CFN 2013 Rankings
Sept. 3, Week 1
- 2013 AP Rankings
2013 Coaches' Poll
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
- 2013 CFN Preseason Rankings
2013 Week 1 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. Alabama 1-0
Last Week: W, Virginia Tech, 35-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Among top teams, the Tide had one of the tougher openers, yet was never really tested in Atlanta. The D is in midseason form already, allowing five Hokies’ completions and just substantial gain all evening.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: What’s going on with the offense? Bama had all kinds of problems controlling the line of scrimmage against Tech, managing just a pair of offensive touchdowns. Of greatest concern is that the rebuilt O-line was having problems firing off the snap.
2. Florida State 1-0
Last Week: W, Pitt 41-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Athletes, talent, swagger and the potential to get better. FSU was our preseason No. 2 team based on talent, swagger and the potential to get better, and now Jameis Winston appears to be a keeper.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s Pitt. Let’s all relax a little bit. The defense still needs plenty of tweaking and work, and the offense isn’t a finished product. Let’s see what happens when Mr. Winston faces a pass rush.
3. Oregon 1-0
Last Week: W, Nicholls State, 66-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks got exactly what they wanted from a cupcake opener, an easy victory and a chance to empty the bench shortly after halftime. The Marcus Mariota-fueled attack was predictably explosive, while the D kept Nicholls State out of the end zone.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Saturday’s rout was a scrimmage equivalent, which means it’ll be a while longer before anyone knows for sure the impact of the departures of former coach Chip Kelly and some very good linebackers.
4. LSU 1-0
Last Week: W, TCU, 37-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers were led by their offense, hardly the kind of occurrence that folks around Baton Rouge are accustomed to. In fact, LSU outgained a solid TCU team, 448-259, in a game that would have been more comfortable had it not been for special teams breakdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not a ton to complain about, considering the opponent, but the Tigers did have trouble with Horned Frog B.J. Catalon. The sophomore RB averaged more than six yards a carry, while taking a kick back 100 yards.
5. South Carolina 1-0
Last Week: W, North Carolina 27-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In quintessential team style, the Gamecocks dominated a pretty good Tar Heels team at the line of scrimmage, en route to a comfortable win. South Carolina rushed for 228 yards, while keeping QB Bryn Renner and WR Quinshad Davis quiet all night.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Gamecocks will need more help from the offense, especially with a trip to Athens next on the schedule. They managed just 17 first downs in the opener, while scoring a measly 10 points over the final three quarters. After starting fast, South Carolina faded on Thursday night.
6. Clemson 1-0
Last Week: W, Georgia, 38-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: One week into the 2013 season, no one has a better resume than Clemson. The Tigers beat their second straight top 10 SEC opponent, including LSU in December’s Chick-fil-A Bowl, holding off an elite Georgia team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: While defensive coordinator Brent Venables made terrific in-game adjustments, the Tigers still allowed well over 500 yards to the Bulldogs. If Clemson can’t play with more defensive consistency, it’ll get picked off improbably by some mid-tier ACC opponent.
7. Georgia 0-1
Last Week: L, Clemson, 38-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs went into crazed Death Valley Saturday night, and darn near knocked off the Tigers. The offense is potent, with QB Aaron Murray and RB Todd Gurley, and the rebuilt D will be better for having faced the explosive Clemson attack.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Georgia faced a huge test in Week 1 and failed it in the loss. After starting so fast, the Bulldogs were unable to sustain and eventually fell short. This is a terrific team, but the margin for error in the national title bid got a little thinner over the weekend.
8. Texas A&M 1-0
Last Week: W, Rice, 52-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Johnny Manziel has served his suspension, and the Aggies are no worse off because of it. The Aggies cranked out 52 points without their star quarterback for the first two quarters, unveiling new weapons, such as RB Tra Carson and WR Ricky Seals-Jones.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The concerns about the A&M defense are not unfounded. Sure, there were suspensions, but the Aggies did not play well against their Conference USA visitor, missing tackles, while allowing more than 500 yards of total offense.
9. Texas 1-0
Last Week: W, New Mexico State, 56-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: If it was confidence and a fast start that the ‘Horns were after, they got both at the expense of the Aggies on Saturday night. After falling behind 7-0, Texas scored the game’s next eight touchdowns, while setting a school record with 715 yards of total offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Is this the year that Texas finally gets over the hump for Mack Brown? The country will get a much better idea about the Longhorns’ potential in September, when BYU, Ole Miss and Kansas State grace the schedule.
10. Oklahoma 1-0
Last Week: W, ULM, 34-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners delivered a tight effort against a tricky, veteran-laden opponent. The rebuilt defense played very well in the shutout, containing QB Kolton Browning and allowing no daylight on the ground.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The staff will need to tinker a little longer with the offense. Rookie QB Trevor Knight had his moments, especially on the ground, but the passing game was erratic, completing only 14-of-33 passes.
11. Stanford 0-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Pac-12 favorite conducts its business a lot like an SEC team, winning with power and assertiveness on both sides of the ball. The Cardinal is stout in the trenches, and determined to evolve on offense now that starting QB Kevin Hogan is no longer a rookie.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, the offense is aiming high, but it can be a little stale when compared to the rest of the conference. Not only must RB Stepfan Taylor be replaced, but Hogan’s targets on the outside are questionable and unproven.
12. Ohio State 1-0
Last Week: W, Buffalo, 40-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes doubled up the Bulls to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games. The offense is going to be dynamite, aided by the emergence of RB Jordan Hall, who rushed for two long scores and a career-high 159 yards.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State was very sloppy in the opener, getting outscored over the final three quarters by a middling team from the MAC. The Buckeyes need to eliminate unforced errors, like penalties, if they’re going to contend for a national championship.
13. Florida 1-0
Last Week: W, Toledo, 24-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It appears as if the Gators will again boast one of the country’s premier defenses. Graduations, suspensions and a visit from a dangerous Rockets offense didn’t matter, as Florida yielded just two field goals and one third-down conversion.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: New year, same old Florida. The Gators sputtered on offense against a MAC D, producing far more penalties than explosive plays. This is going to be an incomplete, low-scoring team again this season.
14. Wisconsin 1-0
Last Week: W, Massachusetts, 45-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers played a nearly perfect game in Gary Andersen’s debut as the head coach. Wisconsin owned the line of scrimmage, pitching a shutout, while producing three 100-yard rushers, Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Concerns about the team’s passing game and pass defense won’t be allayed by a visit from the Minutemen. No one will really know what to expect from this team until it visits Arizona State on Sept. 14.
15. Michigan 1-0
Last Week: W, Central Michigan, 59-9
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wolverines’ offense has a chance to be special in 2013 now that QB Devin Gardner is in charge and RB Fitz Toussaint is healthy. The 59 points scored by Michigan was the most by the team in an opener in over a century.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Michigan has question marks on both lines, especially on the interior of the D-line. A visit from the lowly Chippewas will not answer just how far along the Wolverines have come in trenches during the offseason.
16. Notre Dame 1-0
Last Week: W, Temple, 28-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Not unlike a year ago, when the Irish played in the BCS National Championship Game, the Irish is going to be stifling on defense and efficient offensively. Notre Dame toyed with Temple, while getting a three-touchdown game from QB Tommy Rees.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense—again—could eventually trip up the Irish’s potential in 2013. The attack was hardly prolific against the Owls, and the rest of the schedule is littered with quality opponents.
17. UCLA 1-0
Last Week: W, Nevada 58-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins looked like they were in midseason form against a Nevada team that should be good enough to push for the Mountain West title. The offense was unstoppable, balanced and explosive, while the defense did a nice job against the Wolf Pack ground game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Will the consistency be there? Yeah, it was great to do this against Nevada at home, now do it against Nebraska. The Bruins get a few weeks off to rest up, but will that kill the momentum?
18. Washington 1-0
Last Week: W, Boise State 38-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: That was the big season opener the program needed. Bishop Sankey and the offense ran wild on the normally stout Bronco defense, while the Dawg D bent but didn’t break – Boise State stalled time and again.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It all depends on how good Boise State really is. Washington was fantastic and did everything right, but if Boise State isn’t Boise State, like it’s been in past years, the win might be a bit overblown. Even so, it was a shockingly dominant performance.
19. Missouri 1-0
Last Week: W, Murray State, 58-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Mizzou enjoyed the confidence-builder it needed after suffering through a 5-7 campaign in 2012. While the Racers are hardly the measuring stick, QB James Franklin was crisp, and it was uplifting to finally get back RB Henry Josey from his horrific knee injury.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers will have a ton to prove in their second season in the SEC. There are potential holes on both sides of the ball that might not start getting exposed until the calendar turns to October.
20. Ole Miss 1-0
Last Week: W, Vanderbilt, 39-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The young Rebels grew up before everyone’s eyes on Thursday night, winning an SEC thriller on the road. This program is surging under head coach Hugh Freeze, buoyed by its confidence-building win in Nashville.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The work-in-progress defense now must deal with an injury to heart-and-soul LB Denzel Nkemdiche. The Rebels are soft on D, giving up 300 yards and two scores to a journeyman Vandy quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels.
21. Oklahoma State 1-0
Last Week: W, Mississippi State, 21-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: On a day when the offense misfired, the Cowboys earned a quality win over an SEC opponent with their defense. Oklahoma State showed marked improvement on D, picking up a stepping stone win on a weekend when many of its peers were bullying lightweight competition.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Cowboys had all kinds of problems moving the ball on a Bulldogs’ defense breaking in three new starters in the secondary. The flash of RB Joseph Randle was missing, and the two-headed quarterback system was spotty.
22. Louisville 1-0
Last Week: W, Ohio 49-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinals were razor-sharp against a solid MAC team full of veteran. Ohio could end up winning the MAC, and Teddy Bridgewater and the offense went through the secondary like it wasn’t there.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s still Ohio. It’s going to be the theme throughout the season; blowout or bust. Bridgewater wasn’t under any pressure and he took target practice. The schedule is going to be an ongoing problem, but the Cardinals can only play who’s on the slate.
23. Michigan State 1-0
Last Week: W, Western Michigan, 26-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: East Lansing might be home to the Big Ten’s best defense. In Friday’s win over the Broncos, Michigan State picked off three balls, scored a couple of touchdowns and was stifling on third downs.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offensive warts of a year ago have not cleared up. The Spartans struggled badly to sustain drives, punting 11 times and getting a 17-of-37 performance out of two ineffective passers.
24. TCU 0-1
Last Week: L, LSU, 37-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Horned Frogs had one of the toughest openers in the country, and will be better for it by the time Big 12 begins. Casey Pachall was rusty in his first game back in almost a year, and the D really missed suspended DE Devonte Fields.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If not for the offensive and special teams heroics of RB B.J. Catalon, TCU did few things well in Arlington. The passing game struggled, and the defense was uncharacteristically soft.
25. Virginia Tech 0-1
Last Week: L, Alabama, 35-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: There’s absolutely no shame in losing to the Crimson Tide, the top-ranked team and two-time defending national champs. The Hokies did a fantastic job of winning the line of scrimmage on defense, a strength that could lead to an ACC Coastal Division crown this fall.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Okay, so no one looks good against the Bama D, but the Hokies were downright noxious. Plus, if QB Logan Thomas allows this feeble opening effort to linger, the Hokies are going to remain an incomplete and inconsistent program.
2013 Week 1 Rankings, No. 26-125