future where the Cardinals finish unbeaten and get jumped by an SEC team with one loss or possibly a one-loss Oregon, Clemson or Ohio State in the polls. Louisville is in that Boise State position where an undefeated season isn't always enough to guarantee a national championship bid.

Louisville is a well-balanced squad. Teddy Bridgewater is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and he's flanked by Senorise Perry, Damian Copeland and Devante Parker. The defense is very good as well.

The Cardinals' schedule is the biggest stumbling block. There's a very real possibility they'll go through the regular season without playing a ranked team. They can only beat who's in front of them, though. Louisville isn't the only school that scheduled nothing but cupcakes on the nonconference schedule.

Too many people are underrating that win over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were 9-4 last season and ranked as high as No. 15. Their only other loss of the season came against unbeaten Fresno State.

Louisville was tested, and it passed. They should be rewarded.