CFN 2013 Rankings
Sept. 22, Week 4
- 2013 AP Rankings
2013 Coaches' Poll
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
- 2013 CFN Preseason Rankings
discussion of the rankings and all of Week 4 - Campus Insiders
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2013 Week 4 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. LSU 4-0
Last Week: W, Auburn, 35-21
Why They Should Be No. 1: The Tigers opened the SEC portion of the schedule with a convincing win over rival Auburn. They’ve won all four games by double-digits, including an opening night defeat of TCU on a neutral field. The return to form of RB Jeremy Hill will help give LSU its most diverse offense in years.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Horned Frogs may have been ranked at the time, but they aren’t any longer. Auburn is a long way from being an SEC contender. If LSU is going to climb higher, it’ll have to topple someone of substance, such as Georgia next weekend in Athens.
2. Alabama 3-0
Last Week: W, Colorado State, 31-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Shaking off a post-Texas A&M hangover, the Tide got past Colorado State without allowing a touchdown. Beating the Aggies in College Station a week ago remains the most impressive win of 2013 for the time being.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Enough making excuses. This still might be
the best team in college football, but there are enough signs pointing
to problems to move it down just wee bit ... for now. Last Saturday, ‘Bama yielded 628 yards to Johnny Manziel & Co. This Saturday, it played lethargically against a poor visitor from the Mountain West. This is just not the same well-oiled Tide machine that won the past two national championships,
but that could change in a hurry.
3. Florida State 3-0
Last Week: W, Bethune-Cookman, 54-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Another week, another tight performance out of the Seminoles. In three games, they’ve now outscored opponents, 157-26, while the young players, such as QB Jameis Winston, continue to ripen with each snap.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Is Florida State dominant, or is it simply the product of a soft early slate? The Noles’ toughest opponent so far was Pitt, which gave up 55 points in a narrow escape of Duke over the weekend.
4. Oregon 3-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: No one has been more dominant in the first month than the Ducks, who’ve outscored three opponents 184-27. Among the victims were Tennessee of the SEC and a Virginia squad that’s already beaten BYU. It’s early, but Oregon doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon is clearly among the best teams in America. Does it belong at No. 1? It’s hard to say until the Ducks and first-year head coach Mark Helfrich start facing the portion of the schedule that includes ranked teams.
5. Clemson 3-0
Last Week: W, NC State, 26-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers survived a landmine trip to Raleigh on Thursday night to pick up their first ACC victory of the year. Brent Venables’ defense continues to show progress, sacking Pete Thomas five times, while holding the Pack to one touchdown during the competitive portion of the game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Against an average NC State team, Clemson did not look like a national championship contender. In fact, if not for a blown call on what appeared to be an 83-yard Bryan Underwood, the Tigers might have been in a 60-minute dogfight.
6. Georgia 2-1
Last Week: W, North Texas, 45-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs won on a day when they clearly weren’t at their best, scoring the final 24 points to dispose of the Mean Green. Spearheaded by one of the country’s best offenses, Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC East.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Georgia allowed a middling Conference USA team to be competitive in Athens past halftime. The defense continues to be a little shaky, as is a special teams unit that accounted for two of North Texas’ three touchdowns.
7. South Carolina 2-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Yeah, the Gamecocks have a loss, but it came on the road against Georgia. South Carolina remained alive in the SEC East with its bounce-back win over Vanderbilt two weeks ago, and it continues to show the athletes and talent to be in the mix for the SEC title, and even more.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina will inch higher in the rankings once it beats a team that's ranked or close to being ranked. Neither designation applies to North Carolina or Vandy. In the loss to the Dawgs, the vaunted Gamecocks D allowed 536 yards.
8. Texas A&M 3-1
Last Week: W, SMU, 42-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies rebounded without a hitch from last week’s seven-point loss to top-ranked Alabama, racing past the Mustangs at Kyle Field. No one is going to stop a Johnny Manziel-led offense that’s loaded with weapons in the backfield and split out wide.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The defensive problems that have plagued A&M aren’t going away anytime soon. The Aggies best win so far has come against either Rice or SMU, so there’s still plenty to prove once SEC play resumes.
9. Ohio State 4-0
Last Week: W, Florida A&M, 76-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes continued to roll without the services of star QB Braxton Miller, as super-sub Kenny Guiton threw a school-record six touchdown passes. Having scored no fewer than 40 points in four non-conference games, Ohio State is ready for the start of Big Ten play.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State’s best win to date came over Cal, a team that probably won’t even qualify for a bowl game this year. The defense still has plenty to prove, especially with Wisconsin and Northwestern next on the schedule.
10. UCLA 3-0
Last Week: W, New Mexico State, 59-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins showed absolutely no hangover following last week’s emotional win at Nebraska, outclassing the Aggies without any resistance. The offense is gaining a tailwind with QB Brett Hundley and RB Jordon James in the backfield, and the D has regrouped following a slow start in Lincoln.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: No, it wasn’t a problem against New Mexico State, but UCLA’s issues along the O-line will creep up as the season unfolds. Still left on the schedule are a lot of excellent D-lines, such as the ones from Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Arizona State and USC.
11. Stanford 3-0
Last Week: W, Arizona State, 42-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal manhandled a ranked conference opponent, building a 39-7 cushion before tapping the brakes in the final quarter. Stanford got contributions from the offense, defense and special teams, delivering an effort befitting of a top 5 school.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Stanford has to become better finishers. It was beaten in the fourth quarter, 21-3, and wound up with fewer yards than the Sun Devils. If the Cardinal is going to vie for a spot in the national championship game, it’ll have to deliver for all 60 minutes.
12. Oklahoma 3-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners went into their bye week on a high note, locating the offense in a 51-20 rout of Tulsa. If Blake Bell winds up being the answer under center, Oklahoma will boast the offensive pop to go along with a defense that’s played very well through the first three games.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Sooners remain a mystery, largely because they’ve yet to face anyone of true substance. Its best win came against West Virginia, 16-7, yet that was the game that Oklahoma scored just one touchdown in five red zone trips.
13. Washington 3-0
Last Week: W, Idaho State, 56-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Huskies displayed absolutely no let-up against a lesser opponent, blanking Idaho State. Washington continues to get contributions from all over the roster, helping ensure that the team is ready for the start of Pac-12 play next week.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Go ahead and excited about U-Dub when it beats a fellow ranked opponent. Illinois is a second-tier Big Ten squad, and that rout over Boise State looks a little less impressive now that the Broncos aren’t even the class of the Mountain West.
14. Ole Miss 3-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels are off to a better than expected start, earning wins over Vanderbilt and Texas on the road. Best of all, they’ve done it with an extremely young roster that’s going to get exponentially better as the season unfolds.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Both of Ole Miss' FBS victims, the Commodores and the Longhorns, have been disappointments during the first month of the year. The Rebels are clearly surging northward for head coach Hugh Freeze, but their eventual ceiling isn’t going to be known until they start facing the best of the SEC West.
15. Oklahoma State 3-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: While still flawed, especially in the eyes of head coach Mike Gundy, the offense is headed in the right direction under the guidance of QB J.W. Walsh. While the defense is certainly improved, Oklahoma State is a program driven by the offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Cowboys have yet to really be tested in 2013. Mississippi State has been worse than originally expected, and recent routs of UTSA and Lamar mattered little during the evaluation process.
16. Louisville 4-0
Last Week: W, Florida International, 72-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinals bounced back from a so-so effort against Kentucky to tear through the Golden Panthers with a dominant performance. Louisville allowed just 30 yards and two first downs, while getting four touchdowns on the ground and through the air.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Lighting up arguably the worst team in the FBS—big whoop. The Cardinals failed to impress in Lexington a week ago, and they’ve yet to face a quality opponent in 2013.
17. Wisconsin 3-1
Last Week: W, Purdue, 41-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers kicked off their Big Ten schedule by completely dominating Purdue, outgaining their visitor 546-180. As long as Melvin Gordon and James White continue to be unstoppable on the ground, Wisconsin is a threat to again finish the year in Pasadena.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The loss to Arizona State, though aided by awful officiating, became a lot more odious after the Sun Devils got outclassed by Stanford on Saturday night. The Badgers’ best win of the year so far came against the 1-3 Boilermakers. Call this a prove-it ranking until the Ohio State game this week.
18. Miami 3-0
Last Week: W, Savannah State, 77-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The ‘Canes returned to action with the equivalent of a scrimmage, outclassing overmatched Savannah State in a record-setting night. Miami’s breakthrough win over Florida two weeks ago became slightly more valuable after the Gators handled Tennessee on Saturday.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Miami remains somewhat of a mystery. Two of its three wins came over Florida Atlantic and one of the FCS’ worst programs. In the third one, the Hurricanes were generally bullied by Florida, and were held to just 212 yards of offense.
19. Florida 2-1
Last Week: W, Tennessee, 31-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Despite losing QB Jeff Driskel to an injury, the Gators still handled rival Tennessee rather easily in Gainesville. The defense will keep Florida in every game this fall, holding the Vols to 220 yards, while creating six takeaways.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense was a concern before kickoff. Now that Driskel is on the shelf, Florida’s depth at quarterback will be sorely tested. Tyler Murphy was terrific in relief, but the junior hadn’t even earned a letter prior to this year.
20. Baylor 3-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Monroe, 70-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In terms of offensive output, the Bears are rapidly becoming the Oregon of the Big 12. They’ve scored at least 69 points in all three games, including 70 versus a UL-Monroe team that kept Oklahoma to 34 points in the opener.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s going to be a while, maybe even November, before the true potential of this Baylor is known. Yeah, the numbers are eye-popping, but it’s important to put things in perspective when the opponents were Wofford, Buffalo and UL-Monroe.
21. Arizona State 2-1
Last Week: L, Stanford, 42-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: ASU has a win over one of the top Big Ten teams, Wisconsin, on the resume, and its only loss came on the road at Stanford. The Sun Devils have the talent on both sides of the ball to capture the Pac-12 South.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The final score was deceiving. The Sun Devils were thoroughly outclassed by the Cardinal for much of the evening. Heck, if not for some extremely poor officiating a week earlier, Arizona State might be a game under .500 at this stage of the season.
22. Missouri 3-0
Last Week: W, Indiana, 45-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers had a successful first road trip of 2013, dominating a dangerous Hoosier team in Bloomington. Mizzou racked up 623 balanced yards, an effort that should continue to build the confidence of QB James Franklin.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: C’mon, what do we really know about this Missouri team? Sure, it can handle the likes of Toledo and Indiana, but will it stack up now that a very soft non-conference schedule is one game from being over?
23. Michigan 4-0
Last Week: W, Connecticut, 24-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Good teams find ways to win games when they’re not playing their best ball. The Wolverines have found ways to remain unbeaten in back-to-back weeks, showing the resiliency to survive in nail-biters decided by less than a touchdown.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If Michigan was surviving against the likes of even Indiana and Minnesota, it might be forgivable. But Akron and UConn in back-to-back weekends? There are major problems in Ann Arbor that are about to get exposed once Big Ten play begins.
24. Notre Dame 3-1
Last Week: W, Michigan State, 17-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It wasn’t pretty, but the Irish committed no turnovers, and found a way to hand defensively-sound Michigan State its first loss of the year. The talented Irish D really came to play on Saturday, holding the Spartans to one touchdown in four red-zone trips.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Notre Dame is an incomplete team that’s been unable to put it all together at any point in the first three games. The defense disappeared in the Michigan loss, yet on the day it flexes its muscles again, the offense sputters badly against Michigan State.
25. Northwestern 4-0
Last Week: W, Maine, 35-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats took care of business against an FCS visitor, using a pair of defensive scores to reach 35 points for the fourth straight game. The Week 2 rout of Syracuse has increased in value as the Orange has found an offense the last two weeks.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Northwestern should have obliterated the Black Bears, but did not. In fact, it was outgained by six yards, and generally did not perform like a team that deserves to be climbing higher on the Top 25 ladder.
2013 Week 4 Rankings, No. 26-125