With the 2011 college football season already underway as Week 1 is almost in the books, we have already seen some top 25 teams who want to prove they are worthy of their current ranking.
Week 1 provided some exciting football with some significant upsets, and teams that had National Championship hopes are watching them disappear. As the nation prepares itself for another wacky College Football season, here are seven teams that want to prove themselves worthy of their current rankings.
All rankings are based on the AP Top 25 poll.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 16th
Projected ranking: 25th
Notre Dame may not be worthy of a spot in the top 25 after Saturday's debacle. The Irish turned the ball over five times and had two crucial turnovers in the red zone. Irish fans were entertaining talks of a possible BCS championship run by the Irish, but that conversation looks to be dead after the first week of the season.
Notre Dame will travel to the big house to take on a Michigan team that is ready to make some noise in the Big Ten. A Notre Dame loss guarantees that a BCS run is not in the works, and a top 25 exit would be the only thing the Irish would be assured of.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 23rd
Projected ranking: 24th
Lucky is an understatement for Auburn's win over Utah State on Saturday. The Tigers showed that life after Heisman winner Cam Newton and defensive anchor Nick Fairley will not be an easy one, as they were down ten with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter on Saturday. However, Auburn railed back with a touchdown and an onside kick recovery and ended up winning the game 42-38.
The Tigers will have their first taste of SEC play this weekend when they take on Mississippi State at home. This game will confirm Auburns worth and will reveal their top 25 destiny.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 18th
Projected ranking: 16th
Ohio State had their way on Saturday with their in-state rival Akron, but then again; they always do. This game showed Ohio State will be competitive, but it did not solidify a top 15 ranking in my opinion.
In Week 2, the Buckeyes take on another lackluster in-state opponent in Toledo, which will gear them up for their first test of the year: That Week 3 will be when they travel to Miami to take on the Hurricanes.
An impressive win in Miami would reduce some of the Ohio State doubters, but the four-week stretch with Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nebraska will show this teams true colors.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 6th
Predicted ranking: 5th
The Florida State Seminoles are clearly the best team in the ACC, but a top five preseason ranking may have been a bit to high. The Noles have their second tune up game of the season in Week 2 against Charleston-Southern, the team that was just defeated by the University of Central Florida 62-0.
Both games are a tune up for the biggest game of the season, when the Seminoles welcome No. 1 ranked Oklahoma to Doak-Campbell stadium in a Week 3 battle for National title hopes. This game will prove to the world that the No. 5 ranking was either wrong, or well deserved.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 7th
Predicted ranking: 6th
Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal have National Title aspirations for the 2011 season, and they got off to a great start in Week 1 against lowly opponent, San Jose State. The Cardinal will travel east to play Duke in Week 2, which will prepare them for their first Pac-12 game at Arizona.
The loss of coach Jim Harbaugh will have more of an effect on Andrew Luck and this team than most would like to believe. Both starting receivers are also gone, along with four offensive linemen, which is never timely news. The Cardinal will have to win a tough one on the road in Arizona to consider themselves worthy of a top ten ranking.
Ranking heading into Week 1: 3rd
Predicted Ranking: 7th
The Oregon Ducks were plagued by turnovers, penalties, and boneheaded mistakes in their loss to No. 4 ranked LSU over the weekend. The Ducks will look to regroup this week as they take on a much easier opponent in Nevada at home.
The Ducks will not have a chance to back up their top ten ranking until Week 4 when they take on the Arizona Wildcats. Oregon will have to go undefeated for the remainder of the season and receive support from a number of others teams for a second chance at National Championship.
Ranking heading in to Week 1: 1st
Predicted ranking: 1st
The No. 1 team in the country always has to prove they are worthy of that spot, and the Sooners will have that chance early in the season, when they take on the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee.
Oklahoma has a fairly easy schedule except for FSU, Texas A&M, and in-state rival Oklahoma State, and will look to run the table which would en route them to a National Championship.