CFN 2011 Rankings
Oct. 9, Week 6
- 2011 AP Rankings
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- CFN 2011
Week 6 Rankings, No. 26-120
1. LSU 5-0
Last Week: W, Florida 41-11
Why LSU Should Be No. 1: The Tigers treated the Gators as if they were visitors from Florida Atlantic or Florida International. LSU continues to roll through their schedule with ease, winning for the sixth straight time by no less than 13 points. The passing duo of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson had a terrific game, combining to go 10-of-14 for 215 yards, two touchdowns and no picks.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Although the offense was crisp over the weekend, it’s still the weaker of the two LSU units. If the Tigers ever get behind in a game, their inconsistent passing attack is not designed to flourish in comeback mode.
2. Alabama 6-0
Last Week: W, Vanderbilt 34-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Crimson Tide dominated a game on defense. What else is new? The country’s stingiest unit pitched its second shutout of 2011, and has now allowed a total of only 42 points through the first six games. QB AJ McCarron had a career-night, throwing four touchdown passes, two to prized rookie WR DeAndrew White.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: ‘Bama still has some maturing to do on offense, which will be seen in some circles as a bit of a nit-pick. It took a while before the unit got humming against the Commodores, carrying just a 7-0 cushion throughout most of the first half.
3. Oklahoma 6-0
Last Game: W, Texas 55-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In a statement effort, the Sooners handed rival Texas of the most lopsided defeats in this historic series. While QB Landry Jones threw for 367 yards and three scores, the tenacious defense, led by linemen Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, starred with eight sacks and three touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What happened to the balance in the Sooners offensive attack? If Dominique Whaley’s 64-yard scamper to the end zone is taken out, Oklahoma managed just 22 yards rushing on 18 carries against the Longhorns.
4. Wisconsin 5-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers cruised through their first five games leading up to the break, capped by a 48-17 rout of Nebraska two weeks ago. Playing close to perfect in the first half of 2011, Wisconsin ranks among the nation’s top teams in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: At some point, programs with championship aspirations must win a tough game away from the cozy confines of their own building. The closest the Badgers have come to a road game was the Sept. 17 tilt with Northern Illinois at Chicago’s Soldier Field. A lot will be learned about Wisky when it travels to play Michigan State and Ohio State later in the month.
5. Oklahoma State 5-0
Last Week: W, Kansas 70-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys attack was in full force on Saturday after, matching the school’s highest point total over the past 94 years. Oklahoma State might have reached the century mark had it not tapped the brakes in the second half, getting seven combined touchdown passes from quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Clint Chelf.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: No one ought to get a false sense of security from a game with the Jayhawks. The Cowboys still have some issues in run defense, which was more evident in games with Tulsa and Texas A&M.
6. Stanford 5-0
Last Week: W, Colorado 48-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal has yet to be challenged in 2011, outclassing opponents by an average score of 46-11 through the first six games. Stanford did precious little wrong in the first half of the season, using the time to get its new starters and new coaching staff acclimated to their roles.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: You won’t find anything on film to criticize Stanford about at this juncture of the season. No, the Cardinal’s biggest flaw will continue to be a schedule that features just a lone opponent with a winning record—3-2 Duke.
7. Oregon 4-1
Last Week: W, Cal 43-15
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks have rolled to four consecutive wins, none by less than 25 points. The D provided a boost to the high-scoring offense on Thursday night by shutting out Cal over the final 36 minutes, and holding the Bears to just one touchdown in four red zone trips.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Though still prolific, the Oregon offense might be poised for a bit of a dip in the short term. Not only has star RB LaMichael James suffered an elbow injury that’s put him on the shelf, but QB Darron Thomas has been a little erratic through the air. Sure, his numbers look great, but his execution on film has not.
8. Clemson 6-0
Last Week: W, Boston College 36-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Playing an unranked team for the first time in a month, the Tigers experienced no letdown in an easy disposal of Boston College. While the offense rolled up 500 yards, the D was stingy for the second week in-a-row.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Just how much will true freshman Cole Stoudt be needed in the coming weeks? The answer will say a lot about the second half of the year for Clemson. Starting QB Tajh Boyd injured his hip in the win, the first thing that’s gone wrong for the Tigers this fall.
9. Boise State 5-0
Last Game: W, Fresno State 57-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Pac-12’s Cal and the Big Ten’s Nebraska beat Fresno State by 15 and 13 points, respectively. The Broncos? How about a 50-point obliteration? Boise State continues to toy with its opponents behind the passing of Kellen Moore and one of the most underrated defenses in America.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If the Broncos ever do participate in a close game, they could be haunted by a shaky kicking game. The combination of Dan Goodale and Michael Frisina has struggled in its first season on the job, missing five extra points and attempting just two field goals.
10. Arkansas 5-1
Last Week: W, Auburn 38-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Razorbacks have rebounded resoundingly from its lone loss to Alabama by beating ranked Texas A&M and Auburn in successive weeks. The Hogs got a total effort against the Tigers Saturday night, getting two touchdown passes from Tyler Wilson, and pitching a defensive shutout over the final three quarters.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The running game in Fayetteville continues to lag way behind the passing attack, preventing the offense from approaching any semblance of balance. Besides the 92-yard burst down the sidelines from WR Joe Adams, Arkansas managed only 84 yards rushing on 30 carries against a bad Auburn D.
11. Texas A&M 2-2
Last Game: W, Texas Tech 45-40
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies bounced back from crushing back-to-back defeats to hand Texas Tech its first loss of the year. The offense can score with anyone in the country, averaging close to 40 points a game with a perfect mesh of Ryan Tannehill’s passing and the running of Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: While A&M hung on in Lubbock, it still had second-half problems for a third weekend in-a-row. The defense remains a major stumbling block to success, allowing Red Raiders QB Seth Doege to throw for 391 yards and three scores, while nearly rallying his team back from a 15-point deficit.
12. West Virginia 5-1
Last Week: W, Connecticut 43-16
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Mountaineers outclassed the Huskies in the Big East opener, shaking off a slow start for an easy victory. The offense continues to improve under first-year coach Dana Holgorsen, scoring at least 34 points in all but the LSU game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Slow starts are becoming one of the trademarks of this West Virginia team. The Mountaineers trailed 10-9 at halftime before taking command over the final 30 minutes. You can get away with a lackluster effort versus Connecticut, but not against some of the better opponents on the schedule.
13. Michigan 6-0
Last Week: W, Northwestern 42-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wolverines had their hands full in Evanston, yet rallied for 28 unanswered points in the second half to hold off the Wildcats. The offense continues to post big numbers behind QB Denard Robinson, racking up 541 yards on Saturday night.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The shift to a more conventional pro-style offense remains a work-in-progress. Sure, Michigan is putting up points and yards, but the passing game has been erratic. After getting picked off three times by Northwestern, Robinson has now thrown more interceptions than any other Big Ten quarterback.
14. Virginia Tech 5-1
Last Week: W, Miami 38-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Alas, the Hokies offense finally woke up after weeks of slumber, getting 128 yards rushing from David Wilson to go along with the best effort of QB Logan Thomas’ young career. If the sophomore can play the way he did against a quality Miami D, going 23-of-25 for 310 yards and three touchdowns, Virginia Tech will be tough to beat in the second half.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What happened to the Tech defense? On a day when the offense finally showed up, the D allowed 519 yards, including 6.2 yards a carry, to the Hurricanes. The Hokies haven’t played a complete game since the opener with Appalachian State.
15. Notre Dame 4-2
Week: W, Air Force 59-33
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Irish have now won four straight, capped by a rout of a pretty solid Air Force team. Seemingly turning the corner under head coach Brian Kelly, the offense tore through the Falcons for 560 balanced yards and eight touchdowns, four on the ground and four through the air.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What happened to the Notre Dame defense on Saturday afternoon? Sure, a bunch of the production came after a big lead was established, but 565 yards yielded to a Mountain West team could be cause for concern inside the Irish coaching staff.
16. Florida 4-2
Last Week: L, LSU 41-11
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Sure, the Gators have dropped back-to-back games, but that’ll happen when facing Alabama and LSU, especially when true freshmen are taking the majority of the snaps. The only way is up now that the schedule is about to settle down … sort of.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Although little was expected from the offense, quarterback problems should have no impact on the play of the defense. Expected to be the cornerstone in Gainesville this year, the D had just one sack in the losses, and allowed seven touchdowns to be scored on the ground.
17. Illinois 6-0
Last Week: W, Indiana 41-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Illini shook off a slow start in Bloomington to get past the Hoosiers, and complete the first half of the season without unblemished. The offense, though slowed my too many mistakes, continues to put up points behind the multi-dimensional talents of QB Nathan Scheelhaase.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If Illinois is going to remain perfect in the second half of the year, it has to begin doing a better job of holding on to the ball. Over the last four games, the Illini has lost seven fumbles and been intercepted three times.
18. Arizona State 5-1
Last Week: W, Utah 35-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With each passing week, the Sun Devils keep knocking down hurdles, and silencing critics. They turned a close game at Utah into win No. 1 on the road, scoring the final 25 points behind the play of an opportunistic, turnover-hungry defense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Arizona State had a hard time establishing the run at Rice-Eccles Stadium, getting its biggest plays from QB Brock Osweiler. The Sun Devils didn’t need balance in Week 6, but will down the road, especially against Oregon and Cal.
19. Auburn 4-2
Last Week: L, Arkansas 38-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers have played one of the nation’s toughest schedules over the past month, picking up a quality win at South Carolina on Oct. 1. The Michael Dyer-led running game ranks among the best in the country, cranking out more than 200 yards a game on the ground.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: After a brief bout with consistency, the Auburn defense reverted back to its old ways in the Arkansas loss, bowing to the passing of Tyler Wilson. The Tigers have now allowed at least 34 points to four teams, and dead last in the SEC in total defense.
20. South Carolina 5-1
Last Week: W, Kentucky 54-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Whatever frustration the Gamecocks felt after last week’s loss to Auburn was taken out on Kentucky. Looking like a different team with QB Connor Shaw at the controls, South Carolina got back on track by outgaining the Wildcats 639-96.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It was Kentucky, which is hardly a measuring stick for success. The ‘Cocks still have plenty to prove on offense once the schedule starts picking up again at the end of the month.
21. Georgia 4-2
Last Week: W, Tennessee 20-12
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With a rare win in Knoxville, the Bulldogs have run their winning streak to four games. The defense has been exceptional during the run of success, keeping Tennessee out of the end zone for the first 58 minutes of their game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Can Georgia stay on track with an offense that’s so inconsistent? The unit lacks efficiency at key moments, such as third downs and in the red zone. Over the last three games, the attack has regressed instead of making progress.
22. Georgia Tech 5-0
Week: W, Maryland 21-16
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: When the high-powered offense has a rare week off, the D has shown a capability to pick up the slack. The Yellow Jackets pass defense completely shut down the Terps over the weekend, carrying extra weight on a day when the team scored 30 points below its average.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Should a ranked team be getting a scare at home from Maryland? The same Maryland that was bombarded by Temple, and struggled with Towson? Tech played better than the final score indicated, but still had to stiffen late to hold on for a five-point win.
23. Michigan State 4-1
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans come out of their bye week with a win over Ohio State in the rear view mirror and visions of a Legends Division title up ahead. The defense has been one of this season’s huge surprises in the Big Ten, allowing only 10 points and a nation’s-low 173 yards per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: In its only game versus a currently ranked team, Michigan State bombed in South Bend in a 31-13 loss to Notre Dame. If the Spartans want to elevate any higher, they’ll need to handle an upcoming three-game gauntlet versus Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
24. Kansas State 5-0
Week: W, Missouri 24-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Whoever wasn’t sold on the Wildcats a few weeks ago should be by now. Kansas State is finding ways to win behind a strong ground game and an even tougher run D, knocking off Miami, Baylor and Mizzou in successive weekends.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Kansas State is an incomplete team, especially on offense. The attack relies too heavily on the running of QB Collin Klein, and ranks 115th in the country in passing. That kind of disparity will be tough to justify in upcoming games with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
25. Tennessee 3-2
Last Week: L, Georgia 20-12
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Volunteers have played well on defense, a concern at the beginning of the season, in consecutive games. The unit held Georgia to just 3-of-12 on third downs, and became the first team of 2011 to keep Aaron Murray from throwing a touchdown pass.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Vols have had two pivotal SEC East showdowns with Florida and Georgia … and really didn’t come all that close in either game. Their wins have come over Montana, Cincinnati and Buffalo, hardly the resume of a Top 25 team.
- CFN 2011
Week 6 Rankings, No. 26-120