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Where AP top-5 teams are vulnerable

Updated: October 10, 2012, 12:16 PM ET
By Travis Haney

It's a new-look Associated Press top five this week, with South Carolina, Florida and West Virginia climbing, and Florida State, LSU and Georgia falling. Saturday marked the first time since October 2008 that three top-five teams lost on the same day.

It might not happen again, not all at one time anyway, but that doesn't rule out additional shakeups along the road to December. Even the coach of the country's best team -- hope that isn't offensive, Nick Saban -- said so.

"You guys are badly mistaken when you make teams so much better than everybody else," Alabama's Nick Saban said during Monday's pre-Missouri news conference. "This [past] weekend kind of proved that your predictability is not very good.

"What it proved is the only thing predictable about college football is its unpredictability."

Let's try, anyway, to predict the unpredictable. Here is our look at the weaknesses of the top five teams, and the opponents on their remaining schedules that are in the best position to exploit them.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0)

The flaws do not instantly pop to mind for this team, and whatever we're mining is essentially nitpicking compared to some of the others listed below. Saban is probably trying to talk down his team relative to the field -- because it has proved, so far, to be that much better than the others.

Still, we'll dig a bit. Just because the Tide is better right now doesn't mean it's incapable of dropping a game. The most talented teams, the best teams, often don't win national championships -- or, at the very least, they don't win every game. (The Florida title-winning team in 2008 -- think Tebow's speech -- comes to mind, though those Gators at least had the sense to lose early so they could re-enter the title mix.)

The three-game stretch that figures to test the Tide most -- Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks, beginning Oct. 27 -- is coming. I asked TideNation reporter Alex Scarborough to help me break down how those teams might best attack Bama, to at least create a competitive game.

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