CFN 2013 Rankings
Sept. 15, Week 3
- 2013 AP Rankings
2013 Coaches' Poll
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
- 2013 CFN Preseason Rankings
discussion of the rankings and all of Week 2 - Campus Insiders
- Week 1
| Week 2
2013 Week 3 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. Alabama 2-0
Last Week: W, Texas A&M, 49-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tide now owns the best win of the 2013 season so far, going into College Station to beat Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. When the offense needed to be prolific, it delivered by racking up 568 yards, without allowing a sack.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: No, there aren't any Manziels or A&Ms left on the schedule, but the 'Bama D did show an unusual number of cracks at Kyle Field. The Tide yielded 628 yards, got toasted by big receiver Mike Evans and sacked Manziel just one time.
2. Florida State 2-0
Last Week: W, Nevada, 62-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles have started the season with a take-no-prisoners mindset, already scoring 103 points in just two games. The young kids, like QB Jameis Winston and the D-linemen, are growing up ahead of schedule.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Pitt and Nevada are hardly the litmus test for a program whose bar sits at winning an ACC title and possibly contending for a spot in the national title game. Florida State's true ceiling can't be determined until next month.
3. Oregon 3-0
Last Week: W, Tennessee, 59-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks are embarrassing the opponents on their schedule, hanging 59 points on Virginia and Tennessee in consecutive weeks. If not Stanford in November, no one of the 2013 schedule is going to keep Oregon below 40 points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The only nit-pick of the Ducks right now is the schedule. While others in the upper echelon of the rankings have faced at least one top team, Oregon's early slate of Nicholls State, Virginia and Tennessee has been comparatively soft.
4. LSU 3-0
Last Week: W, Kent State, 45-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are beginning to build a head of steam, as all of their new starters gradually get comfortable in expanded roles. The offense, a liability in recent seasons, has looked great so far in 2013, mixing the improved passing of QB Zach Mettenberger with a deep stable of power backs.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Who've you beaten so far, LSU? The opening night win over TCU doesn't look so great now that the Frogs stumbled to Texas Tech, and recent routs of UAB and Kent State prove very little.
5. Clemson 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers were riding high after handling Georgia in the opener, 38-35. That win became even more impactful after the Dawgs defeated South Carolina in Week 2. The class of the ACC sports an offense that few opponents on the schedule will be able to slow down.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense certainly is top 5-caliber, but the defense still has plenty to prove. Georgia moved the ball at will on Clemson, which could make Dabo Swinney's team susceptible to an upset at some point during the regular season.
6. Georgia 1-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: No one in the country has faced a more grueling start than the Bulldogs, which lost by three points at ranked Clemson and defeated rival South Carolina. The offense, spearheaded by RB Todd Gurley and QB Aaron Murray, is among the best in America.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Two games into 2013, the defense is every bit the concern that the staff worried it would be. Sure, no one had a tougher early slate, but the Dawgs have yielded at least 30 points in both outings, a concern for the balance of the season.
7. South Carolina 2-1
Last Week: W, Vanderbilt, 35-25
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks showed no hangover from last week's loss to Georgia, jumping all over Vanderbilt and hanging on for the win. South Carolina is one of the most complete teams in the SEC, capable of winning in a multitude of different ways.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina will elevate higher when it beats a team that's ranked or close to being ranked. Neither designation applies to North Carolina or Vandy, and the Gamecocks were outclassed by the Dawgs last Saturday.
8. Texas A&M 2-1
Last Week: L, Alabama, 49-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies will score on everyone this season. In the loss to Alabama, they produced an unthinkable 628 yards on a Nick Saban production, while becoming the first team in a decade to score as many as 42 points in a game on the Crimson Tide.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The defense remains a big-time worry. The Aggies struggled with Rice and Sam Houston State, and then they got schooled by the same Alabama attack that got shut down by Virginia Tech in Week 1.
9. Ohio State 3-0
Last Week: W, Cal, 52-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: No Braxton, no problem. Playing without injured Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller couldn't keep the Buckeyes from racking up 608 yards and 52 points in Berkeley. Road wins without the cover boy is the sign of a well-coached and deep team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The shaky play of the defense ought to concern Urban Meyer, especially since Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan are still on the schedule. The Buckeyes gave up 503 yards and far too many big plays through the air, which is cause for concern.
10. UCLA 2-0
Last Week: W, Nebraska, 41-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins delivered arguably their best win of the Jim Mora, rallying from 18 points down in Lincoln to coast past a ranked Huskers team. UCLA adjusted brilliantly on the fly, scoring the final 38 points in a clinic on both sides of the ball.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If UCLA is going to take that next step and actually win a Pac-12 crown, it has to play with consistency for all four quarters. The defense had some early breakdowns, and the O-line remains a liability in pass protection.
11. Stanford 2-0
Last Week: W, Army, 34-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal took care of business on the Hudson, remaining a step ahead of Army throughout. QB Kevin Hogan got a chance to use the game as a tune-up, turning three of his 11 completions into six points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Stanford hasn't looked especially sharp in either of its outings, ho-hum wins over San Jose State and Army. Tough trip to the East Coast, sure, but the Black Knights were within a score when the second-half began.
12. Oklahoma 3-0
Last Week: W, Tulsa, 51-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners located their offense in Week 3, forming a nice complement with an improving D. They lit up Tulsa for more than 600 yards, getting a much-needed four-touchdown effort from one-time backup QB Blake Bell.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Who've you beaten? It's prudent to maintain a wait-and-see approach with Oklahoma, since its three victims so far, UL-Monroe, West Virginia and the Golden Hurricane are nowhere near being ranked.
13. Miami 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The ‘Canes own something that few others do after just three weeks of the 2013 season—a win over a ranked team. Defeating Florida on a day when its offense was not the catalyst, provided proof that Miami is indeed heading in the right direction.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, Miami won its Week 2 showdown at Sun Life Stadium, but it was outplayed by the Gators, generating just 212 yards of offense. Al Golden admitted during the week that his team still has plenty of work to do before being "back". And he was not dispensing coach-speak.
14. Florida 1-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The defense is among the half-dozen or so best in the country, which means the Gators will be competitive in every game this fall. Even in losing for the first time, the unit allowed just 212 yards, 50 on the ground, to a potent Miami offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense is downright hideous, so much so that Florida is going to be vulnerable to even lesser opponents. The ‘Canes are certainly headed in the right direction under Al Golden, but they're an incomplete team that won't go down as an acceptable loss for the Gators.
15. Washington 2-0
Last Week: W, Illinois, 34-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Huskies have begun the year with a pair of quality wins, pummeling Boise State in the opener, and coming out of the bye to slap 615 yards of offense on Illinois in Chicago. U-Dub is backing up its highest ranking in a decade.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: There's not much to dislike about the Huskies' start to 2013. Steve Sarkisian and the rest of the staff will likely point out that 615 yards should produce more than 34 points. Washington hopes to become more efficient in the red zone before Pac-12 play gets cranking.
16. Ole Miss 3-0
Last Week: W, Texas, 44-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels don't look so young all of a sudden. They went into Austin Saturday night in front of 101,474 fans and a cornered Texas team and left with a statement win. Ole Miss heads into its bye week as confident as it's been in many years.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Both of Ole Miss' FBS victims, Vanderbilt and Texas, are now below .500. The Rebels are clearly surging north for Hugh Freeze, but their ultimate ceiling won't be known until they start facing opponents from the SEC West.
17. Oklahoma State 3-0
Last Week: W, Lamar, 59-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys used a visit from FCS Lamar to fine-tune the offensive attack around multi-dimensional QB J.W. Walsh. Oklahoma State is going to score, but now it has an improved defense to round out the squad as well.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Okie State has yet to be tested this season. Lamar and UTSA offered no challenge to the Cowboys, and the defeat of 1-2 Mississippi State on the opening weekend doesn't look all that impressive right now.
18. Michigan 3-0
Last Week: W, Akron, 28-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: On an afternoon when they clearly weren't clicking on all cylinders, the Wolverines found a way to survive and move on. A week after impressively beating Notre Dame, Michigan used clutch drives and a goal-line stand to remain unbeaten.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Getting tested for a quarter or so by Akron, which entered the weekend on a 27-game road losing streak, is one thing. Needing all 60 minutes to dispose of Terry Bowden's Zips is an indication that the Wolverines may be a little overrated.
19. Arizona State 2-0
Last Week: W, Wisconsin, 32-30
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In a thriller late Saturday night, the Sun Devils held on to defeat the Badgers, one of the top teams in the Pac-12. It was the catapult-type victory that ASU needed to carry it into conference play.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Arizona State caught a huge break when game officials prevented Badger PK Kyle French from attempting the game-winning field goal. The Devils were outplayed by Wisky for much of the game, and they allowed 441 total yards.
20. Wisconsin 2-1
Last Week: L, Arizona State, 32-30
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers played well enough to get by in Tempe Saturday night and got jobbed by poor officiating out of potential game-winning field goal attempt. Facing what was supposed to be a pretty good Sun Devils D, Wisconsin rushed for 231 yards.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Those shutouts in the first two games
against Tennessee Tech and Massachusetts were a product of weak
competition. The Badgers have work to do in pass defense after allowing
352 yards to Taylor Kelly, an average thrower - the corners were
21. Notre Dame 2-1
Last Week: W, Purdue, 31-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Irish started slowly, but finished with a flurry to even its record against Big Ten teams this season. The defense played much closer to its expectations than it did last week in Ann Arbor, holding the Boilermakers to 38 yards on the ground.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Notre Dame just has not looked sharp in either of its last two games, needing a fourth-quarter rally to get past a bad Purdue team. Akron actually played Michigan tougher today than the Irish did a week ago.
22. Baylor 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: New season, same point-a-minute offense. The Bears are now a scoring machine under head coach Art Briles, slapping 139 points on their first two opponents. Baylor is brimming with weapons, from QB Bryce Petty to RB Lache Seastrunk and receivers Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Really, how much can you learn about a team that's only faced FCS Wofford and Buffalo so far? The defense is a big concern in Waco, especially for a team that lives in the Big 12.
23. Louisville 3-0
Last Week: W, Kentucky, 27-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It's never easy defeating a hated rival in their building, but that's exactly what the Cards did on Saturday afternoon. Louisville played well on defense to win the Governor's Cup and run its record to 3-0.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: This is the reason why Louisville never belonged in the national championship discussion. The Cardinals were ordinary against a subpar Kentucky team, squandering one of their few chances this season to amass some style points.
24. Missouri 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With a 2-0 start, the Tigers have taken their first small steps toward putting last season's 5-7 disappointment behind them. This program ought to be 4-0 and riding a little wave of momentum heading into its Oct. 5 trip to Vanderbilt.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, Mizzou has the early wins, but it did not look sharp last week against Toledo. The offense, in particular, lacked execution, averaging just 3.7 yards a carry against a mediocre D.
25. Northwestern 3-0
Last Week: W, Western Michigan, 38-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats are playing sound football on both sides of the ball in the early stages of the season. The offense has been humming with balance, while the D has improved since letting up a bunch big plays in the opener.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Northwestern has won when it was supposed to this season, taking care of inferior opponents. In fact, there's a good possibility that none of the Wildcats' first three victims, Cal, Syracuse or Western Michigan, will even bowl this year, so there's plenty to prove in Evanston.
2013 Week 3 Rankings, No. 26-125