College football teams see the 2013 regular-season finish line, but several will fall from their high Week 12 rankings before they cross it.
Here are three teams to expect major losses from over the season’s final stretch. They managed to avoid one of their most difficult matchups, if not their most difficult matchup, all year. But when the showdown finally goes down, so will the following ballclubs.
No. 9 Auburn
The Tigers are talented, but not Crimson Tide-talented. They lost by two touchdowns to LSU, whom Alabama beat by 21 points. Nick Saban’s crew is defeating clubs by an average of over 30 per game, compared to just over 18 for Auburn.
Texas A&M is the only opponent that Alabama didn’t beat by at least three scores. The Tigers snuck away with wins in one-score games against Washington State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
The Crimson Tide have won four out of the last five Iron Bowls. They’ll better that ratio on Nov. 30 and send Auburn sliding down the standings.
No. 11 South Carolina
The Gamecocks have losses against now-No. 25 Georgia and unranked Tennessee. Their double-overtime, three-point win against Missouri was their only win over a ranked BCS opponent the entire season. They only defeat teams by an average of 10.0 points per game, 9.2 less than Clemson wallops its opponents by.
South Carolina will face off against the Tigers on Nov. 30 and permanently fall from the top half of the Top 25. Clemson’s only loss was to national title-bound Florida State. It’s beaten every single one of its opponents by multiple scores since the start of September.
The Gamecocks couldn’t even beat 2-7 Kentucky by multiple scores.
No. 12 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys haven’t lost since the start of October, but Baylor, whom they’ll face off against on Nov. 23, hasn’t lost all year. Not even close.
The Bears boast the No. 1 offense in the nation, scoring 61.0 points per game and embarrassing their opponents by an average margin of 45.6. Oklahoma State, however, fell to now-4-6 West Virginia.
Baylor is coming off a 41-12 manhandling of the then-No. 10 team in the country, Oklahoma. The Cowboys aren’t on the Bears’ level. Following its inevitable Week 14 loss, Oklahoma State could even struggle to rebound against its bitter rival in the No. 22 Sooners.
AP poll rankings are according to ESPN.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.