NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Teams That Deserve Biggest Boost After Saturday

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2013

Nov 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen during warmups prior to the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Although many college football fans are looking toward the Alabama-LSU clash on Saturday night, there were plenty of ranked teams that strengthened their resumes earlier in the day.

With the unpredictability of college football and Oregon's loss to Stanford earlier in the week, fans can sometimes take for granted a good team getting the job done and beating a weaker opponent handily.

Since that was the majority of Saturday's action, it's appropriate to wade through the aftermath and determine just which schools benefited the most and should see a rise in the polls.

As a point of reference, here's what the AP poll looked like coming into this week, with the team's record updated to reflect Saturday's results.

AP Poll—Week 11
RankTeamRecordVotesPrevious
1Alabama (52)8-01,4911
2Oregon (2)8-11,4182
3Florida State (6)9-01,4093
4Ohio State9-01,3154
5Baylor8-01,2345
6Stanford8-11,2146
7Auburn9-11,0828
8Clemson8-11,0599
9Missouri9-195610
10LSU7-286311
11Texas A&M7-286112
12Oklahoma7-281613
13South Carolina7-276914
14Miami (FL)7-17377
15Oklahoma State8-166218
16UCLA6-251517
17Fresno State8-049316
18Michigan State8-147824
19UCF6-147219
20Louisville7-138520
21Wisconsin7-234222
22Northern Illinois9-032221
23Arizona State7-219725
24Notre Dame7-2164NR
25Texas Tech7-310215
Associated Press

These three teams helped themselves the most during Saturday's early action.

 

No. 7 Auburn Tigers

Nov 9, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) runs the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Auburn won 55 to 23. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It says a lot about your running game when you can throw for 35 yards and still score 55 points.

The Auburn Tigers rushed for 444 yards and five touchdowns as a team. Nick Marshall led Auburn in rushing with 214 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall is, of course, the Tigers' starting quarterback. His rushing output is the third-highest rushing total for an SEC quarterback in the last 10 years, via ESPN Stats & Info.

Tre Mason added 117 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers were getting what they wanted, when they wanted it on the ground.

Tennessee isn't a bad team. Sure, the Volunteers are in a down period, but anytime you can go into Knoxville and win by 32 points, you're doing something right.

 

No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers

Nov 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back James White (20) is tackled by Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Craig Bills (20) during the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Normally one single call by the officials doesn't have a monumental effect on a team's season. But that terrible call at the end of Wisconsin's 32-30 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 14 may well cost the Badgers a chance at a BCS bowl.

Voters would look at Wisconsin much differently if it had an 8-1 record, rather than 7-2. Unfortunately, the Badgers will be left on the outside looking in.

At the very least, they've looked very good since that loss to the Sun Devils, with their only other loss coming to unbeaten Ohio State in Columbus. That's all they can do.

Wisconsin handled a tough BYU team on Saturday, winning 27-17. While the Cougars aren't ranked, they came in with a 6-2 record and a win over the Texas Longhorns on their resume. The Badgers dominated the game on the ground, with James White rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

 

No. 3 Florida State

WINSTON SALEM, NC - NOVEMBER 09:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles prepares with teammates before their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field on November 9, 2013 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Leck
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Florida State would've been a big winner this weekend by default. The Seminoles were bound to be No. 2 following the Ducks' defeat at the hands of the Cardinal on Thursday. There was no way Ohio State was going to vault over FSU.

Rather than coming out and laying an egg, the 'Noles jumped on Wake Forest early and didn't let up. The Demon Deacons were down 21-0 after the first quarter and then 42-0 at the half. The Seminoles called off the dogs in the second half, settling for a 59-3 win.

Florida State got just 296 total yards the entire game, but it was helped out by the six—yes, six—interceptions it forced against Wake Forest's quarterbacks.

As voters try and look for whatever they can to knock down FSU, Jimbo Fisher made sure not to allow any room for criticism. He had his players ready.