College Football Rankings' Next 5: Michigan Back Outside Looking In After Spartan Smackdown

Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans scores on a 41 yard touchdown in the second quarter during the game aginst the Michigan Wolverines during the game on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Assessing the pitfalls and fortunes of the top five teams in the "also receiving votes" category that serves as college football's casting couch. This week: Oregon State upsetting a top-ten team isn't enough to overcome losses to TCU and Boise State, and Michigan suffers further indignities at the hands of the AP Poll.

Two of the five teams sitting just outside the AP top 25 college football poll coming off losses last weekend which dropped them out of the college football rankings. The others, like Oregon State and Virginia Tech, are starting to regain respect in the eyes of the voters.

• Oregon State

Where They're At: 3-2, No. 24 in the AP Poll, fourth-place in Also-Receiving-Votes (ARV) in the Coaches'.
What Went Wrong: Not much, this week. The Beavers are rebounding in fine fashion from two early-season losses to TCU and Boise State with a two-point win over No. 9 Arizona.
What's Next: Avoiding the emotional letdown and fatigue of two wide-split road trips in a row when playing Washington next Saturday night. The Huskies have been all over the map in terms of visible football competence this season, but they can't be slept on.

• Michigan

Where They're At: 5-1, first ARV candidate in the AP Poll, No. 24 in the Coaches'.
What Went Wrong: No mystery here. A decisive, high-profile loss to one of their chief rivals sent the Wolverines tumbling down the charts.
What's Next: The course can be righted almost immediately, as the Wolverines host No. 15 Iowa in Week 7. It's a tough row to hoe for even an offense as potent as Michigan's, however: The Hawkeyes boast the nation's No. 2 rushing defense and No. 10 pass defense.

• Miami

Where They're At: 3-2, second in AP ARV, first in Coaches' ARV.
What Went Wrong: A completely unexpected shellacking at the hands of No. 23 Florida State banished the 'Canes from the charts.
What's Next: Nothing that can bump them back up right away without some help from teams already toting one loss. Duke, UNC, Virginia and Maryland are next on Miami's ACC schedule. In the meantime, 'Cane faithful need to cheer for  Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech to boost their upcoming opponent cred.

• North Carolina State

Where They're At: 5-1,Third in AP ARV, second in the hinterlands of the Coaches' Poll.
What Went Wrong: The Wolfpack is still being punished for a Week 5 loss to a Virginia Tech team nobody's quite sure what to do with as we approach the season's midpoint.
What's Next: NC State has looked alarmingly solid for a Tom O'Brien team, and they've got two great chances to resolidify in October: A trip to pesky East Carolina in Week 7, and a visit from No. 16 Florida State in Week 8.

• Virginia Tech

Where They're At: 4-2, riding a four-game win streak after two straight losses to open 2010 play. Fourth in AP ARV, fifth in the Coaches' waiting room.
What Went Wrong: That Labor Day loss to Boise State scuttled the Hokies' chances for quite a bit, it seems. Also, this happened.
What's Next: VT doesn't draw conference frontrunners Florida State on this year's schedule; they'll have to win convincingly against Georgia Tech and Miami (and not faceplant again in the meantime) to have any hope of a respectable bowl berth.

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