NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 11

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 3, 2013

NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 11

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    It's the weekly edition of bashing the pollsters who rank teams way too high or too low. It happens every week, and the latest release of both polls is no different.

    As we inch closer to the end of the regular season, pressure to correctly pick the best teams in the country has reached a boiling point. One wrong vote could prevent a team from participating in the big one.

    So, which rankings are correct and which could use a little improvement?

    The Big Ten has a plethora of teams that made each poll quite interesting.


    Note: Here are the AP poll and the USA Today coaches poll in their entirety.

Miss: Texas

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, N/R; AP, N/R

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: N/R

    Current AP Poll: N/R

    Overall Record: 6-2



    Voters had a chance to put Texas in the polls and didn't take advantage?

    What world are we living in?

    In all seriousness, the Longhorns have won five straight games and are finally playing the way we are used to seeing. Granted, that could change at any moment. Who knows; they could lose next week against West Virginia.

    But as of right now, Texas is playing like a Top 25 team and deserves to be in the polls.

Hit: Miami

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 8; AP, No. 7

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 14

    Current AP Poll: No. 14

    Overall Record: 7-1


    Miami was on the ropes and just waiting for the knockout blow. Florida State delivered it in a 41-14 win over its in-state rival.

    After sleepwalking against both North Carolina and Wake Forest, many felt that the Hurricanes weren't ready for the bright lights just yet. They proved the majority correct. Neither side of the ball could get going: The offense couldn't find a rhythm; the defense allowed more than 500 yards.

    This season should still be considered a success, but Miami deserved its drastic fall in both polls.

Miss: Minnesota

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, N/R; AP, N/R

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: N/R

    Current AP Poll: N/R

    Overall Record: 7-2


    Minnesota earned seven votes in the AP poll and 18 in the USA Today coaches poll. They need more, more, because the Golden Gophers are good and they deserve more.

    No, Minnesota doesn't deserve to crack the polls just yet, but it does deserve some attention for what it has done over the last month. The Golden Gophers have won three straight games, including upsetting both Northwestern and a ranked Nebraska team. Last week, they were a 10-point underdog to Indiana and still managed to win the game straight up, 42-39.

    The offense has been playing a lot better ever since quarterback Philip Nelson was thrown into the lineup, and the defense is ranked third in the Big Ten with 56 tackles for loss.

    Don't be surprised if the Golden Gophers are ranked within a few weeks if this type of progress can continue.

Hit: Michigan State

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 24; AP, No. 24

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 19

    Current AP Poll: No. 18

    Overall Record: 8-1


    Nice to see at least one Big Ten team get some love for once. After a 29-6 win over Michigan, the Michigan State Spartans were the biggest winner in both polls, cracking the Top 20 for the first time all season.

    While you may think this is a fluke, Michigan State actually has the best defense in the country and is slowly improving offensively. Quarterback Connor Cook is making more and more plays, and running back Jeremy Langford has now rushed for more than 100 yards in four straight games.

    Michigan State is a team to watch as we head down the homestretch of the college football season.

Miss: Northern Illinois

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 20; AP, No. 21

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 20

    Current AP Poll: No. 22

    Overall Record: 9-0


    Sorry, Northern Illinois fans, but it's clear the team's chances of returning to a BCS bowl are slim. No matter what the Huskies do on Saturdays, it never seems to be enough for the voters.

    The team can only play who's on its schedule, and Northern Illinois creamed Massachusetts, 63-19. Yet its ranking in the polls either remained the same or actually dropped down one spot.


    Other teams struggle against lousy competition and still rise up the ladder. The Huskies take care of business every week and lose ground? The math isn't adding up.

Hit: Arizona State

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, N/R; AP, No. 25

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 24

    Current AP Poll: No. 23

    Overall Record: 6-2


    Arizona State has rightfully gained the trust of voters over the last few weeks. There's enough talent on both sides of the ball for the Sun Devils to make an honest run for a Pac-12 title.

    The problem has been consistency.

    Ugly losses to Stanford and Notre Dame showed that this team may not be ready for the big stage. But after three straight wins and 50-point performances, the offense is showing its true colors and the defensive front is generating consistent pressure.

    The Sun Devils appear to be a team peaking at the right moment. The rest of the country better start paying attention.

Miss: Wisconsin

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 23; AP, No. 22

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 22

    Current AP Poll: No. 21

    Overall Record: 6-2


    What does Wisconsin have to do to become a Top 15 team?

    I'm removing the loss against Arizona State for obvious reasons. That means that the Badgers only lost one game all year, and that was a seven-point loss to Ohio State, a team that happens to be considered a national championship contender.

    Why the hate for the team in Madison?

    The defense is one of the best in the country, and the running game is averaging 287 yards per game. The Badgers have now won four of their last five contests and could easily beat majority of the teams ranked ahead of them.

    This ranking is sickening.

Hit: Ohio State

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 4; AP, No. 4

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 4

    Current AP Poll: No. 4

    Overall Record: 9-0


    As expected, Ohio State didn't impress anybody by clobbering Purdue in a 56-point shutout. Congratulations, you beat up on a team that barely beat Indiana State and has now lost six games in a row.

    Want a cookie?

    There's no question the Buckeyes may be talented enough to beat anybody in the country, but it's hard for them to prove that playing in the watered-down Big Ten. They just can't make the same impact as Oregon and Florida State with a weak schedule.

    If you expect to see Ohio State in the national championship, it may be time to hit the panic button.

Miss: Notre Dame

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 25; AP, N/R

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 25

    Current AP Poll: No. 24

    Overall Record: 7-2


    I've been a big supporter of Notre Dame over the last couple of weeks, and I thought that the program wasn't getting enough respect. But a 38-34 win over Navy proved that the Irish are still somewhat stuck in their ways. They win, but they win ugly and allow teams that shouldn't even be allowed to share the field with them hang around far too long.


    Not exactly a powerhouse football program in this day and age. It lost to Western Kentucky, Duke and Toledo!

    You could make a case that the Irish should have dropped out of the polls altogether.

Hit: FSU's Six First-Place Votes

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 3; AP, No. 3

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 3

    Current AP Poll: No. 3

    Overall Record: 8-0


    Florida State wasn't able to top Oregon in the polls after another impressive win over Miami, but it did manage to snag six first-place votes in the AP poll.

    Even Florida fans can't argue with that.

    The Seminoles seem to be getting better and better each week, and they now have two victories over Top 10 competition in Clemson and Miami. The defense is proving to be one of the best in the country, and quarterback Jameis Winston looks good even when he has an off game.

    Slowly but surely, Florida State will establish itself among the top two in the country.