Week 4 of the college football season is finished and, as is the case at the conclusion of every week, several teams will take a huge slide down the soon-to-be released rankings.
Here are four teams that figure to have the most significant drop.
Note: Rankings are from the AP Top 25.
Oklahoma; Previous Rank: 6
The Sooners played just two games heading into their Saturday night matchup against Kansas State. They could have not opened their conference schedule any worse.
Kansas State looks to be your typical surprise team that makes a run at the National Championship, but ultimately falls somewhere towards the end and, coupled with SEC dominance, is relegated to either (A) a BCS bowl game against a big time school (which they lose) or (B) a “slap in the face” non-BCS bowl game against a pancake nobody (whom they crush).
Coach Bill Snyder, the mentor of Bob Stoops, will be pleased with K-State's play throughout all of Saturday’s game. I was most impressed with their finish.
Kansas State scored a touchdown with 7:27 left in the fourth and, even though Oklahoma trailed by 11, I still felt like the Sooners would win as they returned the ensuring kickoff. Oklahoma proceeded to score with just over four minutes left in the game, but Kansas State iced it on their next possession. They were the ones who looked like the No. 6 team.
That was my deliberate effort to lead with the winner (as should always be the case), but the big story is what this loss means for OU.
Landry Jones was not exactly terrible, but I expect more from someone who turned down the NFL for the opportunity to win in college. He was very, very average (28/43, 298 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble).
Blake Bell didn’t make things any easier when the backup quarterback also put the ball on the ground. Oklahoma’s defense could not generate a turnover in response.
Worst of all, this loss came at home, a place where Oklahoma has been shockingly far from dominant as of late. The Associated Press (via ESPN) drew attention to the fact that five of the last seven visitors to Norman have led at some point in the game, and two have won.
Michigan; Previous Rank: 18
Well… that ended quickly. Michigan’s stellar 0-0 record in the Big Ten means that they are technically not yet eliminated from winning a major bowl game, but after the Saturday stinker, do you really expect them to beat Michigan State, Ohio State or Nebraska?
Notre Dame must have pleased the over-75 audience with their throwback win. The two teams combined for under 300 passing yards and a total of eight turnovers in the defensive game (which, in this case, is a euphemism for “sloppy”). Tommy Rees looked like a starter for the Irish and finished 8/11 for 115 yards. He was turnover free.
The same cannot be said about Michigan’s Denard Robinson. He was horrendous. Everyone knows that Robinson dictates Michigan’s success in ways few college players can match, but no team can win with five turnovers from their QB.
UCLA; Previous Rank: 19
UCLA and Oregon State provided viewers with one of the weekend’s best games and further evidence that the Pac-12 is an improving football conference.
The Bruins were turnover free and threw for 372 yards. The Beavers had two giveaways and nine penalties for 90 yards—so how did they win?
Oregon State ran it 41 times for 122 yards, thereby demonstrating the old adage (and frequent Madden commentary) that wearing down the opposing defense is often more important than the end of game totals. They had nine more minutes of possession.
UCLA really didn’t look bad in their home loss, but the Week 4 surge from the number 20-25 teams will make it a damaging one. Michigan State (No. 21), Mississippi State (No. 23), and Nebraska (No. 25) won their games by a combined 102 points.
Arkansas; Previous Rank: Outside Top-25/Who Even Cares Anymore?
Arkansas was ranked 10th in the preseason AP Top-25. They are 1-3.