CFN 2012 Rankings
Nov. 11, Week 11
2012 BCS Rankings
- 2012 AP Rankings
2012 Coaches' Poll
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
- CFN Week 11 Rankings
No. 26 to 124
1. Oregon 10-0
Last Week: W, Cal 59-17
Why Oregon Should Be No. 1: The Ducks turned a close game in Berkeley into a blowout, scoring five second-half touchdowns behind the passing of Marcus Mariota. The defense recaptured some of its mojo after getting strafed by USC in Week 10, creating three turnovers. No one in America is capable of stopping an offense now norming 55 points a game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The injuries are beginning to mount in Eugene on the defensive side of the ball. The D-line is banged-up, and S Avery Patterson will be missed if lost for an extended period of time. This is no way to go into the crucial final stretch against Stanford, Oregon State and either UCLA or a USC sequel.
2. Kansas State 10-0
Last Week: W, TCU 23-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats navigated a tricky trip into Fort Worth, suffocating the Horned Frogs for a win that was more comfortable than the final score indicated. Proving that it can win games in myriad different ways, K-State stepped up its defensive effort on a night that QB Collin Klein wasn’t playing at full strength.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Kansas State will need Klein to be Klein again, because no one else picked up the slack with the quarterback having his worst game of the year. The O-line was shaky at Amon G. Carter Stadium, and no back rushed for more than 26 yards, making the Cats look like a one-note production.
3. Georgia 9-1
Last Week: W, Auburn 38-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs took care of business the way they should against an inferior opponent, blanking Auburn to wrap up the SEC East. Georgia has rebounded from its only defeat, an Oct. 6 road game at South Carolina, to win four consecutive games.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: By SEC standards, the Bulldogs have faced a tissue-soft schedule for the second straight year. The Florida game aside, Georgia has righted itself on the backs of middling competition. Where’s Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Mississippi State, the four top teams out of the West?
4. Alabama 9-1
Last Week: L, Texas A&M 29-24
Why the Ranking Should Be Higher: No one has played a tougher schedule over the last three weeks than the Crimson Tide, which has beaten Mississippi State and LSU, and lost to a red-hot Texas A&M. Tuscaloosa is still home to one of the country’s top defenses, a unit allowing only 11 points per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: ‘Bama was unable to hold serve at home, losing to an Aggies team that arrived at Bryant-Denny Stadium as a two-touchdown underdog. The Tide has been ordinary on both sides of the ball over the last two games, no longer playing like the consensus favorite to repeat as the national champion.
5. LSU 8-2
Last Week: W, Mississippi State 37-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers got back on track in a hurry following last week’s deflating loss to Alabama, easily earning their 13th straight win over Mississippi State. QB Zach Mettenberger was sharp for a second consecutive week, lending hope that LSU now has some potency on offense to go with its nasty D. That road win over Texas A&M looks very good right now.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, the Tigers’ only slip-ups came versus a pair of one-loss teams, Florida and Alabama, but two losses are still two losses. And as long as there are undefeated teams—and a one-loss ‘Bama—out there, LSU is going to hit a ceiling.
6. Notre Dame 10-0
Last Week: W, Boston College 21-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The tried and true formula for success continues to work for the Irish, which scored more than enough points to snuff out rival BC on the road. Led by three sacks from LB Prince Shembo on this night, the D continues to make it unnecessary for the offense to pile up big numbers in order to remain unbeaten.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, the Irish are winning, but so-so efforts versus Pitt and Boston College continue to feed into the suggestion that Brian Kelly’s team is overrated and ready to be picked off. The offense lacks pop, and is the primary reason that Notre Dame has been unable to shake free from—and blow out—middling opponents.
7. Florida 9-1
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Lafayette 27-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Close call or not, the Gators are still one of the nation’s last remaining programs with no more than one loss. And it’s still a program with red-letter wins over Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: After the last two weeks, this ranking is a complete and total gift. Mailing in a game means you fail to cover the Vegas spread, not need to rally in the Swamp to beat a Sun Belt team that came in as a four-touchdown underdog. The Florida offense still can’t get out of its own way, producing just 20 points on the Ragin’ Cajuns.
8. Texas A&M 8-2
Last Week: W, Alabama 29-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies authored arguably the biggest upset of the 2012 season, adding an exclamation point to a terrific debut season in the SEC. Texas A&M has gone on the road to beat Mississippi State and No. 1 Alabama in consecutive weeks, and have only lost to top 10 Florida and LSU by eight combined points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Aggies obviously survived on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, but nearly squandered a 20-point lead in the process. A&M has been quick out of the gate all year, but notoriously slow down the stretch, blowing cushions in the losses to the Gators and the Tigers as well.
9. South Carolina 8-2
Last Week: W, Arkansas 38-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks proved once again to be a rock-solid program, inching closer to another 10-win season with a blowout of visiting Arkansas. South Carolina’s only losses of the year have come against top 10 LSU and Florida … on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, South Carolina battered Georgia on Oct. 6, but where are the other highlight moments? With two losses and just the lone win over a ranked opponent, it’s difficult to push the ‘Cocks any higher.
10. Florida State 9-1
Last Week: Virginia Tech 28-22
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Even in an off year for the Hokies, don’t underestimate the difficulty of winning in Blacksburg on a Thursday night. The favorite to win the ACC championship this season is also home to one of the nation’s premier defenses, a unit allowing only 13 points per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The ‘Noles continue to be weighed down by a mediocre schedule that began with two FCS teams, and features just one ranked opponent thus far. Florida State played poorly against a sub-.500 Virginia Tech squad, allowing five sacks and producing -15 yards on the ground.
11. Clemson 9-1
Last Week: W, Maryland 45-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The brakes are off the Clemson offense, which has produced no fewer than 37 points in the last nine games. One of the hottest teams in America, the Tigers have scorched their last six victims by at least two touchdowns, including the Terps on Saturday.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers had one shot to prove that it belonged deeper in the rankings, yet failed in their trip to Tallahassee in September. After running roughshod over second-tier ACC opponents for the last month, Clemson will need to beat South Carolina in two weeks to be treated like one of the top one-loss teams in the country.
12. Ohio State 10-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Without the luxury of a postseason carrot for motivation, the Buckeyes have successfully navigated 10 games to remain one of the country’s final unbeaten teams. Led by the Big Ten’s highest-scoring offense, Ohio State has handled two teams that might win conference titles, UCF and Nebraska.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not only was the non-conference schedule soft, but the Big Ten’s problems in 2012 are limiting Ohio State’s upward mobility. While wins over the Huskers and Penn State do stand out, most of the Buckeyes’ victims have been disappointments this fall.
13. Oklahoma 7-2
Last Week: W, Baylor 42-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners are on the verge of regrouping from their second loss of the year, winning consecutive games over Iowa State and Baylor. Those two losses have come against Kansas State and Notre Dame, two of college football’s last remaining unbeaten teams.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: When it had chances to impress voters, Oklahoma came up very small versus the Wildcats and the Fighting Irish. Yeah, the Sooners own notable wins over Texas and Texas Tech, but this has been a season in Norman that’s been nearly void of marquee moments or bellwether wins.
14. Texas 8-2
Last Week: W, Iowa State 33-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Since getting smoked by Oklahoma on Oct. 13, the ‘Horns have located solid footing with four wins in a row. The D is playing at its highest level of 2012, and young QB David Ash has found a groove by completing 36-of-50 for 628 yards, five touchdowns and no picks over the last two games.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Okay, so Texas can handle the likes of Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas. Big whoop. Isn’t it supposed to? If the Longhorns are truly ready to play up to their vast talent level, they’ll keep winning against TCU and Kansas State. Anything less than a 10-win regular season, and this program will have grossly underachieved in 2012.
15. UCLA 8-2
Last Week: W, Washington State 44-36
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Don’t get too bogged down by the final score of Saturday night’s game in Pullman. The Bruins were leading 44-14 before inexplicably getting too comfortable in the second half. The Week 2 win over Nebraska keeps looking better and better, as will last week’s 66-10 demolition of a pretty good Arizona team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: UCLA needs to stop being so flaky on defense, allowing 36 points or more in three of the last five games. There’s just no escaping the 26-point loss on Oct. 6 to Cal, a program that’s hurtling to a dismal 3-9 finish to 2012.
16. Nebraska 8-2
Last Week: W, Penn State 32-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Huskers remained in control of the Big Ten Legends Division with a stirring comeback win over feisty Penn State. Nebraska has won four straight tough games, getting by Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and the Nittany Lions in an impressive showing of toughness and resiliency.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s not so much that the Huskers lost to UCLA and Ohio State, who are both ranked, as it is how they lost. Nebraska was run out of Westwood and Columbus, yielding 715 combined yards on the ground and 99 points.
17. Mississippi State 7-3
Last Week: L, LSU 37-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Alright, so the Bulldogs aren’t one of the nation’s elite programs; facing Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU in consecutive weeks has a way of exposing a team. However, Mississippi State was rolling before running into a gauntlet, and will revert back to looking like a ranked team now that the schedule is softening.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bulldogs are a quality team, but who has it beaten? Tennessee? Auburn? Plus, in those games with the Tide, Aggies and Tigers, State wasn’t even competitive, falling by an average of 25 points per game.
18. Stanford 8-2
Last Week: W, Oregon State 27-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: By getting past a solid Oregon State team, the Cardinal stamped itself as the next best thing to Oregon in the Pac-12 North, and possibly the next best thing in the entire league. Stanford now owns wins over the Beavers, USC and Arizona, and has yet to fall at home.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense has gotten a spark from young QB Kevin Hogan, but it still isn’t very consistent or productive. The Cardinal, even with its defensive prowess, could struggle to keep up in games with Oregon and UCLA over the next two weekends.
19. Oregon State 7-2
Last Week: L, Stanford 27-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Oregon State had Stanford on the ropes, but was unable to hold on to a fourth quarter cushion. The Beavers only losses, by a combined seven points, occurred outside of Corvallis in difficult road venues.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: While Oregon State has beefed up its resume with a handful of notable wins, the Oct. 27 loss to Washington will limit their growth in the rankings. The Huskies have been hovering around .500 for most of the season, and only perked up when the schedule softened.
20. Arizona 6-4
Last Week: W, Colorado 56-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Playing without starting QB Matt Scott, the Cats bounced back from last week’s defeat to spank Colorado behind the record-setting running of Ka’Deem Carey. All of Arizona’s losses this fall have come against ranked opponents, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The loss to the Bruins was no ordinary setback, a 66-10 debacle that reset expectations in Tucson. The offense has to be prolific at Arizona because the D is so porous, ranking last in the Pac-12, and yielding at least 31 points in six of the last seven games.
21. USC 7-3
Last Week: W, Arizona State 38-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Throughout all of the missed expectations in 2012, the Trojans still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South after whipping Arizona State. Sure, USC has three losses, two occurred on the road, and Stanford, Arizona and Oregon are three of the league’s better programs.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Against the three best teams on the schedule, Troy came up short three times, allowing a school-record 62 points to the Ducks a week ago. Signatures wins? Syracuse? Washington? ASU? None of the Trojans’ seven victims is currently ranked.
22. Michigan 7-3
Last Game: W, Northwestern 38-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Playing without QB Denard Robinson for a second straight week, the Wolverines remained in Legends Division contention by rallying to beat ranked Northwestern in overtime. Michigan’s only losses of the season have come against Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Even after defeating the Wildcats, the Wolverines remain light on quality wins. Heck, now that Michigan has bumped Northwestern from the Top 25, none of its seven victims is currently ranked.
23. Louisiana Tech 9-1
Last Week: W, Texas State 62-55
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs ran their winning streak to four games, scoring more than 50 points for the eighth time in 10 games. Louisiana Tech’s only loss of the season? Yeah, that was by just two points to the same Texas A&M team that just shocked Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Tech needed almost every one of those 62 points to defeat a Texas State team that’s now three games below .500. The Bulldogs D is dreadful, ranking among the most generous in the entire country.
24. Northwestern 7-3
Last Week: L, Michigan 38-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats dropped a heartbreaker in the Big House in overtime, squandering a late lead to the Wolverines. Northwestern’s three defeats have come against ranked opponents, Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan, by an average margin of just six points per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Kudos to head coach Pat Fitzgerald for once again maximizing the potential of his players, but who have the Wildcats beaten to warrant a Top 25 ranking? Vanderbilt and Minnesota are both 6-4 and bowl eligible, but neither goes down as a true quality win.
25. Penn State 6-4
Last Week: L, Nebraska 32-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Even in losing, Nittany Lions head coach Bill O’Brien continues to do a remarkable job under difficult circumstances in Happy Valley. Penn State is 4-2 in Big Ten play, bowing only to Ohio State and Nebraska, who’d likely be meeting in the league championship game if the Buckeyes weren’t ineligible.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Lions have only defeated one ranked team all season, a Northwestern squad on the fringe of the Top 25. Just because they happened at the beginning of the year, doesn’t make the losses to Ohio and Virginia any less damning. The Bobcats have dropped two of their last three games, and while resurgent, the Cavs are still two games below .500.
- CFN Week 11 Rankings
No. 26 to 124