CFN 2011 Rankings
Sept. 5, Week 1
- 2011 AP Rankings
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
2011 Preseason Rankings
- CFN 2011
Week 1 Rankings, No. 26-120
1. Alabama 1-0
Last Week: W, Kent State 48-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Crimson Tide defense was as good as advertised versus the Golden Flashes, permitting only six first downs and 4-of-20 third down conversions. Kent State finished with -9 yards on the ground as it constantly lost battles on the ground with ‘Bama linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Trey Depriest.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If quarterback play was a concern in Tuscaloosa during the offseason, it’s a full-blown crisis now that the year has begun. In the face of an overmatched defense, A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims combined to throw for one touchdown and four telling picks in sloppy debuts in the spotlight
2. Oklahoma 1-0
Last Week: W, Tulsa 47-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners had few problems with a potentially dangerous foe, coasting to a 47-14 win over Tulsa. The offense was predictably potent, racking up 663 yards behind the play of QB Landry Jones, RB Dominique Whaley and WR Ryan Broyles.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oklahoma would like to tighten up its pass coverage after allowing 271 yards through the air to G.J. Kinne on only 18 completions. The Golden Hurricane posted a pair of plays of more than 50 yards, exposing flaws in the Sooners secondary.
3. LSU 1-0
Last Week: W, Oregon 40-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers were brilliant in the mauling of Oregon, the first opening game between top 5 teams in over a decade. The offense proved capable with Jarrett Lee at the controls, and the D was splendid in confusing the up-tempo Ducks throughout the night.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, LSU put up 40 points, but the output was a little deceptive. CB Tyrann Mathieu scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery, and the offense was aided by three turnovers. The Tigers managed only 273 total yards, and still have plenty of work to do on offense.
4. Florida State 1-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Monroe 34-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles stoned a pretty good Warhawks offense, limiting their visitors to less than 200 yards. Florida State was back to its 2010 form, getting to the quarterback five times to help pitch the shutout.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: While the ‘Noles were bailed out by QB E.J. Manuel, they’ll need more help from the ground game as the season develops. The reshuffled offensive line had issues creating space for the ballcarriers, who failed to produce 100 yards on 27 carries.
5. South Carolina 1-0
Last Week: W, South Carolina 56-37
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: When the Gamecocks offense needed to rally, Steve Spurrier’s best attack in years was up to the challenge. After going scoreless in the first 23 minutes, South Carolina eight touchdowns, six on offense, one on defense and one on special teams.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina’s worries in the secondary were not allayed in the opener. Pirate Dominique Davis threw four touchdown passes, connecting with Lance Lewis and Justin Hardy 24 times for 199 yards.
6. Wisconsin 1-0
Last Week: W, UNLV 51-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With Russell Wilson at the helm, the Badgers offense was in midseason form, scoring seven touchdowns in the first 37 minutes. They cranked out nearly 500 yards of balanced offense, generating 241 yards on the ground and 258 through the air.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The run D won’t get high marks when the staff breaks down the film over the weekend. The Badgers yielded three runs of at least 14 yards, which might have been higher had UNLV not been forced to abandon the run.
7. Stanford 1-0
Last Week: W, San Jose State 57-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal was never threatened after a somewhat slow start, rolling to a 54-point obliteration of the Spartans. It produced three passing touchdowns and four on the ground, while limiting San Jose State to a single field goal just before halftime.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: As the season unfolds and the level of play improves, the Cardinal will need to do a better job of creating pressure. With a new staff calling the shots, Stanford had just a pair of sacks, falling short of last season’s frenetic defensive pace.
8. Arkansas 1-0
Last Week: W, Missouri State 51-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: No Ryan Mallett. No problem. Starter Tyler Wilson and backup Brandon Mitchell combined to go a tight 28-of-35 for 364 yards, three touchdowns and no picks.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offensive line will need to raise the level of its play as the opening month develops. The Hogs allowed three Missouri State sacks, while paving the way for just 102 rushing yards on 33 carries.
9. Oregon 0-1
Last Week: L, LSU 40-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Even after losing to LSU in Arlington, the Ducks will be fine, especially on offense. The rebuilt offensive line played relatively well, allowing no sacks, and rookie DeAnthony Thomas will be another of Darron Thomas’ exciting weapons once he gets a better grip on the ball.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: For the second straight game, Oregon got in the ring with an SEC heavyweight and came up short. The offense sputtered, and the staff failed to make the right halftime adjustments, allowing the first 17 points of the second half.
10. Texas A&M 1-0
Last Week: W. SMU 46-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Everything clicked for the running game. Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael ripped through the SMU defense, while QB Ryan Tannehill was nearly perfect. All the offensive parts appeared to be in midseason form.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The tackling could’ve been better. The D tightened up in the second half and didn’t allow a thing, but it struggled early on to get SMU RB Zach Line down. The defense might need to be more physical, and it gets next week against Idaho to get there before dealing with the showdown against Oklahoma State.
11. Oklahoma State 1-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Lafayette 61-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys are back to their old antics on offense, torching the Cajuns for well over 660 relatively balanced yards. While there were too many mistakes, such as picks and penalties, Okie State has to be pleased by the emergence of RB Joseph Randle and WR Tracy Moore as complements to stars Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Weeden should be fine, but can no longer afford another three-pick game, particularly with Arizona coming to Stillwater in a few days. Two of his interceptions went the other way for six, making the outcome appear a tad closer than reality.
12. Virginia Tech 1-0
Last Week: W, Appalachian State 66-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Well, the Hokies made sure there’d be no repeat of last September’s damning loss to an FCS opponent. In a wire-to-wire effort against a prickly opponent, Tech registered the game’s first 52 points and spun a nearly perfect effort on both sides of the ball.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Since the Mountaineers are not a typical FCS squad, it’s hard to find much fault in this game. As the schedule gets tougher, Virginia Tech will need to prove that it’s patched up last season’s holes in pass protection and run defense.
13. Florida 1-0
Last Week: W, Florida Atlantic 41-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Will Muschamp’s revamped defense never allowed the Owls to see the light of day, holding them to 137 total yards and 11 first downs. The unit has youth and energy, and is just going to get better as the season progresses.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Embattled QB John Brantley still has a lot to prove as he embarks on his final season in Gainesville. He did enough on Saturday night, going 21-of-30 for 229 yards, a touchdown and two picks, but must evolve before conference play begins.
14. Boise State 1-0
Last Week: W, Georgia 35-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Broncos thoroughly outclassed a prominent SEC program in its own backyard. Boise State was efficient on offense in the win over Georgia and oppressive on defense, getting six sacks from the underrated, Shea McClellin-led defensive front.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: As it continues to navigate 2011, a familiar foe is going to haunt Boise State—its schedule. The Bulldogs are still a struggling program coming off a 6-7 season, and the Broncos might not face another ranked team until the bowl game.
15. Ohio State 1-0
Last Week: W, Akron 42-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes were razor sharp in the debut of Luke Fickell on the sidelines, dominating the way they should against a MAC visitor. Never threatened, Ohio State allowed just five first downs, outgaining the Zips 517-90.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, absolutely everything went right for the Buckeyes, but how much stock can you put in a visit from one of the MAC’s bottom-feeders? Ohio State still has plenty of concerns on offense, which won’t be exposed until the schedule stiffens in a couple of weeks.
16. Clemson 1-0
Last Week: W, Troy 43-19
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: So far, so good regarding Chad Morris’ new up-tempo offense at Clemson. The Tigers took flight in the second half, scoring 30 points against a quality opponent, and getting scores from freshmen Mike Bellamy, Sammy Watkins and D.J. Howard.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The feel-good atmosphere around Death Valley today is justifiable. However, Clemson still needs to prove it can achieve a higher level of offensive consistency before the rugged stretch run of Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech that begins in two weeks.
17. Missouri 1-0
Last Week: W, Miami U. 17-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: > Mizzou played every bit like the Big 12’s nastiest defense in the opener, holding the RedHawks to just 270 yards and a lone touchdown. The Tigers registered three sacks, two from DE Brad Madison, and showed the swarm tackling and intensity needed to compete in a pass-happy league.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers are going to need more from the offense as the season progresses. They were sloppy from wire-to-wire, providing little support for young QB James Franklin. The passing game lacked pop, and the third-down efficiency was a far cry from recent Missouri squads.
18. Nebraska 1-0
Last Week: W, Chattanooga 40-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Huskers appear ready to roll once again on the ground now that Taylor Martinez is operating at full strength. The shifty quarterback rushed for well over 100 yards and three touchdowns, while getting a solid effort out of new feature back Rex Burkhead.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, Martinez’s game still revolves around his athleticism, but Nebraska needs him to become a more effective passer. Against soft competition, the sophomore remained spotty through the air, going 11-of-22 for 116 yards and no touchdowns.
19. Arizona State 1-0
Last Week: W, UC Davis 48-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils disposed of the Aggies in workmanlike fashion, outgaining them 517-243. The offense was impressively balanced, getting two touchdowns from QB Brock Osweiler and three on the ground.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: How will Arizona State’s two biggest need areas, the offensive line and the secondary, react to an uptick in competition? We’ll all have a better idea after Missouri visits the desert this weekend.
20. Mississippi State 1-0
Last Week: W, Memphis 59-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs picked up where they left off in last year’s Gator Bowl, ringing up 50 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1914. Unfazed by a road crowd, they amassed a school-record 645 yards behind the play of QB Chris Relf, RB Vick Ballard and WR Jameon Lewis.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The D will need to plug a few holes in run defense before next week’s trip to the Plains. State allowed Memphis’ Artaves Gibson, Billy Foster and Jerrell Rhodes to rush for 171 yards and a score on 36 carries.
21. Georgia 1-0
Last Week: L, Boise State 35-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs are a young team that’s going to get better as the season progresses. Aaron Murray, in particular, is one of the nation’s best underclassman quarterbacks, and appeared to forge a bond with rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell on Saturday night.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Dawgs did absolutely nothing in the Georgia Dome that resembled a Top 25 team or SEC threat. The offensive line was a particular concern. It yielded six Boise State sacks, and Brandon Boykin’s burst aside, produced only 57 yards on the ground.
22. Michigan 1-0
Last Week: W, Western Michigan 34-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It’s just one game against a MAC opponent, but the Wolverines already look like a different team with Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison on staff. In less than three quarters of a rain-shortened victory, Michigan produced a pair of defensive scores from LB Brandon Herron.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: As the season progresses, the Wolverines will want to do a better job of controlling the clock than it did on Saturday. Western Michigan dominated time of possession, running 17 more plays than its host.
23. West Virginia 1-0
Last Week: W, Marshall 34-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In the rain and the wind, the offense still showed a spark with QB Geno Smith able to get the passing game going despite facing a stiff Marshall pass rush. The defense didn’t allow a Herd touchdown, with the only MU trip to the end zone coming on a punt return.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The running game was non-existent. Smith threw for 249 yards, but the ground game averaged just 1.6 yards per carry finishing with 42 yards and a score on 26 carries.
24. Texas 1-0
Last Week: W, Rice 34-9
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Longhorns defense was as good as advertised on Saturday, keeping a pretty good Owls offense out of the end zone. Led by linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson, Texas stiffened when it mattered most, on third downs and in the red zone.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Is anyone convinced the ‘Horns have solved their issues on offense? QB Garrett Gilbert and an iffy offensive line still have to prove it’s not 2010 all over again versus the better defenses on the schedule.
25. South Florida 1-0
Last Week: W, Notre Dame 23-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: As double-digit underdogs on the road, the Bulls stole Notre Dame’s thunder with a catapult upset. The attacking D was the hero, scoring the game’s first touchdown and creating five timely turnovers to stifle the Notre Dame offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense in Tampa still has a long, long way to go before matching the defense. B.J. Daniels remains the erratic leader of a feeble system that was just 2-of-14 on third down attempts in South Bend.
- CFN 2011
Week 1 Rankings, No. 26-120