CFN 2011 Rankings
Sept. 12, Week 2
- 2011 AP Rankings
Scoreboard & Game Recap
2011 Preseason Rankings
- CFN 2011
Week 2 Rankings, No. 26-120
1. Alabama 2-0
Last Week: W, at Penn State 27-11
Why The Ranking Should Be Here: For the second straight week the Crimson Tide defense was brilliant, keeping Penn State out of the end zone for the first 58 minutes. That D, coupled with the running of Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, will be a rugged combination for ‘Bama's next 10 regular season opponents.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's early in the year, and the quarterbacks are young, but Alabama is going to need them to make plays through the air at some point. After two games, though, they don't appear to be on the same page as the team's receivers. AJ McCarron was fine, but nothing special, and Trent Richardson has had to work way too hard for yards over the first two weeks.
2. Oklahoma 1-0
Last Game: W, Tulsa 47-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners get an extra week to prepare for Florida State, one of the games of the 2011 season. The offense was in midseason form in the opener, strafing Tulsa 663 total yards spread neatly between the passing attack and ground game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Oklahoma defense isn't quite a scary bunch just yet, especially without injured star LB Travis Lewis. In the win over the Golden Hurricane, QB G.J. Kinne needed only 18 completions to rack up 271 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.
3. LSU 2-0
Last Week: W, Northwestern State 49-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers suffered no letdown following their Week 1 defeat of Oregon on national TV, easily disposing of Northwestern State. The defense is peaking, holding the Demons to just six first downs and a mere 95 yards of total offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense remains a concern in Baton Rouge, despite the seven touchdowns it produced against weaker competition. The quarterbacks, Jarrett Lee and Zach Mettenberger, still need to prove they can do more in the absence of suspended starter Jordan Jefferson.
4. Florida State 2-0
Last Week: W, Charleston Southern 62-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles enjoyed the equivalent of an exhibition game the week before Oklahoma visits, outgaining Charleston Southern, 647-84. The first two blowout wins have afforded new starting QB E.J. Manuel the reps he needs to gain confidence and the rhythm within the offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What do we know about Florida State now that it's pummeled Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern by a combined score of 96-10? Not much, which raises some concerns whether the ‘Noles will be battle-tested for the Week 3 showdown with the Sooners.
5. Wisconsin 2-0
Last Week: W, Oregon State 35-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers have been sharp over the first two weekends, shutting out Saturday's Pac-12 visitor and looking dominant on both sides of the ball. While the defense has steadily improved, the offense is a tall order with QB Russell Wilson playing like an All-American when he's not handing off to Montee Ball and James White.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The play of Wisconsin has been pristine. The schedule? Not so much. The Badgers have beaten an awful UNLV squad and an Oregon State team that fell at home to Sacramento State in the opener. The running game didn't work early on against the Beavers.
6. South Carolina 2-0
Last Week: W, at Auburn 45-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks have opened the season with back-to-back character-building wins over East Carolina and Georgia. In Athens, South Carolina found ways to put up points, getting 176 yards rushing from Marcus Lattimore and three non-offensive touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina is experiencing a world of hurt in pass defense. The Gamecocks have now yielded four touchdown passes in consecutive games to Pirate QB Dominique Davis and Bulldog QB Aaron Murray.
7. Stanford 2-0
Last Week: W, Duke 44-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal has rolled through each of its first two opponents in workmanlike fashion. It travelled across country to slap around Duke for 60 minutes, dispensing its usual offensive formula of Andrew Luck's passing and the running of Stepfan Taylor.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Even with ample support from the pass rush, Stanford still had some problems defending the Blue Devils passing attack. Duke hurlers combined to go 28-of-39 for 305 yards to expose leaks in the Cardinal secondary.
8. Arkansas 2-0
Last Week: W, New Mexico 52-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: For the second straight week, the Razorbacks have produced more than 300 yards through the air while getting valuable reps for backup Brandon Mitchell. Even without injured starting RB Knile Davis, the offense features an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions, and they're all working.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's far too early to get an accurate read on the Razorbacks, which have opened with overmatched Missouri State and New Mexico. Check back in two weeks when the Hogs travel to Tuscaloosa to face top-ranked Alabama.
9. Oklahoma State 2-0
Last Week: W, Arizona 37-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With a national TV audience on hand – at least for those not locked on to Saints-Packers - the Cowboys pummeled visiting Arizona from wire-to-wire. The triplets, QB Brandon Weeden, RB Joseph Randle and WR Justin Blackmon, had a hand in all but one of the team's five touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: There's not a lot to beef about with Thursday night's performance, with the exception of the Oklahoma State pass defense. Arizona was sans star WR Juron Criner, yet QB Nick Foles still went 37-of-51 for 398 yards and a touchdown.
10. Oregon 1-1
Last Week: W, Nevada 69-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Welcome back Ducks of 2010. Oregon quickly got past its tough loss to LSU in the opener, obliterating Nevada for more than 600 yards of total offense, including six Darron Thomas touchdown passes.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon has the kinds of concerns on defense that might take a few more weeks to resolve. There are a lot of fresh faces on that side of the ball, many of whom had a difficult time stopping the run portion of Nevada's Pistol offense.
11. Texas A&M 1-0
Last Game: W. SMU 46-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The well-rested Aggies return to action to face Idaho, two weeks after easily casting aside SMU. The offense is among the most potent in America, with QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Cyrus Gray and WR Jeff Fuller all capable of landing on the postseason All-Big 12 Team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Just how good is the defense, which needs to replace two of last season's top players, Von Miller and Michael Hodges? That answer won't come until after a wicked four-game stretch against Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Texas Tech and Baylor that begins Sept. 24.
12. Florida 2-0
Last Week: W, UAB 39-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The young Gatos D pitched its first shutout since 2006, silencing an underrated Blazers offense. Through the first eight quarters, Florida has yet to allow the opposition to reach the end zone.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The strength of schedule is about to increase in a hurry, beginning with this weekend's visit from Tennessee. Will the Florida offense be up to the challenge? QB John Brantley remains an enigma, with one touchdown pass in his first 49 attempts.
13. Boise State 1-0
Last Game: W, Georgia 35-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Broncos didn't just defeat an SEC opponent on opening night; it did so in its home state. Boise State is a veteran, well-coached program that's poised to run the regular season table for the fifth time in the last eight years. Georgia looked awfully good in several ways in the loss to South Carolina.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Boise State's only chance for a signature win in 2011 came against a Georgia team that's already 0-2. The Broncos will spend the rest of the year attempting to impress voters against a schedule that doesn't nearly stack up with other national title contenders.
14. Arizona State 2-0
Last Week: W, at Arizona 37-30
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Are the Sun Devils for real? It sure appeared that way in Friday night's thrilling overtime victory against ranked Missouri. A bit of an unknown entering the season, QB Brock Osweiler answered critics by going 24-of-32 for 353 yards and three touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Arizona State D got exposed in the win, allowing 501 yards, and providing a confidence boost to Mizzou QB James Franklin in just his second career start. The Sun Devils will be in a prone position this fall when matched up with some of the Pac-12's better passers.
15. Michigan State 2-0
Last Week: W, Florida Atlantic 44-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans are quietly off to another fast start, suffocating its first two victims by a combined score of 72-6. While the offense is the calling card in East Lansing, the defense has shined, holding the Owls to 48 total yards and a single first down. Yes, ONE first down.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If Michigan State wants to seriously contend for a spot in the top 10, it'll need to remain dominant once the schedule grows teeth. Road trips to Notre Dame and Ohio State over the next three weeks will provide far more clarity on the program's long term potential in 2011.
16. Virginia Tech 2-0
Last Week: W, at East Carolina 17-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Hokies achieved on defense what few have over the past year, slowing down the prolific East Carolina passing attack. In fact, Pirates QB Dominique Davis was held without a touchdown pass for the first time since transferring from Boston College for the start of the 2010 season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What happened to the Hokies offense? It failed to capitalize on one of the country's worst defenses, which darn near cost Virginia Tech in a game was deadlocked at 10 midway through the fourth quarter.
17. Ohio State 2-0
Last Week: W, Toledo 27-22
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Sure, the Buckeyes struggled against its second MAC opponent, but showed plenty of heart in holding on for a hard-fought victory. With each win, Ohio State bridges the gap to when suspended stars, like RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey and OL Mike Adams, can return to action.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Barely getting by Toledo is not the way the Buckeyes want to prep for next week's pivotal trip to Miami. The offense sputtered as depth issues begin to mount, and the defense had no answers for Rockets WR Eric Page.
18. Clemson 2-0
Last Week: W, Wofford 35-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In a possible bear trap game, with Auburn up next, the Tigers toughed out a win to get to 2-0. Better yet, the young offense has started to digest Chad Morris' new system, getting three touchdown passes from up-and-coming QB Tajh Boyd.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Needing to rally in order to fend off Wofford is never a positive sign. The defense struggled to slow down the Terriers ground game, a troubling sign with Auburn backs Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb about to descend upon Death Valley.
19. Missouri 1-1
Last Week: L, at Arizona State 37-30
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Just two games into the season, Mizzou's concerns about sophomore QB James Franklin have started to dissipate. In just his second career start, he perforated the Sun Devils defense for 84 yards rushing, 319 yards through the air and three total touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: As expected, the secondary is in need of a growth spurt this season. The Tigers were victimized throughout Friday night's loss to Arizona State by which completed 25-of-33 passes for 388 yards and four touchdown passes.
20. Nebraska 2-0
Last Week: W, Fresno State 42-29
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: After falling behind in the third quarter, the Huskers showed plenty of grit and explosiveness, scoring 28 of the game's final 37 points. QB Taylor Martinez stepped up his play in a big way by accounting for 385 total yards and three scores.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Nebraska has not looked sharp so far this season, darn near getting picked off at home by Fresno State. The Bulldogs blew through the Blackshirts defense, producing 169 yards rushing from Robbie Rouse and 254 more through the air from the right arm of young QB Derek Carr.
21. Tennessee 2-0
Last Week: W, Cincinnati 45-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The time has come to start taking the Volunteers more seriously in the SEC East. They throttled Cincinnati for a second straight win behind four touchdown passes and a career-high 405 yards through the air from sophomore QB Tyler Bray.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Although strides have been made on defense, Tennessee won't be confused with Alabama anytime soon. The Vols yielded 396 yards on Saturday afternoon, including 155 yards on the ground to Bearcats RB Isaiah Pead.
22. Georgia 0-2
Last Week: L, South Carolina 45-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: While the Bulldogs have slipped to 0-2, both of its losses have come against ranked opponents. Georgia may have found its offensive groove against South Carolina on Saturday, getting four touchdown passes from Aaron Murray and a breakout game from rookie RB Isaiah Crowell.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Georgia is in a state of chaos right now, from a coach who's under the microscope to a team that's executing poorly. The Dawgs will need to regroup in a hurry in order to save a season that's quickly slipping away.
23. West Virginia 2-0
Last Week: W, Norfolk State 55-12
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: After starting slowly, the Mountaineers took off with six offensive touchdowns in the second half. Having now played two games in head coach Dana Holgorsen's attack, West Virginia should be better prepared to solve opposing defenses down the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Mountaineers haven't quite clicked in the early going, raising doubts about their ability to rise up in upcoming games with Maryland and LSU. The D hasn't been opportunistic so far, failing to produce a sack or a turnover versus Norfolk State. If took WAY too long to get going against a bad team.
24. South Florida 2-0
Last Week: W, Ball State 37-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Almost as impressive as the Week 1 upset of Notre Dame was the way the Bulls avoided a letdown this past weekend. In a near perfect game, they dominated Ball State from the opening kickoff until the final whistle.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, the offensive attack was beyond reproach versus Ball State, but that was against Ball State. If South Florida wants to scale a little higher within the Top 25, it'll need to stay sharp offensively when the Big East portion of the schedule begins with a Sept. 29 trip to Pittsburgh.
25. Michigan 2-0
Last Week: W, Notre Dame 35-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Well, it looks as if Denard Robinson has found his comfort zone in Al Borges' offense. The junior made a few mistakes, but was generally magical in guiding Michigan from a come-from-behind win over Notre Dame. The junior threw for 338 yards, ran for 108 more and had his hand in five touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Coordinator Greg Mattison's defense continues to be vulnerable and sloppy with its fundamentals. The Wolverines were carved up by the Irish Saturday night, giving up 28 first downs and 513 yards of offense. If not for Robinson's heroics, Michigan would surely be 1-1.
Week 2 Rankings, No. 26-120