NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 13

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 17, 2013

NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Hits and Misses from Week 13

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    It was a wild Week 12 of college football, and one that turned the polls upside down. It featured comeback victories from ranked teams, upsets and losses by three schools that had a number next to their name.

    If putting teams in order based off the past week's performance wasn't enough, voters are feeling even more pressure with the regular season quickly coming to a close. These rankings must be right, or fans aren't going to be happy when it's time to announce where each team will end up in the postseason.

    This week, we should have crowned a new top team. We also welcome a couple of new faces to the party and continue to make a case for a non-BCS school that gets no love.

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

Hit: Minnesota in the Coaches Poll

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 25; AP, NR

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 23

    Current AP Poll: NR

    Overall Record: 8-2


    I have been beating the Minnesota drum the last couple of weeks, and it's nice to see that it is paying off. Although the Golden Gophers didn't play last week, they still managed to climb up a couple of spots in the USA Today coaches poll. It looks like the media needs a little more convincing to fully commit to the most underrated Big Ten squad.

    Minnesota has won four straight games with a scoring defense ranked 35th in the country. The front seven is one of the best in college football, and the offense has drastically improved over the last few weeks, scoring more than 30 points in two of the last three games.

    Don't be surprised if the Golden Gophers upset Wisconsin next week.

Miss: Baylor in the AP Poll

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 4

    Current AP Poll: No. 3

    Overall Record: 9-0


    Did Baylor beat a ranked team that I'm not aware of last week?


    Oh, so now a win over Texas Tech is good enough to jump an undefeated Ohio State?

    That's insane!

    Look, I know Baylor is the new flashy team and still somewhat of an underdog. The Bears are playing incredible football, and it's fun to watch. But come on. Baylor has only beaten one ranked team all season (Oklahoma), while Ohio State has knocked off two (Wisconsin and Northwestern).

    It seems like the more exciting team is winning this battle, which is really unfair to the Buckeyes.

Hit: Duke

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, NR; AP, NR

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 24

    Current AP Poll: No. 25

    Overall Record: 8-2


    Nope, these are not basketball rankings. Duke football has actually cracked the polls. It's the first time since 1994 that the Blue Devils are ranked in the AP poll.

    Time to celebrate!

    In all seriousness, Duke is playing quality football. It has won six straight games, including two wins over ranked Virginia Tech and Miami. The offense is averaging nearly 35 points per game, and the defense has also made strides as of late.

    David Cutcliffe deserves consideration for coach of the year.

Miss: Ohio State in the AP Poll

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 3

    Current AP Poll: No. 4

    Overall Record: 10-0


    Continuing my rant from earlier, how in the world does Ohio State drop?

    Yes, the Big Ten schedule is a walk in the park, but that shouldn't be held against the Buckeyes. You can only play the opponents on your schedule. Remember, this is the same school that the AP Poll had at No. 2 to begin the season. One voter even threw in a first-place vote. We knew the Big Ten was a joke before this season started.

    Ohio State is steamrolling the competition and has looked quite impressive, for what it is worth. Until a team below starts beating up on ranked opponents or OSU loses, the Buckeyes shouldn't give up their spot to anybody.

Hit: USC

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, NR; AP, NR

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 25

    Current AP Poll: No. 23

    Overall Record: 8-3


    Welcome back, USC.

    It's nice to see the voters were able to wipe the slate clean and reward USC for four straight wins. This isn't the same team it was under Lane Kiffin. For some strange reason, interim coach Ed Orgeron is able to inspire his players and have his team prepared to compete. 

    The offense is clicking for the first time all year, and the defense is playing like one of the best units in the country.

    A win over Stanford proved that the sky isn't falling after all.

    Well done.

Miss: Stanford in the Coaches Poll

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 5; AP, No. 5

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 12

    Current AP Poll: No. 10

    Overall Record: 8-2


    Stanford deserves its fall in both polls, but seven spots is a serious stretch. This is the same program that absolutely dominated Oregon a couple of weeks ago. Even with the Ducks being exposed, they're already back in the Top Five of both polls.

    It seems like voters pick and choose when they want to treat a loss more seriously. 

    Although the Cardinal have two losses, they are a much better team than South Carolina or Oklahoma State, and a case could also be made against Texas A&M.

    Like it or not, Stanford is still a Top 10 team.

Hit: Louisville

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 13; AP, No. 19

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 15

    Current AP Poll: No. 21

    Overall Record: 9-1


    It's about time voters are catching on to Louisville. Sorry, but the team just isn't that good.

    The Cardinals just haven't been the same since losing to UCF, as they didn't blow out Connecticut the way they should have and now nearly lost to Houston. The Cougars actually had a 13-10 lead at halftime and only lost by seven points.

    Isn't this the team that was nearly guaranteed a BCS bowl berth?

    Not buying it, and obviously the voters aren't either.

Miss: Northern Illinois

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    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

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

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 21

    Current AP Poll: No. 20

    Overall Record: 10-0


    Unfortunately, the Huskies will not have a shot to return to a BCS bowl, even though they are undefeated and quarterback Jordan Lynch is playing great. 

    Northern Illinois faced its toughest opponent in one-loss Ball State. The result was a convincing 48-21 win and proof that the Huskies are a legit non-AQ. As usual, the voters didn't budge in either poll.

    If this is the case, wins against Toledo or Western Michigan aren't going to get the job done.

    It's the price you pay being a small school, I guess.

Hit: Auburn

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    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 9; AP, No. 7

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 7

    Current AP Poll: No. 6

    Overall Record: 10-1


    It's great to see Auburn not getting penalized for its near loss to Georgia. Who cares that it took one of the greatest miracles in college football history? The point is, the game resulted in a victory.

    The Tigers are getting better every week. The offense is firing on all cylinders, and although the defense still has room for improvement, it seems to come up with stops when needed. This group simply finds a way to get the job done. 

    They may not be the prettiest performances, but the Tigers are a team to pay attention to down the home stretch.

Miss: Florida State

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    Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking Last Week: USA Today, No. 2; AP, No. 2

    Current USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 2

    Current AP Poll: No. 2

    Overall Record: 10-0


    Florida State should have replaced Alabama for the top spot. Let's be honest, the only reason Alabama is still considered the best team in the country is because of its undefeated record and the past two national championships. The Nick Saban factor also has a little to do with it.

    But the Crimson Tide only beat Mississippi State by 13 points. If that was Ohio State, the Buckeyes would have dropped at least two spots. Are we really going to give Alabama a pass just for winning?

    Meanwhile, Florida State is beating every team it faces into submission and hasn't shown a single flaw.

    The Seminoles are the best team in the country.