College Football Rankings 2011: Which Top 25 Teams Didn't Deliver in Week 1
With the college football season so short and the BCS so competitive, one bad week can set a team back for the entire season.
After just a few days into the 2011 season, it is easy to see who is as good as we thought, and which teams were simply over-hyped.
Some teams lost to very good opponents, but it still hurt their year. Others simply had a scare from a lesser adversary, but still did not show enough to believe that they will remain in the rankings for much longer.
So which teams did not bring it in Week 1?
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While the 23rd-ranked Auburn Tigers ended up escaping the game with a win, they did not look good in their 42-38 victory against Utah State.
The defending national champions lost quarterback Cam Newton, but it was the defense that truly suffered on Saturday. The team gave up 227 yards rushing, which led to the 38 points the Aggies were able to score. All five touchdowns were scored from their ground attack. For any ranked team, this is inexcusable.
The Tigers should be commended for a great effort to win the game. Barrett Trotter had to lead two scoring drives in 2:07 to take the lead, all wrapped around a successful onside kick. Still, Auburn should never have been in that mess in the first place.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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The game kicked off with a great drive by Notre Dame, only for them to fumble at the goal line. The fumble was run back 96 yards for a touchdown by South Florida's Kayvon Webster. The Irish had a tough time recovering after that blow.
The rest of the game for Notre Dame was filled with turnovers and missed opportunities. They tried using two different quarterbacks that were in battle the entire summer. While Tommy Rees had some great passing numbers, he also threw two interceptions that they could not recover from.
Notre Dame is well on their way to returning to the championship form they were used to, but they are not there yet. The No. 16 ranking was probably too high to begin the year, and they showed that with a loss in week 1.
TCU Horned Frogs
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For a team that lost only one game in the past two seasons, a loss in Week 1 is big news for TCU. The defense that had been Gary Patterson's strength in past years did not have the usual intensity on Friday night.
Down 24 points in the fourth quarter, TCU almost made a miraculous comeback that could have propelled them to success for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Robert Griffin III had other ideas. He was not giving up on all the hard work his team had to get to that point, and he helped Baylor find a way to win.
This is a devastating loss for TCU. The Horned Frogs plan to reach a BCS game every year, but in their conference, the only way they will most likely do that is to have an undefeated season. It seems like they will have to wait until next year.
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As opposed to the previous teams on this list, the Georgia Bulldogs were facing an outstanding team in Boise State. The Broncos are lead by Kellen Moore, who is a Heisman Trophy candidate this season and did nothing Saturday to ruin that idea.
However, Georgia did not deliver on behalf on the SEC. Major conference teams want nothing more than to shut up the small schools and keep them out of the BCS games in January. The Bulldogs were not good enough, even at home.
Georgia will still have a relatively successful year, but they most likely did not have any lofty championship goals that were dashed in Week 1. Boise State, on the other hand, is the real deal.
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The Big 12 has 10 teams, and the Missouri Tigers think they are good enough to be one of the best. But if they play like they did on Saturday, they will not go far this season at all.
Missouri came away with a win against the Miami (OH) RedHawks, but they only managed 17 points against their MAC counterparts.
Quarterback James Franklin was not happy with his performance. His interception led to Miami's only score, and he only averaged 5.0 yards per attempt. Luckily, his defense stood tough to help his team to a win.
Franklin is being asked to replace NFL first-round pick Blaine Gabbert this season, which is not an easy task. The sophomore has the talent, but he will need to play much better against his conference opponents if he wants to succeed.
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Is it bad to lose to a Top-Five team in the first week of the season? No. Did it potentially ruin Oregon's BCS Championship hopes before Labor Day? Yes.
The Oregon Ducks had four turnovers in a big-time game against LSU, and that was too much to overcome, losing 40-27. The offense looked slower than usual, and their special teams made too many mistakes without Cliff Harris. All of this is not as important as the simple fact that they now have a loss.
In this era of the BCS, one loss can be enough to prevent a team from competing for a national championship. Just as importantly, the fact that Oregon lost to an SEC team could be enough to stop them from making it as a one-loss team.
If a spot in the championship comes down to Oregon versus LSU or any SEC team that obviously finished better than the Tigers, it would be tough to justify putting the Ducks ahead of anyone.
Each of these teams had a lot of guts in scheduling this game in Week 1. However, Oregon might not be able to come back from this devastating defeat.