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College Football Rankings 2013: Michigan and Teams Ready to Bounce Back in Polls

Sep 14, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; (EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (98) throws a pass before the game against the Akron Zips at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2013

The Week 4 polls ranking the nation’s Top 25 college football teams were not kind to some major programs after questionable outings.

Fortunately for a select few schools such as Michigan that dipped in the rankings this week, a bounce-back effort is in the cards that will help to restore the poll positions lost.

Wild fluctuations in the polls this early in the year are not uncommon as the season sorts itself out, but a comeback effort after a drop is to be expected for the following teams. Whether it's a favorable upcoming matchup or a team that is simply too talented to contain, the best programs will rise back up the rankings after this week's action.

Here's a look at the Top 25, followed by teams set to bounce back.

 

Wisconsin

Quietly, Wisconsin has shown itself to be one of the better teams in the nation. But a controversial play at the end of last week's contest against the Arizona State Sun Devils knocked the Badgers from their Top 20 perch.

Even though the Badgers struggled to contain the Sun Devils' offense, giving up 468 total yards, Wisconsin drove the length of the field on the final drive. They reached Arizona’s 18-yard line while down only two points.

 

Then confusion set in. Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave took the final snap of the game, rolled left to set up a straightforward field goal—and set the ball down. Arizona defenders jumped on it, believing it was a fumble. Stave claimed he was down. Officials didn’t appear to agree with either side. The clock kept running and the game ended before the Badgers could spike the ball to set up the game-winning field goal.

Before giving away its rank in Arizona, the Badgers steamrolled through two games with a total tally of 93-0. Expect Wisconsin to get back on track against a mediocre Purdue squad before climbing the rankings again.

 

Texas A&M

n any normal game, Johnny Manziel's 464 passing yards and five scores would mean victory for Texas A&M.

Not against Alabama.

The Aggies allowed the Crimson Tide to roll into College Station and grab a major victory 49-42, but the negativity surrounding the Aggies won't last long.

A&M dropped four spots in the AP Poll but still sits pretty in the Top 10. The Aggies have a rebound-game of sorts against SMU from the AAC next week, which bodes well for a team suffering from an emotional loss.

While A&M has a loss on its record, a favorable schedule the rest of the way means Manziel and Co. still have a legit shot at climbing up to No. 2 and inserting themselves in the championship game conversation.

That journey starts against SMU.

 

Michigan Wolverines

Perhaps the most surprising result last week wasn't an upset at all. Michigan escaped at home with a victory over Akron via a last-second defensive stand.

Against a Zips team that entered the season 3-33 since 2010, with 27 consecutive road losses, a narrow victory is simply not good enough for Michigan to maintain its rank.

Not only that, Michigan reportedly paid Akron $900,000 just to show up. Suffice to say the Zips didn't just roll over as the Wolverines had anticipated.

Quarterback Devin Gardner will have an opportunity to bounce back from his four-turnover performance courtesy of a matchup with the lowly Connecticut Huskies, but it's going to be a long climb back into relevancy for the Wolverines.

A close encounter with a team like the Zips assures ranking struggles for Michigan, but the Wolverines will gain a few spots after taking down Connecticut in a bounce-back game.

 

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling

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